For years now, Tagaytay continues to charm me with its laid-back vibe, the calming sensation of just looking at the Taal Volcano and the numerous food establishments that have been opening left and right. Needless to say, I love Tagaytay!
The first weekend was spent with my good pal T. It was an all-girls bonding that all we did was to eat, catch up with one another and to eat again. I must admit I really cannot be a backpack traveler as, first and foremost, I always end up packing the entire closet with me and I am pretty finicky when it comes to my travel accommodations.This is also the main reason why I don't mind shelling out extra more in order to have a good comfy bed, a clean bathroom and superb service from the staff.
The second weekend was spent with Paul. Of course, after leaving him in Manila to spend some bonding time with my friend T, I had to make up for this and gave him my utmost attention the week after.
On both weekends, I stayed at the Taal Vista Hotel. It’s funny that despite being a regular visitor of Tagaytay and having stayed at a number of hotels around the area – from boutique hotels to up and coming 3-4 star hotels, I never really had the chance to stay at the Taal Vista Hotel yet. Being the oldest hotel in Tagaytay as it celebrates its 75th anniversary (!) this year, I remember visiting the hotel though to enjoy the view and to have our afternoon snack at the lobby when I was a kid.
The hotel was built last 1937 and it boasts of having one of the best views of the Taal Volcano. You can really say that the hotel has withstand the test of time and recently, it has been acquired by the SM group wherein we now see a number of changes in terms of the hotel’s aesthetics and the presence of a new wing called the East Wing. I love the fact that there’s a well-stocked Kultura Boutique Store inside as well as a BDO ATM Machine. Cool!
Initially, T and I were booked at the West Wing which at present is undergoing major renovations. After seeing that it was just us two girls staying for the night and with a little more convincing, the sweet front desk officer upgraded us to a Deluxe Room at the East Wing. Yay! Thank you Annie!
Our room was very spacious as it had two single beds, an LED TV and a big bathroom. I just found it funny that the bathroom has no door. Also I wish they will install a bidet in all toilets already. I feel this is really a hygiene necessity.
T and I enjoyed our room as the bed was comfortable and there’s WiFi internet all over the hotel. Upon checking in, we were given Welcome Drinks stubs which we availed after our dinner at Highland Steakhouse. It was a home-blend iced tea with a thick creamy froth on top.
The following week, I went back with Paul. This time we stayed at the Premier Room. Size-wise it’s slightly bigger than the Deluxe Room as it has a balcony over-looking the Taal Volcano and the bathroom now has a bath tub and its own door. Once again, I loved the bed as I slept like a baby that evening.
I like how well-equipped all the rooms are. From the safety deposit box to an assortment of snacks and complimentary bottled water. There’s really nothing to worry about when staying at the Taal Vista Hotel as you can simply just sit back, relax and they’ll do everything for you.
I’ve been hearing how good the Asmara Spa is from relatives who have stayed at the Taal Vista Hotel. Finally, I had my chance to try it myself as Paul and I availed of their Filipino Ventosa and Soothing Treat respectively.
Paul has been complaining of back aches for months. No amount of stretching has helped improve his troublesome back condition. It was until he tried the 90-min Filipino Ventosa (Php. 1, 450) treatment at Asmara Spa that he felt relieved from his back aches and this went on for two weeks. Amazing! I saw how it was done and believe me, it somehow frightened me. However Paul told me that he felt zero pain and the joy of having a painless back after was worth it. Ventosa makes use of glass cups and candles that helps suck out the cold air from your back. Not a lot of spa offers this as I guess it takes a certain amount of training and expertise to do this effectively. It’s sad though that Asmara Spa is so far away from home. If only Paul can have his Ventosa treatment more regularly then his back ache would go away forever.
I, on the other hand, simply wanted to get a good massage. I tried the Soothing Treat (Php. 2,000) which is also a 90-min session that includes a coffee body scrub and an aromatherapy massage after. I loved the strong scent of the coffee which I’m guessing must be our local barako. It has effectively exfoliated my skin leaving it so smooth and soft after. The massage was also very relaxing. You see I do not like hard massages so I always pray to have a good massage therapist who knows how to apply just the right pressure on my body. My 90-minutes went by so fast as I fell asleep and the next thing I know was that my massage therapist was waking me up asking if I want hot tea.
Having had tried a number of massage treatments out there, I can say that Asmara Spa gives one of the best massages in the country. If only they can update the spa surroundings as it feels and looks quite old already. Can’t wait for the West Wing to be fully renovated.
Families with little kids in tow will also be delighted with the fact that the hotel has a swimming pool too. Expect the water to be a bit chilly though as Tagaytay normally has a colder temperature due to its high elevation. However, it was sunny and warm during our stay making the pool even more inviting.
I will tell you more about the food at Taal Vista Hotel’s one and only restaurant – Cafe on the Ridge in my succeeding entries. All I can say is that we had a great time enjoying their breakfast and lunch buffet. They will soon be launching a special line-up this August so I’ll tell you more about that soon.
The breakfast buffet spread was impressive complete with an egg station, a wide array of fresh fruits, a Filipino breakfast selection such as tapa, longganisa and danggit and a lot more. I particularly enjoyed the scrambled egg which was cooked just the way I like it – a bit runny and fluffy.
I really enjoyed my two weekend stay at Taal Vista Hotel. Expect to be pampered and to be treated like royalty in this 5-star hotel overlooking the beautiful Taal Volcano.
Check out Taal Vista Hotel’s website for their current promotions for local residents.
Taal Vista Hotel is located at Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. Call them at +63 (46) 413-1000.