Tagaytay is Still the Weekend Retreat of Choice for Manileños

With its spectacular scenery and temperate climate, Tagaytay offers urban dwellers a slice of probinsiya life

After enduring almost a year of government-mandated social restrictions and lockdowns, it’s no surprise that many urbanites are looking to head far from the madding crowd and into wide and open spaces close to nature.

The city of Tagaytay, located about a two-hour drive from downtown Manila, offers exactly that – scenic beauty and a relaxed environment for city dwellers who are desperate for some much-needed downtime. In fact, now is the perfect time to plan for a weekend getaway as the weather in Tagaytay has been markedly cooler since December and the breezy conditions are reported to last till February. Read on for five other compelling reasons to put Tagaytay at the top of your list.

An abundance of natural scenery

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A view of Taal volcano from the tallest Ferris wheel in The Philippines. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Tagaytay is probably the best place to view the very active but also very picturesque Taal Volcano. While Taal used to attract droves of tourists because of its beautiful crater lake, trips on the volcano itself are currently canceled due to an eruption in January 2020. However, you can still admire its beauty from lookout points such as People’s Park in the Sky, which is the highest point in Tagaytay; or Picnic Grove, an elevated patch of green where you can enjoy a meal, a spot of horseback riding and even zip-lining.

Top-notch accommodation options  

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Spacious, well-appointed rooms at Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay

 

For a truly pampering weekend, look no further than Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay, an all-inclusive family-friendly resort that offers a home away from home. Each of the 34 spacious rooms are tastefully decorated with contemporary fittings and the entire hotel is surrounded by verdant tropical gardens that add to the serene atmosphere. As you stroll their sprawling garden, take comfort in immersing yourself in nature, tuning in to birdsong and letting yourself bathe in the beauty of the lush greenery. Because of the wide and spacious grounds, the hotel never feels crowded, which allows you to better appreciate the peacefulness of the area.

 

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Stroll the beautiful grounds of Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay

 

To further put the tensions of the work week behind you, check yourself into the spa or simply relax by the tranquil poolside. Shaded by leafy trees, the pool is the perfect place to kick back with your book and a drink (or two). You don’t have to venture far for meals either as the hotel’s on-site restaurant, The Blue Room, serves a wide variety of Filipino and international favorites.

 

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Tuck into delicious meals at The Blue Room

 

With its beautiful setting and stellar facilities, it’s no wonder Hillcreek Gardens is not just a popular option for staycationers but also for couples looking to tie the knot. There is an on-site chapel for the wedding service and the hotel’s fairytale garden – complete with stone sculptures, Victorian-style gazebos and a gently curving bridge – offers an ideal backdrop for photo shoots.

 

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The hotel has its own on-site chapel that is perfect for wedding ceremonies

 

Apart from weddings, the hotel also plays host to other special occasions such as family reunions, birthdays and more. Whatever your reason for making the trek to Tagaytay, the warm and attentive service at Hillcreek Gardens will make you glad you came.

 

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The large and beautiful pool at Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay

Fun-filled attractions for the whole family

If you muster the willpower to leave the comfort of your hotel room, make your way to the Sky Ranch Theme Park, where you can take the Sky Eye – “the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Philippines” – and admire panoramic views of Taal Lake. You can also pop over to Puzzle Mansion, where you can view the world’s largest collection of jigsaw puzzles, or Paradizoo, a 10-hectare park that is home to many farm animals and even a few camels.

A mouth-watering array of food 

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Bulalo is a Tagatay specialty. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Tagaytay is known for the hearty, warming bulalo — made extra delicious here with famous Batangas beef and vegetables — but that’s not all the city has to offer. Feast on other local specialties such as thick lomi noodle soup and buko pie. For good food and picturesque views of the Taal volcano, stop for lunch at the many restaurants and eateries located along the Emilio Aguinaldo Highway.

Easy accessibility 

If you’re traveling by car or taxi, take the South Luzon Highway, which will take you from Manila to Tagaytay in just under two hours. For those on a budget, consider taking a bus instead. From the Araneta Bus Port, hop on a bus bound for Nasugbu, Batangas; just make sure there is a Tagaytay signboard on the bus windshield. Alternatively, from the San Agustin bus terminal (opposite Farmer’s Plaza), you can ride a bus bound for Nasugbu or Calatagan on the south-bound lane. Before embarking on your journey, check with the driver to make sure the bus will directly pass Tagaytay.

This article is published in partnership with Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay

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