Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Antipolo City is no longer full-on bucolic. It's more than the rural scenery that your grandparents used to tell you about back when its famous waterfalls called Hinulugang Taktak was still so pristine. Although it still has a lot of trees, this city in Rizal is now highly urbanized and has gone through major changes being that it's just next to Metro Manila, thirty minutes away from it to be exact. Aside from its enduring locals, it now has upscale inner city communities and high-end malls to match them.

After a brief period of a surge in modernization, residents have learned to examine their ways and consider the environment as they move forward to 2018. Even its aforementioned waterfalls had to be rehabilitated for 15 years just to set things right at a time when lifestyles are evolving but beauty is still highly regarded. The recent opening of LeBlanc Hotel and Resort couldn't be more timely now that the city is ripe for a stylish lodging and events place that's normally only seen elsewhere. It's right along Taktak Road, so it's hard to miss.

As a guest during its dry run operation, I had the chance to personally experience just how chic this new boutique hotel is. From its modern exterior to its whitewashed interior, the 16-room hotel is a breath of fresh air in this side of the city. Any guest is bound to feel fresh upon check-in. Its overall design is expected to drown out the toxicity of one's outdoor hustle that includes regularly dealing with the ubiquitous traffic and localized weather. Inside, I was able to imbibe the simplicity of the establishment's minimalist decor from the lobby, the guestroom, all the way to the poolside. Apart from an age-old tree fronting the hotel, the pristine color palate convinced me that it was possible to have a relaxing retreat an hour away from Pasig City where I live.

The Sky Garden for special events
The hotel hallway
The hotel parking space for guests
The kid-friendly pool
As for Antipolo residents, they are fortunate to finally have a modern venue for special occasions. The hotel's so-called Sky Garden at the roof deck is perfect for intimate ceremonies, banquets, and parties. Up there, the view of the city's vegetated mountains is sensational on a good day.

Cozy Guestrooms For Relaxing Stays

Booked at its cozy Deluxe Room, I had the view of the busy Taktak Road and was just a few steps away from the lobby, the hotel's restaurant, and swimming pool. I'm assuming that the room amenities were designed to be basic to keep them aligned with the overall design -- no-frills and accessible. The spacious bathroom, open cabinet and easy-slide table drawers were all evident of this. Thanks to the room's many switches for ambient lighting, I had the chance to set the mood of my stay depending on the time of the day.

My booked Deluxe Room
Spacious bathroom
Chic Dining at The Bistro

The hotel's F&B facility called The Bistro is just next to the lobby. The bar and restaurant is seamlessly connected to the front desk, so any guest can immediately sit down, relax, and take advantage of what's on the menu upon check-in. Or one can have something delicious to end one's stay before check-out.

In my case, I had the restaurant's memorable version of Pork Binagoongan for dinner. The hefty plate of thinly sliced crispy pork belly in bagoong seemed great for two or three people, but I had it all for myself. It's that good! To seal the meal, I paired it with a refreshing glass of Ube Shake.

The Bistro
Pork Binagoongan for dinner
Ube Shake at The Bistro

The Bistro is also the venue of my stay's buffet breakfast which is inclusive of the room rate. It's not exactly a 5-star spread in terms of quantity, but it had enough of each selection from the main viands, bread and cereals, omelette, to fruits.

What I enjoyed the most, though, was the garlic fried rice for tasting the right kind of dry because sinangag is not meant to be soggy in my opinion. One should be able to tell the level of expertise of a hotel's F&B in the most basic items including such part of the meal.

My buffet breakfast plate
Buffet breakfast at the hotel

Sleek Pool For Morning or Afternoon Soaks

The hotel swimming pool is not much to look at  if you're after dated designs. It's meant to be sleek and simple to match the modern vibe of the establishment. Once soaked, though, you will realize that there's a nifty add-on at one end of the pool -- an elevated portion where you can stay seated or relaxing on your belly half-submerged underwater. Push your back against the wall and you can have a rainfall massage. The kids have a separate pool that's just next to the main pool so interaction can still be had between adults and young ones.

There's a shower and changing rooms for male and female guests next to the pool and guests can request from the front desk for towels to be brought at the poolside.

Should you be needing a quick and stylish retreat from Metro Manila, LeBlanc Hotel and Resort is an ideal venue for such a getaway. It's new and modern, a different side of Antipolo City that's worth experiencing.

LeBlanc Hotel and Resort

Official website of LeBlanc Hotel and Resort

Address: 3 Taktak Rd., Antipolo, Rizal
Phone: (02) 509 1840
Mobile: +63 917-504-7086

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