Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TRAVEL | St Moritz Swiss Inn: A small and homey B&B in Antipolo

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Our bedroom during our stay at St Moritz Swiss Inn.

When I think of bed and breakfasts, it's Tagaytay and Laguna that usually come to mind. Personally I wouldn't think of Antipolo at all. I know the place has pool resorts the likes of Pansol and Los BaƱos in Laguna but a B&B would never cross my mind. However, when we chanced upon Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant, we learned that they have a B&B. Perfect, I thought, because Antipolo is an out of town destination for me and I've long wanted to visit Pinto Art Museum and Hinulugang Taktak.

St Mortiz Swiss Inn is a small 3-bedroom B&B right next to Vieux Chalet. Here's a rundown of our experience.

Booking
We decided on our Antipolo weekend trip quite late already, and since I wanted to make sure there won't be any hitch with our booking, I called them up directly. Luckily they still had a room. They have a couple of packages on offer and I picked "Escape" for Php 6,900. It includes an overnight stay, welcome drinks, a choice between complimentary dinner or breakfast, and exclusive use of their hot tub and sauna room.

Rico from St Moritz immediately sent me all the details that I needed (and more) via Viber. After making a 50% downpayment via bank deposit, he confirmed my booking.

Welcome
It was a no-fuss check-in because the staff immediately ushered us to our room upon our arrival (or maybe I settled the balance first, I don't remember). We were given the wrong room, though, and our supposed room wasn't ready yet. Initially we were okay with the room until we saw an army of ants crawling by the bed, so we asked to be transferred. While waiting they handed us our welcome drinks, which was a mint and basil cooler. It was quite good, so to speak.

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This is officially the B&B's front desk but we were ushered straight to our room anyway.

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Very refreshing welcome drinks. We brought them to dinner because we weren't able to finish them.

Not long after they moved us to our rightful room.

Our room
Our room's called Olivier, which sports a blue accent wall adorned with all sorts of DIY artwork and personal photos of the family that owns the place. As with Vieux Chalet, minimalism is unheard of at St Moritz. There's just a lot of stuff inside--mismatched curtains and sheets included--but which, I must say, lend the room an authentic homey feel.

The room is fitted with a double bed, side tables and lamps, a couch, a tea/coffee-making set, and a TV with DVD player. The toiletries are homemade with a delightful lavender scent.

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There's a lot going on, right?

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Tea and coffee-making set to the left. And of course we never got to use the TV.

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Toiletries lovingly presented in a basket on our bed.

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I couldn't get a proper photo of the bathroom but you can see from the mirror's reflection that there's a bathtub where the shower's also located.

The bathroom was just about right in terms of space, but which is way better than the bathroom of our temporary room. The shower is in the bathtub and everything is perfectly functional. And of course, frames also hung on the bathroom walls.

Our temporary room
This was where we were brought first. It's named Florence. I had mixed feelings about the room and I tried to like it. I mean, it wasn't bad and I was willing to settle for it until we used the bathroom. It was so cramped with a bathtub inside. And no matter what you do, water would still be spilling on the floor whenever you used the shower in the tub. But I think it's the ants that sealed the deal.

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This would have been our room, although by mistake. I know it's supposed to be romantic but I'm torn about the setup.

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Main door on the right, bathroom to the left. There's also a tea/coffee-making set.

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The very cramped bathroom with a very low ceiling as well.

I haven't seen the third room, Katharina, but from the website photos it looks a lot like Olivier except that the accent wall is pink.

The food
Our B&B package came with a complimentary brunch or dinner served at the adjacent restaurant. We picked dinner for our free meal and just ordered breakfast from the menu. As I've detailed in my review of Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant, the food is pretty good although it can be a bit pricey. Nevertheless, the servings are quite hefty and the taste will simply win you over.

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Swiss Brunch, which we ordered for breakfast. It comes with some fruits.

Facilities
For a very small 3-bedroom B&B, St Moritz boasts of a respectably sized swimming pool, big enough for you to do some laps. There's also a sauna and hot tub room, a couple of massage beds by the front desk, a playhouse for kids, swings, and some spaces where you can just sit back and relax.

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For such a small B&B, the pool is actually quite huge.

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Poolside seating where you can have some drinks while enjoying a good book.

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Nooks and crannies where you can just enjoy some quiet time.

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More spaces to enjoy.

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The playhouse.

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There are actually two sets of swings on the property.

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The massage beds next to the front desk.

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The hot tub and sauna room.

Checkout
Again, it was a no-fuss procedure. The staff were just as warm when they welcomed us and when they bid us goodbye.

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In hindsight
Admittedly a stay at St Moritz Swiss Inn isn't exactly cheap as far as rates for most bed and breakfasts go. Our stay, however, wasn't bad at all (just skip the Florence room in my opinion). The staff were nice and warm, which make it so easy to forgive them for any faults. Overall I find the place homey. More so, the facilities are impressive for such a small place. And of course, the food is topnotch. This B&B is worth a try at the very least.

For packages and more info:
vieuxchaletswissrestaurant.com/st-moritz-swiss-inn.html

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There's always some surprising little touches throughout the property.

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GETTING THERE

There are jeepneys and UV Express vehicles near Farmer's Market in Cubao and in Shaw Boulevard (across Shangri-La Plaza, I think) that ply the Antipolo route. Take one that's going to Antipolo-Simbahan (church). 

Once there, hop on a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant. To be exact, it's at 456 Taktak Road, Sitio Sampaguita, Brgy Sta Cruz. If the driver still can't figure it out, tell him it's past Villa Cristina Resort; that should be a popular enough landmark. Just continue driving along a pothole-ridden concrete road until you see that sign pictured above to your left.

If driving, just use Google Maps like we did.

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