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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CRISTINA VILLAS MOUNTAIN RESORT AND HOTEL Antipolo

Long before Antipolo became famous as a resort town, Cristina Villa was already known as a retreat destination for locals and weary Metro Manila residents.

Then came all the competition, resorts sprouted in all directions and the fight for space and customers has never been intense. For a resort to stay in business this long and survive the onslaught of competition, one has to continuously evolve and reinvent itself to give reasons for customers to keep coming back. That's what CRISTINA VILLAS MOUNTAIN RESORT AND HOTEL, formerly Villa Cristina, has done.

The resort, taking pride in its Mediterranean theme, is a little off the city center of Antipolo but still accessible via well paved road. The location might not be that strategic but this gives the resort it one of its key advantage, the uninterrupted view of Metro Manila below and its ever vibrant skyline.
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One of the main pools at Cristina Villa Antipolo

To be honest, I googled photos and blogs about the resort and what I found didn't elicit much excitement. But we decided to give it a try anyway one Sunday afternoon. I was surprised at what I saw, not the wooooooo wow kind of thing but the place is really far better in person than what you see online.
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At the entrance, you will greeted by a 22-room hotel which they are expanding to 40+ rooms. Since there was a large group which just checked out when we came, our room needed more time to be readied. I will go back to describing it later because we first toured the resort while waiting to check in.
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THE RESORT 
Not too sprawling and not too compact either. Just the right space so as not to get too tired going around and at the same time not feel crowded. The fact that it is on a cliff side gives it the multi-level and multi-dimentional effect. The two main pools for example (kiddie pool and adult pool) are situated on the lower section right behind the hotel.

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overlooking Metro Manila
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THE KIDDIE POOL 
Other than the other pools sectioned with kiddie pool, there is one entirely for kids. You are sure kids will not only enjoy the slides and other activities in it, you will also be confident they are safe to go around it all they want. We brought with us two kids and they had a fun time in this section while me and my wife cheerfully looked after them.
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THE MAIN POOLS
Other than the kiddie pool, there are three other big pools in the resort. The one pictured on top of this post is the one next to the kiddie pool. Both are located at the lower section of the resort. The two main pools are located at the upper section. We hoped from one pool to the other in the afternoon of our stay starting from the lower section. Each pool has a unique appeal so you can choose which one best suits your taste.
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COTTAGES
Thirty five (35) cottages (casitas) are scattered strategically all over the resort thereby making the place capable of handling large groups with the feel of being crowded since the resort is on a hillside thereby giving it a multi-level effect. All are open-air but what I like about these cottages is that they are located in areas where there is enough vegetation so you have this garden setting of some sort. The setup keeps the casitas cool even during summer and maintains the air calm at night.

There are also 10 open villas and 10 open villas with loft at the resort.
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ADEQUATE RESTROOMS 
and SHOWER ROOMS
I noticed that there a good deal of shower rooms and restrooms for the general guests and this is important because many of those who go here are for day trips or overnight swimming. 
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ADEQUATE PARKING SPACE
Coming in a large group? Worry not about parking. There is enough space for that.^^
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CONVENTION HALL
Speaking of large groups, CristinaVilla has several function halls to accommodate convention needs. The one pictured below is the main convention hall and I noticed two others under renovation.
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THE HOTEL
The hotel is a 5-story building with the underground being the lobby and reception section. Only two (2) of the lower floors are open while the upper two floors are still under interior construction. That brings the total rooms for now to 22. The lobby rustic and homey reflective of the resort's long presence in the business.
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cctv to ensure utmost security
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OUR ROOM
There are four (4) room type in the hotel--standard, couple's, family and suite. We stayed in a suite room with two beds --1 queen and 1 single with a pull out. We were with two kids so it was perfect. The room is different from the usual boxy-type rooms you see in many hotels in the Metro. This one is very spacious with nice brown tiles that I find appealing. Be careful with the floor though as it could get slippery when wet. The floor is consistent with the wooden wall accent on one side of the room. There is a flat screen cable tv, I am ok with the size although it would have been better if it is a few inches bigger and if there are more channel options.
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There is a mini-bar and a fridge. My wife and the kids bought a few food and drinks before going here so the fridge came in handy in cooling the beverages especially. 

The restroom is spacious and clean with hot and cold shower and the towels are fresh. Pretty satisfied.
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BALCONY
OVERLOOKING METRO MANILA
The view from the room is really nice. It's not just the window view that I am referring to but also because a suite room has a balcony. Perfect uninterrupted view of Metro Manila skyline from the balcony is happiness for me. I love the city view especially at night. We hanged out here for a while eating snacks and listening to some funky music and the night lights of Metro Manila below was a lovely, romantic sight.
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CAFE CRISTINA 
Beautifully nestled at the heart of the resort is Cafe Cristina Bar and Resto. This means it is easily accessible from any point of the resort but still has its own sweet spot overlooking the lower half of the resort. The interior is consistent with the overall Mediterranean ambiance of the whole place. Another feel-good place where you will enjoy your meal at any given time of the day. This is where we had dinner and breakfast and the food was satisfactory. 
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AFTERNOON SWIM
Hopping from one pool gave a multi-dimentional face to the resort. We started swiimng at around 5 pm and it was already dark when we finished. The pool closest to Cafe Cristina was brightly lighted so it was safe to take a dip even at night. We enjoyed our bonding time with the kids.

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DINNER
The kids got fairly tired swimming in the afternoon so had dinner early. I wasn't expecting so much from the resort's restaurant but I was surprised that their food is good. The binagoongan meal is commendable. The clubhouse sandwich and the spaghetti we ordered for the kids were also good. Everybody happy.

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VIDEOKE NIGHT
Next to Cristina cafe is the KTV Room. For now it is the only ktv room in the resort but they are planning to construct more because it is popular with visitors. Why not, you have a cozy, private ktv room, airconditoned, good sound system and two microphones (perfect for duets) all for only 300 pesos per hour. 100 pesos per succeeding hour for up to 12 pax. Saan kapa. We sang our hearts out after dinner for almost two (20 hours. Even the kids who were manifesting during dinner that they are already sleepy stayed up with us until 10pm and enjoyed singing.
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BREAKFAST
We started the day right with a heartyu breakfast at Cafe Cristina. Filipino favorites tocino, longganisa and bangus and good brewed coffee on the side. Red tea for the kids who were too excited to go back in the pool again while me and my wife rested for a while after breakfast in preparation for our massage at around 10 am.
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THE GYM SPA 
This is one of the latest addition to the resort. We were lucky to be the first to try it because it just opened. The spa has 4-beds located at the 2nd floor with the gym located at the ground floor. Since it is new, the ones who performed massage to us were masseurs from Callo Spa bringing with them their expertise. Callo Spa is a sister company of Cristina Villas and I heard training new masseurs for their spa will come from CalloSpa. If that is so then there is something to be excited about this new offering at CristinaVillas.

The availability of the spa at the resort means you have all that you need for in the resort. It's not just massage that you can avail of. They also offer other pampering like pedicure and foot spa. Should you want to burn those extra fats, they also have a gym at your disposal.
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THE STORE 
There is also a store in the resort which sells mostly souvenir items including tees and swimwears. We got a new bathing suit for out daughter for only 300php.

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THE ZIPLINE 
Another addition to the attractions of Cristina Villa is the zipline which cuts through the highest portion of the resort to the top of the building housing the spa. It was unfortunate that one of the personnel in charge of the zipline was absent so we were not able to try it for the kids. Next time.

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Many resorts can learn from Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel on how an attraction can survive the onslaught of competition through careful planning and continuous reinvention but at the same time keeping in mind utmost customer satisfaction by providing good service and diverse experiences to patrons. It is one of those resorts that really impressed me because it is so much better than what you expect. Many resorts dwell in some sort of "manufactured image" that what you see in reality is far from what they paint as they are.

Conference Center, Leisure Retreat, Wedding Venue, Company Outings, Weekend Getaway and more.



__________________________
CRISTINA VILLAS MOUNTAIN RESORT AND HOTEL 
is located at:
Taktak Road, Brgy Sta. Cruz Antipolo City
Phone (02) 697 4521
email: cristina.villas@yahoo.com

21 comments:

  1. Awesome.! I'll add this I'n my bucket list for Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your documentation of this resort made it very much inviting. It is included in my list to visit soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you have the hotel room rates?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do contact them nalang for the room rates. thanks ^^

      Delete
  4. Sir maganda ba Over night dito? Sulet na sulet? naghahanap kasi kami ng GF ko ng resort.. i think maganda d2 base on your review.. would you recommend this place po ba to stay overnight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes. i can easily recommend this to anyone. go for it! ^^

      Delete
  5. Sir ask ko lang po magkano for 2 person with room? Morning stayed lang po.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir ask ko lang po magkano for 2 person with room? Morning stayed lang po.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sir ask ko lang po magkano for 2 person with room? Morning stayed lang po.

    ReplyDelete
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  18. We were in Cristina Villas to partner with them, and I agree, the photos online don't give justice to the nice compound. Nice blog, Antonio! Maybe we can invite you for a guest post soon! :) This is Bene from ResortsGuide Philippines.

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