TIMBERLAND SAN MATEO Highlands Resort (A Review)

Timberland Highlands Resort is a mountainside escape in San Mateo, Rizal in the northeastern part of Manila featuring one of the best sunset views with the Metro Manila skyline and good Filipino comfort food, using 100% local ingredients, by the Chroma Hospitality group of Crimson and Filinvest hotels fame.

They transformed a previously exclusive club resort into a new premiere business and leisure township destination during the pandemic (March 2021). It features interactive activities such as yoga by the mountain, guided trekking or wall climbing, tree planting activity, culinary workshops, biking and camping among others. 

We went on a staycation in the resort during their launch of Chroma Hospitality’s Live Love Local Campaign. Here’s our review of the food at Ridge Cafe, featuring our sunset and overnight experience.


POOL BAR SUNSET

This is one of the awesome sunset promenades in Manila with a 180 degree view of the metro skyline as you enjoy your cocktails by the infinity pool bar, amidst the clouds.

TIMBERLAND HIGHLANDS RESORT
Timberland Heights, Barangay Guitnang Bayan II, San Mateo, Rizal 1850
Emailsales@timberlandresort.com
Mobile: +63 999 223 2320 or +63 999 889 6096
Telephone: +632 8891 8288
Instagram: @timberlandhighlands
Facebook: Timberland Highlands Resort
Website: https://timberlandresort.com

Don’t miss the Sunset BBQ experience and dinner buffet at the pool bar.

Highland Sunset by Destileria Limtuaco
Paradise Mango Rum, Inferno Rum, Orchid Coconut Liqueur,
Mango Juice, Float of Peychaud Bitters

Our favorite cocktail is the Highland Sunset, exclusively crafted by Destileria Limtuaco for the Timberland sunset experience.

The infinity pool overlooks the awesome sunset so make sure to plan your magical sunset reels.

(Note: The pool was on maintenance when we visited. Make sure to ask if the pool is operational on the day of your visit.)

During clear nights, catch a star gazing experience or use a powerful telescope to check out the Manila skyline.

Pasalubong Corner Menu

Don’t forget to check out the 100% Live Love Local Pasalubong Corner featuring the best products from Gourmet Farms, Destileria Limtuaco, Tu’Ka Vinegar, Better Snacks, Alab MNL, Lakan Lubi and Helping Hands among others.


PREMIUM DELUXE ROOM

We stayed in the new Premium Deluxe Wing of Timberland Highlands Resort, and it was indeed quite a hike going up and down the stairs from the topmost Ground Floor lobby to the Basements 1 to 3 areas.

We stayed in the Premium Deluxe King with quite a comfortable bed and pillows and an extra green sofa bed. Their hotel amenities are complete so you may just want to stay and enjoy your room.

Each room has a balcony that opens to a view of the clouds, the skyline, and the Timberland surroundings.

The toilet is new and clean, with bath and all the right toilet amenities.

(Note: Our room, 2406, had uneven shower floors so there was a puddle every time we took a shower.)

Our kids stayed in an adjacent Premium Deluxe Twin which can accommodate 3 kids with the extra green sofa bed.

Internet connection is decent—good for email communication, basic surfing and zoom meetings but not for live streaming.

(Note: Globe Connection is spotty in this part of town. Best to use Smart mobile connection.)


BREAKFAST

Breakfast Sets | Breakfast Specialties Menu

Breakfast is served at Ridge Cafe where it feels like you are dining under the clouds. There’s a cool shade since the sun rises behind the resort.

Pineapple Cured Pork Belly (₱500).
Filipino Breakfast served with bakery basket, butter, jam, and honey, seasonal fruit platter, fruits, or vegetable juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

This is quite big. Slice it into liempo bits and you get a nice flavor of meat and fat with a sweet pineapple cured sauce.

Corned Beef (₱500).
Filipino Breakfast served with bakery basket, butter, jam, and honey, seasonal fruit platter, fruits, or vegetable juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

The Corned Beef is served as a whole slab, and you can shred it and mix it with rice and eggs for the best breakfast experience.

Beef Tapa (₱500).
Filipino Breakfast served with bakery basket, butter, jam, and honey, seasonal fruit platter, fruits, or vegetable juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

The Beef Tapa is quite good. Best eaten with the garlicky rice and dipped in Tu’Ka spicy vinegar.

Herb-Roasted Salmon (₱550).
Western Breakfast served with bakery basket, butter, jam, and honey, seasonal fruit platter, fruits, or vegetable juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

The salmon is not well-done, just the way we like it—with a crispy skin and a nice sear.

Bacon-wrapped Chicken (₱550).
Western Breakfast served with bakery basket, butter, jam, and honey, seasonal fruit platter, fruits, or vegetable juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

We ordered a chicken option just for something different. Their chicken is wrapped in bacon.

Ube Waffle (₱180). Mango, Pistachio, Salad Caramel Sauce

The Ube Waffles with mango bits were wiped out in seconds. Best for the kids to enjoy at breakfast.

On a clear morning, you can see the skyline of Metro Manila. I played spy and spot the building with my little eye.

We enjoyed our sleep and woke up late, had breakfast at 9am and went for a swim with the boys afterwards.


RIDGE CAFE LUNCH

Ridge Cafe All Day Dining Menu
Main Course, From the Grill, Dessert, Kids Menu
Sandwiches and Burgers, Pasta, Noodles
Salads, Sushi, Appetizers, Soup Bowls

We decided to stay a little bit longer and check out at 3pm so that we could enjoy our lunch under the San Mateo skies.

Lunch starts with a butter roll service that comes with Anchor butter.

(Tip: Make sure to order in advance and give the kitchen lead time to prepare.)

Sinigang sa Miso (sharing) (₱450)
Salmon Belly with Radish, Mustard Leaves, Tomato, Eggplant, String Beans, Lady Finger

The sinigang comes highly recommended. Loved the salmon belly bits and the sourness of the soup. Although the soup was a bit salty and maybe stored longer than usual.

Kare Kare (Sharing) (₱500)
Choice of Oxtail & Stripe with Asian Vegetables, Peanut Sauce, Shrimp Paste

Their Kare Kare is the best, with a thick peanut sauce and the perfect pairing with salty bagoong. They have a generous serving of oxtail and tripe. Still, there’s extra sauce you can enjoy and use with the other meats. Ang sarap!

Country-Style Pork Belly (₱450)
Slow Roast Pork Belly, Seasonal Vegetables, Barbecue Sauce

The pork belly is served in a slab with a thick sweet sauce that our kids loved. 🙂 Slice it into liempo bits to enjoy with white rice.

Salmon Steak (₱550)
Seasonal vegetables, Lemon Butter Sauce

Their salmon is similar to their breakfast version, but this one goes well with the lemon butter sauce and mashed potatoes.

Chicken Teriyaki (₱400)
Marinated Chicken Breasts, Seasonal Vegetables, Teriyaki Sauce

The chicken is served like a big rectangular block that reminds one of a super big chicken nugget, coated with skin and splashes of sweet teriyaki sauce.

Angus Beef Tenderloin (₱1,100)
Seasonal Vegetables, Port Wine Sauce

For celebrations, order their Angus Beef Tenderloin that is cooked medium, good for sharing, and bathed in a reduction of port wine sauce.

Halo Halo (₱130)

We did not want their cakes for dessert because they are just too sweet. Best to stick with a good bowl of Halo Halo served with ube ice cream and fresh milk.

This halo halo and the view was a perfect ending to our awesome Timberland staycation!


FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, this is one of the awesome staycation experiences in Metro Manila after the pandemic lockdowns.

What we love about Timberland Highland Resort:

• One of the Best Sunset Cocktail experiences northeast of Metro Manila, with an awesome view of the Metro Skyline. Ganda! It feels like you are embraced by the clouds and the sunset is so big you can hug it.

• Pleasantly surprised that the Filipino food is quite good and priced just right for a hotel quality food and service. Don’t miss the Tapa for breakfast, Kare Kare for lunch and the Halo-Halo for dessert! It is nice to know that they use 100% local ingredients and support local businesses.

• It’s a good secluded place to escape with your special someone in the mountainside of San Mateo, Rizal for something different. Going there is an adventure in itself, about one hour away from Makati, BGC and even from Laguna (via Skyway exit in Quezon Ave.).

Only thing is that you are literally hiking from your Premium Deluxe Room to the lobby, to the pool bar every time. Maybe not a good idea to bring your aging grand parents although the active seniors would enjoy this.

Congratulations to Timberland Highland Resort and Chroma Hospitality for the awesome San Mateo, Rizal mountain escape experience! Hope more Filipinos will discover this magical place in the clouds with really good Filipino comfort food.

TIMBERLAND HIGHLANDS RESORT
Timberland Heights, Barangay Guitnang Bayan II, San Mateo, Rizal 1850
Emailsales@timberlandresort.com
Mobile: +63 999 223 2320 or +63 999 889 6096
Telephone: +632 8891 8288
Instagram: @timberlandhighlands
Facebook: Timberland Highlands Resort
Website: https://timberlandresort.com


Your Mountain Adventure continues” room package
(₱5,999 net valid until June 30, 2022) Includes:
• Overnight accommodation for two,
• One lunch or dinner for two,
• Unlimited sunset cocktails from 4 to 6pm,
• Complimentary use of sports facilities (swimming pool and fitness center), and
• Complimentary facilitated activities (arts & crafts, jogging and other recreational activities).

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We paid for our Ridge Cafe Lunch. Thank you to our friends from Chroma Hospitality for the Pool Bar Sunset Experience and overnight accommodations. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. My pandemic skill of cutting my wife’s hair with a clean undercut proved useful even when traveling. 🙂

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