Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Return to the Decadent Life at Taal Vista Hotel

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Despite the challenging daily grind, ever so blessed are we to be teeming with such verdant nature, which just entails us to take a break and experience its one-of-a-kind experience, and from the chilly ridges of Tagaytay spans the view of a lifetime: that of the breathtaking Taal Lake.

Almost any pair of eyes on the latter will have him or her reaching for the camera in favor of a selfie or groupie to share on social media.

Tagaytay has been one of the country’s most attractive tourist destinations, being known for its getaways, food, eco-friendly surroundings, and scenic landscape. Its proximity to the capital also makes it a favorite destination of local and foreign tourists alike.

Ergo, January 5-7, 2018 was once again a living dream for us at the Taal Vista Hotel which just boasts its best view. Everything about the accommodation had us feeling like of regal blood. We knew it was going to be a great weekend, and so we decided to celebrate my brother’s 18th birthday here.

After being dropped off by a spacious white van being driven by Mr. Jerson, we faced its vibrant visage enraptured by all the décor, especially the nearby jazz lounge just beyond the vivaciously-adorned holiday tree. Everything was still as grand as we remembered it to be.

After all the formalities had taken place, we got our key cards and strode to our temporary rooms, one for the parents and one for us three as we waited for lunch and our real rooms. Despite ours having a humidifier, both rooms were tidy and refreshing. Containing a bathtub, two beds – one for my brothers and one for me - the view was still stunning, and they rightfully earn my 5 out of 5 in comfort.

To confirm this, my youngest brother deemed it so comfy that even though he meant to use his gadget more, he fell asleep immediately that night.

Earlier that afternoon though, we went to the Veranda buffet to have lunch. Lunch was consistently delicious. Day One had us come to a reserved table at Veranda, where their buffet proudly displays their dishes of the day and all of which were mouthwatering. The buffet offers multiple kinds of rice and Filipino viands, as well as classic international favorites as well.

Everyone literally put a lot on their plate. I honestly thought that because of all the food they’d fall at least a little quality-wise but almost all of them tasted scrumptious despite having a numerous array of choices.

Within those two days, we dined on a wide variety or arrangement of bread, salad, or even palabok, taho and other identifiable foreign cuisine like Japanese sushi, Spanish paella or even Chinese congee.

They also have their dessert room for those who want a bowl of ice cream, as well the create-your-own halo-halo station. It was a foodie’s dream.

There was also a skilled musical trio to perform at our request. Dad felt nostalgic and requested for a song by Apo Hiking Society. Lunch was the perfect after having traveled for hours.


We allotted the next few hours of sleeping in our respective rooms to refuel ourselves with energy and then got the chance to experience Sky Ranch, the nearby leisure and amusement park.

Albeit we didn’t get to try most of the rides, since a) mom and dad were too afraid for us to try the big ones such as the giant rocking ark or b) rides such as bumper cars, horseback riding, merry-go-round were pretty much for younger riders, the boys got to ride one where they slowly rise and unexpectedly fall.

People everywhere were eagerly eyeing sights, riding and proving their courage in various attractions, taking pictures and posts, accompanying their children and friends, and seeing what Sky Ranch had to offer. There were lots of games and prizes to be won as well. 

To give that zealous and unique zest to our first day was a return to the fresh table, the signature catchphrase of Taza, which endorses how its quality dishes are freshly made and served.

Having made ourselves comfy, one of the waiters had notified us of the restaurant featuring its Seasonal Menu. They reminded me of the intricate meals an Australian cooking show called My Kitchen Rules had, only more interesting. Being partial to pasta dishes for dinner, I ordered the Octopus and Bone Marrow, whereas my brothers found the Lamb Chops and Duck Confit – which is cooked in its own oil – their most mouthwatering dishes of the night.

After familiarizing myself with the dishes, I can therefore conclude that Taza’s tastes were more for the adventurous but refined sort. I also recall seeing the renowned Arnold Clavio the last time we visited here.

DAY TWO – Rise and Shine to a Spectacular Sight!

After that lovely night’s rest, I woke up to two brothers sleeping so soundly that waking them up would feel like a crime.

Soon enough, I was holding the white telephone on the table beside me and listening to mom’s voice calling us to go to their room and eat breakfast with them.

It honestly took us a long while to really wake ourselves up because sleeping the day off just felt so tempting due to the nice beds, but we made it to our parents’ room to see so many covered plates, with each one containing several viands with rice. Just as we were told, it was a scrumptious breakfast in bed. Dessert too, since a handful such as danishes, Bavarian donuts, and other breads were served too.

After our hefty breakfast, we finally got to enjoy the scenery and take some stunning pictures…and by some, I mean, a lot. 

Lunch was also spectacular not only because of the good food but because there was also a surprising performance. It was a performance giving pride to a traditional Filipino dance and surprised the audience because one of the dancers was able to balance all of the jars, increasing in size, on top of her head.

After that, we went and strolled around the vast and lovely Taal Vista Hotel and found Taal Vista’s well-equipped fitness gym.

Next to it was the game room and a few steps away was the pool. In the game room were an indoor billiards table, a dartboard, and a console as well.

Laughs and cheers filled the game room as we had fun watching the boys play with one another. My youngest brother Kyro was surprisingly good at billiards, after beating dad by more than twice his score.

For a first timer, Kyro was also better at darts and even rejoiced after making a bulls eye.

Feeling the Jazz Vibe in the Taal Vista Lounge
To further experience our ephemeral luxury abode in Tagaytay, we had dinner at the café-esque Lounge adjacent to Veranda. We were given menus for both coffee and dinner and noted how great the ambiance was. It would be a perfect place to just peacefully work or catch up with friends with a cup of joe nearby.

The Lobby Lounge gave a quaint selection of coffee, frappés, appetizers, soup, pasta, sandwiches, dessert and the like. Our family started with Fried Calamari and Caesar salad as appetizers, Carbonara, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup as some of the main courses, among other things, and the eccentric Nutella Pizza for dessert.

During our stay, one thing that kept getting my attention there was also pianist playing classical yet familiar tunes as we primly enjoyed the food. Being a pianist and aesthete myself, I recognized classical pieces such as Canon in D by Pachelbel and Country Road highlighting the elegant Jazz atmosphere that night.

After the meal, we sat and caught up with one another. I looked around to see some bookshelves nearby. I peered closer and saw a small assortment of books and picked one out of pure whim. Its title was “The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management” and was fairly interesting to read. It contained concepts I know about such as the acronym smart as well as situations pointing to a target lesson.

All was well after dinner, as we and our parents retreated to our respective rooms. The bed was soft and huggable, and after being the night owls we are and being on our gadgets, sleeping was a walk in the park.

THIRD DAY – More Food, More Fun!

Still to a beautiful morning, I woke up with a faint pang in my heart knowing that it was finally departure day. After a few hours of sleeping in, we treated ourselves to the breakfast buffet, loaded with classic breakfast favorites like bacon, waffles, pancakes, and other scrumptious food such as taho, congee, viands with Java rice as well as to some winter melon iced tea.

After that consistently filling breakfast, we went to our rooms where our things were packed and ready. Waiting for everything to take place and the same spacious white van which drove us to this munificent place, my brothers and I took our seats and looked at the eye-catching décor, most notably the sparkling Christmas tree in the middle, once more, with my thoughts singing praises for our three-day trip. It was a truly relaxing and stress-free experience.

While I was lost in my thoughts, a lovely lady carrying some glasses filled with iced tea handed each of us a glass and said, “Welcome to Taal Vista” before we

Thank you, Taal Vista, for this wonderful three-day experience!

Written by Hannah Krystelle Q. Del Rosario

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