A Quickie from The Cliff House to Nuvali

Third Friday of the month:  Travel & Leisure

Don't be misled by the title.  This is a family blog, so read on (",)

It was a bright and sunny Mother's Day and the family spent half the day from Tagaytay to Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The plan was to have a nice and relaxed lunch at Tagaytay, then spend the afternoon at Solenad in Nuvali before driving back home. When I thought about going out of town for this particular Sunday, I was really hoping we could at least have a whiff of that cool Tagaytay breeze and escape the summer heat for a day. I was sooo wrong.
Located less than 2 kilometers from the Tagaytay rotunda along Gen. Aguinaldo Highway, we went straight to The Cliff House. A beautiful enclave with a short promenade, an inn, a garden and view deck overlooking the serene Taal Lake and volcano, the complex also features a few restaurants for travelers to dine and hang out.

This picture of the view deck above may look cool and airy, but it was actually warm and humid that morning. We only stayed to have our Sunday family lunch.  The heat was just unbearable that day. We ended up spending only 5 hours for the whole leisure trip, or should I say "a quickie" trip, from Tagaytay to Nuvali. Bummer.

Quick-stop number 1:  The Cliff House

An all-white white rattan daybed was screaming "sit on me" as soon as we walked through the courtyard. The kids immediately jumped on it and lounged around. It was part of the al fresco dining area of Fling, where I had a cup of their refreshing lychee-flavored frozen yogurt to cool me down. The boy immediately owned the cup and left me with just a few spoonful! Of course the girl has got to have her own too, but she preferred the creamy variety so she and daddy crossed over to Fruits in Ice Cream Summer Cafe.

There were only a handful of dining places to choose from. Aside from Fling and FIC, there was Cafe Platito Atbp., Fire Lake Grill, Cafe Breton, and Buon Giorno, the latter being the most popular in the area. For an early lunch with kids, we decided on the "safe and affordable" menu of Cafe Platito Atbp. which also has a novelty shop within the indoor dining area.

Given their food line-up, I'd say we had a very ordinary brunch of all-time favorite Pinoy breakfast fares like Boneless Bangus (milk fish), Spicy Tuyo (dried salted fish) and Longganisa (local sausage) all served with rice and fried eggs.  My brother even ordered a set meal of Spam and eggs for my nieces!

Hubby ordered the American Beef Burger. So what about it? Well, the beef patty was served not on a sesame-seed-bun, but on what looks like a bruschetta!  That really got us confused -- American burger on an Italian bread? Go figure. (For this photo, I just placed what's left of the bun on my gravy-soaked burger steak, above.)

After lunch, we took a stroll around the garden and looked at what we found...anybody knows what insect is this?
As we were having our pictures taken under the tree, these beautiful clusters of green mangoes were just hanging there, it's like tempting us to pull them off the branches.

Before we left The Cliff House, I also poked around to check out this fairly new inn with it's swanky entrance and lobby that immediately caught my eye as I passed by. Such an arresting design inspiration, I just could not resist taking pictures of their ultra chic and elegant interiors.

After a quick chat with the receptionists, I learned that The Inn at Cliff House Tagaytay has just opened it's doors last November. The Inn boasts of 4 luxury suites at the lower level of the complex offering a magnificent 180-degree view of Taal lake. Two corner suites (100-sqm. big!) has its own outdoor jacuzzis! I didn't have the guts to ask for a tour so when we got home, I just browsed through their website. They have four spacious, beautiful and well-appointed guestrooms -- even bigger than most condo units. Now here's a really posh place to consider when planning a Tagaytay sojourn.

Quick-stop number 2:  Solenad, Nuvali

I honestly had no idea there was something like this in Nuvali until I read a post from Our Awesome Planet. When I learned that they have a water taxi ride, I was sold.  I knew this would be something that my kids would love to try and experience, even for just a few minutes.

Despite the punishing heat, we proceeded as planned and arrived at Solenad with much excitement. The whole community/commercial complex was just beautiful.  Restaurants like Italiannis, Conti's and Crisostomo were filled with diners. Visitors can have water taxi rides around the lake and fish feeding by the deck.

The centerpiece was this man-made lake with hundreds, maybe thousands, of very hungry koi fish! My mom bought a few packs of pellets at 15 pesos per pack. It's time for the kids to feed the fish.
The kois were getting wild and literally swimming on top of each other just to catch the feeds. My hubby and I actually pitied them and thought maybe they were being starved on ordinary days. Look at those wide-open mouths!

Even under umbrellas, I still felt the top of my feet being fried by the scorching heat. Should you decide to go there, it would be best to do so late in the afternoon until evening time. But the water taxi runs until 5 pm only so get there before the ticket booth closes.

The kids just can't get enough...they want to feed, feed, feed, even under the hot, hot, sun!

The water taxi ride was next.  It was only 30 pesos per person, kids 3 years old and below got free rides. A boat can seat up to 12 people and they have individual life vests.

There was a long queue by the docking area.  The kids were getting restless and a bit drained so we all took a short break under the shade.  I was also getting impatient with the line so before I bought our tickets, I inquired how long was the wait.  Lucky for us, the attendant pointed out that there was another docking station on the other side of the lake, with NO lines.  So off we went and drove to the other side of the complex (just ask the guy at the booth or the guard for directions).

Finally, no more waiting in line.  The moms, kids, and nannies got to ride the boat and we all enjoyed the ride. At last, we got to feel some cool wind!

I would say this made my day. The kids kept on saying they had so much fun. Though the ride lasted just a few minutes, I saw how excited and happy they were.  They even wanted a second round.

After a fun spin around the lake, we just hanged out a little longer to let the kids relax a bit as we all enjoyed the wind blowing through our hair. There wasn't much to see out there but the imposing beauty of this structure was undeniable.  

At the end of the day, despite the intense heat, just seeing these happy little faces made this brief escape on Mother's day simply memorable and worth the quick trip.

Our holiday trip to Tagaytay might interest you as well:
Tagaytay Family Holiday Album

The Cliff House
General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City

Solenad - Nuvali
Sta. Rosa, Laguna