Post Christmas Blues: What To Buy For A January Birthday

31 December 2016

Everyone talks about how difficult it is to have a birthday around Christmas – and honestly, for a lot of people it isn’t completely ideal! January is often quite a depressing months. Christmas is over so many of us have a strange and anticlimactical feeling about it, and the weather hasn’t started to improve yet so it feels as though we’re stuck in interminable winter. To add insult to injury, a lot of people are using January to get healthy, so they won’t want to go on a night out or for a fancy meal! But you can still buy your friends with January birthdays some great gifts. Here are some tips on what to get…



What To Buy. Skincare. By the middle of winter, a lot of people will be feeling as though their faces are a little red and raw. Chapped, sore lips and hands are common, and anything that makes people feel better will be much appreciated. Go for moisturising lotions with high SPF, or any hypoallergenic makeup for women to sooth sensitive winter skin.

What Not To Buy: Christmas leftovers. We all know that there are lots of sales after Christmas – and people with January birthdays will absolutely be able to tell when you’ve bought a cheap toiletries set in the January sales and repurposed it as a birthday present. They’ll also be able to tell if you’ve regifted something that you received for Christmas. Get a little more original than that!



What To Buy: Clothes. You can never have too many clothes, so they’re always an extremely safe gift option. If you’re not sure what size your recipient is, go for something like a zip up sweater or even knitwear, like a hat, gloves or a scarf – they’re seasonal and useful as well as a great gift. If you’re feeling more zany, click here to check out some cool shirts that you could buy for your more fashionable friends.

What Not To Buy: Food. We’ve all absolutely overdosed on food over Christmas. No one needs any more of it for their birthday.



What To Buy: A subscription box. Subscription boxes come in a lot of different descriptions, from health food to books to beauty products, and you’ll be able to find one to suit whatever friend you might be shopping for. The beauty of a subscription box is that your friend’s birthday will stretch out over a number of months, you won’t have to buy any specific gifts that they might not like, and they’ll think of your kindness and generosity every time their box comes through their door.What Not To Buy: Anything fitness related. Sure, January is the month for attempting to shed some pounds and get fit – but no one wants a birthday present that hints that they should lose weight. Your birthday is the perfect time to pamper yourself and to feel good, so think luxury and indulgence instead of fitness. Get a gift that shows your friend or family member that you love them just the way they are.

This Is How You Can Plan The Perfect Luxury Getaway For Your Family

29 December 2016

We all deserve a bit of luxury from time to time. If you’re thinking about planning a luxury getaway for your family, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how you can plan the perfect luxury getaway for the people you love:

Decide On The Location Together

Sit down with your family and spend time deciding on the location together. Will you go somewhere like Disneyland and stay in one of the priciest themed rooms available? Or will you go somewhere more varied? Know what you all want to get out of your trip and plan together to get really excited about it. The kids will love having a say in where you go too! You can do this on the computer, but why not do it the traditional way and pick up lots of brochures to look at? You’ll start making memories before you even go on your trip!


Make Sure There’s Something For Everyone

Make sure there’s something for everyone. You don’t want to drag your kids along to the Maldives only to find that there’s nothing for them to do other than play in the sea and sunbathe. Make sure there are fun things to do and that you’re staying somewhere kid friendly.

Plan Some Incredible Activities

It’s a good idea to create an itinerary before you go anywhere. Plan some incredible activities so you have lots to look forward to when you go. Maybe you could plan a safari, a glass bottom boat trip, or something else to make your trip even more memorable. You’ll still want to make sure you have spare time to explore and do your own thing, but planning things like this will make your trip even more exciting.

Think Of The Little Things Too

Even the little things can make a big difference to your trip. Booking a meal in advance in a posh restaurant that gets booked up quickly could be a lovely way to spend one evening. You could even look into a luxury Denver to Vail car service to make sure you get to where you’re going in style. Making sure you think of even the little things will make your trip the best ever.

Give Yourselves Plenty Of Time To Save

Make sure you plan your trip far enough in advance that you plenty of time to save. Encourage your kids to save up their own spending money too. This means they will be able to bring back many of their own souvenirs, and you won’t end up spending more than you want to on things to bring home. It helps your kids to get into good saving habits early on too! Research how much you’ll need for the trip and ensure you won’t be struggling. You want to be able to spend this trip doing whatever you want without worry!

Going on budget trips can still be a lot of fun and memorable for your family. However, everybody should enjoy living the high life sometimes! Start planning your perfect luxury getaway now and you’ll have the best time! Tips of your own? Leave them below!

Getting Through The Winter: Fashion Items To Splash Out On

Tis the season to be jolly—wait, no it isn’t any more. Christmas is over, but unfathomably, winter still appears to be here. Ahead of us, January and February are stretching out interminably as an unpleasant period of bad weather and dark skies. Even though we’re on the good side of midwinter now, it’ll be a while until the mornings and evenings seem lighter again. It’s hard to force yourself out of bed and into a good mood when it looks rotten outside, but something that does make it a little easier is having something good to wear. Here are some tips on items that you should make sure you buy this winter…

A Little Black Dress




Christmas may be over, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have any parties to go to until summer strikes again. If you’re looking for something new to wear, then a little black dress always works perfectly. Check out sites like www.MadisonLosAngeles.com if you’re looking for some ideas on what you could buy and what exactly would suit you. A lot of people look fantastic in skater dresses with nipped in waists, to give you a great hourglass figure effect. Little black dresses are great because you can dress them up with colourful heels – this time of year, try red or green! – for parties, or you could wear them with tights and biker boots for more casual occasions.

Winter Boots



It’s crucial that you invest in a good pair of winter boots with great tread on the bottom. They’ll keep your toes warm through the winter, and the tread will ensure that you don’t slip over on icy streets. If you have good boots and you’re confident about walking around outside, chances are it will be easier for you to stay fit and healthy during winter. Go out for a hike with some friends, or take your dog for a long walk in the bracing cold air. Just make sure that your ears are covered up so they don’t get sore, and that you keep moving so the cold doesn’t set in too much!

A Coat



If you live in a really cold area, it’s a great idea to invest in a new coat to keep you warm over the next few months. It’s a good idea to spend a little more money on a coat than you would on your other clothes. If you buy a classic style, you’ll be able to wear it for years to come. A navy blue overcoat is classic and timeless and will look good and smart with whatever you want to wear underneath it. If you’re more of a rock chick, go for a khaki parka with a fur lined hood. This will keep you warm while adding a little indie street cred to your winter fashion look. If you’re feeling a little wilder, go for a coat in a bright statement colour like red or emerald, or even go for a faux fur leopard print coat!

A Swimsuit



‘A swimsuit?’ I hear you ask. ‘That doesn’t seem very practical during the winter.’ Good point! But this time of year, swimsuits are often significantly reduced in the sales, meaning that you can get one of last year’s high quality suits for an excellent price. This is a particularly good tip if you’re large busted, which often means it’s hard to buy any old swimsuit on a whim two days before you go away on your summer vacation. And if you have a new swimsuit, then who knows? You might just be inspired to take a winter sun break.

A Bathrobe


There is no better item to wear around the house in winter than a bathrobe. If you’re wearing a bathrobe, you will always miraculously be at the perfect temperature – never too hot, never too cold. You will always be comfortable, and if you’re still eating Christmas leftovers, then you’ll find that your bathrobe absorbs crumbs of cheese and turkey like nothing else. Get a lightweight yet cozy bathrobe to fully luxuriate at home during the difficult winter months.

Thermal Underwear


If you get public transport to work, then you’ll be all too familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of shivering uncontrollably while you’re waiting for a train or a bus in the dark, wondering if it would be inappropriate to fall to your knees and curse the heavens for forcing you to leave your warm house before mid-March. One way to get around this very real problem is to invest in some good thermal underwear. It may not be the sexiest clothing in the world, but frostbite is equally unsexy. If you really don’t want to go for long johns, try fleece lined tights or leggings instead.

Gloves



We’ve all had the disconcerting midwinter feeling of being unable to use our smartphones because our fingers are too cold and numb. If you’re a fan of texting and listening to music while you’re outside, invest in a pair of gloves with tips that you can use on touchscreen phones, so you can keep up your hobby while making sure that your fingertips don’t fall off from the cold. If you aren’t too bothered about using your phone, go for some huge woolly mittens with some thinner cotton gloves underneath to stay truly warm.

Tights


One of the best ways to keep wearing your summer clothes all year around is to layer, and tights are the best possible way to do that. Invest in some warm black opaque tights so you can keep wearing your summer dresses. Put them on over turtle neck sweaters or underneath baggy, cozy boyfriend cardigans to make sure that you stay warm, and slip on your favourite boots and coat as well. If you’re still cold in your tights, go for woolly ones instead of nylon, or look around for some fleece lined tights that will keep you warm all winter. If it’s a particularly cold day, you could even wear them beneath your jeans or your work pants to make sure that you stay cozy.

Amorita Resort: A luxury getaway in Bohol

25 December 2016 Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines

Together with other top travel bloggers in the world and the Tourism Board of the Philippines, Bohol was our first stop on our Visayas Fam Tour.

Bohol, the friendly heart of the Visayas and one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Philippines. Lunch in a river cruise at Loboc, taking a glimpse of the Chocolate Hills, traversing through Loboc's man-made forest and visiting the world's smallest primate, the Tarsier, and with our reservation at a boutique luxury resort in the bag; well, I can't be much more excited. Destinations don't come much more bucketlist-worthy than this, so if you're planning a dream trip to Bohol, you want to make sure you're staying in a hotel equally as breath-taking as the scene it's in. Let me introduce you to Amorita Resort, a tranquil seaside jewel secluded atop a limestone cliff on the southern edge of Bohol's Panglao Island.


THE ARRIVAL


After our last stop at the Tarsier Sanctuary, we had arrived at Amorita Resort Bohol at night. A team of staff and the hotel manager were waiting for us by the arrival balcony. We were given cold towels and we were given welcome drinks which by the way is refreshing and yum! After the staffs took our details, we were given keys to our room.

THE ROOM


Ladies and gentleman, we were each given our own rooms. Ha, they certainly made us feel like VIPs. As you can probably tell, we were off to a good start.

I was shown to my Junior Suite Room by one of the friendly hotel staff. My room was a spacious 40 sqm air-conditioned room with a king bed. I fell in love with the room immediately and told myself, "This room is so huge! And I own the 40sqm room all by myself. No one else, except me, all alone."

On the far end of the room, there's a lounge area perfect for a reading spot or a morning coffee. Beside the couch, there's a coffee table and on it there's a welcome gift of a jar of cookies. The Amorita guys even added an extra brownies and a sweet note for my first day in Bohol and on our second last night. Sweet!


It has a large bay window, and during the day time, the sun poured in to every corner, like magic! It offers a tranquil view of the garden. It is equipped with a flat-screen cabled HD TV. The room is furnished with a mini-bar, coffee & tea making facilities. It has an in-room safe and complimentary water too.

The room has a nice rainfall shower with hot and cold options. It is complete with white fluffy robes and towels and bath amenities to boot. Oh, I am loving Amorita's shampoo and conditioner. It has that very relaxing and invigorating smell.


Price: Junior Suite rooms start at around $160 during lean season. You may check the latest price in: Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com | Expedia | Travelbook.ph or read reviews on TripAdvisor. For inquiries and other information, you may visit their official website. For other hotel reviews, click here.

THE VIEW & THE INFINITY POOL


In the morning, I was so excited to get out, take a look around, and see what Amorita Resort has to offer. I remember standing on the pool side dining area and eating breakfast felt like one of those 'pinch me' moments. The view was captivating and the azure blue waters of Alona beach twinkled in the sun.


The infinity pool quite literally takes you on the cliff edge and looks as if it merges straight in to the see. We didn't get to spend much time here but if I had a few more days this where I'd have been.


THE FOOD


During our first night, we feasted like a king over a candle lit dinner in the garden as the stars twinkled above us. Actually, we feasted like gods. And oh boy, the food was an absolute yum. The menu brings a magical gastronomic experience with Michelin star service to match. The outdoor garden looks out on to the glittering Alona beach and even though I was with some new found friends I met on this trip, we could appreciate just how incredibly romantic the setting was.

For breakfast we dined heartfully over buffet with choices ranging from bread, daing, congee, choco porridge, and there's a lot more to choose from.


Overlooking the magnificent pool, the sky lights up a magnificent color, which completely transforms the iconic panorama. As I sipped the cold fresh milk and took in the surroundings, it all felt very surreal. Everything from the food and the wine to the setting and the service was absolutely faultless at Amorita.


THE VERDICT


The view at Amorita Resort feels like something out of a film. It's the picture perfect Bohol setting you dream of, and to see it in real life is something special. I've been lucky enough to stay at some pretty, lavish, and posh memorable around the Philippines, but Amorita Resort definitely makes it in to my top 5 hotels of all time. It is perfect for a romantic honeymoon, couple holidays, special occasion, and more.


What did you think of my experience at Amorita Resort Bohol? Are you think of planning a trip to Bohol or have you experienced this hotel for yourself? If you enjoyed this post, please let me a comment in the box below.


Disclaimer: My stay at Amorita Resort was complimentary as part of a press stay with the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines and TBEX. All views are my own.

Ditch The Car: Here's Why Road Trips By Bus Are Best

22 December 2016


A road trip across America is a once in a lifetime vacation that everyone has to experience at some point. A quintessentially coming-of-age trip in film and literature, it’s not surprising that so many people embark on this journey. The sense of freedom and adventure is what calls more people, but also the sheer size and history of the country mean that the trip is never boring. But what are people supposed to do if they don’t have their license? Simple - it’s all about public transport. There are so many benefits to seeing the States by bus or train instead of by car; here are just a few.

It’s flexible


Some people may be concerned that when choosing to travel by bus or train, they are tied into tight travel restrictions. Most interstate bus services operate around the clock, so you can book a time for travel which suits your itinerary. Pre-booking with a company like Shofur, who do both private charter hire and inter-city bus links, can mean lower prices and a choice of seat on the bus, but many operators have a same-day booking system. This gives you the utmost flexibility when you want to get out on the open road. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shofur for more information, and to see what they can offer your trip.

See all the sights


If you choose to take daytime buses, you’re not restricting your view of the country like you are from the driving seat. Regular rest stops and breaks allow you to get out and stretch your legs, but also to experience the local towns through which you pass. You’re a lot less likely to get these opportunities when you’re stuck on the interstate for miles on end. And when you’re going through the less interesting areas, you can actually read, catch up on Netflix, or get a few hours of napping done, which you obviously can’t do from behind the wheel.

You won’t get lost


When road tripping independently, getting lost is often a frustratingly familiar part of the experience. Satellite navigation can only get you so far before you’re trusting your instincts, or driving through some less than pleasant area of a town you didn’t even catch the name of. Your drivers will at least make sure you get from city to city without getting caught out.

Cheap


Although less expensive than booking in advance, even last-minute coach or train booking can save you a lot of money compared to the cost of hiring a car and paying for gas. If you’re doing this on a tight budget, try to book overnight trains and coaches for a few of your journeys. This way you eradicate the cost of a motel for the night and roll the cost in with the transport.

You get to meet the most interesting people when you travel by public inter-city transport. Nobody will be able to tell you the best places to eat or drink like the people riding the bus. It adds to the adventure. Happy road trip!


Cute Backpack + Blue Leather Tote Bag Giveaway

21 December 2016


Call it a travel day bag, backpack, purse or whatever you want - it's the smaller bag you take in addition to your carry-on and/or check-in bags.

When I was in Manila last week for a business trip, I only had one huge travelling bag (the good for mountain treks bag), I had all my clothes, purse, cosmetic bag, travel blanket, jackets, and everything on it. You bet, it was so damn heavy!

After checking-in our hotel, we left all our things and brought only the important belongings like wallet, money, cellphones and documents. We, then went out right away for our main business agenda. Luckily, my companions had their sling bag and shoulder bag. On the other hand, I had to ask my companions to place my cellphone and wallet on theirs. Well, I really regretted not carrying with me my travel day bag.

Never again!

Don't make the same mistake like I did! So, I am giving one lucky reader a cute leather backpack and I'm throwing in a tote bag too, a total value of $91.99!





Just follow the giveaway widget below and be entered for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to all worldwide and will end on January 10, 2017 11:59pm (Philippine time).

Cute Leather Backpack + Blue Leather Tote Bag Giveaway

Note: Charlotte Anne is the host and the sponsor of the giveaway. This competition is not sponsored and/or endorsed by CHOIES.

Want Some Winter Sun? Why a Road Trip Around Florida Could Be The Perfect Choice

17 December 2016

If you are craving some sunshine right about now, then a trip to warmer climes seems like a good option. The US has plenty of places that are still nice and sunny at this time of year. One of those places is Florida; it doesn’t get the name the sunshine state for no reason. There are a lot of places to go in Florida, though, so it can be tricky to decide where in the state that you’d like to visit. The theme parks of Orlando, or the hustle and bustle of Miami? So a road trip around Florida is a great way to see all of the sights and locations that you’d like to. It is a place that is pretty cheap to hire a car too. So, when are you going? Here are some of my tips for planning a road trip around the state of Florida.


Set a Budget


One of the first things to do is to decide what your budget will be. That will determine how much you have to spend on gas, so will decide how far around the state you can travel. It will also decide how many stops you can have and stays in hotels. So it determines a lot about your trip and the length of it. It might be a good idea to set a daily amount and then work it around that. You could book places to stay in advance if you want to keep your budget quite tight. But hotels could be found last minute if you prefer to do know where you’ll be staying on the actual day.


Find a Good Car Rental


If you are planning a road trip then you need a pretty good car to get you around, right? So look for a car that will fit your needs. Will you have a lot of luggage with you or will you travel light? That, along with how many passengers there will be, will help you to decide the size of the car you will need. Then you can shop around and find the best price that you can afford. If you wanted another option, you could be a charter bus rental. Ir if you are traveling solo, then you could even think about something like a motorcycle. If you have the license for one, of course.

Budget for Extras


It Florida, a lot of the roads that you will be traveling on are toll roads. Quite often they are less than a dollar or so each time. But on long journeys, it can really add up. So make sure that you budget for this kind of thing when you are planning your trip. It is also important to budget for car insurance and any incidentals that you might need along the way, like parking, for instance.


Plan For The Heat


Make sure that you pack wisely for your road trip. You need to make sure that you pack for the heat. Florida is pretty warm (and humid) all year round. So pack sunglasses for the long drives you’ll be doing, as well as other sun protection. You don’t want to overheat in the car either. So dress appropriately for the trip.

Enjoy Delicious Food And Drink During Your Travels With These Helpful Pieces Of Advice

One thing that often helps us make our decision on our next travel destination is the food and drink. After all, you want somewhere that is known for delicious food and lovely beverages. However, it can often be hard to know how to try all the best food and beverages while on your break. Therefore, here are some helpful pieces of advice you need to enjoy delicious food and drink during your travels.

Hunt down the best street markets


You can often get some of the best food at the street markets in different countries. After all, they tend to have local delicacies which are worth trying. And the best thing about consuming food and drink from street markets is it tends to be well cheap. So you can save some of your vacation spending money if you buy from a street market. If you want to find the best street markets, there is often info online about where you can go. Or ask one of the locals, and they will guide you to the best street market. And if you have your own cooking facilities at your accommodation, you could buy some food from street markets which you can cook back at your place. After all, it’s bound to be a lot more wholesome and delicious at a street market, rather than heading to the store!


Go wine tasting during your trip


If you want to try the best drink during your travels, you should consider going wine tasting. After all, you will get to try the local wines and see which one is your favorite. It’s a fun thing to do during your trip. And it will get you and your other half very merry during your travels. You could even go on a wine trail similar to a pub crawl which takes you around the best wineries. One similar to Hermann Wine Trail will ensure you get to visit the very best wineries and discover how they make their beverage. If you find a bottle you really love, you can buy it and enjoy it during the rest of your trip!


Always read up about the restaurants


It’s always a challenge choosing somewhere to eat during your travels. After all, you don’t want to go to a restaurant which doesn’t offer you many choices of food. And you don’t want to go somewhere which is going to leave you out of pocket. Therefore, you should read up about the restaurants before you go. And you can always ask at your hotel as they will give you reviews of the best ones in the area. Also, if you spot locals visiting particular restaurants, you know it’s going to be good. Therefore, follow them and see where they go to ensure you try a meal full of traditional grub!

And remember if you are not brave enough to try the local delicacies, you should consider going half board or all-inclusive at your hotel. That way, you will get to eat all the buffet food, and you know you are going to be safe when it comes to grub and beverages at your hotel!

Travel And Work Can Work Perfectly Together: Here's How

15 December 2016


For most of us, travel is strictly a leisure activity. When we jet off on vacation, we leave our laptops at home and switch our smartphones off so that no one back in the office can disturb our tranquility! But what happens if you get sent abroad for an international work meeting? Or maybe you run your own business and need to jet off to another country to meet some new clients? Whatever the reason, there are a few different scenarios that could see you travel for work. Not sure how to plan the perfect business trip abroad? No problem; we’ve got you covered. Here is all the admin you need to do to make everything run smoothly.

Plan Your Itinerary Carefully


You will no doubt be very busy when you are away on business. To make sure you get everything done that you are there to do, you will need to carefully come up with a thorough itinerary. So before you get to the airport, be sure to jot down all your appointments and meetings into your diary. That way, you will be able to easily see if you have any free time for some sightseeing!


Travel Checklist


Packing for a business trip is a lot different than packing for a vacation. After all, you probably won’t need to pack all your different bikinis for business! In fact, you might have to travel with a lot of bulky items, such as your laptop and files. So make sure that your suitcase is big enough for all of these extra items. To make sure that you don’t forget something important, write a checklist before you start to pack. You need to include everything that you need on this list. Once you start packing, go through the list and check everything off once it is in your luggage. You can find out more about the best luggage for business travel at Forbes.com.


Visas And Travel Documentations


Another very important part of travel, for both business and leisure trips, is the documents that you need to access your destination. Of course, you will need your passport. You might also need to get a visa, depending on the country you are traveling too. If you fly to your destination without the correct visa or travel documentation, you might have to get straight back on the plane and come home! It is important that you start to apply for your visa well in advance of your trip. Otherwise, you might not get it in time, which could cause you to delay or completely cancel your trip. Traveling to America? You can find out about their visas and visa waiver system online at www.official-esta.com.

Tech Is Your Friend


Technology is your friend on a business trip. It can keep you super organized. Be sure to download the airline’s app so that you can get up to date flight notifications. Storing all of the important phone numbers in your smartphone will keep you in contact with people while you are on the go!

7 Things I loved about Mountain Lake Resort: A TravelBook.ph’s Blogger Getaway

4 December 2016 Caliraya, Lumban, Laguna, Philippines

Last month I embarked on a Laguna adventure with Travelbook.ph and with other 14 bloggers, which included a 2 nights at Mountain Lake Resort in Caliraya. Well, I got lucky enough to win TravelBook.ph's writing contest, fortunately again. Yay! You can read my Caramoan Getaway, last August, with TravelBook.ph here.

In the two TravelBook.ph's Blogger Getaways, this was probably the one I have been the most excited about. When the announcement of winners has been posted leading up to the trip I had searched the #MountainLakeResort hashtag on Instagram far more times than I'd like to admit, but no amount of digital wanderlusting could prepare me for an adventurous weekend in Laguna.


Located at Caliraya, Lumban, Laguna, Mountain Lake Resort is nestled amid Caliraya's breathtaking landscape - a "nature meets adventure" resort that provides raw adventure paired with unprecedented comfort and amenities. I was blown away with our entire Mountain Lake experience, but there were certain parts that will stay in my mind forever. Here are the Top 7 things I loved about Mountain Lake Resort.

1. THE ARRIVAL


After a night spent on a 6-hour night bus from Baguio, I arrived at Travel Book's building in Mandaluyong slightly dazed and disheveled. The pick-up time was 7:30 in the morning but I was late for an hour because of the poorly timed travel (blame it on the bus line and the Manila traffic)! Gah! But nonetheless, I still arrived at the pick-up point, and thank heavens, they have not left me yet. Aww... Thanks guys! Our transfer arrived very early to whisk us off all the way for a 4 hour drive to Laguna.

Arriving at the entrance gate, we saw the Mountain Lake Resort sign, and I couldn't have been more excited! Driving through the entrance gate to the Club House, I thought to myself, "How huge is this property".

After a 5 minute ride from the entrance, we were first herded to Caliraya Spring's club house.


I was looking for the lake and the Amihan Cottages where we are supposed to stay, but I didn't see any substantial body of water from where we were. Overlooking from the massive dining hall of the club house, only thing I could see was an endless carpet of greens from a golf course.

The Mountain Lake Resort, offers the best in golfing for both the amateur and serious golfer. The golf course was designed by the golf legend, Arnold Palmer himself.


We were really hungry and Mountain Lake Resort prepared a few dishes for us. We were served with sizling crispy pork sisig, which was one of the best I've tried in a long time, a pork sinigang (really yum), and a grilled chicken.

After a hearty meal, we finally headed to our Amihan Cottages at the Marina. It was a ride away from the club house, about 5-10 minutes. They have a resort shuttle that is available to bring guests back and forth.

2. OUR AMIHAN COTTAGE


For our first night we slept in a Standard Amihan Cottage that could occupy up to 5 heads. We were a huge group of 19 (14 bloggers and 5 from Travel Book), and we were divided into 4 small groups. It is a non-air conditioned room with 5 floor mattresses and equipped with 2 ceiling fans and a locker. Need to charge your gadgets? Don't worry as the Standard Cottages has 4 electric outlets.


Oh, by the way, when we arrived the rain was pouring hard and the cold wind was whirling to and fro. You could hear the tarp (that serves as a covering) flapping loud. But, despite of the rain, inside was really warm and cozy. In fact, I had a good sleep. One of the best part of our first night accommodation was the view.


For our second night, we were supposed to stay in glamping tents, but it rained so hard the other night and it might rain again. So we are housed at a Superior Amihan Cottage that can accommodate up to more than 8 pax. So all the blogger girls stayed together in one cottage. Yay!

Well, all Amihan Cottages are all patterned after the traditional Bahay Kubo, and all are non-airconditioned, except that, the Standard Cottage is smaller and the Superior Cottage is bigger. Whilst all cottages are non-air conditioned, it was designed to allow fresh air from the lake to flow through and keep warm during cold nights. The Amihan Cottages area has only one, yet, huge common shower and toilet located at the middle of the area.


3. THE MAJESTIC CALIRAYA LAKE


The Mountain Lake Resort didn't only boasts spectacular views but also offers a sight of Mount Banahaw and pristine beauty of Caliraya Lake. Without a doubt, the lake is the most breathtaking, I have ever seen in my life. I have even tried kayaking on my own on its waters and it was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.


4. THE POOL


After a tiring day of military style obstacles, we can't wait to plunge into Mountain Lake Resort's only pool. Overlooking the Caliraya Lake, anyone cannot miss the pool during a stay at the resort's Amihan Cottages, I mean who can't resist such tranquil and relaxing pool.


5. THE BIKES & THE KALESA


In comparison to many other Caliraya resort in the area, the Mountain Lake Resort is a one massive resort, that boasts nearly to a 300-hectare property that perfectly blends a sumptuously tropical accommodation with fun-filled outdoor activities. We tried biking to get around the whole resort independently (but if that sounds too strenuous, there's always the golf buggys, and the kalesa). I absolutely loved using the bikes all the time as they kept us active and meant we could zip around the resort in no time.


6. ADRENALINE-FILLED OBSTACLES & ZIP-LINE


Have you taken on a 7k, half-marathon or even a marathon only to find yourself asking, "So what's next?". The answer to that question combines mud, military style obstacles and even heart-pounding water slides that will test your fitness and willpower. The Mountain Lake Resort does just like that.


On our second day we tried their obstacle course: Wall Climb Slide, Military Climb, The Water Slide for beginners or the Slide & Drop for the adrenaline-junkies, Tire Challenge, Cable Balance, Karate Kid, Tarzan Swing, and Palo Sebo. Oh, I didn't signed up for this! But I got chicken at the beginning of the race, which began at the Water Slide. Haha. Sorry team mates.


In the afternoon, we got the chance to try out a more advance obstacle course. To, ehem, redeem, ehem, myself for the group, I volunteered to take the first challenge with Mon. We have to get to the other side of the lake with a makeshift bamboo raft and with a rope. With all our might, we pulled and pulled the raft, through the save-point (which was the tree) and back. Luckily, we won!

Oh by the way, during our whole stay, I got the chance to try their mini zip-line, not just once, but two times, and it was a blast. I wanna go a few times more. Haha.

7. ATV RIDE


One of the best moments of my stay on the resort was when we drove through Mountain Lake Resort's terrain using an ATV. Since there are only 8 single ATVs (plus 2 big ones used by the guides) at the resort we have to wait for the first group until they are finished. We, the second group, went for a bike again instead while waiting. Hehe. It was my first time to drive an ATV, but before we roam, the guides patiently taught us how to drive the thing. After a few test drives and not more than 30 minutes, we were like pros already. Then, we went to brave through Mountain Lake Resort's terrain - from a hilly and bumpy drive, to a muddy ride, to a rocky steep, oh boy, it was such an amazing experience that we don't want the time to end. It was such a surreal moment!

THE VERDICT


I can say with confidence that Mountain Lake Resort has the most adrenaline and fun-filled activities suited for every age - good for the couples looking for an adventurous yet relaxing stay, team-building and a family getaway. It truly delivered, a true to its own tag line - "nature meets adventure". I relished the sizzling crispy pork sisig, early nights, ATV ride, and sunshine Vitamin D. All of this combined with the naturally breathtaking beauty of the resort created a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience that I couldn't ever recreate even if I tried!


Mountain Lake Resort
Address: Caliraya, Lumban, Laguna, Philippines
Contact Number: (02) 723-0781 | (0998) 555-8394
Email: mountainlake.inquiry@gmail.com
Facebook Page: Click Here
Rates and Booking: Click here

What did you think of my stay at Mountain Lake Resort? Have you stayed here or are you thinking of booking a stay? If you want to know more about the resort or if you enjoyed reading this post, do not hesitate to drop a comment or a question in the box below. I would be so happy to read and answer all of it.


This three-day blogger getaway is organized by TravelBook.ph Blogger Affiliate Program in partnership with Mountain Lake Resort - Caliraya. Special thanks as well to our generous sponsors, Céleteque Philippines, Alfox Printing Services, Century Pacific Food, Inc. (555 Tuna), Vivo Lumio, Cetaphil Philippines, Mystery Manila, Totem Philippines, Escape Hunt Manila, LazerXtreme, Sidlan, and Zalora Philippines.

If you want to earn and score free blogger getaways to different Philippine destinations, be a TravelBook.ph Blogger Affiliate by signing up at affiliate.travelbook.ph.

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