Hi, everyone! My name is Gretchen Gatan and if you’re new here, I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, Philippines. I’m also a first-time mom to a beautiful baby girl named Cambria. October is quite an eventful month for my family. The first of the month is my husband Cayo‘s birthday. This is followed by my sister’s on the ninth. Then, my goddaughter (and Cambria’s cousin), Kara, celebrates her birthday on the 23rd. Lastly, my sister-in-law (Kara’s mom) ends the family birthdays on the 31st. Anyway, ever since Cayo and I brought Cambria to the beach for the first time to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, we’ve been looking forward to bringing her to more places! This time around, as a way to celebrate Cayo’s birthday, we drove up to Tagaytay and stayed a night in Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay.
Lunch at Bag of Beans
But first, before we checked in, we had lunch at Charito by Bag of Beans. It was our first time in this particular branch and both the view and ambiance mesmerized us. We sat in a quiet corner overlooking Taal Lake, where we enjoyed some pizza, fresh fruit juices, and a slice of caramel cheesecake. After lunch, we headed to Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay, which was about ten minutes away.
Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
I first discovered Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay through several friends on Instagram. They posted about feeding ducks and rabbits with their children, which I also wanted Cambria to experience—especially because we’ve been reading a lot of books about farm animals.
After our lunch in Bag of Beans, we arrived a little after one in the afternoon. However, since check-in was still at two, we killed time and visited the petting zoo right away. (As much as I wanted to bring Booboo and Bellatrix with us since the hotel is pet-friendly, it’s quite challenging to take care of two pets and a baby. So maybe next time if we have help!) As soon as our room was ready, we settled in so that Cambria could take a nap.
Deluxe Room at Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
Though the hotel’s interiors look and feel a bit dated, the friendly staff and list of activities truly make up for it. We booked a spacious Deluxe Room with a queen-sized bed. It came with a balcony, too. The room comes with the usual amenities such as towels, a vault, a mini refrigerator, slippers, and complimentary water, coffee, and tea. To save on plastic, you’ll need to call housekeeping to request some toiletries—which includes a dental kit and soap. The shampoo has a fixed bottle on the wall in every bathroom. Again, to save on plastic. I actually liked and appreciated this movement towards sustainability. Another thing I appreciated was that they offer cribs for guests with babies—so we availed! Two of the housekeeping staff set up a pack-and-play type in our room.
The rooms all have a TV that’s equipped with a Mi Box. So we were able to catch some episodes of Bling Empire on Netflix while Cambria was asleep! One detail I found nice was that there’s a Netflix profile specifically for children. Out of curiosity, I checked it and the first shows you’ll see are Blippi, Blue’s Clues, and other popular educational shows.
I booked our room directly through Hotel Kimberly’s website and discovered that the hotel gives P500 credits, which we used to offset our merienda.
Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay’s Petting Zoo
After Cambria’s afternoon nap, we proceeded to the petting zoo to feed rabbits and watch other guests feed ducks and chickens. Apart from these animals, there were horses, goats, sheep, and peacocks. The hotel offers horseback riding, too. But since Cayo felt like Cambria was still too small, even if one of us rode with her, we decided to wait until she is big enough. (All the more reason to come back!)
Feeding the rabbits cost us P50, which was charged to our room. The staff simply picked out fresh lettuce from the hydroponics garden in the same area.
Other Activities at Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay and Subtle Details That Count
Once we finished feeding the rabbits and going around the petting zoo for the second time (Cambria had so much fun watching the ducks and chickens running around!), we headed to the pool area to have merienda.
There are two pools—a kiddie pool that’s about two feet deep and a bigger pool for older children and adults. Both of these are heated. On the other side is an Aqua Slide, which is basically a playground with a fountain. The kid guests truly enjoyed this! Next to the Aqua Slide was a big team-building area, which had obstacle courses.
Merienda by the pool
On the side of the kiddie pool was a grilling station where the hotel sold halo-halo, hotdogs, pork barbecue, and other inihaw favorites. We ordered the halo-halo, a stick of hotdog, and two sticks of pork barbecue for our merienda, which we enjoyed on one of the outdoor tables. Fortunately, since the hotel prides itself on being a top family-friendly destination, they had a lot of high chairs available. We always requested one for Cambria every time we ate.
A little after merienda, we headed to the big open area where a bonfire was being prepared. This is something Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay does daily for its guests. They serve unlimited marshmallows on a long stick so that families can roast them on the bonfire. Again, since Cambria couldn’t appreciate this yet, it was Cayo and I who actually enjoyed.
As soon as we were done roasting marshmallows, we decided to have dinner inside the hotel. However, we had a good view of the outdoor movie (just beside the pool area) where they played Disney’s Brave. This is something the hotel does regularly as well. And though Cambria was too young to watch the movie, I’m sure the older kids had a lot of fun. We noticed a lot of families dining at the outdoor tables while watching.
Before heading back to our room, we went around and found that Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay has a game room. There was a billiards table, a foosball table, a couple of arcade hoops, and an area for babies and toddlers to play in.
Complimentary milk and Oreos
Back in our room, after giving Cambria a bath, we requested additional pillows since our queen-sized bed only had two. This was free of charge. Moreover, we were surprised that one of the staff knocked on our door to serve complimentary milk and Oreos. And again, since Cambria couldn’t eat these yet, it was me and Cayo who took advantage!
The following morning, we woke up a little after eight and headed down for the breakfast buffet, which came with our room. The selection isn’t as extensive as the hotels in Manila. Nevertheless, I indulged in their tsokolate eh and tocino. There were a lot of guests dining as well, which made me a little nervous, to be honest. But I guess this is the new normal and people are itching to go on family vacations just like us.
Swimming at the kiddie pool
When we finished our breakfast, we took Cambria to the Aqua Slide. However, the fountain intimidated her. So we ended up in the kiddie pool, which she preferred more. The weather was a little cool and it drizzled once in a while. Good thing the pool was heated so Cambria didn’t feel cold. Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay provides guests with towels as well—but you need to return them to the lifeguard before heading back inside.
Lunch at Hillbarn Cafe and Restaurant
After our swim and taking a bath, Cambria took her morning nap, which allowed us to start packing. She woke up just before it was time to check out. As usual, the end of our weekend getaway in Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay felt bittersweet. Cayo and I told each other that we’d bring Cambria again when she’s bigger—so she can appreciate the activities more.
Before heading back to Manila, we made one last stop for lunch. We initially wanted to try Farmer’s Table but it was fully booked and the waiting time was an hour. So we went to our next option, which was Hillbarn Cafe and Restaurant. Incidentally, it was just five minutes away from Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay.
Families Will Definitely Love Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
I had so much fun during this trip that I kept telling Cayo and my family we needed to go back. I’m sure both Cambria and Kara will create a lot of happy memories here with everyone! To know more about Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay, you can visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
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