Crown Regency Hotel
My sister bought two vouchers for an overnight stay in any Crown Regency Hotel branches around the country. She was supposed to have a Cebu vacation last year but she got pregnant so it wasn’t pushed through. Days before the voucher expire, she told me to use it so as not to waste it. I asked my mom and my brother if they want to avail the vouchers with me and they said “okay”. So I called Crown Regency to ask for dates with available rooms. The voucher was only valid until Dec 24 and the dates with vacant rooms are Dec 16 and Dec 24 only. So I confirmed our reservation for Dec 16 staycation. Come that day, my mother and brother no longer wanted to join me (tinamad lang). K My mom told me, “sayang yun, kayo na lang dalawa ni Boyps”. It was such a busy day because I attended my nephew’s Christening then after that, headed to Fort to attend my friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday.

So after the children’s party, I asked Boyps to pack some clothes so we can go the hotel. I even invited my friend Je, since the room I reserved was good for four. But she declined my invitation despite the fact that it’s FREE. :p Anyways, Boyps and I went to the hotel for a very short and quick staycation.

We rode a cab going to the hotel but unfortunately, the address I got from Google was incorrect. It was stated that it was located in the The Columns. I asked the driver to bring us to Crown Regency but he doesn’t know where it is so I gave the address. He dropped us at The Columns and after asking the lobby guard, he told us that there’s no hotel in the building. We asked several people along the streets, security guards of other buildings and even Jeepney drivers where the hotel is located but no one knows where it is. K Some even pointed us to the wrong direction. I told Boyps that based on google maps, it is near Dusit Hotel, and so we just walk straight until we reached the hotel.
Now I know why the hotel was unnoticeable – there’s no signage at all, the name of the hotel has no lights and the building was just small. I whispered to Boyps “eto na ba yun? May tao kaya dyan?
We arrived past 8 in the evening. The lobby lights were so dimmed and it just made me feel that the place was so creepy. The receptionist immediately gave me a form to fill up, request for the voucher and finally handed me the card key.
Upon entering the room, I really didn’t find it cool and extravagant. I don’t know if I’m just expecting too much because it’s a “Makati hotel”. The room was too big for the two of us and I liked it. The room may look old but the bed sheets and pillows were soft. Our room has two queen-sized beds,
cable TV, sofa, office chair and table,
bathroom with hot and cold shower and bath tub.  I would want to use the bath tub but I think it was not functioning well. Boyps and I were not able to find out how to close the drainage. We were trying to pull something but the drainage was still open. Hehe. But I loved the shower. :p I guess they just needed to fix the glass door because the water was still spilling out that makes the floor wet.
Basic toiletries were also provided inside the bathroom.

There’s also a small kitchen with microwave oven, cups and saucers and drinking glasses. I didn’t noticed if we have refrigerator. Hihi
Our stay included a buffet breakfast for two. Food was just so - so, variety of food was quite few.
It was just so sad that the hotel has no swimming pool. L It was such a short stay but I still enjoyed it. Chatting with Boyps, watching TV and just simply lying on a queen-sized bed all by myself made my stay worthwhile.

Crown Regency Hotel
1026 Antonio Arnaiz Ave.
San Lorenzo Village,
Makati City

Valentino Resort and Spa

My Navi friends and I were planning for an out of town trip / get together / mini – reunion last February 2012.  We are choosing between Eagle Point Resort and Valentino Resort and Spa. Both resorts offered somewhat the best – from facilities to accommodations, from food to services etc. The only difference that we saw was the price (at  kung may beach). And so we had to open a voting mail to get everyone's choice and majority has chosen Valentino Resort and Spa.
It was 9 or 10 in the morning when we arrived at the place. I immediately asked the receptionist if we can check-in early. Actually, my friend Je asked me if I heard the old lady saying "oo nga, pagbibigyan na namin kayo mag check-in pero ngayon lang, next time hindi na pede (parang galit, tinanong ko lang naman kung pede na mag check-in)". But I honestly didn't hear that. It was Kriska who actually heard it. The only thing I remembered is that she has repeatedly said that they will allow us to check-in right away because it was a first time visit. On our next visit, they will strictly follow the 2pm check-in time.
Anyways, we were given wristbands upon check-in. I don't know what it is for but I guess that's a badge to indicate that a guest will stay overnight or not. We immediately strolled along the area, check-out the pools, take pictures here and there and play and rest at the playground.

Valentino for me is just a garden resort with swimming pool, more of like a clubhouse with rooms for accommodation. We've seen 2 swimming pools, one in front of our rooms and the other one was just a walking distance from the first one. There are cottages available but there were ants too so we’re not able to use them. There's also a playground for kids and kids at heart. And of course, they offer spa services for complete relaxation.
Pool #1
Jacuzzi at the corner of the pool
Pool #2
After roaming around the place, it’s time to check and take pictures of our room. Their room was really spacious that’s why I find everything so small. Our air-conditioned room has double bed (not sure if I’m right but Boyps and I were able to fit in), a television (that I wasn’t able to see :p I even shouted “asan ang TV!”) ,table and chairs and a bathroom with hot and cold shower with matching pail and dipper! amazing! The room has another room for our baggage but we used it as dressing room. We also used that small space to hang our wet clothes. Hihi :p The resort also provided some shampoo and toothpaste in sachet, toothbrush, soaps, tissue and towels. By the way, the room costs Php 2,600 per night.

Just in time for lunch, we headed to the resort's restaurant. The place was not crowded. Actually, it was just us and a couple in there. 
The super nice staff. :)
Since we're a big group, we decided to divide the group into two. Je, Boyet, Boyps and I were all in the same group. So here's what we had for lunch:
Bulalo(Php 365) – super sarap. Malinamnam. Daming laman. We asked the waiter if he can refill the soup and he told us that he will ask someone first. But to our surprise, he gave us another bowl as big as the first one. Bwaha.
Sisig (Php 200) – this dish was just okay. Actually, I'm not a fan of sisig with mayonnaise. But the meat was crispy and tender.
Talong (Php 90) – this is the usual tortang talong. Steamed eggplant wrapped in scrambled egg. Casualan.

After lunch, we all rested for a while then we're off to go swimming. It was as if we own the pool in front of our rooms. There were no other people using it except us.  The pool is 4 ½ ft. – 6 ft. if I'm not mistaken. It has a mini Jacuzzi too. After half an hour or so, we transferred to the other pool so we can try it. It was shallower as compared to the first pool. It also has "falls-like" effect. Hihi. It was raining then so it made us chill a lot. Sobrang lamig! As in! Bawal umahon sa tubig! But it didn't stopped us from enjoying our vacation, we'll all get wet eventually! Hihi.
It was such a happy day 1 at Valentino. We all got to catch up with each other's chismis (gossip), kamustahan and all, picture-taking galore and so much more.
Some of my friends stayed at our room. We brought some junk foods to share. We just watched TV and continued chatting with each other.
Dinner time has come and I still belong to the same group as we had during lunch. We ordered 
Chicken Gambo soup (Php 60),
 Calamares (Php 220),
and Kare- Kare (Php355)
I like the kare – kare but I wasn’t able to eat a single meat because they used tripe (twalya). Hindi ako kumakain nun e. arte nu? :p
After dinner, we headed back to our rooms. I thought there will be another round of bonding moment so I kept on sneaking outside to check if we have other friends that are still awake. But there’s none. So Boyps and I just stayed in bed and watched TV all night. Hehe.
The next day, we went back to the resort’s restaurant for our breakfast. I chose Filipino breakfast - Tapang Taal while Boyps opted to have American breakfast. Both dishes were served with fried rice and eggs cooked according to your preference. Boyps got Iced Tea while I tried their hot chocolate. I can still remember how many times Je said that their coffee was sooo good so when they asked for a refill, she shared some so now I can relate. haha
Hot Choco and Iced Tea
American Breakfast
Tapang taal.
I really had fun staying here. The place was so simple, worthy of my penny, food and service were great, and most of all, quiet and relaxing.

Copied food names and info from Thanks girl! J

Valentino Resort and Spa
Brgy. Pinagtung-ulan
San Jose, Batangas
Yabu: House of Katsu
I've read a lot of good reviews about this restaurant so when JK, Boyps’ friend, told us that we should try Yabu, we immediately planned the date (pero syempre di yan natutuloy). He and his GF also love food tripping that’s why he always informs Boyps whenever he discovers a place where food lovers can dine.

The place was almost full when we arrived and we were just so lucky to have a seat upon reaching the place. The staff who assisted us was the same all throughout our stay. I must say that his service adds to the enjoyment of our experience. You'll know why as you read this post.
After taking our orders, he put this on top of our table – saucer with black and white sesame seeds. So here’s how to enjoy our katsu. Grind the seeds, pour in the sauce (I don’t know the name but it was yummy), mix the sauce and sesame seeds and lastly, dip the katsu. Habang pinupukpok ko ung seeds sabay sabi si Kuya, "ma'am diinan nio na lang ng paikot - ikot" :p
We were having a hard time in choosing what to order because we really wanted to try everything. But the staff gladly assisted us. We told him that we wanted Katsu and Curry so he recommended Hire (pork tenderloin set) and Rosu Katsu Curry set.
Both sets were served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit. The miso soup was hot and tasty. It tasted quite similar to Sakae Sushi’s version that's why I really enjoyed it. I love the cabbage too! I guess it’s all because of the sesame dressing – creamy and oh-so-yummy. :p Since it’s unli, I had two rounds of it. J
We got 150g Hire (Php 405) – 3 circle form, thick flaky pork cutlets. The breading was really crispy while the meat was so tender. Boyps really enjoyed its crispiness plus the the sauce that adds more flavor to it. 
Rosu Katsu Curry (Php330) is a good dish too because the curry sauce was thick and the flavor and aroma was just mild. It was a bit spicy but tolerable. It was served with chunks of carrots and potatoes.
Boyps and I were confused between Iced Tea and Lemonade. (babaw nu? Pati drinks nahirapan kami). But the super nice staff let us try both before ordering because he always teases me to get Iced Tea instead of lemonade. Boyps wanted Iced Tea (Php 95), I preferred to have Lemonade (Php 80). Bwaha. Bottomless naman pareho so share share na lang. :p 
But wait, the staff’s kindness was not yet done. Boyps and I were not able to finish the katsu so I asked him to pack it for takeout. I requested if he can put some cabbage and sauce along with the katsu and he said okay. Just after settling our bill, 3 sytrofoams were given to us. Of course, I got surprised so I told the staff who handed us the box that it wasn’t ours, but he said “Hindi ma’am, inyo po yan”. When I opened it, I saw Japanese rice, the cabbage with sauce and the katsu with sauce. Bwahahaha.. Yung take out ko buong set pa din! It was just a happy and pleasant experience dining at Yabu.JThanks to the super sweet staff who assisted us all throughout. 
Food was awesome and reasonably price; service over all was really fast and staffs were nice especially our Kuya staff - really commendable. J

Overall Boyps' comments: crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside minsan nagtataka ako kung wala syang preservatives dahil kahit matagal na,crunchy pa rin. Bwaha. tapos mas gusto ko yung may taba.. (Rosu), dahil mas juicy compared ung sa yo :p

F.Y.I. – The difference between Rosu and Hire is that Rosu (pork loin) has a little fat while Hire has none.

Yabu: House of Katsu
2/F SM Megamall - Atrium
Mandaluyong City
iLoveToBake #4: Macaroons, Crinkles and Nips Cookies
FTFBadge Every Monday and Wednesday, I work from home instead of travelling 1.5 hours going to our office in Pasay. That's the bestest privilege I got from my current employer. I’m trying my best to log-in early so I can finish work early and eventually log-out after 8 working hours. The remaining hours of my afternoon will be devoted to what I really love doing, and that is baking. J
So here are the new additions to what My Sweets’ Haven offer that will surely add sweetness to your day – Cutie chewy macaroons, Chocolate Crinkles and Rainbow Oatmeal Cookies.
I called the macaroons cute because it was smaller than usual, and chewy simply because it’s chewy on the outside but moist and soft inside.
The chocolate crinkles have a little crunch on the outside, moist and chocolatey inside.
Rainbow oatmeal cookies have the same cookie dough I use in making choco chip cookies. But instead of putting choco chips, I pour a lot of colorful nips. Wanna know what happen to my bag of nips? :p
In case you crave for some sweets, visit my facebook page or multiply site  to order or simply comment on this blog. J Hope to serve you guys soon. J
Please like me on facebook J