Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The resort's Vista Maria for special events
Poolside lunch of Sisig Carbonara and Mango Shake

Voracious readers of near-Metro Manila getaway updates can find it useful to know that just an hour or so away from the Philippine capital is a Calamba destination that has been in operation for more than two decades. Known by patrons as Dona Jovita Garden Resort, the place is the only natural garden-oriented resort in the city of Laguna as it’s highly vegetated with a variety of age-old trees (including a massive, hundred year-old Kapok Tree) and ornamental plants.

My booked Mediterranean Escape's bedroom with bathtub
The Mediterranean Escape rooms and lower lanai with exclusive pool
Dinner of Bagnet Kare-kare and Fried Chicken with Pinakbet

Resort Roots and Getting There

Named after the grandmother of one of the owners, the family-run business has its members tracing their roots to Jose Rizal, hence, the name of one of its highly sought-after special events venue called Patio Intramuros. The ambiance can disarm any guest with the toxicity of urban life as it's nestled near Mount Makiling. It also has ample parking space for guests that have private vehicles. Couples and solo travelers who opt to commute to the resort can take the HM Bus (with a terminal in Cubao) and bear the roughly 3-hour trip from Metro Manila.

"The ambiance can disarm any guest with the toxicity of urban life as it's nestled near Mount Makiling."

Snacking on Bacon & Egg Sandwich (with fries) and Buko Shake during a quick dip

"Almost majority of the total 2.5 hectare has been developed for commercial use."

Pools and Advocacy

Located between Pansol and Cabuyao, Calamba’s Dona Jovita Garden Resort has a total of 9 swimming pools (1 hot spring, 7 pools at the Garden Getaway premises, and 1 pool for the exclusive use of its Mediter-
ranean Escape guests) and whirlpool rental next to its Cottage Rooms. Almost majority of the total 2.5 hectare has been developed for commercial use. It even has a football field where the resort owner’s selected indigents get to play in selected times as part of the former’s personal advocacy to keep poor kids off the streets.

Patio Intramuros for large special events
The modern Aurora Suites
A non-air-conditioned Cottage Room
The Elisa Hall for intimate special seminars and conferences


The whole resort has a pleasant view of Mount Makiling and has numerous picnic huts. There is no shortage of relaxing spots and amenities to experience that range from a zip line ride (P50), rappelling, a kid-favorite pony ride to a soothing P500-worth massage service. It even has a grotto and Station of The Cross with the latter’s edge resting on a hilltop view of the Laguna De Bay.

Mediterranean Escape

I booked myself at its hotel-type accommodation called Mediterranean Escape which has a total of available 6 rooms for guests (some with bathtub and mini-refrigerator). My two-night stay was comfortable indoors as my booked room has a bathtub that’s just next to the bed. I also had an exclusive access to swim at its lukewarm pool and a poolside lanai that has internet connection. The poolside even has a grilling station and a traditional pugon for guests that choose to bring fresh food with them to cook on site.

The air-conditioned Elisa Rooms

"Big groups who are eyeing a specific budget can opt for the resort’s Dormitory Rooms."

Dormitory Choices

Big groups who are eyeing a specific budget can opt for the resort’s Dormitory Rooms. One dorm actually has 12 double-deck beds that can accommodate up to 24 guests. The spacious room is air-conditioned and has cable TV and a couple of bathrooms. Another dorm has a set of double-deck beds that can accommodate up to 12 guests with air-conditioning, cable TV, and a couple of bathrooms. Both dorms have access to a lanai and a pool table for recreational activities. For those who have rustic taste, the non-air-conditioned Cottage Room can work as it can accommodate large number of guests for a decent rate.

A football field at the resort
Breakfast meals of Tapsilog and 2-piece Pancake
The resort's Polo Room for large seminars and conferences
(top) The biggest Mediterranean Escape room; (bottom) Dormitory Room

Modern Alternatives

The more recently developed accom-
modation at the resort is called the Aurora Suites. It looks modern and the whole villa has a living room, bedroom, terrace and patio that can accommodate up to 24 guests. It can even be exclusively booked along with access to picnic huts and a swimming pool.

Another modern accommodation is the set of Aurora Rooms. Smaller number of guests can opt for this type of luxurious space as each is already air-conditioned and has cable TV.

Special Events Place

For the past few years, patrons of the resort have also known it to be a wonderful special events place that can whip up delicious food. Its Polo Room is one such function hall for big seminars and conferences that can be divided into cubicles. For smaller seminars and conferences, the Elisa Hall is a good fit. As for weddings, graduations, reunions and other special occasions, the old world charm of Patio Intramuros is favorable. The bride and groom can actually ride the resort’s horse-drawn carriage from the entrance all the way to the actual venue that can accommodate up to 500 guests. Vista Maria is an alternative for similar special events that can accommodate from 250 to 400 guests.

Topnotch Food

Patrons also know the food at the resort to be remarkable. For lunch, I had a plate of the inventive Sisig Carbonara and Bagnet Kare-Kare (with topnotch alamang). For dinner, I had Lechon Kawali and Pinakbet. Snacking for merienda over a Bacon and Egg Sandwich (with fries) was also excellent as I had mine at the poolside during a late afternoon dip. For those on a culinary quest, the presence of the young Chef John Vallejo at the kitchen can be a source of gustatory contentment, plus the fact that most basic herbs and spices are obtained from the resort's organic farm.

Calamba, as a swimming pool destination, is a must-visit in the Philippines. With Dona Jovita Garden Resort setting high standards for a relaxing escapade, the experience can be memorable and natural. Make your next essential getawat in this side of Laguna. You won’t regret it.

Dona Jovita Garden Resort

Address: Km. 57 National Highway, Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines 4027
Phone: 0999-995-3053 or 0917-584-8441 or 0932-864-1249
Email: reservations.

More Photos Below:

The resort's Patio Intramuros for large special events
With the resort's Chef John (left)
The resort's tree house
One of several pools inside the resort
The Station of The Cross at the resort

The hilltop view of Laguna De Bay at the resort's grotto
The resort's Front Desk and souvenir shop


  1. The staff here is actually competent and friendly, unlike other places with their pretentious staff guys. The place was magnificent and modern, and the seating was comfy. Truly, the food at party venues Houston TX was heavenly and as a visitor I am glad for finding this one.


Got anything to add to my post or want to express your thoughts about it? Comment away!

Book Now

Check out the Turista Trails E-Zine Issues 1, 2 and 3

Check out the Turista Trails E-Zine Issues 1, 2 and 3

Thanks for visiting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Partner With Us

Partner With Us

More About Turista Trails