Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HK Disneyland (Park and Hotel) 2012 - Our girls' birthday trip! PART 2

On our second day, we decided to just stay in our beautiful hotel and explore it's surroundings, as well as take part in the different activities the Kingdom Club had for its guests.

Breakfast was at the Lounge, yes it was small, but just enough for the guests on the 7/F alone. 

Loved the Mickey waffle, eggs, Chinese noodles and cherry tomatoes in olive oil.  This was mine and Hub's by the way ;P  The kids had very good congee, perfect warm meal to start their day.  

After breakfast, we went around the majestic Victorian hotel.  

 Loved the fact that function rooms are so aptly named

 Cinderella's Grand Staircase

A loyal Clarins user, had thoughts of posing as a delegate...needed to find an ID though...

Bibidi Bobidi Boutique for little girls.  Note that A is again wearing her gown.

Indoor pool, didn't get to swim though as both girls still had bad coughs :(

 View of the outdoor pool from our floor's hallway

HK shopping...so near yet so far..LOL

It was already late in the afternoon when we decided to go outside the Maze Garden, the Disneyland Hotel baywalk, and a secret Garden Park! 

 Oh dear, if you look closely, you'll see an eye sore to such a beautiful facade.

Headed to the Club Lounge to relax and since hors d'oeuvres were being served along with wine and beer, Hub and I thought we'd have some as appetizers first before having dinner.

Little did we know that there'd be so much good food for us adults too!  Just ordered food for the kids as we were both so stuffed from the canapes, dumplings, chicken wings, lamb and duck rolls, and dessert served.

Pardon my partly eated plate, was too excited! And yes, they had chardonnay.  
The kids capped the night off with a visit from Mickey Mouse himself, and a bedtime story at the Lounge.

The following day was A's 5th Birthday, we arranged for a Mickey-shaped truffle cake the night before.  Talking to the Lounge staff was such pleasure, every aspect of our stay at the hotel was without a glitch.  Have to specifically mention the girls' Auntie Yvonne, with whom S took quite a liking.  She was always very pleasant and provided an extra personal touch to everything she did.  we absolutely loved her.

The cake was ready at 1030AM as the castmembers (staff in Disney lingo) promised.  A was again wearing her Princess Belle gown :)  She was just sooo happy and excited.  Our S was so busy trying to blow out the candle from A's cake it was hilarious.
Again, we knew early on that this would not be a shopping trip so we went to the airport early to do some duty free shopping instead.  Bear in mind that the check in counters only open three hours prior to your flight, heehee, guess you know that we were there way to early.
Perhaps weary from the excitement and hotel exploring from our trip, Hub and hardly shopped for anything at all!  (Big sigh of relief from Hub)

The kids' waiting and play area were right beside our boarding gate.  Small chairs and tables and a TV were provided.

The flight back home was pleasant enough, again their iPads were proven to be of much to to our kids.

Magical indeed. And blessed.  Can't wait to go back ;)

HK Disneyland (Park and Hotel) 2012 - Our girls' birthday trip! PART 1

This was indeed a magical trip to remember.  Will definitely go down the books of our family travel.

Welcome back to me! Been on a couple of months' writing hiatus, work schedule and the rainy season brings the allergy and asthma season to our family.

Actually, two (2) weeks prior to this trip, A was diagnosed with feverless pneumonia.  Imagine that.  Didn't even know she was having such a hard time breathing already, since her appetite and playfulness didn't change much.  Ok a separate post on that :)

As early as March of this year, Hub and I decided we would take them to Disney, A was turning 5 and S was turning 2, just four days apart.  We took advantage of the early bird promo at HK Disneyland Hotel http://park.hongkongdisneyland.com/hkdl/en_us/hotels/landing?name=hongkongdisneylandhotellandingpage, which gives you 20% off.  Since we established right away that this was definitely not going to be a shopping trip, we booked a room on the Kingdom Club Floor, which includes buffet breakfast and unlimited access to the Club Lounge.

Airlines considered were PAL and Cathay initially.  But after a last minute check Hub did on Cebu Pacific online, the ongoing promo was too good to pass on.

Fast forward six months and the most awaited day finally arrived!  Parked at the Terminal 3, and checked in with just enough time to grab warm noodles and soup and of course coffee before we boarded the plane.  S, during this plane ride was much more manageable than our previous trips ;P  But of course, their Ipads still provided much needed entertainment during the almost two hour flight.

Then hello Hong Kong!  We opted on grabbing a taxicab that would take us straight to the Disneyland Hotel rather than taking the train as we had a stroller and two pieces of luggage, plus the kids' backpack with us.  It proved to be the quickest and most hassle free way if coming from the airport, with kids in tow.

We arrived at 1130AM, a tad too early for our 3PM check in, but we were ushered straight to the Club Floor (7/F) to check our luggage in and to confirm what time our room would be ready.  For hotel club floors, you will have a separate check in desk here.  We were immediately offered cookies and refreshments upon entering. Our room would be ready by 2PM, and we absolutely had no qualms about waiting in the lounge ;)

One of the best perks we had during this trip was thanks to Hub's good friend, who was able to help us get in the Disneyland Park for free!  We saved almost Php 5000 on tickets alone, since kids did not have a discounted rate.  We just had to meet them at the entrance of the park so we can get 'stamped' and be able to return later that day.  A shuttle bus is available from the hotel to the park and back every 10 minutes, so queuing while waiting for the shuttle bus will not take much of your time.  We arrived at the park at around 115PM and the sun was shining at its brightest, though very hot, we were thankful for such fine weather.

 Surfing Mickey on a whale fountain

 Find the not so hidden Mickey! :)

 Cooling off at the bird fountains while waiting for Uncle Sherwin

After having our hands invisibly stamped, we went back to the hotel to check in our room and rest a bit before we went back to the park later that day.  Being a Sunday, the park would close at 930PM, gave us enough time to have a late lunch, freshen up, and nap.  Our food from room service was brought to the lounge, which was great since we could get whatever drink we wanted.  Plus fruits and cookies and candy for dessert were unlimited too :)

Took photos of the hotel from the 7/F while S napped in her stroller.  The cool A/C and the wonderful classic Disney live music helped set the mood for her afternoon nap.

 Toiletries :)

Our room was very spacious, plus a balcony overlooking the maze garden and the bay.

We were at the park by 6PM, and it was still bright, but temperatures were cooler by this time.  This was also a first time for me, have not been to any Disney park.  I assumed it was built on a smaller scale than it's cousin in Anaheim, CA, it was still a wonderful experience for us.  Walking down Main Street, and getting A her dream Princess Belle gown.  She absolutely rocked it!  She was going around the park wearing her beautiful gown, complete with a tiara, purse, scepter and gloves.

We rode the 60 piece carousel, and the Slinky Dog roller coaster over at Toy Story Land.  We also got to visit Tarzan's Tree Top home!  The trek going up was enough work out for Hub and me :)

Dinner was at the Banquet Hall, with food edible enough for us who were tired from trekking up and down the park.

Then it was time for the Disney in the Stars fireworks show!  It was already almost 930PM and we did not even notice it!

Believe it or not, I got a bit teary eyed while watching it.  Felt so blessed and thankful that we were able to bring our children to such a magical place. 

As expected, throngs of park patrons were falling in line to go back home either through the trains, by their own cars, or by hotel shuttle like us.  And ever the efficient bunch, we queued up and were on the bus in less than five minutes!

What a great first day it was.  Next up, our hotel exploration :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Been wanting to try this restaurant along White Plains ever since I saw it about a month and a half ago.  It's quite easy to miss since it blends so well with the establishments that sell plants and koi fish in the area.  Read quite a lot of good reviews about it too.

Persistence pays off! Hub and I had an impromptu date night last Saturday (teehee A didn't feel like going out, S had colds).  The place always seemed packed so I didn't take any chances and called to reserve a table.

The parking right in front of the restaurant will fit only about 6-8 cars, all the others had no choice but to park along White Plains Ave.  So THIS was the reason why there were always so many cars parked along that road.

A whiff of citronella will welcome you upon entering it's doors.  It suddenly brought me back to our hotel in Ayutthaya, Thailand when the Hub brought A and I along back in 2008.  For Hub and I, our dining experience in Ayutthaya was still incomparable to any Thai dining establishment here, and the food there was so affordable! :)

There seemed to be a minor confusion regarding our table, we weren't on the list, but the manager was quick to adjust.  He gave us a table inside the restaurant (the lady on the phone said we'd be seated outside), which was packed by the way.  The interiors of the restaurant was beautiful, albeit a bit cramped; it was designed to make you feel you were in an exotic location, in Thailand, I presume haha. 

Off to the food!  Our drinks came first, Hub had Thai Iced Tea --- MILK TEA, and I of course had white wine, which I assumed to be a riesling, perfect for spicy dishes.

 The food was served in traditional Thai dinnerware, from the soup to the noodles to the entrees.

We requested for the mild version of the Tom Yum, hence the missing red hue, but you can just ask for separate chili flakes if you want it spicier yummmm!

Phad Thai was pretty good but nothing spectacular, still worth ordering though.

And we absolutely loved the Chicken with Cashew.  Tender and moist chicken and the overall flavor was that of toasted sugar and chilies.  Wonderful!

Do visit them soon!

White Plains Ave cor Katipunan Ave
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 911-4158

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tagaytay Weekend

Who doesn't love going to Tagaytay for the weekend?  Hub had to go to Nasugbu for his instructors' outing, and all hotels in that area were fully booked (Punta Fuego, Stilts, Pico de Loro), we thought of just staying in Tagaytay.  It was just less than an hour to Nasugbu.

As expected, Taal Vista was already fully booked, and staying at Highlands was out of the question since we wanted to be as near Nasugbu as possible.  Through Tripadvisor, we discovered the following: Summit Ridge and Lake Hotel.  Only Lake Hotel had rooms available but they did say that only standard rooms remained, all rooms facing the lake were taken, but this was good enough for us.

We left Manila at around 12NN, A was very excited, now that she's getting older, she enjoys going on trips.  After a quick lunch stop at the SLEX Shell, we were in Tagaytay at around 3PM.

We thought the the Lake Hotel would be farther than Taal Vista, so we were quite surprised when we saw the banners of the hotel just as we passed Tagaytay's restaurant strip.

As with all hotels on the ridge, this establishment was sloping down as well.  A nice small lobby greeted us with a spectacular view of the lake and the volcano.

Though our room was indeed quite small, it was clean, as well as the bathroom.  We had a king bed and a single bed, and the crib we requested was already there when we checked in.  A nice touch was the pocket garden by our window.  The hotel also provided smoke masks in the rooms, for err, hmmm, emergency volcanic activities.

Hub had to leave for Nasugbu after his and A's quick swim.  The kids, Ate J, and I spent the rest of the afternoon at the garden, there were free bicycles for in-house guests to use.  There was also a barbecue and a shake bar right on the garden.

(Photo from www.lakehoteltagaytay.com)

Dinner for us was at the cafe, and who can go wrong with bulalo(bone marrow) in this area?  I normally would not order Filipino food when dining out but hey, this was beef country so why not? :)  Besides, the kids love soup/broth with their rice.  The bone marrow was grrreeeeaaat!  Would have eaten more of there were more heehee. 

Breakfast next day was at the cafe, again, the homemade corned beef was splendid. Hub loved the tapa as well.  And I loved the coffee.  Just have to mention that service in this hotel was wonderful,  makes you feel like you were in a five-star establishment.

Our A had wanted to go horseback riding before heading home but it was way too hot still so we grabbed lunch at Taal Vista first.  Food was wonderful as usual, and since Hub did not get his bulalo fix the night before, you'd never guess what we ordered :D

I just love the service at Taal Vista too, everybody seems to be well-trained and are always ready to 'go the extra mile'.  Since we ordered ala carte, we had no access to the dessert buffet, and I really wanted to order the ginatang tutong with monggo (sweet risotto with mung beans), but our server gladly gave us a bowl.  Thank you!

With it's proximity to the metro, we love going on  'on a whim' trips to this city.

CONTACT NOS: (632) 5844470/ 7257080-81
(6346) 4134680-81
EMAIL:  reservations@lakehoteltagaytay.com

Taal Vista Hotel
Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City 4120, Philippines
Tel No: +63 (46) 413-1000
Fax No: +63 (2) 886-4325
              +63 (46) 413-1225