Friday, January 30, 2015

Domicillo in Tagaytay: A Room With A Perfect View

It was a five-day weekend, thanks to the visit of Pope Francis, my most favorite Pope of all time. I didn’t have any travel plans and was content to spend all those days getting my fitness regimen back on track and watching the Papal coverage on TV. But Anton of OurAwesomePlanet posted an entry on a new Budji-Layug-designed boutique hotel in Tagaytay called Domicillo. I am a fan of Budji, there were rooms available, Tagaytay was a quick drive, my friends were game to go, and the photos were beckoning me to come, and for all those reasons I went packing as expected.

Traffic flow was a breeze until we got to Nuvali where a fourth lane was starting to build in the two-lane road. We decided to make a U-turn before it was too late. For a moment I thought we would end up back in the metro but Mon suggested we try a different route recommended by Waze. The route got us to Domicillo in an hour or just a little over. Not bad!

We booked the Premier Lower Lake View room with a regular rate of P13,000+++ per night but currently at a discount to just a little over P9,000+++ while the hotel in on soft opening.

We were greeted by this view.

This bed spells vacation.

Other than the view and the bed and the cool concrete-and-wood interiors, this hotel rules in terms of location. It is a short walk to your sisigs and frapuccinos but is tucked further down from the road so that you can gaze at Taal from your balcony in utter peace and quiet.

For lunch, we walked to nearby Villa Ibarra, which offered its own enviable view of Taal – framed by white lace curtains and yellow blooms. It was lovely.

Villa Ibarra
Also near Domicillo is Qi Wellness where we booked massages upon sight of this. Imagine sliding into that Jacuzzi during magic hour. Unfortunately, we didn’t pack our swimsuits because it had been drizzling when we left Manila and our massages were scheduled at night. But we got the repose that we needed, and enough energy to drive to Army Navy for dinner and haul a few bottles of beer and vodka tonic from 7-11 for our nightcap.

The view from Qi Wellness

We were greeted by a downpour the next day, which made it difficult to get out of bed. I managed to drag myself to the deck for breakfast where the  staff prepared our food from a makeshift kitchen (the restaurant was still under construction). The bangus was worth getting up for. It also drove me straight back to bed for a nap before checkout time.

We thoroughly enjoyed our overnight stay at Domicillo. There were some hiccups as should be expected but nothing that cannot be addressed with proper training and some attention to detail. Here’s to name a few:

1. Make practical information available in the room. This includes how to adjust the shower temperature, what time breakfast is served, how to make local and international calls, a map of nearby establishments, etc.

2. At least for the most expensive rooms, supply robes, hangers, hairdryer, extra glasses and cups, and, if possible, a coffee maker. I loved that there were plenty of fluffy towels in the bathroom.

3. Provide turn down service with some niceties.

4. Make space for a cozy nook inside the room where guests can enjoy their breakfast and read a good book.

That said, Domicillo has the makings of a place I would love to visit again.

Domicillo Boutique Hotel, Km 58 General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City Telephone: +6346 413-3552, Mobile: +63922 884-1532

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