21 April 2013
The journey towards every weekend is 5 days long, and 2 days always leave us wanting more! At Crosswinds Resort Suites in Tagaytay, you enter a time warp where you can take it slow and make the most out of a short hiatus from your busy life.
Finding your way to the hotel suites is already an experience. We happily got lost in streets and gentle slopes that were generously lined by pine trees. I don't mean mediocre amount but really, hundreds of hundreds of pine trees - that instantly lighten your mood and transport you to an exclusive weekend getaway.
Peaceful and quiet. I've never seen Tagaytay like this, not after so many years before buildings and diners lined the highway.
Crosswinds Hotel Suites is rested high up on the hills. The hotel manages 25 rooms in Quadrilles 2 where an exclusively owned unit would normally cost Php 4-6 million. It is important to note that this is not a regular hotel. Do not expect a grand buzzing lobby full of staff and other guests. The suites are actually owned by home owners and they are being managed and serviced by the International Hotels Group.
Thanks to IHG, you can experience executive class living in the highlands for a very small fraction of the cost!
Check-in experience at the Crosswinds Hotel Suites
I have a habit of trying to check-in early to get the most of our stay. We arrived early at 12nn, queried by the village guards and was let in easily. They expressed our check-in was at 2pm but we can already explore Crosswinds.
We tried to find the suites first and settle our luggages. You need to follow the white lines on the road that will lead you to the Quadrilles. The desk officer whom I read plenty about in Tripadvisor was okay. She initially asked us to return again at 2PM but I insisted if she can try to do anything about having our room ready for check-in. I had some perishables which needed refrigeration badly. After a few minutes, our room was ready. If you don't ask, you don't get ;)
2 Twin Bed Studio Unit at the Crosswinds Hotel Suites
A spacious hallway, reasonable bathroom, convenient kitchenette, expansive beds, working area, and a balcony! It was so much more than I expected and it instantly felt like home with all the space and room amenities.
The first order of the day was to enjoy a private view of Crosswinds from our balcony. The houses here are Swiss inspired, there are still a few which adds to the country-style vibe.
This was the winning feat for me and one of the biggest factor I want to return. The big refrigerator housed prepared and takeaway food, kept our water cold, and the freezer - we filled with Magnum from Finds during our stay. There's also a microwave which lets us enjoy hot food away from home and without the need to go out, or call for takeaway.
There is also a stove where you can cook your own food. No need to bring pots and pans. An electric kettle is also provided for tea and coffee (or instant noodles too).
The kitchenette made our stay convenient and pocket friendly. It pays to research the amenities before checking in. I was prepared with a reasonable amount of cooked food, grocery items like canned sausages, bread, sandwich spreads, and a big jug of drinking water.
Do not forget your dishwashing liquid and sponge to keep everything neat and tidy. The room already has at least 4 plates, 2 sets of spoon & fork, drinking glasses, mugs, and 2 teaspoons. All of this made me feel like I was at home away from home!
Things to do in Crosswinds
Unlike the reviews I read, there are plenty of things to do at Crosswinds.
1. Enjoy nature and burn calories as you walk around the village. My family and I enjoyed walking to Finds, the nearby convenience store to find more stuff to munch on. Did I also mention Magnum?
2. Drive to Santa's Store. This is near the Crosswinds village entrance and where you can breathe in the scent of pines and enjoy al fresco tea time.
A must try are their freshly baked, moist, and big fluffly muffins. We recommend the chocolate chip one!
A very nice touch they added was piped in music to set the relaxing and gentle mood to Crosswinds. In the morning, I could hear this sound from my balcony which was lovely.
3. Check out the helipad. You don't need a chopper to enjoy this! I played some outdoor games with my son here. We do not leave without a ball which entertains us easily and let us enjoy the surroundings. It is a flat field so you will enjoy rolling, jumping, and sight-seeing from down below. You need to be careful not to slide down from the edges though.
It is the best place to have a picnic too and where you can take photos against nature. You just don't get this amount of greenery anywhere else.
4. Enjoy the clubhouse. Yes there is a clubhouse which is like a mini resort for homeowners and guests. We met some families from Crosswinds enjoying some R&R as well. There is a playground for kids, but most of all two swimming pools for adults and toddlers.
I read about the pool not being heated, I haven't seen any heated pool in the Philippines anyway. Plus, who needs heating on a fine summer day? My son Ashton was very brave in the toddler pool and played ball with other kids in the water.
The clubhouse was surrounded by trees which is no surprise at Crosswinds. The gentle breeze made lounging in the clubhouse fantastic and the trees provided a comfortable shade for everyone.
Important: Don't forget to pack your proper swimming attire, sun block, goggles, and wet toys.
5. Stargazing in your own room. The sky is not polluted in this part of Tagaytay. Our balcony turned into a mini observatory during the night. We setup our cameras to try and get a good shot of the night sky. I've never seen this plenty of stars for a long time. I proudly showed this to my toddler who was very curious the entire time. Constellations can easily be seen by the naked eye and in the horizon, you can see a few city lights.
The Crosswinds experience is absolutely unique, one worth of your precious time and budget. I will miss how it led me closer to nature without having to ride a plane or go beyond my comfort zone. I only wish to expose ourselves more to this place and less of the busy city we are used to.
Important tip if you don't have a car
Makes sure to take advantage of the FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE. The desk officer may forget to mention it but Crosswinds Hotel Suites always offer this convenience to all their guests.
You can ask to be driven to and from parts of Crosswinds - the clubhouse, Santa's store, model homes, etc. Just be prepared with a schedule you can stick to. Note the driver's mobile number too.
I super recommend Crosswinds Hotel Suites for families like us, and I hope this review helps you get the most out of it. If I should suggest a minor thing for improvement, it is for the desk officer or welcome committee to be more friendly and informative of what the hotel and place offers.
See you at Crosswinds!