The tables and chairs set up for barbecue grill at the ridge.

A place that brings back memories. That’s how we felt during our last visit to Taal Vista Hotel. We felt a little bit nostalgic because the first time we went here for lunch, we were with a loved one – the late novelist and comics icon Elena M. Patron, who passed away last year. The memories of laughing together, exchanging jokes, and enjoying the food, while being serenaded by a group playing Original Pilipino Music (OPM) before the pandemic, were still vivid.

Many people often feel sentimental at this iconic hotel, as the Taal Vista Lodge (now Hotel) reminds them of wonderful memories, and of countless generations that have come by. And still, this lovely complex has much more to offer.

Taal Vista Hotel provides both worlds of the old and modern. Though it was renovated in 2004 to be in harmony with the demands of the present times, it has retained its original magnificent entrance when it was first built in 1939. The original rooms located in the mountain wing are still very much available. Room 111, their Tagaytay suite, and one of the original rooms is very spacious and has the best view of the Taal Lake.

The well-manicured backyard lawn of Taal Vista Hotel.

The prime hotel was the very first guest house in Tagaytay, among other establishments in the city, as it has the best location for you to get a close glimpse of the majestic Taal Volcano.

The more modern side of Taal Vista Hotel is at the Lake Wing. It is a new four-storey building where all business concerns with the complex are settled. Everything is spacious. The reception area, the lobby, the function rooms and the Veranda restaurant were all designed to accommodate a large number of guests. Our assigned room is also found at the Lake Wing. The view from our balcony was breathtaking. The sight of the well-manicured backyard garden was refreshing and the presence of the Taal Volcano looked very close. Too close that it felt like the volcano was just right there in front of you.

We loved how the tables and chairs were beautifully set up just before the ridge. At daytime, it feels like you’re just sitting at the park but after sunset, more people come in to enjoy the cool breeze of the evening, not to mention the cocktails, and grilled barbecues right before your eyes.

The author (left) with the late novelist and comics icon Elena M. Patron (center) and her son Ardee.

There are many activities guests can enjoy when visiting Taal Vista Hotel. During our stay, we tried the glam picnic at the lawn while we relished the stunning view of the Taal Lake. The glam picnic package which includes two types of pizza, charcuterie, pastries, dessert and bottomless ice tea is good for four to five people. A butler waited on the side to attend to our every need. There were just the two of us so we had the option of enjoying our excess food at home.

For couples who are planning to have a special date night, the Dinner Under The Star package is perfect. A picturesque set up, a bouquet of flowers for her, a seven-course meal for two, and romantic background music, what more could a woman ask for?

Indeed, we continue to create wonderful memories at Taal Vista Hotel. And as we keep on returning back to this grand, historic hotel, it will always connect the past to the present, and the present to the future.