Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's rare to find a near-Metro Manila getaway that really defines a venue fitting of an urban escape. Accessibility is just one of its facets. The destination also has to disarm a guest of one's inhibitions to the point that a Wi-Fi access or Netflix subscription is something that can be set aside for a day or two. In Antipolo City, a cluster of such attractions are giving local and foreign tourists a variety of reasons to schedule those quick romantic retreats, company team buildings, and family excursions.

Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa, Loreland Farm Resort and Camp Tipolo Adventureland are three properties that make this spot in Rizal worth the one-hour drive or commute from Metro Manila. Before heading to a more remote destination in the Philippines, most foreign backpackers can also find it as a satisfying layover from the nearest airport in Pasay City which is just a couple of hours via C5.

The charming Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa
Hinulugang Taktak Falls in Antipolo City
Casa Corazon of Loreland Farm Resort
The scenery at Camp Tipolo Adventureland

Located at the foot of the Sierra Madre, all three brands stand next to each other. Residents of Antipolo City consider Loreland Farm Resort an institution when it comes to local outings since it started operation in 1996. Its cliffside was soon developed into a charming resort spa called Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa and has since become a reputable wellness facility and special events place. As for Camp Tipolo Adventureland, it's been attracting a lot of team building events and group reunions since it first opened. Anywhere you go here, you're bound to see a lot of trees in different shapes and sizes.

Beyond the cluster of destinations, Antipolo has other attractions to offer from its homegrown restaurants, the Antipolo Cathedral to its massive waterfalls called Hinulugang Taktak which can be found in the city's national park. The province of Rizal also has a lot to offer an intrepid tourist who wants to explore the terrain while booked at any of the aforementioned properties. Simply book a tour with Bienvenido Travel and Tours and the adventure can be arranged with ease. See its contact information at the end of this article.

Jacuzzi soak with fellow travelers at Luljetta's Place
Boodle Fight at Camp Tipolo Adventureland
A view of the three properties in Antipolo City
Just how distinct Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens SpaLoreland Farm Resort and Camp Tipolo Adventureland are from each other? Each is definitely unique and can appeal to a select type of traveler who's out of Metro Manila's range for a purpose. Check out how:

1. Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa

Going to a spa in a congested city normally happens at high-end facilities and for an expensive cost. A guest may feel robbed of his hard-earned money but he's willing to trade it for the elusive rejuvenation that his tired mind and body demand.

At Luljetta's Place, though, the high-end facility is not an opulently decorated building that has no windows. The rejuvenating result is the same and, perhaps, even more meaningful because the venue is the well-manicured cliffside of a mountain resort, just next to Loreland, where the view of the Laguna de Bay is enthralling and the rest of the Sierra Madre is relaxing.

The infinity pool with the enthralling view of Laguna De Bay
A relaxing spot at Luljetta's Place
One of the swimming pools at Luljetta's Place
Fish Spa; Photography by Jherson Jaya of
Surrounded By Nature

You'll know you're in the right place for a massage, fish spa or afternoon soak when similar facilities in toxic Metro Manila mimic how nature designs its entirety all-year round. If back in your area of daily grind a spa always felt like a tour of a haunted mansion, Luljetta's Place is anything but. With several trees, plants and flowers surrounding its spa amenities at a cliff of Brgy. San Roque, you will certainly imbibe the natural healing process of having a massage where it matters -- in the company of nature.

Antipolo's Best Suman at Luljetta's Cafe
The spectacular view from Luljetta's Cafe
Luljetta's Cafe

Guests can also enjoy snacks at Luljetta's Cafe, its affiliate F&B where a dining view is quite romantic any time of the day. Make sure to order the special suman for tasting topnotch what with its cashew nuts, bits of ripe mango and coconut sauce. Pair the delicious snack with a hot cup of coffee and you're set for the afternoon.


The property also has various accommodations for overnight stays via its Garden Suites.

The facade of the Mykonos accommodation
Inside the Mykonos accommodation
Our booked room
Friends lounging at Luljetta's Place Garden Suites
As I've recently tested staying there with a group of friends, our booked rooms were well-appointed with no-frills features like air conditioning, flat screen TV, plush bed and bedding, bathroom essentials and complimentary mineral water. It even has extra features like a coffee and tea-making facility, bathrobes and extra pillows!

The newly-opened accommodation called Mykonos is definitely something that I'll try with my relatives soon. The design is Greek-inspired and it has an exclusive access to its own pool.

The variety of swimming pools at Luljetta's Place
Experiencing the Signature Massage at the spa before dinner
One of the several pools at Luljetta's Place
The way to the Jacuzzi and sauna
Room Rate Inclusions

Room rates are inclusive of access to the spa facility for five hours with snacks and additional access to Loreland Farm Resort but without a signature massage. To experience the latter, a guest simply has to request for one for a specific add-on cost of Php750 (massage good for one hour).

Fish Spa
Massage Hut
A couple relaxing at Luljetta's Place
The view of the Jacuzzi from the sauna
During our stay, our group tried the massage which is a combination of Thai (stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques), Shiatsu (applying pressure using thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet) and Swedish (muscle-kneading with long gliding strokes). We also had fun having a Jacuzzi soak after trying the newly-installed sauna. Along the way, we stopped for some relaxing moments at the fish spa and had a quick dip at the infinity pool.

2. Loreland Farm Resort

Since my booked room at Luljetta's Place allowed for an additional access of Loreland Farm resort, I had the chance to take a stroll at this neighboring property which is considered as a hospitality institution in Antipolo.

Nostalgic Treat

Having visited it countless of times in the late '90s as a teenager, I know how far the resort has gone in terms of maintenance and improvements. My early morning walk of the place was a nostalgic treat for me as it let me remember old memories with high school friends at the pool, its restaurant called Verde, the secluded chapel and its many cottages. I distinctly remember staying at one of its long-gone cliffside lodging and waking up to a foggy morning in this side of Rizal with a hot cup of choco in one hand.

New Favorites

My new favorite part of this farm resort is the Casa Corazon for being next to an age-old tree and the dreamy Loreland Villa which has its own exclusive cliff-side swimming pool. I also loved the addition of a more decent playground for kids, especially since a lot of those who check-in at Loreland are families with children.

3. Camp Tipolo Adventureland

Our group also tried visiting the nearby adventure grounds called Camp Tipolo Adventureland where most team building sessions are booked. Located within the 12-hectare property of Loreland Farm Resort, the camp exists to inspire visitors with team spirit ideals and extreme love for nature. The way to it alone is enough to pump one's adrenaline because the long and winding path down can be a workout on its own.

Camp Landscape

The camp's landscape is teeming with lush greenery and cleverly designed with pockets of challenge-oriented obstacles like the Lagoon (Tight Rope, Balancing Log, Tarzan Jump and Mud Crawl), Low Ropes Course (Tight Rope, Monkey Bars and Spider Web), Low Ropes Extreme (Bossom Bridge and U-Bridge) and Mud Slide.

Half-Day or Full-Day Team Building

The whole property is perfect for a full-day team building. Since it's just an hour away from Metro Manila, it can also work for a half-day session or even a conference break venue where getting playful and rugged is necessary. It has a team of event designers to tailor-make a program of activities for any type of client regardless of the size of participants.

Package Inclusions

Its Pure Team Building Package has specific rates for corporate and student clients. However, both sub-packages are inclusive of meals (AM Snacks, Lunch and PM Snacks), vanity kit for participants, a facilitator and the use of the facilities. The other package -- Team Building + Swimming -- has all the similar inclusions but with the additional access to the resort's swimming pools and cottages.

Antipolo City may well be like that interesting sight that falls off the disc of your view. It's nowhere next to you but it's attractive. And once you find out that it's within your reach, you can't stop gazing at it until you finally get hold of it and see it up close.

Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa
More about Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa
Spa Operating Hours 
Monday-Friday and Sunday: 10:00am-9:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-11:00pm

Book Thru Bienvenido Travel and Tours
Official website of Bienvenido Travel and Tours
More about Loreland Farm Resort
More about Camp Tipolo Adventureland
Address: Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City, Rizal, Philippines
Phone: (02) 570-2532, (02) 695-1965
Mobile: 0917-544-4432, 0928-627-8897

Bienvenido Travel and Tours at the The 28th Philippine Travel Mart

For more info about its tours, visit the booth of Bienvenido Travel and Tours at the upcoming 28th Philippine Travel Mart on September 1-3, 2017 at Halls 1 to 4 of the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City!

More Photos Below:

The view from Luljetta's Cafe
Buffet breakfast at Luljetta's Place
A special events venue at Luljetta's Place
To see this waterfalls in Antipolo City, book a tour with Bienvenido Travel and Tours.
The compelling view of Metro Manila from Antipolo City


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