Long weekends are a rarity this year. Most holidays in 2016 fell under weekends, so boo, that made 2016 such a year! But that didn’t mean we can’t catch a break every now and then, noh? But honestly, holidays falling on Wednesdays felt off. Is it really a vacation if you reset to normal immediately?
But my family took this chance to bond with relatives from the US who came over for my cousin’s wedding. Even with the short time we had this holiday, we toured them around Tagaytay. Its breezy climate and proximity to Manila make it the perfect day tour / road trip getaway. We took my uncle and aunt to Tagaytay and checked in to the scenic Taal Vista Hotel.
Holiday Inn… (Not That Hotel)
November in the Philippines meant pre-Christmas season. In our stay, I’ve passed by at least 3 Christmas trees. The hotel had two gigantic trees: one for outdoor, one for indoor. They didn’t miss placing a regular-sized one in the lobby, either. They just wanted to remind us, in case we forget: it’s Christmas!
A Room With A View
At Taal Vista, guests can book any room from the two hotel wings: Lake Wing and Mountain Wing. They named both sections after the splendid views the rooms offered. It’s nice to take a break from the city and marvel at the sights from the hotel room.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Wing located at the east of the hotel complex. While Lake Wing had colorful, apartment-like structure; Mountain Wing toned down its aesthetic to neutrals. It perfectly blended with the greenery in the area.
Afterwards, the receptionists settled our reservations with my mom. Then we checked in into our three rooms at the Mountain Wing.
Home Away From Home
The typical Mountain Wing room contains the basic hotel room set up. First, there’s the bedroom with the little lounge. Then for entertainment, the flat screen TV hangs between the wall lamps. You can find the remote in the cabinet of the end table. Also, a minibar can be found next to the closet. There you can find a mini-fridge, a water boiler, and free coffee / tea with sugar. The room’s aesthetic embodied Taal Vista’s branding: earthly, native Filipino with a touch of modern hospitality.
The Lobby Lounge
The typical hotel separates its lobby from the in-house café. However, Taal Vista merged the lobby and the lounge. Guests could wait for their companions / transportation and have snacks and drinks. No need to move to a different area, even! It’s even near the bar so if one drunk more than usual, the coffee’s right nearby.
Breakfast Buffet (The Best Part of a Hotel Stay)
Part of the room stay included free breakfast for every guest. Taal Vista’s Veranda offers buffets during meal times.
Veranda’s interior felt like a very tita-friendly place. The amigas can drink tea and catch up with their lives, telling stories of their nephews or nieces. Think of Veranda as a tea party venue with the full menu package.
Veranda’s breakfast buffet satisfied my appetite. I was able to do my normal diet of fruit, veggies, meat, and carbs. But I also enjoyed some extras that I normally don’t include. Rarely on a weekday will I have waffles, cereal, or even some butter. (Yes. I don’t put butter on my bread often.)
The Cold Kinda Bothered Me Anyway
Of course we do not let our stay pass by without dipping in Taal Vista’s pool. Tagaytay’s breeze and the year-end climate left the pool really cold. I dipped myself slowly before getting used to the chilled pool. Eventually I took off my shirt that protected my swimsuit from the cold and started swimming.
What Made Taal Vista “Taal Vista”
Speaking of beautiful views, Taal Vista lives up to its name and promise. Behind the hotel, we get a glimpse of Taal Lake with the world’s smallest volcano, Taal Volcano. Fascinating, right? (In case you’re wondering, Mount Taal rests in between the other two mountains.) Also, we can see a view of Skyranch Tagaytay, an amusement park nearby. Every visit to Taal Vista Hotel prompted us to go there, as it is the closest family friendly leisure spot in town. I’ll talk about it more in the second part of my Tagaytay entry.
That’s it for the first part of my Tagaytay experience this week! Even for a while, I enjoyed my short staycation from the duties I left in the city. I wanted more time to travel and more destinations to photograph. But for now, this will do until my year-end trip arrives. Since it’s December, I keep in mind that it’s not so far away. It will satisfy my inner travel bug soon! Until then, all I have to do is wait.