Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The province of Rizal is blessed to have stunning vistas of the Sierra Madre and Laguna De Bay in specific locations. Where there's such a view, you can expect a hotel or resort operating nearby. Even a few vacation rentals have also opened in the area.

With its close proximity to Metro Manila, the area has become sought-after for quick getaways that are truly attainable. This means that you don't need to justify a two-day vacation leave to your boss and then book a plane just to reach your desired destination. That's just too much work for someone who's evading the office in the first place.

Thanks to the booming hospitality scene in this side of mainland Luzon, you only need a short road trip from the metro to recharge and relax. Some even prefer the amusing commute to have a genuine whiff of the local scenery and make necessary stopovers in tourists spots like the Pinto Art Museum, Hinulugang Taktak Falls or Regina Rica.

The province used to cover the old town of Pasig which is now a full-fledged city and I happen to be a resident of the latter which makes visiting the former an endearing experience for me every single time. My countless revisits as a travel blogger for the past five years have enabled me to compile a list of hotels and resorts that I can recommend for Metro Manila vacationers and those on layover in Manila. This is because Rizal is no longer a place that one can easily ignore. It has become both a meaningful stopover and weekend destination to most tourists.

Check out this list of essential lodgings to book for your next visit of Rizal:

1. Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Cliff-side pools and topnotch spa (massage, fish spa, Jacuzzi and sauna)

The infinity pool of Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa
The fish spa
Trying out the Jacuzzi with fellow travel bloggers
Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa is popular among wellness aficionados for its well-manicured cliff-side facilities where the view of the Laguna de Bay is enthralling and the rest of the Sierra Madre is relaxing. With several trees, plants and flowers surrounding its spa amenities at a cliff of Brgy. San Roque, it will certainly let you imbibe the natural healing process of having a massage by an expert masseuse where it matters -- in the company of nature. The property has various accommodations for overnight stays via its Garden Suites. Guests can also enjoy delicious meals at Luljetta's Cafe, its affiliate F&B facility where a dining view is quite romantic any time of the day.

Book a room.

Read more about Luljetta's Place Hanging Gardens Spa.

2. Momarco Resort
Location: Tanay
Essential Feature: Secluded Casitas and regular sightings of rainbows in odd hours of the day

There's almost always a rainbow at Momarco Resort
The hotel and front desk of the resort
Momarco Resort is a secluded destination in Tanay where nature lovers can truly be at home because of the variety of age-old trees that dot the property. Its most attractive lodging is the set of modern Casitas that are located at the far stretch of the resort. Equipped with the basic guestroom features like a bathroom, flat screen TV, plush bed and air-conditioning, each Casita also has expansive windows that let the natural light in during the day. It also has a hotel that's located right above the property's F&B facility and front desk. Its charm goes beyond its obvious banner amenities. A close inspection during my stay enabled me to see a tennis and basketball court, a mini-zoo and koi pond, an indoor sports hall for billiards, table tennis and darts, plus an events place. It’s definitely ideal for recreational activities by large groups or as a romantic getaway by couples.

Read more about Momarco Resort.

3. Mount Purro Nature Reserve
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Native-inspired lodgings and tree-draped grounds

The rustic cottages of Mount Purro Nature Reserve
The swimming pool for guests; Photography by Aubrey Gacer
The inspirational Loft Cabin
Mount Purro Nature Reserve has been getting rave reviews from both mainstream and hardcore nature-lovin' tourists because of its well-rounded approach to maintaining a secluded getaway. It's both attractive and nurturing at the same time for having unique facilities that's worth one's hard-earned money and employing locals and Dumagat natives as part of its staff for a meaningful stay. The rustic lodgings are native-inspired but impressively constructed with the careful consideration for preserving the Filipino way of life. Most of all, farm-to-table dishes at its restaurant -- Loli's Kitchen at The Mess Hall -- are delicious and healthy. The owners have managed to pull off not paving the property grounds with cement and opted to keep them well-trodden and manicured with rocks that can be found in the area for that full-on natural look. If there's a resort with a local vibe that's authentic enough to impress foreign tourists, it's this one!

Read more about Mount Purro Nature Reserve.

4. Punta De Fabian
Location: Baras
Essential Feature: Cliff-side infinity pool overlooking Laguna De Bay

Sunrise at the infinity pool of Punta De Fabian
A guestroom at the resort that has a viewing deck of the Laguna De Bay
The scenic view of Laguna De Bay from the resort
This hilltop resort in rural Baras is nothing that you'd notice from the nearby road where a local community can be found. Once you're past Punta De Fabian's gates and its steep driveway to the resort's front desk, you will still not appreciate that you're at a high elevation with stunning views of the surroundings. It's only when you walk further all the way to the infinity pool or to your booked room's viewing deck when you can truly be astounded by the location of the resort. Should you book for an overnight stay, it has its own F&B facility for sumptuous meals.

Read more about Punta De Fabian.

5. Sierra Madre Resort
Location: Tanay
Essential Feature: Viewing decks next to pine trees, overlooking the Sierra Madre

The view of the Sierra Madre
Pine trees everywhere
The viewing deck here is also a dining deck
You can overlook the dated guestroom design and garden ornaments at this highland resort that's located along the winding part of Marcos Highway. Beyond the obvious mediocre elements of the property, Sierra Madre Resort is sought-after for its location where expansive mountain views can be had. What's more, there are a lot of pine trees to see and you don't have to go to as far as Tagaytay or Baguio for such views. The place is actually a favorite snack stopover by riders of motorcycles and bicycles. Should you decide to commute to reach it, make sure to be patient leaving the place because jeepney rides tend to pass by the property only every 15 minutes which is the standard waiting time in the area.

Read more about Sierra Madre Resort.

6. Cafe Lupe Hostel & Restaurant
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Viewing deck overlooking the metro for spectacular sunsets

The best guestroom at the hostel because it has its own viewing deck
The stunning sunset view of nearby Metro Manila from the hostel and restaurant
The cozy restaurant of the property
Just an hour away from Quezon City, up the hillside of Antipolo City's long and winding Sumulong Highway in Barangay Mambugan, Cafe Lupe Hostel & Restaurant continues to attract party-goers, nightlife-lovin' professionals, and foodies who love Mexican and Ilonggo cuisines. This getaway is a dining destination, budget hotel, and party venue all in one. The location affords guests a stunning view of the Ortigas Center skyline at any time of the day and KTV rooms to belt out favorite tunes. They can also be entertained with live band performances on special nights over inventive dishes such as Kadyos and Inasal. Its restaurant's outdoor lounge is perfect for both romantic dates and solitary moments with a cold drink. By night time, those who may feel spent can check-in at OneA Building's bed and breakfast which has a hostel-type or communal ground floor to lounge in and hotel-quality rooms for restful sleep.

Book a room.

Read more about Cafe Lupe Hostel & Restaurant.

7. Lily Vacation Farm House
Location: Jala-jala
Essential Feature: Lakeside house in a farm that has views of Laguna de Bay and Mount Banahaw and for exclusive booking

Lily Vacation Farm House
Lily Vacation Farm House
Lily Vacation Farm House
Combining the unhurried ambiance of a farm and the natural views of a lake house, Lily Vacation Farm House succeeds in being an inventive vacation rental in the middle of what seems to be nowhere in the bucolic town of Jala-jala. If you haven't heard of the town itself, it's maybe because not much development has come out of it which is conducive for a terrific getaway. The tranquil scenery of the Laguna de Bay and the faint silhouette of the distant Mount Banahaw are probably enough to make you fall in love with the place. Then you find out that the property is decked with lots of trees in the right spots which is a big plus for an overnight vacation.

Read about Lily Vacation Farm House.

8. LeBlanc Hotel and Resort
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Exclusive resort amenities for special events

LeBlanc Hotel and Resort
LeBlanc Hotel and Resort
LeBlanc Hotel and Resort
LeBlanc Hotel and Resort just opened this mid-2017 and yet it's already creating enough buzz among vacationers and wedding suppliers who find its modern design appealing for overnight stays and special events. Its resort can be booked exclusively for parties as it has its own swimming pool, guestrooms and other amenities. It's just a stroll away from Robinsons Place Antipolo for shopping and dining and the natural attraction of Hinulugang Taktak Falls.

Book a room.

Read more about LeBlanc Hotel and Resort.

9. Loreland Farm Resort
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Family-friendly amenities

Some of the accommodations at Loreland Farm Resort
The restaurant of the resort
The various resort amenities
Loreland Farm Resort is a vacation institution in Antipolo City which is known to be replete with resorts in different forms and styles. With this kind of reputation, it has managed to sustain its brand among its patrons, most of whom are families with kids and large companies that regularly hold summer excursions. New guests can find the Casa Corazon attractive to book for being next to an age-old tree and the dreamy Loreland Villa which has its own exclusive cliff-side swimming pool. Young ones can expect to be amused at its playground and the variety of pools with slides.

Book a room.

Read more about Loreland Farm Resort.

10. Camp Tipolo
Location: Antipolo City
Essential Feature: Team building facilities surrounded by nature

Camp Tipolo grounds
With fellow travel bloggers for a team building session; Photography by Billy Palatino
Boodle Fight!
Located within the 12-hectare property of Loreland Farm Resort, Camp Tipolo is often booked for team building sessions. It 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. 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.

Read more about Camp Tipolo.

Special thanks to Bienvenido Tours
Book a getaway with Bienvenido Tours here.


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