Acacia Hotel

This is our last hurrah for this summer vacation courtesy of good ol’ Mama. Thank you Mama! Our requirements this time were simple: Mischa and Maxine have to swim, and the place mustn’t be too far because we didn’t want to drive all the way. So I chose from among nearby hotels (from our place), and we ended up at Acacia Hotel.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the lobby but it looks a lot of awesome to me. With its veeeerrry high ceilings and wide expanse, it shouts of elegance and class. We got connecting rooms, and from check in to check out, everything was a breeze. We loved their attentive and accommodating staff. And we absolutely loved our room! It has a great view of the Alabang business district.

Included in the room package are welcome drinks, in which case you have a choice of sparkling wine or pandan juice. We also had vouchers for tablea ensaymada and unlimited coffee, which we sadly weren’t able to avail of.

Then it was down to swimming business for that afternoon and the next morning.

It was so cold and windy, but nothing will stop the kids haha! Not even Maxine’s lips which keep on turning blue after a few minutes in the water that we had to get her off and warm her up for a bit before getting her back in the water.

We mostly ate inside the hotel. We were supposed to go out for dinner Saturday night but it rained so we stayed in. Their buffet selection was also quite good-enough choices so that you don’t get too umay. It was not too pricey which was the best thing hehe. Morning called for room service because we were too lazy. The best was getting upgraded from buffet breakfast (supposedly included in the package) to buffet lunch. Wheeee, we didn’t have to hurry and wake up early so we can catch up on breakfast.

We had one of the best vacations here. I like that everything was unhurried, we were taken cared of very very well by Southern hospitality, and we were home in about 10 minutes!

Fathers’ day staycation

Work has its perks sometime, and if the opportunity is there, why not grab it? Got a freebie at the Diamond Hotel in Manila because of the business we brought in last summer. And the best time to avail it? Fathers’ day!

So we checked in there about a fortnight ago. In the recent years, we have been used to always having the grannies tagging along because I sometimes feel guilty about leaving them since they take care of the kids while we are at work. But this time, we just didn’t have room as we were provided only 1 king-sized bed. It proved to be a little challenging as I don’t have extra hands in dealing with the kids. Mischa has long been independent but still needs supervision but Maxine is at her pinakamalikot stage. But I am also happy with the family ‘me-time’ this opportunity gave us.

Diamond Hotel is one of the finer hotels in the Metro. As soon as we entered its foyer, we were graciously greeted by immaculately dressed and made up ladies and gentlemen. Since it was Fathers’ day weekend, the hotel was a little full, and there was a medium-sized queue for valet parking and check-in. I had to grapple a bit with our bags with Maxine dangling on my waist. But all’s well that ends well! We were assisted by courteous front desk people, and soon enough, we were stepping into our room and an afternoon bliss awaited us.

For like five minutes haha. I think I have to wait another five years or so before I could lie on the bed, much less anything else, without worrying about someone being in any immediate danger such as falling off the bed, tripping over something or what have yous.

The room though! So inviting, so relaxing! I wish I had more time! If not for my home and kids, I would have loved to live off hotels. There is something about cool white sheets, fluffy pillows, and soft and thick covers. And Diamond Hotel does not disappoint. The color scheme is warm and cherry, perfect for business or pleasure. We were immediately at ease. Aside from the bed, we loved the couch and the writing table. The room also had up to date equipment, perfect for the tech-savvy.

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And of course, aside from the room, we enjoyed dipping in the pool so much! Mischa didn’t want it to end, but our hands were beginning to prune so off we went. We had another round anyway again the following morning. But we all basically just lazed around. Kids also had fun doing bath tub time. Perfect, perfect day!

Breakfast was a wonderful affair. We just had to line for a while because as I said, it was Fathers’ day so the place was pretty packed. But the bacon, waffles and dimsum are so worth it! Too bad I didn’t get to take any pictures of the spread as well as the Corniche. I like it that it has a wide selection of Filipino, Japanese and Intercontinental fare. Maxine feasted on bread, Mischa on cereals, husband on anything healthy, and me, well…

Happy dads’ day to our dearest daddy! we left with our bellies and hearts full. Great memories were again created. I love my family!

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The Theodore Hotel

We spent the weekend in Tagaytay City with the whole family in tow. The husband and I were the only ones who were supposed to go owing to my very first stint as principal sponsor in a friend’s wedding (I am getting old!) but Mama decided she wants to go and treat us because Mischa got really good grades during the second term and she performed so well at her school’s 40th anniversary. Because it was a last minute decision, and it was a long weekend, I had a hard time finding a good deal on hotels. Most have also been booked by the time I was searching on the net. So when I saw that the Theodore Hotel still had a family room free, I booked it right away.

Although right on the Tagaytay-Nasugbu (or was that Silang) Highway, the hotel was unobtrusive and you could have missed it entirely if you weren’t looking for it. It looked like somebody’s big family house. Before we checked in, we had lunch at the Ayala Serin Mall right across the street. Then we went straight to its garage instead of doing the front door, and from there, interns helped us with our bags and led us onto the elegant hallways to the reception.

It really seemed like an elegant and well-kept house! It was very tastefully decorated, from the muted tones to the carefully picked decorations. The hotel had a total of six rooms, each with a unique design. We were given the Cherry Blossoms superior room, and as the name implies, had a mixture of modern and Japanese decor. It had two queen-sized beds and a large day bed, which fit us perfectly.

I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom but it was huge and had a very interesting design. Just a little too dark though.

Breakfast, which we pre-ordered the day before, was served on the main dining area, overlooking a well-maintained garden with an awesome view of Taal Lake and Volcano.

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The only downside of this hotel though, it had no proper restaurant. One cannot order anything else aside from breakfast. There are many restaurants in the area but as we left the oldies with the babies when we went to the wedding, this posed a slight problem when they couldn’t go out. But everything else was great in my opinion! I loved the homey and clean feel of the place.

Out of town anniversary

Hooray for another family milestone! We’re officially six years and counting, five of them official. And to celebrate, we decided to go out of town this time. Since we do not have a big budget to consume, the logical choice is Tagaytay City because it is just a little more than an hour’s drive from our place. Also, it gives you a sense of being away “from it all” because it has a totally relaxed, cool vibe as opposed to Manila. It has a year-round cool climate making it the quick getaway place, especially for those who do not have a lot of time to spare but want to escape the city.

We got ourselves a room at the Taal Vista Hotel, one of the oldest and classiest hotels in the city. There are a lot of new boutique hotels that have sprouted in the famous hangout in the last few years. They all seem inviting but I still found it best to have full service that hotels offer. Our room was a bit old but furnishings are still okay. Baby immediately found her place in the king-sized bed.

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Since we just drove around lunchtime in time for check in at 2:00 p.m., we had lunch first at Leslie’s at the Sky Ranch. By the way, we just walked from the hotel as the complex was just next door. We feasted on inihaw na tawilis, hubby’s favorite, and bulalo.

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Sky Ranch is another relatively new project of SM holdings. The theme park is quite new, and is home to the tallest ferris wheel in the Philippines. the Sky Eye. It has a variety of rides for kids and adults alike, a sizable area for horseback riding, restaurants, and other food stalls.

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The little has been insisting to ride a real horse even before we left the house. So happy she got her wish.

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And played and rode to her heart’s desires.

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Here she is while waiting for me to get dinner, which we had at our room. By the way, the Kenny Rogers restaurant there sucks big time. Took us more than thirty minutes to get our food.

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Winding down after an afternoon of fun.

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The hotel also boasts a sumptuous breakfast buffet ranging from healthy choices to tasty but cholesterol-full food. Guess who chose which. harhar.

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Mama and Lolo also followed and spent some time with us. We all wanted to go to church together but it was early for the three of us (hubby, Mischa and I) so we settled for mass held in the hotel premises (good thing they have these!).

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She happily ran around the wide expanse of grass. A good respite from always sitting around the house or in school. The only thing she wasn’t able to do was swim in the hotel pool. Unfortunately, it was brrrr-ery cold during our stay. We promised her we’ll come back a second time.

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After checking out, we drove a little further still to Sonya’s Garden in Alfonso for lunch. Will tell you more about it in my next post.

I wish we could always do this, steal time and hide from the world. So good to be with just family and nature. Thank you Lord God for giving us another year together, and looking forward to the next big things You will give our way.