On Friday, my husband made a hasty proposal of going to Tagaytay. And since it’s been more than three years since I had been there, I didn’t hesitate a second to agree. We packed just a few things for an overnight stay. We left Manila around 11:30 AM without making prior reservations to any hotel or inn. By 1:00 PM we’re already in Tagaytay city proper and I suggested we book at 5R Rooms because I already had an idea about their accommodation rates. But as fate would have it, we ended up booking at Keni Po which is just beside 5R Rooms.
Keni Po Tagaytay
Keni Po is hard to miss because of its conspicuous facade. The room given to us was very affordable (PHP 1,800/night), nice, and clean — complete with towels, bathroom slippers, and grooming kit. The floor is well-polished, and the pull-out bed is just right for me, my husband, my 3-year-old daughter, and her nanny. I’m very particular when it comes to bathrooms, and in my experience, I knew better than to expect a decent bathroom for a budget accommodation. But I was pleasantly surprised that Keni Po doesn’t only give a respectable lodging for a moderate price, but also a tidy, functional bathroom. I especially like the blue-colored tiles and the toilet bidet spray. The handbasin is free from grimes and toilet has no traces of stains.
The room is equipped with cable TV and DVD player. Keni Po also provides free Wi-Fi, which ironically you can only access when you’re out of your room. So, if you have a laptop or iPhone and want to check your email or Facebook, you need to stay in the garden (they have tables around) or hallway — just not in the room. Wi-Fi is available from 9 AM to 12 MN. Keni Po’s Wi-Fi connection wasn’t really an issue for us since we didn’t go to Tagaytay just to surf the Internet. My only real complaint is that it takes 10-15 minutes to get hot water from the water heater to the fixture.
My daughter enjoying the pull-out bed
The garden pool
After we settled our things, we had lunch at Leslie’s. We ordered the Bulalo Special (PHP 599), which I thought got bigger in serving than the last time I dined at Leslie’s. We also tried the Sizzling Tanique Steak (PHP 399), Seafood Bicol Express (PHP 399), and the Ensaladang Mangga (PHP 199).
Leslie's Bulalo Special
The tasty Sizzling Tanigue Steak
Seafood Bicol Express is a must-try
I’ve tried the bulalo in Mahogany Market, Tagaytay and I personally enjoyed their version more than Leslie’s. On the other hand, I think both the Seafood Bicol Express and the Tanigue Steak are winners. The Sizzling Tanigue Steak has this flavorful, buttery-taste which I couldn’t get enough of and the Seafood Bicol Express has just the right spiciness in it that will make you appreciate the dish without gulping a glassful of soda or water.
The next day, we planned to check out Jolina Magdangal’s Memory Lane restaurant, but for some reason we missed the correct route, so we ended having breakfast as Josephine’s. When my husband and I were just dating some years ago, we’d always had buffet breakfast at Josephine’s whenever we’re in Tagaytay. The thing is, there wasn’t so much changes with their breakfast buffet menu; but if you love buffet meals, you’d still enjoy Josephine’s offerings.
Josephine's buffet table
The buffet table had the usual breakfast fanfare, such as tocino, daing na bangus, chicken and beef adobo, hotdogs, bacon, buttered vegetables, arroz caldo, champorado, etc. There were also some kakanin like kutchinta, suman, cassava cake, and more. There’s also a section for fruit desserts and I made sure I had a good portion of their sweet mangoes. I don’t remember their breakfast buffet rates years ago, but now it’s PHP 410/adult and PHP 310/child below 4 ft.
I still love the large windows of the main dining area because they give a nice view of Taal lake, not to mention the awesomeness of the high ceilings. My daughter had a good time running around the view deck, which is a nice location for wedding events.
Of course, Tagaytay is still an ideal destination if you’re thinking of a quick weekend getaway. I was just a bit disappointed, though, when I see that more condominium-type buildings are already being constructed within the vicinity because they somehow diminish the “refreshing” look of Tagaytay which I used to know.