Taal Vista Hotel.
Taal Vista Hotel: 80 years of excellence
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

In 1936, President Manuel L. Quezon wanted to develop Tagaytay as a tourism destination because of its cool climate and the spectacular view of Taal Volcano in the middle of Taal Lake.  Quezon ordered the Manila Hotel Company to build a lodge and golf course along the ridge of Taal Lake. On Oct. 7, 1939, the Taal Vista Lodge opened its doors to the public.

Taal Vista Lodge held a special place in the heart of the late Henry Sy Sr., who used to visit the lodge back in the day. In 1988, when Development Bank of the Philippines put the hotel on the block, Sy made an offer and acquired it through SM Investments Corp. (SMIC).  Taal Vista Lodge closed in 1999 for renovation and expansion. 

Sy requested his daughter Elizabeth Sy to oversee the work and appointed her to head SM’s hotel business interests as president of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC). The lodge reopened as Taal Vista Hotel in 2003 with a new wing to accommodate more conference facilities and amenities for business.

For its 80th anniversary, Taal Vista Hotel recently held a lunch at its Taza Fresh Table restaurant with SMHCC president Elizabeth Sy, executive vice president Peggy Angeles and Taal Vista Hotel general manager Richard Gamlin.

Directed by former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nestor Jardin, the art deco-themed “As Time Goes By” luncheon started with guests being entertained by a string quartet as they arrived. A seven-course lunch was prepared by chef Jayme Natividad. Each dish was  accompanied by reminiscent stories (all printed on the menu) from the Commonwealth period up to the 21st century.

Pass-around hors d’oeuvres like chicken relleno, shrimp with desiccated coconut, and Adobong dilaw sa pan de bulilit were inspired by 1930s to 1940s — the Commonwealth period and the establishment of the first Philippine Republic. The Lumpiang sariwa with pancit buko appetizer was inspired by 1960s culinary scene. A soup of braised beef, chicken, pork, chickpeas, chorizo, cabbage and eggplant, very similar to cocido,  drew inspiration from 1970s. Poached sea bass with potato purée, baby carrots, zucchini, saffron beurre blanc and saffron foam drew inspiration from the decadent ‘80s. The sous vide Bukidnon wagyu strip steak with marble potatoes, mixed mushrooms and Amadeo coffee (from Amadeo, Cavite) port sauce drew its inspiration from the 2000s with the rise of global consciousness about environmental food sustainability. Dessert was a blue pea coconut cheesecake with coco-caramel and dragon fruit coulis, which drew inspiration from 2015 — the year Madrid Fusion Manila arrived in the Philippines.

“The celebration of the 80th anniversary of Taal Vista Hotel is another significant milestone that further reinforces SMHCC’s robust growth. Taal Vista Hotel is just one of the many power brands under SMHCC’s increasing number of properties,” Angeles said in her congratulatory speech.

In celebration of Taal Vista Hotel’s 80th anniversary dubbed “Here, For Always,” the hotel is extending its 80th anniversary super flash sale for a certain price that includes room accommodation for two nights, buffet breakfast for two adults and two children (seven years old and below), 20-percent discount at Veranda all-day dining or at Taza Fresh Table and much more. This offering is valid until Nov. 15,  subject to block-out dates. 





(Taal Vista Hotel is located at Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. For inquiries and reservations, call 7917-8225 and 0917-8091254 or visit www.taalvistahotel.com, facebook.com/taalvistahotel and @taalvistahotel on Instagram.)

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