23 May 2015

Paradoxical Paradise

We celebrated my brother's birthday last 9 May to 10 May in what I'd probably describe as among the best resorts we've ever stayed in and the worst food we've ever tasted. Our over night trip was eventful that it probably will always be included in our Top Ten list of both the best and the worst. I've noticed that I rarely talk about the places we go to enough that I'll be helpful to others who'd want to try them as well. So I'll attempt to write reviews about the resorts and hotels we visit as a family starting now. You'll see them all under the tag REVIEW. For my brother's birthday celebration, Mommy booked us in Cintai Corito's Garden

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Top: Bershka | Shorts: Topshop | Shoes: Old Navy | Bag: Kipling | Sunglasses: Oakley | Turban: Flatterbuy

Bear in mind that although I'm usually a scatterbrain, I tend to have a one-track mind sometimes. Resorts, hotels, and restaurants are either a hit or miss for me depending on the reason we've chosen the particular place. Cintai Corito's is perfect for those who want to have a relaxing weekend. The kind where there is a spa, a comfortable TV room, and lots of pools to swim in which are all complemented by the abundance of picture-perfect corners. There are plenty of roaming animals as well including peacocks (or were they peahens?) and donkeys.

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When staying in a resort, we assign high importance to the comfortability of the room. This includes beds that have thick mattresses, space that won't feel suffocating, bathroom that screams cleanliness, and most importantly airconditioning that works well. It's a big letdown when the place is beautiful but the room feels cramped with outdated amenities. Corito's has well-decorated villas that use real wood in all the furniture and tasteful showers and sinks. Each villa is spacious enough to accommodate the 12 of us but because no one feels comfortable in sleeping on extra beddings laid on the floor, we stayed in two adjacent villas where there are 3 king sized beds in each. Despite the summer heat, their airconditioning is in perfect condition. See, almost everything about the resort is perfect. Almost, but like everywhere else, not quite.

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Everything was going smoothly (save for the food but more on this later) throughout the night especially since 10 of us availed of the spa services then concluded with the usual alcoholic beverages. To those who'd want to bring in food and drinks, note that Corito's charges corkage fees. Around 1 in the morning, the resort suffered from power failure. The electricity went on and off for an hour that by then, majority of us were awaken. The aircon in our room completely failed that my brother Gian, Nanay, cousin Rayne, and I transferred to the other room. The front office wasn't answering any of our calls. We were already resigned to sleeping on the blankets laid out on the floor until even worse things happened. The aircon in the other villa was still working but it was barely blowing out cool breeze. In this entire ordeal, the front office can't be reached. The thing is, when someone is willing to pay as much, she deserves to receive full attention. We'd probably understand the situation had the power failure affected all villas but for reasons I can't understand, only our two villas were gravely troubled, or if it was not a resort boasting of its little touch of luxury.

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Now, on to the food. We're a family who's constantly trying new restaurants and new buffets in hotels and stand-alone alike that somehow, I'd like to believe that we can form sound opinions on food. Cintai Corito's buffet dinner and buffet breakfast are among the worst selection we've ever tried in terms of choices and tastes. I do not know how to cook. I can barely hold a ladle without creating a mess but I can at least identify a good tasting meal from a substandard option. The resort is filled with eye-catching wonders. It seems that the management exhausted all of its ideas on the facade and skipped on brainstorming about the food to be served. We've tried other resorts that have not so spectacular meals (Las Casas in Bataan, for example) but the latter at least serves meals that are pleasing to the eyes and are visually at par with the beauty of the place.

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To appease my Mom's anger, the owner himself approached her while we were having breakfast the following morning and explained what happened. He didn't charge us half of the dinner buffet fee (It's ludicrous to pay for P500 per person for a substandard meal. I suggest finding restaurants outside the resort. No kidding. I'm pretty much a spendthrift but I make sure I'm paying for something that's worth it.) and also didn't let us pay for half of the massage fee. We were given one villa to transfer to the night before (around 3AM) and a voucher which is good for an overnight trip for 4. Were they enough to compensate for a troublesome evening that left majority of us tired the following day? Maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is, we were willing to pay the rates they've demanded because it's the price of the comfort and exclusivity we wanted. I don't think they can ever give anything that can compensate for robbing us of what we ultimately paid for.

All these hassles aside, Cintai Corito's Garden is still among the list of relaxing resorts we've been to. All of its corners are worthy of taking pictures of. My Mom gave the voucher to my Tita and her family but who knows. Maybe in a few months I can convince her to go back. See, this is why we seldom accept invites from friends and relatives. We're very demanding. Then again, we are only demanding when we've paid the price to be demanding. Hahahaha :)

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