Great Friends Take You To Chateau Royale For The Weekend

Nice: rich friend

Nice: rich friend

By great, I mean, rich. And by rich friends, I mean, Nice is one of them. She is not named Nice for nothing. So anyway, Nice has paid for a 2D/1N reservation for four at Chateau Royale in Tagaytay. Her family is supposed to use it but due to change of plans, we ended up going instead. And by we, I mean, Nice, Ann, Karen and me.

The four of us started the journey at the Batangas bus terminal in Pasay but was dismayed at the queue. This was at 12:30 noon. Apparently, most people were trying to escape the heat in the metro. An unsolicited advice from a woman behind us in the queue prodded us to wait for a bus instead at EDSA. And so we did. After what seemed like eternity (approximately 15 minutes) and our skin slowly being burnt to a crisp, a bus heading to Tagaytay picked us up. I can’t tell you if traffic was bad because right after we ate our takeout from McDonald’s, we dozed off. Then we got off at Olivarez in Tagaytay and boarded a jeep that would take us right at the front gate of the Chateau.

I’m no expert when it comes to aesthetics so I really can’t explain to you the overall design of the resort. It looks contemporary with some Japanese influence. The resort has lots of Japanese sculptures (mostly of Buddha) and some Indian ones, too. I think.

Photo source: mhelgarrido.blogspot.com

Photo source: mhelgarrido.blogspot.com

For the accomodations, there are three types: the hotel, the single-detached cabins and the log cabins. The hotel looks out of place in the resort, like a sore thumb in a Japanese-ish ranch.

Single-detached Cabins Photo source: www.sulit.com.ph

Single-detached Cabins
Photo source: http://www.sulit.com.ph

We stayed in a log cabin, which is a 7- to 10-minute walk from the front desk. There’s a shuttle and golf carts but they weren’t always around whenever we had to leave our room. By the way, the only Japanese indication in our room is the minimalist design. No tacky paintings and just white sheets on the beds, which actually felt surprisingly restful for me. If there’s a way they can increase the water pressure in the bathroom, I’ll give them a better rating.

Photo source: onandofftheroad.com

Photo source: onandofftheroad.com

The Chateau boasts of superb amenities and various recreational activities (rock climbing, zip line, etc.) but we were only interested in one thing, swimming. They have a great pool with actual sand surrounding it.

Photo source: tipofmytonguemoments.wordpress.com

Photo source: tipofmytonguemoments.wordpress.com

Our reservation included dinner at the Chateau’s Floating Restaurant, which at that time was more like a dry-docked resto because there was no water beneath the tiny bamboo huts. They serve the food buffet style. That night the menu consisted of Bird’s Nest soup, rice, pancit, fish fillet, okoy, grilled pork and pineapple and watermelon for dessert. Iced tea and water were served in a nicely set table. The soup was salty. The okoy was good. And the rest are just barely passable. Sorry, I don’t really know how to review food.

Surprisingly, they more than made up for the food the next day at breakfast. Same setup as dinner except for a chef who cooks eggs on the spot, sunny side up or omelette. The menu was lugaw, fried rice, corned beef, tinapa and watermelon for dessert. They had unlimited kapeng barako (Batangas brewed coffee), which I personally love. They also served pineapple juice. The corned beef was a bit salty but overall, it was a delicious breakfast.

Definitely A Breakfast Feast

Definitely A Breakfast Feast

By the way, they have a Veranda Cafe, adjacent to the lounge and front desk, where they serve the welcome drinks, namely, pineapple juice. They don’t serve cocktails there, just locally made alcoholic beverages. Also, food is pricey but tasty. We tried their Royale Club sandwich with fries for Php 270 and Batangas Burger for Php 280. Service is slow so don’t go there hungry.

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The resort also sells fresh produce at really low prices, half of the price of veggies here in Manila. Also, they sell pasalubong like espasol and other native delicacies. Their buko and langka espasol is a must-try.

Overall, despite the disappointing dinner and welcome drinks, it was a great weekend getaway, mostly because the place is lovely and the people I was with are lovelier.

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Thank you, again, Nice. You definitely made it to the Jobet 500.

Nice is the American-ish girl at the right.

Nice is the American-ish girl on the right.

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Buffet Expectations

Kangaroo Jack SM Manila

Kangaroo Jack SM Manila

I admit that I often find myself preferring quantity over quality, case in point, lousy buffets. To be more specific, Kangaroo Jack.

Monday after lunch, I have dragged my brother to SM Manila after I confused my DFA appointment from 18 to 8. The heat outside was a fraction beneath unbearable and we both had growling stomachs, not to mention him being pissed for my oversight. We wanted to scout the restos inside the mall but didn’t have the energy to do so. Then we saw Kangaroo Jack’s buffet, and the place being almost empty was kind of inviting for me. We’ve actually been to Kangaroo Jack before, and we know the quality of their food or the lack of it. But we were starving and we want a feast but don’t know where to find Cabalen. Plus my brother and I are non-believers of delayed gratification. Buffet is Php 220, which is really cheap for a buffet.

The pluses are:

1. Coffee Jelly Dessert

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2. Turon

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3. Pork Adobo (I think)

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4. Chicken Macaroni ( Neutral taste, which makes it a plus)

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5. Almost empty place

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6. Clean Restroom

"No, not the restroom" Photo source: dekaphobe.com

“No, not the restroom” Photo source: dekaphobe.com

 

 

The minuses are:

1. Nachos Sans Beef

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2. Unremarkable Pasta

Pesto and Spaghetti

Pesto and Spaghetti

3. Uninteresting Bread

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4. Bland Fish Fillet

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5. Fried Chicken

Photo source: baffledchichi.blogspot.com

Photo source: baffledchichi.blogspot.com

6. Chicken Afritada

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7. Overly Diluted Red Tea

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8. Sad Excuse For a Pizza

Photo source: ph.openrice.com

Photo source: ph.openrice.com

9. Nausea-inducing Swirlies on the Wall

Evert contemplating another trip to the buffet table

Evert contemplating another trip to the buffet table

So overall, I won’t recommend KJ’s buffet unless you’re starving and don’t know of any other buffet places in the vicinity.