The best trips are those you plan spontaneously, and it happened last Thursday when I received an invite to cover an authentic Japanese cafe and bistro in Domicillo Tagaytay.
I’ll be writing a separate article on Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro but for now, allow me to gush about Domicillo, the most sophisticated hotel I’ve ever encountered in Tagaytay. Situated along Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, it gives a breathtaking view of Taal and though we arrived on Thursday evening and there wasn’t much to see anymore, the stars were out and about—giving us the perfect opportunity to play with our cameras. The whole place was picture-perfect.
Domicillo Tagaytay is the brainchild of Rene Alcala. Every inch of the boutique hotel is well-designed and well-thought of, decked with pieces from the country’s best and most talented designers, namely Budji Layug, Royal Pineda, Tes Pasola, Milo Naval, Kenneth Cobonpue, Maricris Brias, Ann Pamintuan, and Eric Paras.
Our suite left me speechless—it had a contemporary-looking four-poster bed right in the middle, with fluffy white sheets that made it look extra inviting. Upon entering the room, there was a wooden sliding door that led to a modern, minimalist bathroom. We even had our very own balcony that overlooked Taal. Everything was complimentary, from the drinks inside the refrigerator to the massage, which we booked the following morning. I felt like a pampered princess. Our stay was great timing, because I was actually having a bad week and I needed to rest so bad. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to escape the city, forget about work, and just relax. The hotel’s character and ambiance definitely helped clear my mind.
We were assisted the whole time by the most gracious receptionist, Emman, who gave us a quick tour as soon as we arrived. It gave us a chance to really admire what Rene and his all-star cast put together. The hotel’s architectural plans were drawn by Budji Layug and his partner, Royal Pineda. It has several levels, which includes eight rooms, a common room where you can easily lounge and have drinks with friends, two restaurants, La Finca and Aozora, and a roof deck that boasts the best view of the Taal Lake and Volcano.
Our itinerary was pretty simple—we left Makati right after work on Thursday and took the Skyway. We anticipated heavy traffic due to the long weekend but to our surprise, our trip was faster than our usual trip getting home to Quezon City. We arrived in Domicillo at about 8:30 pm. After settling in our room, we headed up to Aozora to have some sushi, cold sake, and Japanese beer. I fell asleep early because I wanted to wake up in time for our complimentary breakfast in La Finca.
La Finca opened at about 7am, where I ordered pancakes and bacon. The Cupcake had their bacon and eggs. The servings were generous, and it was my first time to try crunchy bacon—the taste reminded me of chicharon bulaklak in a way. After breakfast, we enjoyed our complimentary massage in our room—all while watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
It was a bittersweet feeling packing up our bags right before lunch. I didn’t want to leave, and even had separation anxiety from our beautiful room. (Just kidding.) But really, I was so sad our stay had come to an end. Lunch in Aozora was delicious, as expected, but I’ll gush about that separately.
Once lunch was over, we admired the view one last time and said goodbye to the exquisite hotel that made me forget about life back in Manila. We made a side trip to the Puzzle Mansion (where you’ll find the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles), before heading home in time to watch Jurassic World with the Cupcake’s family.
Coconut Cream Pie: a must-try in Puzzle Mansion
So that was our experience in the most sophisticated hotel in Tagaytay! I will never forget the peace, quiet, and luxury it offered, which was exactly what the Cupcake and I needed. For inquiries, reservations, and bookings, you can call (046) 413 3552 or 0922 884 1532. You can also Like their Facebook page here.