Thursday, September 7, 2017

Taal Vista Hotel: A Gastronomic Staycation


The crazy weather prevented us from going out of our home for the long weekend. It would be raining hard for a minute, then a patch of sunlight would shine brilliantly afterwards. This went on throughout the day. Playing hide n' seek with the sun, what we did instead was take pleasure from this three-day vacay with glutton sessions on Taal Vista Hotel's three restaurants.

It was a planned staycation to seek refuge away from Manila during the rainy season. Our group of eight, plus one kid, was invited at Taal Vista Hotel for a staycation and to sample the wide food offerings from their restaurants. Tagaytay has been a go-to place for urban dwellers like us, as it's merely a two-hour drive from the metro. The plan was to check unexplored sites and rediscover Tagaytay, which didn't happen at all; blame it on the unpredictable weather. Good thing, we still managed to have a real holiday on one of the premier hotels in the city as we enjoyed our food sessions and beer nights.


We started our journey at seven in the evening, leaving the horrible rush hour traffic of Metro Manila, and it took us three hours to reach Taal Vista Hotel. The weather was pleasantly crisp as we emerged from the van. We were then led to the reception area for the standard checking in process.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Taal Vista Hotel
Taal Vista Hotel was built by the Zamoras of Manila in 1939; back then, it was known as the Taal Vista Lodge. The hotel survived the turmoil of the Second World War and went into a major reconstruction in 2002, still in keeping with the style of the original lodge. In 2004, it reopened with additional facilities and accommodations to provide guests with a more relaxing stay on one of the country's favorite holiday places.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
A sudden long weekend = staycation
After completing the guest registration process at the front desk, we all headed to the Lobby Lounge for an uber late dinner (I will dedicate a separate article for our food adventure at Taal Vista Hotel). After which, we went to our respective rooms to settle. 

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Elegant lobby
Billeted on a Deluxe Queen Room on the Lake Wing (check here for discounted room rates), me and my two roomies checked out the view from our window, the festive Sky Ranch. The earth tones added to the cozy and homey vibe of the room, in stark contrast with the chilly weather outside.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Deluxe Queen Room | Lake Wing
Our room was spacious with one queen size bed and a single bed with high quality linens. There’s also a side table in the middle of the two beds with night lamp. I just wished though that there’s also another table on my side of the bed for easier stowage of my gadgets.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Wardrobe closet
The room was also furnished with flat screen cable TV, individually-powered AC, mini fridge, coffee and tea-making amenities, work desk, wardrobe closet, in-room safe box, and ironing facilities.

The en suite toilet and bath was well-designed with separate stalls for the toilet and shower. Bathroom amenities as well as hair dryer and bathrobes were also provided for.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Separate stalls for toilet and shower
I chose a nook on the luggage rack and tossed my backpack then went towards the entertainment desk. I sampled the bread and fruits from the welcome tray and then collapsed on the warm bed as we planned our next move. We were dead tired that night that our intended night out ended up as a room-serviced beer session.

Taal Vista Hotel has a wide menu selection from their 24-hour in-room dining service. We were quite surprised to find out that they serve local craft beers, so we ordered those. Some of our friends joined our sesh, while some chose to catch up on their writing gigs; which is perfect since the complimentary WiFi is quite fast and reliable.

Craft Beer Philippines
In-room service beer night
We left the curtains open on purpose that night, us wanting to allow the sun to peep through the glass windows come morning. I went towards it and opened one of the panels. The air felt nippy as it brushed my skin. I left it open as I wanted to truly feel the fresh air of the highlands. My buddies were fast asleep to even notice what I was doing.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Early morning sun
The next day, waking up late, I realized that we only have an hour left before breakfast time ends. I immediately woke them up and then went to Veranda for the complimentary buffet breakfast. 



The Veranda was filled with happy diners that morning. The breakfast buffet spread was a combination of international and local favorites. My plate was loaded with corned beef, pork tocino, sausages and bacons. I was about to have some fresh fruits but then I saw a pot of champorado. I tried it with crispy-fried dried fish (biya) and was captivated by this perfect combo since then. I went for another round after finishing my first bowl. 


Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
My first breakie plate
After a very satisfying breakfast meal, we went around the hotel's premises and enjoyed the view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. The weather was weird though; it will rain for a minute and then it will be sunny with clear skies the next

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Playing with Lia, a 5-year old adventurer who travels like a pro
Some went to the outdoor pool while some hit the gym. As for me and my two buddies, we chose to go back to our room and continue our sleep--boring, I know (read:old age).

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
And they do have an outdoor swimming pool
We had buffet lunch at Veranda and then went on our separate ways, yet again. Some went jogging around the hotel's premises while the others had their afternoon siesta. The three of us though stayed at Veranda for a supposedly one round of beer that ended up into an afternoon drinking spree. All with a view of Taal Volcano, the country’s smallest volcano within a lake, within a volcano within another lake.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
View of Taal Volcano from Taal Vista Hotel
That night, we had dinner at Lobby Lounge and went gaga over some unique selections of the group; burger, fries, spaghetti, pumpkin soup, lumpiang sariwa, crispy tawilis and more. Weird combination, I know.


Classic Burger
My favorite from the Lobby Lounge Cafe
We rested a bit from our food coma and went out for karaoke until the wee hours of morning. The location of Taal Vista Hotel made it easy for us to go to a cool new foodpark and bars along Aguinaldo Highway without worrying on how we’d be able to go back home. We still hope though that there'll be an online taxi service in Tagaytay soon.


Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Yoga mornings
On our third day, our last, we lounged at TᾹZA Fresh Table for our brunch feast. We enjoyed the restaurant on our own and got to sample some of their famous dishes. We spent almost two hours of nonstop chitchat while enjoying the restaurant's exquisite meals.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay
Shoot before you eat
The weather was still erratic as we checked out from our rooms at twelve noon. It was too early to go back to Manila so we did a side trip to Sky Ranch by passing through a special gate from Taal Vista Hotel (you have to still pay the entrance fee though). It was fun seeing our little 5-year old adventurer having the time of her life on a carousel and a mini roller coaster ride, It unleashed the inner child in all of us.

Sky Ranch Tagaytay
Taal Vista has a dedicated entrance to the neighboring Sky Ranch
Our chitchat continued as we navigated the road back to Manila. It was my first time to travel with this group of people, and it fascinates me how even if we're all uniquely different, somehow, we still clicked. It may be because of our love of traveling or maybe we just like having fun. Nonetheless the countless calorie intake was all worth it as we had a really great time on our lovely gastronomic staycation at Taal Vista hotel.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay

Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway,
Tagaytay City 4120, Philippines
Contact Number: (+63) 2.917.8225 | (+63) 46.413.1000 | (+63) 917.809.1254
Email Address: reservations@taalvistahotel.com

Veranda
Operating Hours
6:00 am to 11:00 pm | Daily
Buffet Rates
Breakfast (Daily) – PhP950
Lunch (Weekdays) – PhP1,100
Lunch (Saturdays and Sundays) – PhP1,350
Dinner (Fridays and Saturdays) – PhP1,350
All rates are inclusive  of service charge and all applicable taxes

Lobby Lounge
Operating Hours
10:00 am to 11:00 pm (Sundays to Thursdays)
10:00 am to 1:00 am (Fridays and Saturdays)

TᾹZA Fresh Table
Operating Hours
11:30 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Mondays to Thursdays)
7:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Fridays)
7:00 am to 10:00 pm (Saturdays)
7:00 am to 6:00 pm (Sundays)





4 comments:

  1. It was my first time to try champorado and dried fish! Ang sarap! Thanks for sharing this Carla! :D

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    1. Thanks too Mujee. It was fun being with your group sa Taal Vista Hotel. Next time ulit! :)

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  2. Ang gandaaaaa ng lobby and early morning shot in bed po

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    Replies
    1. Thanks po! Taal Vista Hotel is really perfect for staycation :)

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