Tag: Tagaytay

Buffet Lunch at Sonya’s Garden

Almost a month after our college mini-reunion, I’m still craving for Sonya’s Garden buffet lunch. BIG TIME.

I’ve been to Sonya’s twice already. First was in 2009 during C and I’s first out-of-town trip to try their spa treatments. We went back a year later to buy some “pasalubong” spanish bread in their bakery. Both times we did not eat nor stayed there overnight. I wasn’t really interested to try their in-house food simply because I’m not really a fan of vegetables and “healthy” food. When in Tagaytay, the first food that comes to mind is that ever-sinful-but-super-yummy-BULALO. 🙂

So when I had this opprotunity to experience what dining is Sonya’s is about, I was so excited. Moreso, it’s my chance to reconnect with my college buddies who I haven’t seen in years!

We were there on a Sunday on a long weekend and the place was packed. Good thing, we had prior reservations so even if we were late for about an hour, we were immediately seated. Upon entering Sonya’s Garden’s dining hall, we were already awed by the cool ambience and relaxed vibe. White is the motif of the hall and even the tablecloths are white. I kept on thinking, they must have a hard time with the laundry. hehe.


MC Mountain Hotel and our Tagaytay Grrrrrr!!!!

C and I went to Tagaytay during Good Friday to have a little retreat and spend our 11th month together. It was late already when we decided to go and since it’s going to be a long weekend in the Philippines, naturally, hotels are fully-booked already. We thought we were lucky when we found MC Mountain Hotel and they still have an available room. Hmmm… Let’s just say that after our stay there, I think I’m not going back to Tagaytay for a long time.

I won’t blame all our misfortunes in Tagaytay at MC Mountain though. It was actually a combination of different things that could ruin a supposedly quiet getaway outside chaotic Manila. Name it — traffic, slooooooooow service at a steakhouse inside Robinson’s (we waited for more than an hour for our order and it didn’t come), brownout, slow or no wifi connection, etc. Nakaka-trauma tuloy. 🙁  

We booked a standard room for a peak-season rate of Php 2,250. The hotel is located along the highway, just beside Sonya’s Garden. It’s in Alfonso already and faaaaaaaaaaar from the city where all the parks and the restaurants are. With the Holy Week traffic, took us hours to get to everywhere – the gas station, restaurants, even!

We arrived a little past 1pm. We had light breakfast so we’re super hungry already. We called up the reception area and boom – they don’t serve anything aside from breakfast. Mc Donalds doesn’t even deliver in that area. We had no choice but brave the horrendous traffic again just to find a decent place to eat. You can just imagine how miserable we were at that time.

Of course, I don’t blame to hotel for this. It’s just that I think the location is not good. For Php2,250 per night, we could have gotten a better accommodation nearer the city… But then again… should book ahead of time.


So after our super late lunch, we went back to the hotel to relax and read the books that we brought with us. C tried to watch TV. They have TV sets with no remote control, with only about five channels. And since it was Good Friday, local channels weren’t on regular programming. Had to satisfy ourselves with Net 25 just because there’s nothing else to watch!

In the afternoon, when it’s not too hot outside already, we went to the veranda with our books. From there, the view was nice – you could see trees, all green… but there were so many mosquitoes and bugs, we had no choice but just head back in our room.

So we tried to satisfy ourselves reading inside the room. To our dismay, around 7pm, all the lights went out! It was brownout in the area and we even had to walk in the dark to the recepton area just to know what’s happening. No one went to our room to inform us. They said they were trying to fix the generator set and that we’ll be able to watch TV and turn on the light but no aircon. I asked them if they will provide electric fans but the receptionist said there’s none available. We waited -in the dark (they didn’t give us candles, imagine?!!!- for more than another hour until we realized that the lobby has lights already except for the guest rooms. I was already fuming mad because I just think they should also prioritize providing lights inside the rooms, right? Instead of getting into a useless argument with the receptionist again though, we just went out and looked for a decent restaurant with wifi to eat and surf the net while waiting for the power to be restored.

At 9pm, traffic is still horrible. I’m so tired and hungry to endure anoter hour perhaps on the road so when we passed by Robinson’s, we decided to just find a decent place to eat there. Amongst all the restaurants, we chose Sizzling Pepper Steak. IT WAS A MISTAKE! we waited for more than an hour and our orders never came. We will never eat there again… ever!

We were back at the hotel after about three hours. Good thing the electricity was already restored. Lesson learned: I will never go to Tagaytay again on a holy week holiday. It was crazy!

Search for the Best B&B:Surprising Mi Carlo at CASA DE CARLO

I’m a big fan of short but sweet weekend getaways near the metro. It’s a cheap and effective way to relax and de-stress, and most especially, bond with C and/or my family and friends. During these trips, I love exploring hidden and cozy BED AND BREAKFAST INNS! This series will guide you through our search for the best B&B in the Philippines. Let me know if you have any suggestions! 🙂
While searching the internet for the perfect most affordable value-for-money place where we could relax over the weekend, I chanced upon Casa de Carlo website. It says that it’s a Spanish-inspired bed and breakfast cum restaurant in Tagaytay, and is still considered as one of the city’s hidden getaways.


Sounds good, but I must admit, that I got interested initially with the name of the place. I thought it would be cute to surprise C and stay in a place with a name just like his. 🙂


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