Hugo Skye Lounge | SunStar

Hugo Skye Lounge

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Hugo Skye Lounge

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cagayan de Oro’s newest and highest hilltop hangout

CAGAYAN DE ORO. The Skye Lounge in the early evening. (Hannah Victoria Wabe)

MY HUSBAND and I kept seeing these strong floodlights incessantly moving back and forth from our window. Its silent call was akin to a lost sailor's lighthouse against the starless night sky beckoning us to come closer. And so we finally did!

The attractive lights turned out to be Hugo Skye Lounge in Barangay Indahag. The road going up the hill to reach it is not cemented, but a 4x4 is not necessary because it is neatly paved. It’s pretty far from the city and takes quite a bit of effort to visit; however, these qualities only solidify this venue's charm.

Upon reaching the top, guests are treated to expansive views of the city. They can choose to be dropped off or park at ample spaces nearby. Upon getting off, guests are immediately welcomed by the cool mountain breeze caressing their cheeks. Ah fresh clean mountain air!

To see the restobar, visitors have to go down to the next sublevel. The place is a modern mix of concrete, glass, and metal. At the bottom of the staircase, the right wing is a typical snack shop selling quick treats like hotdog and burgers. An unfinished aviary and snake display are also housed on that side. Guests are not allowed past that area because construction is still on-going. I can't wait to see it finished!

Turning left from descending the stairs is the coffee shop. They had several cakes, along with Pan e Dolci silvanas. They use books as table toppers, and some are arranged on counters begging to be picked up. Those alone are enough for me to give this place a thumbs-up. In this digital age, anyone who promotes the love for literacy and the published word are remarkable gems in my book (pun intended).

We moved farther down and arrived at the main hall. They have some sort of stage, which at that time was occupied by a DJ. He cranked up the music pretty high, along with technolights. If I may be honest, the decibel level was kind of distracting. The lack of a dance floor indicated this place is not for moving and grooving. Thankfully, the DJ played popular R&B 90s ditties that I grew up with so it was forgivable.

However, I still would have appreciated more mellow music. I feel a band would have been more appropriate and would have been more effective in setting the mood and ambience. I imagine people went there not to dance, but to enjoy the view and the breeze while having quiet relaxing conversations. The latter was impossible to do with the blaring pounding music so we moved to the coffee shop.

I can’t wax poetic on their minimal food list. Nothing extraordinary there! It’s just a page long comprised of a few typical pub grub, aka pulutan meals, such as sizzling, grilled, or fried. We ordered four plates of barbecue (chicken and pork) and a platter of sisig. My kids enjoyed the quesadilla, nachos, fries, and spam fries. Well, the food got the job done to fill up the tummy, except for the nachos with too little toppings. Only the quesadilla was the best among the lot—cheesy and well-seasoned with a generous serving of pico de gallo and sour cream. Food was served quickly by their friendly waiters.

Noteworthy, their servers are all pretty and the boys aren't too bad on the eyes either. I would have wanted to take a selfie with the crew to prove my point, but my teen and tween were kontrabida: "Mom, don't embarrass us, pls!" Fine! Just take my word for it.

The best element of their service is they do it with a smile. We wanted to change tables because a better spot near the ledge became vacant; and they were all too happy to accommodate us, bringing in our drinks and utensils. I purposely tested the crew. Mid meal, I asked for a water refill. When she got there with my drink, I apologized and said I just realized my son's iced tea was warm and if she can please bring a cup full of ice. She said with a genuine smile, "Okay lang ma'am. No problem."

Now, the most impressive part is the extensive alcoholic list. If the food menu is only a page long, this one has three pages with double columns per page. This is truly a social drinker's paradise. They have all local and imported beers, the best list I've seen in the city. According to the server, they have everything in stock. They sell wine, champagne, and hard drinks per glass or bottle too. Their eye-catching bar display says it all!

Overall, this place is worth seeing. Just remember, though, that guests are paying a tiny extra for the view and that translates into food pricing. I feel they need to add more options in the menu like a salad or fish selection for the diet conscious. Hot soup would also be nice, especially for those who feel they've had too much to drink already. They definitely need to amp-up their food game considering it is a place guests have to go out of their way to visit.

That being said, the panoramic view of the city lights twinkling like little fireflies, and the relaxing vibe (in the coffee shop) away from the bustle of downtown are enough to make me comeback.

Hugo Skye Lounge is located in Sierra del Oro, Indahag, Cagayan de Oro.

For inquiries, check their Facebook Page with the same name. Operating hours, as stated in the menu, are everyday—Monday to Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 27, 2017.

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