Fantastic view of the Taal Lake at The Lake Hotel.
Another last-minute decision to spend the weekend in Tagaytay and we ended up at The Lake Hotel Tagaytay. It was our first time here and so here's a rundown of our experience.
Booking and check-in
The hotel has its own online booking facility though I made mine through Hotels.com since all the rooms allocated on their website were already taken. At least it's nice to know you can book online since there are still places in Tagaytay--bed and breakfasts especially--that don't have such a facility, which would require you to make a bank deposit.
The hotel facade. Lots of parking space here!
The hotel's front desk.
Checking in didn't take long and the front desk staff were the nicest. The hotel requires a Php 2,000 deposit and in our case it was Php 3,000 since we had an extra person staying in the room. Twice our key cards didn't work but the bell boy who assisted us took care of it.
Architecture and ambiance
The Lake Hotel was a much bigger hotel than I initially thought. The building is three storeys high, though the topmost floor is just nearly at road level, with the lower floors working their way in the downhill terrain. There's not much to be said in terms of architecture; it's just nice how the lobby, which is accessed via a descending flight of stairs from the parking and drop-off point, lets lots of natural light in and allows the cool Tagaytay breeze to flow freely.
Probably the hotel's biggest asset, though, is the splendid view it offers of the Taal volcano and lake down below. I don't know if it was just me but the volcano seemed much nearer than from other vantage points in the area. While only half of the rooms are afforded this view, there's a nice lawn where guests can soak up the sights.
Descending the stairs to the lobby.
The lawn area overlooking the lake.
I love these plants. This is generally what the non-lake-facing rooms would see.
Will probably never tire of this view.
Because we had very little options left, we got a Superior room with two double beds. It isn't very spacious but just about right for us to move around without bumping into something. There's a small balcony but unfortunately we were on the other side of the building that wasn't facing the lake (though we were treated to a wedding the afternoon we arrived). At least the room was clean.
There's a closet, a place to rest your bags, a vanity, coffee and teamaking facility, a flatscreen TV, personal fridge and minibar, and an electronic safe. Haven't tried if the WiFi's good but my, the TV reception was just unforgivably poor. And this was cable TV.
What the rest of the room looks like from the opposite side.
Our little porch.
The bathroom is fairly spacious but it looked dated and not as clean as the rest of the room. It was also not as well-lit. It's a functioning bathroom nonetheless. There's a separate glass shower cubicle with a rain shower head and an alternative handheld option. Except for the sink, water pressure was good, although water tended to accumulate at the shower room floor because of how it was leveled, even if the drain was working properly.
A section of the bathroom.
Because there's just one sink, there's lots of space left to rest your toiletries and other stuff.
Save for the buffet breakfast, I haven't tried dining at this hotel. Breakfast was served at their Executive Lounge, which was right below the lawn. It's an air-conditioned room but there's an outdoor section for al fresco dining. The glass windows likewise allow diners a commanding view of the Taal Lake.
Seating, however, was confined to 8-seater rectangular tables, so table-sharing was commonplace since the hotel was fully booked. And despite the piano guy providing some soothing music, this definitely is no place for romantic breakfasts.
Mr Piano Man right smack in the middle, still playing on even when most of the diners have already gone.
The buffet had a decent selection with an egg and omelette station, a variety of fruit juices, some bread and other baked goodies, cereal, coffee, fruits, and a row of different hot dishes. I found the choices in that last one a bit weird, though, as most of them didn't seem like what I would be having at breakfast. Despite the weirdness, however, the food's not bad at all.
I just wasn't sure if this Executive Lounge is really the hotel's restaurant because it seems more like a function hall than a restaurant. But then the hotel has a small glass-walled spot by the lobby called The Lake Cafe.
The Lake Cafe.
Facilities and recreation
The hotel's main feature is arguably the lawn overlooking the lake, which, as I've witnessed, can play host to a wedding. There's a small pool by the lobby with only a small portion of it exposed to the sun. So it's like a semi-indoor pool if you can call it that way.
We haven't had the chance at taking a dip because first, there was a wedding the afternoon we arrived. Second, of all the days of the week the hotel picked Sunday morning--when it was Father's Day and the hotel was fully booked--to treat the water. Nice move, huh!
The hotel's "semi-indoor pool," as I'd like to call it.
To be fair, though, the hotel has a sports and entertainment area next to the main building. It's a stand-alone structure by the highway and houses an indoor (no longer semi-indoor) pool at the ground floor, KTV rooms on the lower floor, and a gym and some recreational facilities like billiards, table tennis, foosball, scrabble, etc. on the second floor. It's a nice addition to the hotel actually.
The sports and entertainment area.
On the second floor.
The gym, also on the second floor. I'm no gym rat but I must say that their equipment look good.
One other thing this hotel has is lots of parking space. The whole area in front of the hotel building is actually a parking lot.
I found the hotel staff to be nice, the ones at the front desk especially. Housekeeping was also nice and courteous even if I had to follow up on our requested pillows.
Checking out was just as breezy as checking in.
The Lake Hotel is a fairly nice place to stay in Tagaytay, primarily for the view it affords guests (just be sure to get a lake-facing room, though). The rooms may not necessarily wow but at least they're well-cleaned. I just hope they'd do something about updating the bathroom and fixing the cable TV signal.
While we weren't able to use the pool, I should give credit to the hotel for providing guests with other recreational options. But they really have to think about the best day to treat the pool, which definitely shouldn't be on a weekend when the hotel is busiest. On the other hand, service is generally good and I find the staff to be really nice.
That said, booking a room again here in the future doesn't seem like a remote possibility at all.
Someone here managed to sneak through Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, Easter, and a host of other occasions.