Truth is, my family is maarte (picky) when it comes to choosing where to stay in Tagaytay. Our motto is, if you can’t enjoy the view, then there’s no point in staying. I know that some families prefer renting out cheaper apartment rooms, or inns that are on the "wrong" side of the road. Logic says they can just go to the many view points to see the lake. I’m not against that, especially for frugality’s sake. But as a family, we do not like zipping about. We actually enjoy just chilling out in our room and basking in the splendor of Taal Volcano and Binintiang Malaki.
Alright, short geography quiz. In this photo, which is Taal Volcano?
If you were like me in high school, I used to believe it was that small crater in front. ALL of our geography books just features that one, don’t they? But it turns out, that is Binintiang Malaki. The latter is just one of the cones of the volcano, which was formed in during one of its eruptions. The actual Taal Volcano is that gentle slope just behind Binintiang Malaki. IF you search Google for a top view image, then you will see that is where the crater lake is, and a small island called Vulcan Point. Taal volcano is considered dangerous since it is an active volcano. That’s why we like keeping our distance. Haha!
These are our favorite lovely stays in Tagaytay with the best view of the volcano and the lake:
The Carmelence View
The Carmelence View is actually a house converted into a boutique inn. You could easily miss it from the highway since they only have a miniscule sign on their wide wooden gates. It’s a place deliberately avoiding your scrutiny. We only heard about it from a family friend, who rented a room there after hearing about it from a family friend. However, we easily found it on Booking.com, once we knew it was there to be found. We like it because their family room could easily sleep 6 people, the bathroom is huge, it’s quiet and it has a huge veranda with a picnic table on it that has this jaw-dropping, mind-blowing up-close view of the lake:
Also, their breakfast is free and delicious! Dylan loves this place because he can safely run around the veranda, there is lots of space, the whole area catches the perfect breeze. We love it because it’s a stone’s throw away from Robinson’s Supermarket, restaurants and a Starbucks, and we could just buy our food and enjoy it, feet up, without the hassle of a crowd. An overnight stay at the Carmelence View is still my family’s favorite way of enjoying Tagaytay. The Family Suite costs Php 10,000/night with inclusion of breakfast for up to 6 pax. They also have a newer Jacuzzi suite, which could sleep 4 cozily and a new spanking Jacuzzi overlooking the lake. That rooms costs Php 8,000/night if I remember correctly. Not bad given that a night’s rent at nearby Taal Vista could easily cost upward of Php 8,00 for 2 pax only (and breakfast for 2 only as well)
The Lake Hotel
I included The Lake Hotel here because I like it better than Taal Vista. We have stayed here a couple of times when we want a good view of the lake, but the Carmelence View is rented out, and we can’t stomach shelling out the same amount of money for a dank lower ground room at Taal Vista. The great thing about the Lake Hotel is that all rooms open out to the lake. So even if you get stuck in a lower floor, you could still get some views. They also have nice lounge chairs outside when you want to get some sun. The food is midling, but acceptable fare for a family. I wouldn’t dish out the money here for a big dinner though. Not when there are so many great restaurants a couple of meters walk outside.
This here is the new kid on the block, and though we haven’t stayed here yet (we have been trying but it’s always full on days we are interested to go!!!). But we have seen the view and it’s nice as well. Plus the Infinity Pool looks like it would be a great place for photo ops. Don’t worry, the next time we luck out, I will definitely blog about it. For now, it’s on this list because I am highly intrigued by it. :D
No Lake View but Nice
The next two lodges do not have lake views, but when the weather is nice and cool (think sometime December – January), not having a view may be acceptable. We have tried staying at these two lodges and not only are they affordable, they are also charming as heck.
As the word suggests, this lodging boasts of being eco-friendly and minimalist. You will see it in the decorative details, as well as the use of space in their rooms. It’s miniscule, but in a cute way. It's actually on the ridge facing the lake, but you would have to go way up to the top floor to see any view. It will do for those days when you just want to catch a cool breeze, and then stay somewhere clean and cozy and cool. It helps that it is in front of Ayala Malls Serin, so you won’t be short of things to do. Also, they have a cute dog as part of the reception-crew, which is always funny.
This is our favorite cheap-stay for amazing value in Tagaytay. No lake view, under a telephone tower, beside a busy Robinsons Supermarket, but it somehow has the best breeze in the whole area. It helps that there is a large charming garden outside! The rooms are modern, bright, clean and well-appointed. The mini-bar is free. Our fave room has a big picnic table outside for when you want to eat outside and enjoy the breeze. Our last stay here, our room just cost us Php 3,500 but we enjoyed it immensely. Perfect for lounging around eating all those take-out food from all those restaurants you went on your food trip for the day.
It reminds me a bit of those houses we saw in Switzerland, but more colorful. It is owned by the same family who owns Carmelence View above, and the property is just across the street from each other. This is the economical version. An unlikely beauty.
Seriously, I want to go back to Tagaytay and just escape from the drudgeries of city living, like, right now. But I guess the beauty of a place like this is that it gives you a place to rest and recuperate and be with family just for a while. Something that will definitely help you face a dozen Mondays waiting for you when you get back to the Metro. I don’t think I will ever bore of going here. At the end of the day, we’ve had lifetimes and generations of good memories here that will never fade, even if Tagaytay itself is changing through the years.
So see you there next long weekend? Ha!
Smell ya later,