A Family Affair at Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay

The facade of Taal Vista Hotel
Being a working mom is a tough job. I have to split my time between taking care of my family, writing (both for work and for my own blog), and travelling. The past few weeks have been so hectic for me that I rarely have time to bond with my daughter, Akisha. I was too stressed and swamped with work that I couldn't even play with her at night when I go home. So, as soon as I surpassed my deadlines, Akisha, hubby and I went to Tagaytay for a quick R&R. Our home for the weekend? The iconic Taal Vista Hotel.

Dubbed as the first hotel in Tagaytay City, Taal Vista Hotel (formerly Taal Vista Lodge) opened its doors to the public in 1939, thus, marking this year as the hotel's 75th anniversary. It became famous for locals and tourists alike as it commands the best view of the Taal Lake and Volcano.

How to go there (via public transportation):
1. Board a DLTB bus bound to Nasugbu-Lian-Tagaytay. The terminal is right by the stairs of LRT Buendia, just a few meters away from the JAC Liner terminal. If travelling on a weekend, go to the terminal early as the cue gets longer towards lunch time. Fare is Php 83. There are also shuttle vans at Metropoint on the corner of Taft Ave. and EDSA, though I haven't tried this route.

2. Alight at Olivarez Plaza in Tagaytay City.

3. Take a jeepney to Nasugbu. This will pass in front of SkyRanch and Taal Vista Hotel. Fare is Php 8.

Photos from the archives of the National Museum

Our Room
We stayed at a Premier King room at the Lake Wing. The 38 sqm nook has a veranda that serves as a perfect vantage point to view the picturesque Taal Lake and Volcano. Spacious as it is, we have ample room to move around -- Akisha enjoyed playing at the couch, hubby soaked in the sun by the veranda and I indulged in a warm bubble bath. The interiors are modern as compared to the rooms in the Mountain Wing which resonate a country, nostalgic feel being the oldest building of the hotel.

The king-sized  bed was so inviting that once you get on it, you would want to snooze the entire day. Add to that the cool Tagaytay weather that the city is famous for. In fact, there were times when we would turn off the aircon and just open our doors at the veranda to savor the fresh, cool breeze.

Our Premier Lake Wing Room
Check-in was swift and fast, though they couldn't allow us to check-in earlier as the hotel was 100% full. We had to wait until the standard check-in time at 2:00 pm. Understandable.

Welcome note and fresh fruits
Our room has the best view from the veranda
Like in other hotels and resorts, there's complimentary coffee, tea and water in the room. This is important to me as I always crave for some caffeine fix in the middle of the night. The mini bar is also stuffed with some nibbles like nuts, chips, cookies, sodas, and beer.

Coffee and tea for late nights
The bathroom, while plain and simple, is like a sanctuary where one could indulge in a soothing bath after a tiring day around the city. 

The toilet and bath
Premium toiletries
Still at the spacious bathroom

Robes and slippers
Akisha and I in pink
A tree that is visible from our veranda
Someone's gonna get married
What to do in Taal Vista Hotel:
1. Explore the nearby SkyRanch and other tourists spots around the area. 
From our room, we could already see a sneak peek of SkyRanch, an amusement complex that features the famous Sky Eye. Kids and adults alike will definitely have a great time here.

SkyRanch from our veranda
2. Check out seasonal workshops
During our stay at the Taal Vista Hotel, we were so fortunate to have met Alessandra  Lanot of http://lifeafterbreakfast.blogspot.com/ who conducted her Watercolor Crafternoon workshop outside Metro Manila for the very first time. Dubbed as Watercolor Weekend Getaway, the two-day workshop is a beginners class, so you can join it even if you have zero background on watercolor or painting.
Alessa welcomed the 30 participants who drove all the way to Tagaytay for the workshop
The first day was all about the basics of watercolor and the theme was flowers. Alessa taught the participants the proper way to hold the brush, the essential stuff they need, the kinds of brushes, and the types of washes. Each participant was given a starter's kit that includes a Koi watercolor palette, basic brushes, specialty paper, and pencils.

The kit
At the end of the lecture was an activity where all participants were  asked to choose a flower that they will paint using their watercolor kits.

Fresh blooms
The second day was all about watercolored typography/calligraphy. the workshop is interesting as you'll be able to meet people with different backgrounds and interests -- from mother-daughter tandems, sisters, to  enthusiasts.
Grandmother, mother, and son team

Craft materials for sale
3. Have afternoon tea or savor a cup of coffee at the lobby lounge
Taal Vista Hotel's iconic Tudor-style lobby lounge has plush seats by the floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace perfect for the city's cold weather. A wide array of light snacks and desserts are served here, including red velvet cupcakes, sanzrival, and some unique concoctions like the layered pumpkin tiramisu cake. There are also music performances at times.

A pianist serenading guests at the lobby lounge

The bar
4. Get fit and fab
For health and fitness buffs, there's a gym at the Mountain Wing that you can use during your stay. There's also the Asmara Spa upstairs where you can indulge in a relaxing massage after working out.

Fitness Gym
5. Play, play, and play
Kids and adults can enjoy the recreational facilities at Taal Vista Hotel. There's a playroom where kids can stay while mom and dad are at the opposite game room that has billiards and darts.

The kid's playroom

The game room
6. Check out the farm
Taal Vista Hotel has its own mini farm where they get all their herbs and some of their vegetables for their restaurants. It's located near the Mountain Wing.
Taal Vista Hotel farm

The Mountain Wing

Herbs fresh from the farm
7. Have a dip at the pool
Taal Vista Hotel has a kiddie pool and an adult pool where families can enjoy a dip to beat the summer heat. Best to swim in the morning so that the sun is not at its hottest.
The pool
8. Enjoy a feast at Cafe Veranda
Of course, do not miss the chance to try out Cafe Veranda's gastronomic delights! On weekends, there's a Filipino-themed buffet teeming with Pinoy favorites like lechon belly, adobo, kare-kare, and a lot more. Plus, witness a spectacular cultural performance by The Bughaw Dance Group. Cafe Veranda indeed deserves a separate post. Stay tuned!
Cafe Veranda

Lechon Pork Belly
9. Enjoy movies by the ridge
At night, the hotel shows two movies by the patio. Backdropped by the picturesque Taal Lake and Volcano, having a movie date here can be one of the most romantic and memorable dates ever. Do not forget to order a bottle of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon to complete the setup. Kids can also enjoy fun snacks by the bar.
The patio

Akisha excited to see the movie
Related post:
Taal Vista Hotel
Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City 4120, Philippines
Tel. +632.917.8225 | +6346.413.1000
Mobile: +63917.809.1254
Fax: +6346.413.1225


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