Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017






With Metro Manila feeling the brunt of heavy traffic on multiple fronts, the neighboring province of Rizal has suddenly become an attractive alternative for staycations, vacations, and special events. Just at its fringe is the accessible Antipolo City which I consider to be an ideal location for a female friend's upcoming prenuptial pictorial. As a favor, I hied off with another friend to a newly-opened lodging called LeBlanc Hotel and Resort to check if it has the appropriate facilities that the bride and groom need for their night before the wedding ceremony.




LeBlanc Hotel and Resort is located at a tree-thronged side of the city where traffic is bearable and the air is still incredibly fresh. It's just a stroll away from the newly-rehabilitated Hinulugang Taktak Falls which makes the area less frenetic than the rest of the city. From its roof deck special event venue called Sky Garden, guests can have a whiff of serenity with expansive views of nearby hills and more trees. The hotel's location is perfect for last-minute wedding ceremony preparations and it fulfills the fantasy of a cozy but upscale ambiance that my female friend wants for her last night as a single woman and wife-to-be.

The Junior Suite
Our dinner table at The Bistro
The hotel swimming pool
Buffet breakfast at The Bistro

Here are three excellent reasons why LeBlanc Hotel and Resort is an ideal venue for your special event in Antipolo City:


1. Spacious Bridal Suite

The hotel's 70-square meter Premier Suite and 40-square meter Junior Suite are both spacious and perfect as bridal rooms. Since they're connecting rooms, guests can book them both and combine the serene and romantic spaces as one.

The Premier Suite
The Premier Suite and Junior Suite can be booked as connecting rooms
The Junior Suite
The Premier Suite's bathroom with bathtub and shower
The Premier Suite alone is impressive in terms of space. It has a living room with its own flat screen TV, day bed, spacious closet for wardrobe change, a full body mirror and dedicated bathroom. Its bedroom is assigned a king-sized bed, its own flat screen TV and a work desk with mirror. It's actually a corner space of the hotel's third floor which is generously installed with a couple of ceiling-to-floor glass windows. It has its own bathroom with a bathtub and shower.

The Junior Suite is almost as big and has a queen-sized bed. It also has the same impressive glass windows for unobstructed views of the busy street outside.

Both rooms share the chic minimalism and upscale design of the whole hotel from the modern working desk chair, easy-to-access closet to the bedrooms' ambient lighting. They are truly ideal for a bridal suite or overnight stay for a large group of guests.

Bathtub time in the middle of the day
The Premier Suite's living room


2. Excellent Meals At The Bistro

Leblanc Hotel's F&B facility is called The Bistro and it's what guests will initially see after check-in at the front desk. The restaurant is seamlessly connected to the hotel lobby, making dining an inviting activity to do even if you're just a walk-in visitor and has no intention of booking an overnight stay.

For guests of the hotel, especially for the bride and groom's company, The Bistro can be a fascinating prelude to a traditional wedding because its interiors are whitewashed. Its aesthetic exudes purity and effectively highlights the Filipino-Asian dishes that are available in its menu. To begin with, its roster of drink flavors are enough to make any dining opportunity extraordinary. Must-try are the Soju't Gulaman (Soju drink) and Mango Ginger Shake.

Rib-eye Steak
(left) Soju't Gulaman; (right) Mango Ginger Shake
Kani Cheese Tempura
For our dinner's appetizer, my friend and I tried the Kani Cheese Tempura (Php180) which is a set of crabsticks and cheese deep-fried tempura. We also sampled the highly recommended Kevin's Burger (Php220) which is a one-fourth lb. beef patty with bacon and special garlic aioli mustard sauce. It was served with tasty crispy string potato fries, a fancy complement to the burger.

To continue our meal, we had the restaurant's top-rated main dish -- the Rib-eye Steak (Php1,200). The Bistro's version is always a 21-day aged US prime rib-eye steak that's well balanced in grade and marbling. The flavor and texture of the cut during our dinner was juicy and tender, respectively. It was served with fries but dining guests can request for either garlic rice or mashed potato. It's something that someone can reward himself with after a successfully closed deal or if someone's just on a sinful cheat day.

Rib-eye Salpicao
Kani Cheese Tempura
Kevin's Burger
Okonomiyaki
To up the dining ante, we also had the restaurant's Rib-eye Salpicao (Php500), an all-around potent dish that always reminds me of a friend of mine who once settled in Spain.

Of course, our meal had to find the balance via an offbeat menu entry in the form of a savory pancake called Okonomiyaki (Php200). The interesting vegetable dish from Japan contains a variety of ingredients that include eggs, shredded cabbage, bacon and other stuff. The dish is definitely a perfect break after indulging on beef for more than fifteen minutes.

General Tso's Pasta
Omelette station at the hotel's buffet breakfast
Our buffet breakfast plate
Rib-eye Salpicao
For buffet breakfast (room rate-inclusive) the next day, we had the same quality of cooked dishes. The buffet spread was decent. It included a couple of dishes along with garlic fried rice, omelette, fruits, bread and cereal in the roster. For brunch before our check-out, we also had the restaurant's famous spicy Asian-style pasta called General Tso's (Php320). It's something that spicy food aficionados will love even if Antipolo is not known as a destination for related dishes.

Walk-in visitors can try the restaurant's Buffet Breakfast for Php350 per head or they can opt for any of the All-Day Breakfast available (Tapa, Spicy Tocino, Chicken Longganisa, etc.).


3. Chic Swimming Pool and Poolside

LeBlanc's swimming pool is located at a secluded part of the property that's facing a lot of trees for natural views of the city. It's as chic and modern as the whole design of the hotel, making one's soak pleasurable any time of the day. It's also where a bride and groom's prenup photo shoot can extend from the guest room.

The swimming pool at night
Relaxing at the poolside
With my Contributing Photographer and friend, Josua Chan

The pool is distinctively divided for adults and kids, but are both designed to be in one continuous swath. It has changing rooms for male and female guests at the poolside and towels are readily available at the front desk.

All in all, LeBlanc Hotel and Resort has satisfied all the requirements that my female friend -- a future bride -- pointed out to me for her upcoming prenuptial photo shoot and pre-wedding stay. She will soon definitely contact one of the hotel's Events and Banquet Coordinators for her special event and I can only be excited in anticipation for that wonderful occasion.

Photography by Josua Chan and Karl Acepcion






Josua Chan is a Manila-based freelance photographer. He works in the TELCO industry and spends his free time growing fruits and vegetables in his small farm in Batangas.


LeBlanc Hotel and Resort

Official website of LeBlanc Hotel and Resort
Official Facebook fan page of LeBlanc Hotel and Resort

Address: 3 Taktak Rd., Antipolo, Rizal
Phone: (02) 509 1840
Mobile: +63 917-504-7086
Email: reservations@leblanc.com.ph


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