a very relaxing place.........my husband and i tried the Magnolia Package (aromatherapy steam bath, foot spa, manicure and pedicure, Sonya’s Signature Massage) and all i can say is that the Sonya's signature massage is the best! they will also serve you a basil tea after the massage. i wanna stay here longer next time.
When in Tagaytay, a visit to Caleruega in nearby Nasugbu, Batangas (about 30 minutes drive) is worth the effort. Caleruega is a retreat camp established in 1995 by the dominicans. With its rustic Mexican-style buildings and beautifully landscaped gardens surrounded by naturally beautiful rolling hills and mountains, Caleruega is characterized by silence and solitude. It is now becoming a popular place for reatreats, recollections, seminars and weddings.
An entrance fee is charged for each day visitor but it was waived when we went there last Good Friday, March 21, 2008. The camp has cottages for rent with meals package. Visit their website for more details.
Note: The entrance to Caleruega is through the entrance gate of the exclusive Evercrest Golf Club Resort, Inc.
A beautiful fantasy-like castle prominently figures along the road at Lemery, Batangas, about 45 minutes from Tagaytay City proper (15 minutes from Caleruega). It's called Fantasy World and is open for members only.
The nearby attractions from Tagaytay would be the famous Villa Escudero, a famous coconut plantation converted into a very nice theme park and resort. This place is about 1-2 hours drive from Tagaytay depending on traffic, and full details are at my VT page on Quezon Province. Another good attraction is the famous Pagsanjan Waterfalls which I did not visit. This is about 3-4 hours drive away, where you will sit in traditional boats through the rapids of the Pagsanjan River before finally witnessing the impressive Pagsanjan Waterfalls.
The Grandview Complex is a small shopping area next to the traffic circle in Tagaytay. You can park for free there and take a look at the view from the balcony. The view is better on up the hill toward Starbucks and the Taal Vista Hotel, but it is not too shabby here either.
Taal Lake and Yacht Club has Hobie Cats, and Kayaks for rent. You can rent their Hobie 21 inclusive of the instructor who'll teach you sailing basics.
They have basic and intermediate lessons based on the US Sailing Association System and they teach one on one or in a group using Toppers and Hobie Cats.
Cabana - P350/ day
Hobie Cat - P1950/ day
Smaller boats - P800/day
Hobie 21 - max capacity 7pax - P3,800/day
Windsurfer - P600/day
Kayaks - P500/day (single) P600/day (tandem)
Contrary to what I previously thought, the volcano crater that's usually shown on promotional materials for Taal is not the active one.
Follow the trail as shown on the picture to get to the active crater and take a dip in the lake within the volcano.
A 15 min drive from Tagaytay on a steep road will lead you down to the lakeshore town of Talisay, Batangas.
So close to the mountain yet with a different feel down here where you're just a boat ride away from the famous volcano within a lake where there's a volcano with a lake within. Did I get that right? :-)
Talisay, Batangas is the jump off point for those who want an up close and personal look at Taal Volcano and volcano island.
We followed Philippine Star editor in chief, Ana Marie Pamintuan's advice and headed to San Roque Beach Resort where we experienced Filipino and Dutch hospitality in this cozy resort owned and managed by Lita and Leo Mercx.
Lita's son took us on the boat to take photos closer to volcano island but it was a bit late in the morning to go all around it and too hot to make the trek to the crater.
Taal lake is the best breeding ground for tilapia and an elusive fish called tawilis which the lake is known for.
Lunch, of course, was grilled, fresh tilapia and pochero (Batangas beef with a thick soup and fresh vegetables).
I thought of adding this tip under the "Restaurant" category but the place calls for special mention. For all the guys who really want to prove that they're the romantic type, take your special someone for a scrumptious lunch or dinner at the secluded Sonya's Garden. Don't just enjoy the food, but make sure you take in the beauty of the well-kept garden. Make it a point to visit the washrooms as well as it's an experience in itself.
As you come into Tagaytay, the road is lined with fruit and flower stands. The produce and flowers are locally grown.
Home of the tawilis, tilapia and other freshwater fish, Taal lake has fishing villages on the lakeshore and bamboo platforms with nets out on the lake.
Hire a boat from the shore of Talisay and go around volcano island or get off the island to trek to the volcano's crater.