Archive of ‘Family Activities & Travel’ category

Part 2 – Short Tagaytay Break: Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast

Like I’ve mentioned in my previous post, hubby and I spent the night in Tagaytay to simply relax and get away from work. We haven’t had househelp since April so we were juggling everything: household chores, taking care of Bryce, doing our secular jobs. A couple of weeks before our scheduled trip, our house got flooded again so August was a pretty stressful month for us.

The first time we stayed overnight in Tagaytay was during our first anniversary back in 2010. We stayed in The Boutique Bed and Breakfast and since then, we were hooked in boutique hotels. In November 2012, we tried Discovery Country Suites; and then we spent this year’s New Year in Lee Boutique. There’s still a lot of other boutique hotels in Tagaytay but we have heard good reviews about Joaquin’s. For P3,700++ (through Agoda.com), their rate is pretty reasonable so this hotel was our next in the line up. Here’s our Joaquin’s experience…

joaquin's-7When trying out hotels, I’m quite particular about their checking in convenience and if they can accommodate early check-in. We came at around 2:30 p.m. so I can’t make a review about early check-in. But checking in itself was a breeze. After filling up the form, they made us choose our breakfast and time it will be served and we were almost instantly ushered in our well prepared room.

joaquin's-2

As always, I checked out the bathroom as soon as we entered the room. According to Agoda, one of the room’s features is a bathtub so I was quite disappointed when I found none. I even asked the one who helped us with our stuff which rooms have bathtub and he said, none. I hope they will update their information soon.

I brought three DVDs so we can have uninterrupted movie marathon, but to my dismay, they don’t have a DVD player in the room or one that we can borrow. Good thing we don’t have cable programs in our house so we just tried to enjoy our rare dose of National Geographic. HBO and Star Movies. Hehe!

joaquin's-4

We have heard that Joaquin’s has the best view of Taal Volcano and we proved it true! The image was taken right inside our room with me standing up. It’s such a perfect view to see when waking up in the morning.joaquin's-3

What I love about Joaquin’s interior is the vintage, rustic, country feel. I may not be a fan of this room’s purple washed walls but I love the use of hard wood planks. I also wished they chose more interesting pots for the fake plants rather than using plastic ones.joaquin's-1Most hotels wouldn’t bother adding decors in their rooms, keeping everything streamlined and minimalist. But with Joaquin’s BnB, they went an extra mile to “personalize” their rooms. Staying here does not feel like we’re paying at all. It was like sleeping over at a friend’s vacation house, so cozy and welcoming.

joaquin's-12

When staying in Tagaytay, we usually eat out for dinner. This time though, the plan was to stay in all day and night so we ordered room service. The hubby ordered pork binagoongan and I had sizzling tuna belly and garlic rice. The dish were less than p300 each and were enough for two. The garlic rice was in generous amount too and we were definitely satisfied for the night. Hotel food always scares me because they are either cheap but unappetizing or really tasty but ultra expensive. With Joaquin’s, I do not have anything negative to say. Even our breakfast was so good and filling, we didn’t have lunch until we got back in Manila.

joaquin's-10 joaquin's-11

I love this area in the hotel. If we brought Bryce with us, we can have our breakfast here and he can run around chasing butterflies and love birds. It would even be great to have a lunch party here so everyone can enjoy the perfect view.

joaquin's-8

And of course, whenever we stay in hotels, I always look for ideas to steal.

joaquin's-6 joaquin's-5 joaquin's-9

1 and 2. Brightly colored, distressed furniture. I am still waiting for a furniture to re-do so I can apply this. I’m planning to use DIY chalk paint.

3. Crackle paint finish. I’ve seen a tutorial on how to do this and will try this myself soon to our shoe rack. I promise to keep you posted.

4. Plank bathroom countertop. Instead of using granite, marble or tiles, you can add a rustic feel to your bathroom using wooden planks finished with several coats of polyurethane to protect the surface from water.

5. Recycled wine bottles. Yes, we’ve seen it several times but it still looks good. Add a drop of food coloring to the water to make it a bit more colorful. See, even a simple suntan flower can look elegant with the wine bottle!

6. DIY bed canopy. If you want to add a whimsical feel to your bedroom, you would only need a few yards of sheer fabric, a large embroidery hoop and some hooks. Just sew the fabric on the embroidery hoop and attach the hoop to the ceiling using screw hooks. You can always take it off when you get tired of it.

Overall, our stay in Joaquin’s is one of the best. We’re actually planning to spend the New Year’s Eve here, staying in one of the rooms below with garden veranda.


Part 1- Short Tagaytay Break: Bag of Beans

Last Thursday, hubby and I spent the night in Tagaytay. I had already booked a hotel more than a month ago because I really wanted to spend an entire day in bed, doing absolutely nothing; taking a break from the busy, noisy city; and having a total rest day from all the house chores and motherly responsibilities. I didn’t even bring my laptop so I won’t be tempted to do any work.

I was on my 32nd week then and I know I wouldn’t be able to travel that far anymore. Actually, the trip was already tiring for me. My ankles were swollen and I couldn’t find a comfortable sitting position. To make matters even worse, the traffic was so bad considering we left Thursday around 10 a.m. (It usually takes us 1.5-2 hours to get to Tagaytay on a weekday but we got there at past 1 p.m) The weather was extremely hot too, you could hardly feel the car aircon and kept making my contact lenses dry. To cool ourselves off, we had to stop over at Chowking for halo-halo. :) bag of beans1

We had late lunch at Bag of Beans. We’ve been here several times already but only to have a cup of coffee or buy doezens of pan de coco. Did I tell you that they sell the best pan de coco ever? For P120.00 half a dozen, I can say that it’s totally worth it. Just a tip though: their pan de coco sells out quickly, you’re lucky if you can still buy some at lunch time. If you’re staying overnight, pass by the store on your first day to reserve so you can bring it home freshly baked the day after. But if you’re just there for a day tour, better call them a day before your planned trip. I’ll post the address and contact info after the post.

bag of beans6

I was craving for a caesar salad and hubby ordered lasagna. Both dishes are good for sharing so I think their price is pretty reasonable. You can check out their complete menu here. They have weekend buffets available but I’d rather bring friends and families with us who are willing to share their food because I’m not one of those who can get their money’s worth at buffets. bag of beans5

Here was our cozy little booth. Sorry, I wasn’t able to remove our bags anymore. Next time we visit Tagaytay, we’re taking the same booth. Bryce would have loved to lounge on that day bed and Kenya could sleep peacefully while we’re enjoying our meal.

Here are some of the views from around their garden dining area. They have a covered pavilion too where you can hold events. The bakery is upstairs but I was no longer able to take photos anymore because our food came quickly and I was already famished. Hehe!bag of beans2

Love the wicker bar chairs and simply centerpiece. Oh, and they have spa-like ambient music continuously playing while real birds are chirping non-stop. Such a relaxing atmosphere!bag of beans3And what is a trip without me doing some bathroom gawking. Love the seamless look of the sink and the shells underneath. If we had a powder room, this is how I want it to look.

Bag of Beans:

115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, 4120 Tagaytay City

Contact Number: (046) 413 2724

Email: bagofbeanscafeandrestaurant@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoB.Cafe.and.Restaurant.Inc


My Curiosity: The Henry Hotel in Cebu

I’ve always loved boutique hotels oozing with personality. I’m really not into hotels with hundreds of beige, minimalist rooms exuding pure elegance. I guess I’m just not the elegant kind. Hehe!

henry1

So, when I saw the photos of The Henry Hotel, I instantly fell in love. I love the polished concrete flooring, the industrial chic look of the lobby, the daring pops of engine red and the “unfinished ceiling” look. I know not many people would appreciate the look but it is what can make one’s hotel stay unique.henry2

I love that wooden wire spool turned into coffee table. I’ve been looking for a spool for quite some time now but haven’t had any luck yet.  Found one in sulit.com.ph though for P750 each. I’m just not willing to shell out that amount of money. Maybe I should ask hardware stores if they can sell me one or better if they could give me one. But I doubt since you can hardly get anything for free here in Manila. :(

Anyway, back to The Henry. I’m not sure how many rooms they have exactly, but from their website, I gathered they have four (4) kinds: big, large, x-large and xx-large.

henry5

BIG: 36sqm of individual space with rain shower and handheld showers

henry43

LARGE: 42sqm of individual space with rain shower

henry7

X-LARGE: 72sqm of individual space; rain shower, double sink, and some rooms with pedestal bathtub

henry6

XX-LARGE: 108sqm of individual space; 2 king size beds; 2 bathrooms, one with double sink and pedestal bathtub

I just love how generous they are with room spaces. The x-large and xx-large rooms are even roomier than typical Metro Manila 2-bedroom units. Staying here with a couple of hyper-active toddlers will never be a problem.

Sigh… I just love how visually refreshing this hotel is. (I know, “love” is overused in this post. But I just love it!) I wish someday I would be able to write a personal review about this place. I bet there’s so much DIY ideas I can steal here.

*All images and information were taken from their website


1 2