July 22, 2018, 11:41 pm
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TAAL VISTA HOTEL: Where past meets present

For those in Metro Manila who long for the feeling of being at home again but away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, the only place to be is in the city of Tagaytay.

Known for its fresh breezy winds, Tagaytay is not only for stopovers but for a fun road trip away from the hectic city life. 

Located in the province of Cavite, Tagaytay is easily accessible from Manila where road trip travelers pass by for a cup of coffee or a simple dine-in within the trendy restaurants nearby. 

And when in Tagaytay, learn the true meaning of how past can meet the present at Taal Vista Hotel--a place that will leave anyone floating in nostalgia with treasured memories. 

Nestled on the Tagaytay Ridge, Taal Vista Hotel is a timeless hotel that holds a stunning view of the famous Taal Lake and Volcano. 

With its rich history, shared by generations of hotel guests, the English Tudor Mansion-style Hotel has become part of the Filipino heritage.

The hotel has played host to important international gatherings including Madrid Fusion, ASEAN and APEC. Recently, it was accorded with the “Pillar of Tourism” award by the Department of Tourism.

Taal Vista Hotel is one of the properties under SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. It is located along Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City 4120 Philippines. 

More than the best views

“Taal Vista Hotel’s grand ballroom, spacious gardens and viewing deck are famous.  We have the best view of the majestic Taal volcano and lake.  We are the first priority for MICE and social events specially weddings.  We are also well-known for our good food and high quality of service,” Michael Anthony Sagaran, Marketing Communications Manager of Taal Vista Hotel.

Sagaran said there is actually more than Taal Vista Hotel’s viewing deck.  

Taal Vista Hotel has 261 rooms and guests may choose between the Lake Wing and the Mountain Wing.  Room types start with deluxe to suites. 

It has a swimming pool, a fitness center, huge gardens with calming flora and fauna where kids and families can play and spend quality bonding moments.

It has the biggest ballroom in Tagaytay which can set 1,000 people, numerous banquet and conference rooms.  It has an indoor Kids Club, Asmara spa, ample car parking spaces; dining options to choose from such as Taza Fresh Table serving Mediterranean cuisine and good steaks.

Taal Vista Hotel also has  exclusive and express entrance to Sky Ranch plus discount on tickets for in-house guests.

“Away from the ordinary city life, our cozy rooms and excellent service will bring people closer together,” Richard Gamlin, Taal Vista Hotel general manager, said.

Gamlin added that families belong to one of the top target markets for Taal Vista Hotel’s facilities.  

“(Our) offerings and promotions are all family friendly.  We have very high rate of returning family guests as most have established a long time relationship with the brand.  For some, over generations,” Gamlin added.

Taal Vista Hotel is also enjoying a fair share of corporate, groups, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and personal milestones.

“(This is) due to the hotel’s strong brand reputation and history.  In fact we score high in satisfaction ratings on various review platforms and sites like Tripadvisor, Google, Facebook, etc. versus competitors,” Sagaran added.

Sagaran also said dining options in Taal Vista Hotel is among the best in the area.

“We offer seasonal menu designed by Jayme Natividad, our executive chef.  Taza Fresh Table offers Tomahawk Wagyu and Tomahawk Pork Chops which are favorites of celebrities and personalities.  Veranda offers all-day dining with interactive theatre kitchens offering international cuisine highlighting Filipino favourites,” Sagaran added.

Staying ahead

Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City’s premier heritage hotel, is undergoing a room renovation program.

As part of its commitment to providing excellent facilities as well as to stay ahead of the changing market trends, the project is scheduled to be fully completed by end of 2018. 

The hotel renovation will be undertaken in two phases encompassing the original Ridge Rooms as well as the rest of the Mountain Wing Rooms. Once completed, the new Mountain Wing will be a contemporary haven of elegance that blends modern design with the legendary Filipino hospitality.

“As part of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp’s (SMHCC) announced developments and expansion projects, we’re embarking on the guest rooms renovation with both style and comfort in mind, combining timeless design with modern facilities to be able to continue providing our guests with an unmatched experience,” Elizabeth Sy, SMHCC President, said. 

“During the renovation period, the hotel will continue to operate while ensuring the guest stay experience remains seamless,” Sy added.

SMHCC recently signed a partnership with AirAsia BIG Loyalty,allowing guests staying at its hotel properties to earn AirAsia BIG Pointsthat can be used to redeem AirAsia flights to over 130 amazing destinations around the world.

AirAsia BIGLoyalty is an award-winning loyalty programme that enables over 18 million AirAsia BIG Members, including more than 8 million Filipinos, to fly to their dream holidays with the BIG Points earned from flying with AirAsia, as well as with over 160 travel and lifestyle partners worldwide, bank points conversion, and now, when they stay at anySMHCC hotel properties at qualifying rates. 

These include Taal Vista Hotel, Pico Sands Hotel, Radisson Blu Cebu, Park Inn by Radisson Davao and Park Inn by Radisson Clark.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with AirAsia through its loyalty programme, AirAsia BIG Loyalty. AirAsiais one of the most dynamic airlines, acclaimed not only in the region but in the world. We look forward to sustaining this partnership, leveraging on each other’s strengths and most importantly enriching the array of benefits we offer to our valued hotel guests,” Peggy Angeles, SMHCC EVP said.

AirAsia BIG Loyalty Chief Commercial Officer Victor Kaw adds, “We are very excited about our new partnership with SM Hotels, as this opens up new opportunities for BIG Members to earn BIG Points for AirAsia flights to travel the world. SM Hotels are also renowned for their unparalleled standards of service, so we cannot be prouder to be working together with them.”

Entrenched in history

Before Taal Vista Hotel became modern and pristine, the hotel had its share of historical growth that made its name. 

In early 1935, then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon expressed interest in developing Tagaytay as a tourist destination. It was he who suggested that Manila Hotel build a lodge and golf course in the area. Because of his fascination with Tagaytay, he held Cabinet meetings on the premises of Taal Vista Lodge when it was finally built.

In 1939, the Zamoras of Manila Hotel built Taal Vista Lodge along “Ilong Kastila”—a stretch of flatland perched atop an incline which people said resembled a nose. During the Second World War from 1942 to 1944, Taal Vista Lodge was converted to an officers’ quarters for the Japanese. 

In February 1945, the 11th Airborne Division of the US Army parachuted down onto the Tagaytay Ridge to assist in the liberation of Manila. 

Between 1956 and 1964 Tagaytay began to bepromoted as a major tourist destination in the Philippines with Taal Vista Lodge as one of the leading attractions in the city. 

One of the many regular visitors of the hotel was a young man who often chose one spot on the grounds from which to gaze out and dream. He is Henry Sy of SM Investments Corporation—the company that would later acquire Taal Vista Hotel.

In 2002, Taal Vista Hotel was reconstructed in the style of the original lodge. Extensions were added to the complex to provide more conference facilities and amenities for business and leisure activities. 

In 2004, after its renovation, the Hotel welcomed back its guests and visitors. 

Today, Taal Vista Hotel remains a landmark deeply entrenched in the history and heritage of Tagaytay City.
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