Tagaytay City, about 60 km. from Manila, is near enough for a day trip. But experiencing the cool weather at night requires an overnight stay. There are lots of hotels in the area, some on the ridge, others on the opposite side of Aguinaldo Highway, but if you want space and privacy, there are houses for rent. We stayed in one (the owners rent it out; click here for the contact info) right on the ridge and overlooking Taal Lake and volcano.
Did I say cool weather — in the tropics? Tagaytay sits 640 m (2,100 ft) above sea level so, yes, the weather is much cooler than what we get in the lowlands. This summer, though, Tagaytay was not left unscathed by the scorching heat brought about by the El Niño phenomenon. It was humid and, had it not rained while we were there, the three-day stay wouldn’t have been a respite at all. We didn’t get to do all that we planned to but, all in all, it was a lovely three-day weekend except for one disastrous dinner. But that’s another story. Right now, let me show you where we stayed.
The house is on Mariposa, the road next to Taaleña Restaurant if you’re coming from the direction of the rotunda.
It has a huge garden… That’s Alex taking photos.
The driveway is bordered by flowers…
The edge facing Taal Lake is fenced and it is from there that you can get the best view of the ever changing moods of Taal Volcano. The sides of the property are bordered by fruit trees.
There… if you’re standing by the edge, that’s the breathtaking view that you get. Unobstructed. And you don’t have to jostle with other sightseers to get good photos or to simply drink in the view.
That’s the house from the opposite end of the ledge.
The lowest level is one undivided room with sofa beds and a bathroom. We didn’t use it since there were only four of us.
The main level is where the living area, dining area, kitchen and bedroom are. The kitchen is fully equipped — fridge, rice cooker, microwave oven, cooking range (with an oven), coffee maker, bottled water in a hot/cold dispenser… and there are cooking utensils, plates, flatware… It’s a fully functional kitchen, in other words.
Another view of the main level. The door to the bedroom is open. Beside it is a bathroom.
Upstairs is a loft which can sleep six persons comfortably.
There is satellite TV (Cignal HD) and the kids wasted no time locating the Disney Channel (our satellite TV service at home does not carry the Disney channel).
At night, when the lights are on, the view of the house from the garden is magnificent.
A view of the garden from the main floor deck.
I would have taken more night photos but it was wet outside because it rained most of the afternoon.
So, we stayed indoors…
… and opened a bottle of wine.
Alex went online to check the schedule of the Tony Awards show (unbelievable, Sun signal was strong).
The next morning, Speedy and I had an early breakfast while the girls slept on.
And we took more photos. That’s the view of Taal Lake and volcano from the main floor deck. Imagine having coffee while gazing at such magnificence.
If you want to rent the house, click here for the contact info. Please don’t ask me about prices anymore. We stayed there for free because the owners love me hehehe. Kidding, I have a cousin whose husband’s family owns the property. We’ve been there many times before. We even spent a night there once before the house was built. There were more of us then. My cousin and her family, my brother and his family, and us. We flew kites in the afternoon (yes, in that same garden). In the evening, we grilled fish and chicken and meat, and had a swell al fresco dinner. Then, we put up tents, got drunk on tequila, then it rained all night and… never mind.
So, I don’t know how much an overnight stay costs. You can just contact the owners for the details. Suffice to say that it’s lovely there and it’s the perfect solution for people like us who like our privacy and who don’t like large crowds.