Monday, May 07, 2007

Tagaytay Highlands

Ma at the clubhouse. Note the fog at 9 in the morning

We’ve been to Tagaytay before but going to the Highlands was like taking a peek into the lives of the rich and privileged. It’s kinda funny to see Swiss-style cabins in the Philippines but I guess that reflects some people’s dreams to live abroad or maybe a cheap way to pretend you’re in the Swiss Alps, surrounded by cold weather and pine trees. It’s supposed to be for members only with fees reaching more than 3x my monthly salary. Luckily, ma knew a member who graciously helped us get in as guests. Getting there is a bit difficult especially when your car is over 30 years old. Pa was so worried about how we were going to get out of the place because the way to the exit looked soooo steep but yeah, our car rocks!Jon at the peak which offers a grand view of the city and Taal lake

Too bad we didn’t get a room at the Swiss chalets with a real fireplace. I guess that’s for members. We only got a standard room and a superior room at the Highlands Inn which was ok, but rather ordinary. We were a bit early for check-in so we were just given our guest card which we were to use all throughout our stay. One doesn’t pay with cash at the highlands. One simply signs for it and the member will be charged at the end of the month I guess so the only cash we shelled out was for the tips for the waiters. (There was a note that said do NOT tip the waiters, but we did anyway)We went to the mini zoo, the gardens, and most of the touristy places but compared to Corregidor, there’s really not much to do unless you’re willing to pay for it. Even the use of the swimming pool isn’t free (at least P100 per person)
So if you have plans of going there, here are tips on how to have a ‘sulit’ vacation:
-Sneak bottled water inside your room! It’s ridiculously expensive if you use the one inside your mini-ref.
-While you’re at it, bring snacks and fruits as well!
-use the shuttle ride to go wherever you want (it’s free!)
-We didn’t go to the steakhouse because we knew the steaks cost P1000 on average but everywhere else, the food was relatively affordable at around P200 per person.
-if you can, ride the funicular and cable car as well (it’s free too). Just remember that the cable car is only operational every hour from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and more often on weekends. The funicular (which we weren’t able to ride) runs only every 2 hours.
-While check-out time is at 12 noon, you don’t have to leave right away. You can go all over the place for as long as you want. Just remember to return your guest card so you can get a receipt of how much the member who sponsored your stay will be charged so you can pay him later.
-here are some of the prices of some activities that might be of interest :
animal farm: P63
country club pool: P150 (weekends & holidays P215)
camp highlands pool :P100 (weekends P150)
horseback riding: P255/hour
bowling: P95/game
internet P120/hour---what?!?
All in all, we really didn’t have as much fun here as we did in Corregidor. We’re happier in simple places that are cheap and culturally interesting. In fact, save for the funicular and cable car, everything in the highlands can be had cheaper in most hotels in Tagaytay.

We waited for almost an hour for the cable ride!
Llamas at the animal farm
edited to add more prices (2007)
at the Sports Center Lunch set 1 -P190
set 2-P180
Baked fish fillet- P200
Grilled hamburger -P200
Southern fried chicken -P200
they do accept Senior citizen's cards, though
at Golfer's Lounge
Filipino breakfast- P235(best meal in our entire stay)
at the country club
Calderetang kambing-P220
at Geraldine's (Americana-style soda shop just like in Archie comics)
banana split-P165
Roastbeef sandwich-P95
Peaches and cream-P165
Lucky me noodles+hot water-P60!

Higlands Inn room rates (no breakfast):
Superior room P3660/night
Starndard room P3050/night for 2pax
extra person add P336


melchgilera said...


I would like to go there too. But I don't know any member. May I ask where did you get or how the guest card?Thanks.

melchgilera said...

I would love to go there too. But I don't know anybody who is a member. Do you know anybody?Thanks.

mojacko said...

You'll really need to find a member who will vouch for you...My mom knows a member, that's why we got in. I think some people at girltalk or pinyexchange can help you. good luck!


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