An impromptu trip to Baguio left us with no other choice but to find the most comfortable and cleanest hotel we could get at the last minute.
That is why I am so thankful for travel websites like Hotels.com, Traveloka and the others. You can just go online, find a place and book easily. Booking with these travel apps / websites comes with its own perks as well.
Like in Hotels.com, most of their hotels are included in the earn and redeem promo. The more you book rooms with them, the easier you could get a free room. This free room is redeemable anywhere in the world.
So anyway, we finally booked Newtown Plaza Hotel with the recommendation of a friend. It’s a newly built hotel and it’s affordable, clean and modern.
We arrived midnight so checking in was a breeze.
Didn’t get much pictures of the room because it’s midnight and we were all tired from the trip.
The room is big and spacious. There are 2 double beds. The TV is huge! Ample space for our things. We asked for an extra bed the 2nd night.
For Php1,200.00, this is what you get, a bed that could fit 2 more persons.
As for the bathroom…
The bathroom is spacious as well. And the shower is the best ever! I could stay longer than the normal under the hot shower.
The balcony and the view is just breathtaking! So nice to wake up to a view like this!
Real value for money! If I am going back to Baguio, I am definitely gonna stay in Newtown Hotel again!
They even have a swimming pool and a playground.
By the way, if you love wandering in a garden, and just be lost in time, the Botanical Garden is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There’s also a coffee shop and some souvenir shops within the vicinity of the garden.
If you are bringing a car with you, better partner it with Waze. Helps a lot in navigating through the mountains and hills of Baguio!
Our company is hosting private dinners for very valued clients and their families until next month. I was lucky enough to have had the chance to dine with one of these very special clients and her family and at a very classy restaurant!
Inagiku is a very pricey Japanese restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Have a look at my table setting.
Here’s the Drink Menu made specially for our clients.
I wasn’t able to try any of the specialty drinks since I’m preggy and I can’t drink any drinks with liquor in it. I opted for the Pineapple Chilled Juice and it was nothing special. Well, they said the white and red wine were great. So, it was just me who didn’t enjoy my drink.
Here’s our Set Menu for the night and it did look yummy the first time I read it.
Let’s start with our appetizer. The meat under the green beans was smoked duck. Under that was like Egg Jelly with Tofu on it. On the little saucer was Mushroom in a Jelly. The fried fish with crab roe on top sits beside the beans. I liked the smoked duck the best. The others were just so-so for my taste.
Now, the Green Salad was just that, Green Salad. The whole bowl was full of chopped greens. Though the crunchy stuff on top of it made the texture different and the dressing tasted yummy.
Before the main course was served, the Teppan Chef started his Teppan cooking. By the way, this was how the room looked while it was still unused.
The Teppan Chef made some entertaining moves when he cooked the fried rice with beef. He shaped the fried rice into a heart, and he made the heart beat with his pan. He also made some sounds using the seasonings. But that was it, after that he just kept on cooking the other food. I had a chance to dine at a Teppan Resto before (but it’s closed already), and the Chef there was much entertaining. Well anyway, the smell of the butter and the oil mixed with the fried rice made the whole room smells good.
After the Rice, we were served our Miso Soup. I just had a taste of it, the smell’s very strong. I can’t take it.
Here comes one of the best parts! The Seafood Plate. Panfried Salmon, Tiger Prawn and Scallops. The Teppan Chef flamed the prawn and the salmon to have that smoky taste. The Salmon’s very fresh, it doesn’t have that fishy taste. The Scallops’ yummy also! The size is not so big, not so small. Tender and juicy. And last but not the least, the Tiger Prawn tasted so good. It’s just too bad that it’s only 1 piece. Bitin much!
Oh, I forgot to mention that they made this special seafood sauce also.
And now we’ve come to the Super Main Course. The US Kobe Beef. I’m not much of a fan of beef, but I must say, this Kobe Beef really tasted differently. We asked the Chef to cook it Medium Well, but we all thought he overcooked it. Some bites were just right, some were chewy. But since it’s US KOBE BEEF. We couldn’t complain more, right?
After that very satisfying beef meal, comes our dessert. It was supposed to be a choice between Fruit in Season Jelly, Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream. But the server forgot to ask our personal choices, he served the Fruit Jelly for all of us. We complained that we wanted a different dessert. So he willingly obliged and asked us our personal choices. I wanted to try the Green Tea Ice Cream and the Coffee Jelly, but I can’t. So for dessert, I had Fruit in Season Jelly and the Red Bean Ice Cream.
The Fruit in Season Jelly is nothing special. The watermelon even had some seeds. The jelly didn’t taste anything.
The Red Bean Ice Cream however tasted good. The Ice Cream was Vanilla Flavored, mixed with some red beans., which you almost couldn’t taste already.
Overall, the Inagiku experience was good. The whole menu would make you really full, especially if you will consume the whole bowl of fried rice! The Seafood Plate and the Beef would make up for the whole set. The server and the Chef made sure that we got what we need. The service was really great. Come to think it, it should be as we are dining inside a very pricey Japanese restaurant in a 5star hotel. If you’ll ask me though if I would be willing to pay Php 8,500.00 for that meal, I definitely would not think twice, I would not pay that much. I just don’t think spending that much money for a meal is worth it. But if you have the means and the moolah to do so, why not?
For my mother in law’s birthday, we decided to try the buffet in Hotel Intercontinental’s Cafe Jeepney.
We called up the hotel for reservation to avoid any inconveniences and to make sure that we have a table. We went there early enough to choose our table. The staff were all pleasant enough, they even helped me with my baby Daphne. They even gave Daphne her own chair with table and her own bread! To Daphne’s delight! 🙂
We waited for a few minutes because the buffet isn’t open yet. Since the place isn’t packed yet, we decided to have some picture taking going on.
The place’s interior is very warm. Dim light and all. You will not be intimidated. It’s perfect for little family gatherings or for couples who wants to enjoy each other’s company. Here are some pictures of the food display.
And our favorite dessert of them all… the Chocolate Truffle
Overall, dining at Cafe Jeepney gets 4 out of 5 stars. Although the selection of food is not as many as those other hotels, the food is really sumptuous and uses real ingredients. You know that you are not being shortchanged. Moreover, the staff were all pleasant, friendly and helpful. If I have a chance to eat at Cafe Jeepney again, I will definitely come back!
My hubby bought 2 coupons so we could bring the whole family! The picture above is the front lawn of Chateau Royale. Inside is the reception area and the different indoor activities you could do. Though we weren’t able to enjoy those anymore due to lack of time. The cafe is just outside the lobby and the beach inspired pool area! Which we also weren’t able to try because the weather’s too cool for my 18 month old daughter!
Here’s a picture of me and baby – background the playground on the pool.
Here’a another photo of the pool area, you can see the sand beside the pool!
A picture of my brother in law and baby – background our log cabin inspired rooms!
Forgot to take pictures inside the room, but it’s really big. It can fit more than 4 people. The only downside was, there’s only 1 bed which can sleep 2 people, the other 2 would have to sleep on the floor, on 2 uncomfortable mattresses. Since the room was big, they should have put another bed in there. Oh, and the air conditioning in 1 room drips. Didn’t bother to complain about that also. We were too tired already, we just moved the bed away from the dripping air con!
There were a lot of cabinets you can use if you are staying for a longer period. And if you’re many.
We didn’t get to do much on Day 1 since we arrived late in the afternoon already. And we also went out to dinner at Tagaytay which was only a 15 minute drive away if there was no slow car in front of you!
On Day 2, we all woke up early and availed of the free breakfast at the Chateau’s Cafe. I thought it was a buffet free for all, I was wrong! You only get to choose 1 viand – Corned Beef or Ham plus a sunny side up egg and garlic rice to complete the meal. For the drinks, you get to choose from coffee or orange juice!
Here’s my breakfast!
I realized there’s not much to complain about since we got our rooms on a discount. At Php 2,ooo or Php 500 per person, a free set breakfast is fine already!
After breakfast, we strolled along the vast compound. Here’s a photo of the whole family in the driveway!
We went to the fishing pond, there were some guests who actually caught fishies from that green pond! For a fee, though!
Then we posed for another family pic in one of the wooden benches in the park.
Then we saw some horses! The mother horse is tied but the little pony is not. And it’s free to roam around the whole compound.
The Manong was kind enough to saddle up the mama horse so that my little one could ride atop of it for picture taking, for free of course!
The Chateau Royale, aside from really having a large area for guests to enjoy and connect with nature, they also boasts of lots and lots of green houses where organic vegetables are farmed. And they sell them to tourists as well.
The staff were nice and accommodating, it was fast and easy to check in and out. The whole place is secured, you can see guards roaming around even at night. Aside from those stationed at the gate who checks the people who comes and goes.. The rooms have triple locks installed at the doors. The whole place is relatively clean and green. I say 4 out 5 stars for this resort.
Another family photo with the Chateau Royale Tarpaulin as background inside the lobby.
And that caps off our experience at the Chateau Royale Batangas.
To celebrate my sister in law’s birthday, we dined at Seasons at the Manila Pavilion. We didn’t encounter any problem with reservations, confirmation and actual usage of the voucher. In fact, we were warmly welcomed by the receptionists.
The only problem in Manila Pavilion is their lack of parking space. And in their small parking area, you have to leave the keys of your car so that they could move it around when needed.
Anyway, back to Seasons. I was with my husband, my sister in law and my mother in law, and of course, my daughter and her yaya! To my amazement, the manager, I think Abe was his name, offered my yaya something to eat from the buffet. When I told him that she already ate at home, he then told me, “dessert na lang po, ako na ang bahala.” Meaning, free of charge! I joked that I would just leave my yaya to pay for what she’s going to eat. He smiled.
That for me was very important and it will forever remain in my memory. That should be the kind of service everyone in the service industry gives! Because of that, he was the one who got the tip from me! And my hubby directly gave it to him!
As for the dinner, the food was so-so! There were only a few selections of Japanese makis and sushis. The salmon wasn’t fresh. Even my favorite california maki wasn’t available. The Japanese staple Tempura wasn’t available either. The food from the other cuisines was too dry, as my MIL puts it. Maybe it was cooked way too early before diners came.
Good thing, you could ask the chef to cook some dish. I saw someone ordered Butter Garlic Shrimp, so we ordered that too! The first 2 were good and yummy! The last one didn’t taste buttery or garlicky at all! It tasted like shrimp swimming in water. 🙁
My favorite Peking Duck was available, but even that didn’t excite me much! It was too thinly sliced, you couldn’t taste it anymore!
I can’t think of a dish that really took us in awe, except for the salmon with mango dressing. And the grilled squids with stuffed shrimps! Nothing else caught our attention so we just enjoyed the very beautiful ambience. I admit their lighting fixtures are really exquisite. But you can’t eat that, right?
One thing I ALMOST thoroughly enjoyed was the Mango Strawberry Crepe with Strawberry Ice Cream I ordered! The crepe was buttery and milky and soft, the mango was sweet and sour at the same time, the strawberry was yummy also, but then, as I was finishing my ice cream off, I noticed a plastic like sheet. At first I thought it was just ice. But as I scrape it off, the plastic like sheet was really plastic after all! And a big piece at that!
I didn’t freak out as I know that it wasn’t intentional, but I immediately called the other manager and told her that there was plastic in my ice cream. She offered to make me a new one, I begged off!
There goes my unfortunate experience with Seasons, you need not ask if I will dine there again or not, because the answer is pretty much obvious!
The only consolation for us was that we were able to take some photos of ourselves and the cake (without corkage!).
Here is a photo of our family! Never mind the bulging tummies of the mommy & the daddy, it wasn’t because of the food, it was because of the juice!
Seasons get 2 out of 5 stars! If only for the good service!