Perched atop the hills of Baguio City. The Diplomat Hotel stands as a captivating architectural marvel that carries a rich and haunting history. Originally built as a retreat house in the early 20th century, it later transformed into a hotel and played witness to significant events during World War II. Today, it stands in ruins, adorned with an eerie charm that attracts locals and tourists alike. The Diplomat Hotel offers a unique blend of historical significance, architectural grandeur, and an intriguing ghostly aura, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. The Diplomat Hotel, originally known as the Dominican Hill Retreat House, was constructed in 1915 as a vacation house for Dominican friars. Over time, it evolved into a hotel under the management of the Dominican Order. During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the hotel, and it became a refuge for civilians seeking shelter.
Tragically, it became a target of bombings, leading to the loss of lives within its premises. In 1973, the hotel was transformed into The Diplomat Hotel by its new owner, Antonio Agapito “Tony” Agpaoa. It thrived for a short period as a popular tourist destination, but financial challenges eventually led to its closure in the 1980s. Since then, the hotel has remained abandoned, falling into a state of decay while maintaining its historical allure. Later on, it gained a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the Philippines. Numerous legends and ghostly encounters surround its premises, adding to its allure and attracting paranormal enthusiasts. Because of this, the place became more popular with the tourists and the local media. For years now, the Diplomat Hotel will always be seen on Halloween Specials on TV and Social Media appearances in the country.
According to local folklore, the spirits of those who lost their lives during the war, including priests, nuns, and civilians, are said to roam the hotel. Visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices, footsteps, and even the ringing of bells in the early morning hours. Some have claimed to see apparitions dressed in old-fashioned clothing. While others have experienced unexplained cold spots or sudden drops in temperature. Due to safety concerns, access to the interior of The Diplomat Hotel is currently restricted. However, prior to the pandemic, visitors were allowed to venture inside the ruins and experience the eerie ambiance firsthand. Despite its dilapidated state, The Diplomat Hotel remains a popular destination for visitors seeking a glimpse into its haunting past. The exterior of the building offers a unique atmosphere for exploration and photography enthusiasts. Showcasing the remnants of its grand architecture with Gothic-style elements.
The crumbling walls, shattered windows, and remnants of the once-grand staircase all contribute to the eerie charm that surrounds the hotel. While visitors cannot currently enter the building due to falling debris and safety risks, the rooftop still provides breathtaking panoramic views of Baguio City. It serves as a vantage point for capturing stunning photographs of the surrounding landscape. Allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the haunting beauty of the abandoned hotel. Efforts have been made to preserve the historical significance of The Diplomat Hotel. In 2005, it was declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as a historical landmark. Although access to the interior is restricted, the exterior serves as a tangible reminder of Baguio’s past and the indomitable spirit of its people.
Tips and Guidelines
- Note current restrictions: Due to safety concerns, access to the interior of The Diplomat Hotel is currently restricted. Visitors are not allowed to enter the building.
- Entrance Fee: Be prepared to pay an entrance fee of Php 10 per head upon arrival at The Diplomat Hotel. This fee helps support the maintenance and preservation of the site.
- Parking Fee: If you are arriving by car, there is a parking fee of Php 35. Make sure to have cash on hand for the parking fee.
- Respect the surroundings: The Diplomat Hotel is a historical landmark. Avoid touching or damaging any structures or artifacts, and refrain from leaving any litter behind.
- Observe safety precautions: As access to the interior is restricted, it is essential to follow safety guidelines and avoid attempting to enter the building. Adhere to any signs or barriers that indicate restricted areas.
- Take photographs from the exterior: While you cannot explore the interior, you can still capture memorable photographs of the exterior.
- Stay aware of your surroundings: The Diplomat Hotel is located on a hill, so be cautious when navigating the area, especially if there are uneven surfaces or debris.
- Learn about the history: Before visiting, familiarize yourself with the historical background of The Diplomat Hotel. Understanding its significance will enhance your experience and appreciation of the site.
- Dress comfortably: Baguio’s weather can be cool, even in the summer months, so dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes for walking and exploring the grounds.
- Plan your visit: Consider visiting during weekdays or non-peak hours to avoid crowds. This can provide a quieter and more serene experience.
- Nearby attractions: Take the opportunity to explore other nearby attractions such as Mines View Park, Wright Park, or The Mansion, which are within close proximity.
If you happen to go Baguio City, you might also want to go:
- Burnham Park; The go-to hang-out place in Baguio City!
- Mirador Heritage & Eco Park; Glimpse of Japan in the City of Pines
- GoodTaste Restaurant; The City of Pines’ Go-to Family Restaurant