Friday, November 23, 2012

Family fun at Discovery Country Suites

Hello, mommy world! I have enjoyed my birthday celebrations far too much! But my birthday month is finally winding down and I had a most wonderful time. Thank you all! Now before I kiss November baboosh and say hello to crazy December, here's my little family celebration at charming Discovery Country Suites last week.

I've been longing for a quick out-of-town trip especially since the past few months have been absolutely insane. I can't really talk about it although I've mentioned it here and there. So as soon as my obligations were done, I booked a stay for my family at Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay. This little bed and breakfast has just seven rooms, all tastefully decorated and oozing with sumptuous comfort. This is definitely not for those who like a more cosmopolitan aesthetic—you know, modern, streamlined, sparse. That's why I chose Country Suites because I wanted a place that looked and felt like home not a hotel.

I had booked the smaller Andalucia room since that's the one I can afford haha. Andalucia is a cozy room furnished in my favorite color (orange!) and looks out to a lush garden. Not bad at all. But we were in for a special surprise when we arrived last Friday—we got an upgrade to the Nantucket! This huge room had a king-size bed, a double bed, a living area, an office, a walk-in closet attached to the bath and a wide balcony overlooking Taal lake and volcano!

Huge floral arrangement greet us in our room.
Two big beds! So sinkably soft!
They even put a playpen for Iñigo! So thoughtful!
Our little sitting area. We have fruit and refreshing welcome drinks. 
Vito's super cute! He's wearing FOX shirt and shorts and TOMS shoes.
The two brothers don't like being separated. Here's Vito missing his baby bro.
Together again!
The bathroom is small. Needs an upgrade methinks, but it served its purpose!

So we loved our room. We explored the hotel and Vito was so comfy, he walked around barefoot. Feeling at home! There's a small garden in the back. It featured a dipping pool and a view of the lake and volcano. Then just before sunset, we sampled the cheese buffet, which was excellent, with white wine. The kids were so excited (in a very loud way) and then they crashed, just dropped off to sleep at 6pm. Which meant good news for Vince, me and the extra bed!

Since it was our special holiday and since we know that the hotel's restaurant Verbena was top notch, we ordered our favorite food: oysters and steak. Oh, dinner was absolutely superb!
We started with warm bread and various tasty dips.
The chef sent us this delightful watermelon salad. The first surprise of the night!
OMG. These Rockefeller oysters are so good! The rich spinach, the creamy and fluffy cheese, the plump oyster!
Our main course was the perfectly done steak. We asked for medium rare. In the Philippines,
that usually meanswell cooked. But our steak was grilled to perfection—the pink juicy meat was so tender! 
Then surprise surprise! A birthday cake with a whispered birthday song (the kids were asleep!) and
an amazing bouquet of gorgeous flowers! I was so surprised! Look at me! I didn't even comb my hair!
My yummy sliver of chocolate heaven!

Oh oh, what a delightful evening! The service at Country Suites is really something. The staff and crew made my family feel so special. Vince and I are big on service—no, we don't expect to be waited on but we appreciate good service and Country Suites went above and beyond just to make us feel at home and loved.

The next morning, Vito was the first one up. He was in a great mood! He, as usual, woke everybody up with his roll call. He, as usual, rose just before dawn so I wrapped ourselves up warmly and we all stepped out onto the balcony to watch the sun rise.

Gorgeous gorgeous! I'd forgotten how crisp the air is at dawn, how it fills your lungs with a briskness so alien now to a city girl. I'd forgotten how clear the light of day can be when there's no smog to dilute it and I'd forgotten how this glorious light can make everything extra beautiful. Like this little guy here.
Iñigo's first time in a high chair. He doesn't quite get it yet haha.
Oh, I forgot I wasn't home! Here I am unbrushed and un-made up. And there's darling Vito.
Vince had waffles and watermelon juice. 
I had fluffly pancakes with eggs, bacon and sausages.

We had to take turns eating because we didn't bring yayas. So while I ate with Iñigo, Vince took care of Vito.
Here they are exploring the second floor of the hotel. Sorry, blurry shot. I had one hand on the baby!
My turn with Vito. He wanted to show me where he and his Papa went. Cutie!

Food coma. Burp!

Oh, we absolutely loved our little getaway at Discovery Country Suites! I want all my birthdays to be spent there from now on! I don't think I can do it again without yayas, though. It's not easy at all. We were forever running after Vito, and next year, that'll be two of them we'll be chasing. So I'm hoping we can make tons of money so we can book another room for the yayas!

But we still had a lovely time. It was good to leave the city, take a break from work and the computer, breathe real air. Breathe. I can finally breathe again! And that's the best birthday gift I got this year—freedom. More on that soon. Just know that I'm so happy!


  1. I'm sooo loooovin' the breakfast food shots and that sunrise is to die for <3

    1. Yes! Being a mom to small kids, I catch the dawn nearly every day but never like that. We have more amazing photos!

  2. lovely photos frances. seemed like your fam had a great time! i wish to make tons of money too -- wanna go there also! hehe. belated happy birthday!

  3. wonderful post Frances! I've read it a couple of times... felt like vacation for us as well! I hope to go there with my boys the next time we come home. :)

    1. Do go! It's very homey and comfy. But what I really loved was the service. They will treat you like royalty!

  4. Iñigo is so adorable!!! =D

  5. Love the photos Frances! What camera do you use?

    1. We use two cameras, the Olympus EPL 3 and the Panasonic Lumix GF3 =) They're both micro four-thirds cameras.

  6. oh my! that photo of Iñigo on the bed is priceless! He is sooo adorable!

  7. Thanks everyone who commented on Iñigo's legs haha

  8. The bathroom fixtures are from the '70s :(

    1. Ya. Definitely needs a huge makeover. Fixtures are old, tiles and toilet are tired, faucet leaked, hot water was not hot haha. Maybe they'll upgrade soon! I hope they upgrade before my birthday next year! =)


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