Cheap hotel in Tagaytay: Elegant Star Apartelle

Last December, we went on a road trip and beach camping with friends in Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas (blog post to follow). The following day, we drove from Calatagan and had late lunch at Bag of Beans. We plan to visit Sky Ranch the next day so we looked for a decent accommodation to crash for the night, I first browsed thru the Airbnb app on my phone, tried messaging some of the hosts but they were booked for the night. So we just drove along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and stopped and inquired on some hotels along the way. After 2 or 3 hotels and perhaps due to exhaustion, we parked at Elegant Star Apartelle.

Elegant Star Apartelle tagaytay

Elegant Star Apartelle is just in front of The Lake Hotel

[Read more…]

Tokyo Secret in Hong Kong

The title might confuse you, whaaat…Tokyo in Hong Kong??? But the word Tokyo and anything Japanese seems to be quite a trend in the names of the establishments in Hong Kong last month. Take for example this popular liquid nitrogen ice cream shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tokyo Secret.

tokyo secret hong kong

[Read more…]

Dining Bollywood Style in Gaylord Indian Restaurant, HK

Jeff came from a run with his fellow HK hashers and he said someone from the group recommended a good Indian restaurant near where we are staying. Gaylord Indian Restaurant is the name of the place, it’s a Michelin-starred restaurant and has been operational since 1972.

gaylord indian restaurant

[Read more…]

Review: Airbnb apartment in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

For our Hong Kong trip, we stayed at an Airbnb apartment in Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. We like it here because of familiarity, over the years, we stayed at Taisan Guesthouse but because we needed a bigger room with a lesser budget, we tried looking at Airbnb for a flat that fits our budget. We will be staying for 7 days that’s why we need to follow a stricter budget for accommodation and allot the savings for food and shopping.

My requirements when I searched for our place is that it should be near an MTR station, located in TST, and room should have a window with a street view. I remembered our Roomorama apartment in Causeway Bay before which has a window but the view is blocked by a building. I found this listing that fits our needs, TST MTR COZY Apartment

airbnb tst hong kong

[Read more…]

Visiting the Xiaomi Store Mi Home in Mongkok

Xiaomi, dubbed as the “Apple of China”, opened its Mi Home experience center in Hollywood Plaza in Mongkok, HK last June. I’ve been eyeing some of its products aside from its Mi power bank that’s why I secretly wished that we’ll have extra time to visit the flagship store.

xiaomi store in mongkok, hong kong

[Read more…]

Ebenezeer’s Kebabs and Pizzeria at Prat Avenue, TST

On our 6th day in Hong Kong, we were seriously hankering for some rice and a different kind of cuisine. We got tired eating noodles and Paisano’s pizza no matter how delicious it is. So I suggested that we look for Ebenezeer’s for some kebabs and curry. They have two branches in TST, one in Ashley Road and another one in Prat Avenue. We went to their Prat Avenue branch.

ebenezeers prat avenue tst

[Read more…]

Starbucks Hong Kong’s Mooncakes

You know it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Mooncake festival when mooncakes are abundant. During our Hong Kong vacation last week, I’ve seen a lot of stores selling mooncakes. Even the posters at MTR stations advertises all kinds of mooncakes, from traditional ones to mochi-filled ones.  But what caught my eye are the ones sold in Starbucks. I thought I can buy the lotus filled ones with salted egg yolks here in Manila but not the Starbucks mooncakes because they don’t sell it here. I bought 1 box of Starbucks mooncakes from Hong Kong as pasalubong, I wish I had plenty of luggage space so that I can buy more mooncakes from other stores.

starbucks mooncake from hong kong

[Read more…]

Make the Most Out Of Your Travels with a Bus Tour Service

Yes, you are excited to embark on yet another travel adventure with the family. It has been some time since your last vacation and everyone is raring to go somewhere you have never been before. Planning a family travel is very exhilarating but it can also be very stressful, especially for someone in charge of everything. You have to decide on where you want to go and research on what awesome places to check out in that place. You also have to carefully plot your schedule so everything will align with everything else and you will have a very smooth and stress-free vacation. In between, you have to book flights, check train and bus times, as well as the opening times of the tourist spots you would like to visit. While most people will probably get a thrill out of planning for a travel, it is not for everybody. Some may find it way too difficult to plan everything in order to have a wonderful and memorable vacation.

bus tour

[Read more…]

Summer starts in La Luz Beach Resort

It’s only March and we can now feel the summer heat. Oh boy, I wonder what will the coming days feel like. On hot days like these, I’d like to relive our beach trip to La Luz Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas 2 weeks ago. Jeff’s cousin was on vacation, and his only request, take him to the water! We had grand plans for him, since he told Jeff he wanted to go diving that’s why we thought of going to Palawan or Cebu. But his vacation is short and he had to give time for family reunions, we settled for a beach in Laiya, Batangas. I knew La Luz resort will be perfect for our quick beach getaway.

We left Manila on a Friday, we didn’t have any reservations at the resort, after a quick stopover and 3 hours drive, we reached Laiya. But first, all guests should pay the ecological fee at the tourist center.

Laiya batangas tourism center

Ecological Fee: Php 20

After passing the tourist reception , it’s still a good 30 minutes going to La Luz Beach resort. La Luz is located at Brgy. Hugom, just be alert on the signs along the road. Thank God for GPS, it’s the first time we were able to utilize it using our phones. Upon reaching the resort, we were warmly greeted at the reception. We asked for their available rooms and rates, they offered to give us a tour first so that we can choose our preferred room. We chose the Premier Room which is just near their dining hall and bar area. Premier Room is Php 4,500 per night, we are 3 adults and 1 child.

The room rate does not come with food, they charge Php 1,350 per pax for the food, Gwen who is 4 years old is free of charge. Php 1,350 covers your lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and breakfast the following day. In our case, we arrived past lunchtime, so we were able to avail the lunch the next day, before leaving. But we have to check out at 11 am, we just hang out at the cabanas while waiting for the food to be served.

La Luz Beach Resort Premier Room

Premier Room, Php 4,500 per night

Premier Room, Php 4,500 per night

La Luz resort premier room

There are a total of 12 Premier Rooms. Each is air-conditioned and is about 35 square meters with its own balcony. It has an 8 square meter bathroom, with a 3 way design, meaning that the toilet, shower and sink are separate from each other and can be used by different people at the same time. Each premier room is furnished with 3 beds. One bed is 48 inches wide (double bed) and the other 2 beds are 42 inches wide (semi-double), one of which is a pull-out. – taken from their site

la luz premier room

I like the separate toilet, shower, and sink area because the area can be utilized by 3 persons at the same time. Pretty useful especially if you’re 6 pax in the room.

There is no TV and ref, the room just includes the basics but who needs TV when you have a big window with a view of the sea that beckons at you.

premier room at la luz resort

Premier room has a terrace

What to do

From the moment you step out of your room, I’m sure you’ll be mesmerized with the view of the ocean. These pretty bamboo lounge chairs are the perfect spot to sip your fruit shakes while getting your dose vitamin D.

lounge chairs at la luz beach resort

la luz beach resort

I just want to tell you to manage your expectations when it comes to the sand at La Luz. It’s not sand, it’s pebbles, and it’s not white, it’s dirty white or beige. Gwen was trying to build a castle and she blurted out, “Mommy, it’s not sandcastle, it’s stonecastle!”.

The resort is right in front of a coral reef. You can rent the snorkeling gears for only Php 75, their Tribord snorkeling gear is different from the usual snorkeling gear and it makes you see clearly and breath comfortably under the water. We enjoyed snorkeling because there are plenty of fishes even if we’re just a few meters from the shoreline.

Wear your life vest as the shoreline suddenly drops. Life vests can also be rented at the resort, they don’t have sizes for kids so better bring your own. We always bring Gwen’s Speedo life vest during beach trips.

la luz beach resort

For the adventurous, they have mountain bikes for rent. You can also hike at the nearby Mt. Daguldol or check out Naambon Falls. Kayaks and jet ski are also available for rent. Jet ski rental is Php 6,000 for one hour. Jeff’s cousin just had to try it.

jet ski at la luz beach resort

If the heat of the sun is too much for you, take respite in these native cabanas. I love how the resort uses a lot of bamboo and other native materials. The rustic ambiance is so relaxing. We spent plenty of time in these cabanas, we stayed here till late at night while we ordered drinks from their bar. You can also have your massage (Php 350) here, just tell the staff for an appointment and they will send a masseuse to you. The therapists are from the nearby communities, some are housewives who underwent training and are doing it for extra income to help their family, leave a nice tip too :).

cabanas la luz resort

The resort transforms at night, the yellow lighting creates a romantic ambiance.

la luz beach resort

la luz beach resort

The Food

As I mentioned earlier, a charge of Php 1,350 per pax is required for the guests. Breakfast is served at 7 am, lunch at 12 pm, merienda at 3 pm, and dinner at 6 pm. Food is decent with a mix of fish, beef, chicken, and pork. At breakfast, eggs are cooked as per your request which I like. And don’t forget their coffee, ala eh…ang sarap!

Drinks at the bar are slightly expensive. Margarita is Php 200, Pinacolada is Php 350, and a bottle of SMB is Php 50. Wilkins distilled water is available at the bar if you have kids who have sensitive tummies.

menu at La Luz resort

The service

I’d give a thumbs up for good service. From check-in, there’s a staff available to carry our bags to our room. All of them are courteous and all smiles to their guests. We had a discrepancy on the credit card charges and only found out when we’re back in Manila. Jeff called their Manila office and they promptly coordinated with their staff at the resort. They even sent the scanned copy of the receipts upon Jeff’s request.

Another Laiya beach resort to try: Kabayan Beach Resort

What to Bring

The usual: sunblock, sunnies, music player, life vest for the kids, snorkeling gears (if you don’t want to rent), and your awesome self :p

Mosquito repellent sprays or lotion are a must at night especially if you will stay at the cabanas. We were supposed to sleep in the cabanas during the night but changed our minds because the mosquitoes kept bugging us.

How to go there:

Here’s the guide map taken from their site. Just take Ibaan Exit and continue driving to La Luz. Or better yet, use your phone’s GPS, it’s pretty reliable.

how to go to la luz

La Luz Beach Resort
Brgy. Hugom, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas
(02) 726-6687, (02) 726-4977

Dely’s Inn, Baguio

Over the holidays, we went to Sagada, but we stayed in Baguio for a night to rest from the long travel. Finding an available hotel in Baguio during the peak season is very difficult. Even the expensive ones like The Manor, Forrest Lodge, etc. were fully booked. My hotel choice when in Baguio which is City Center Hotel was also unavailable. So I searched for hotels and transient houses until I found Dely’s Inn.

When you search for reviews on Dely’s Inn online, you can’t find much, I was hesitant at first but I really have no choice, right?

Family room at Dely's Inn, Baguio

Family room at Dely’s Inn, Baguio

[Read more…]

Comodo SSL