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The One Place to Go

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[Photo of One Tagaytay Place pool]Summertime conjures images of white sand beaches and sun, but sand and surf isn't the only way to have fun. If you fancy going on a high-altitude adventure, head out to the breezy countryside of Tagaytay and book a room at One Tagaytay Place.

If placing 'One' in front of an establishment's name were a crime, then all the jail cells in the world wouldn't be enough.

It's definitely a crime to claim you're number one to anything. But it might be even worse not to, especially if you're offering one of the best services there in town.

Can this vindicate One Tagaytay Place, then? Simply, yes.

One Fine Day, One Great Place

Nestled on a slope behind a convenience store and a local bank, it's easy to miss One Tagaytay Place in Barangay Sungay in Tagaytay City. A five-star hotel in its own right, One Tagaytay Place boasts of world-class amenities and accommodations that will give your big city hotels a run for their money.

Overlooking verdant hills around the mouth of Taal Lake and the greenery of Laguna, One Tagaytay Place is not your run-of-the-mill transient home. Designed in the tradition of modern-day boutiques, the architectural design of the hotel is a brainchild of architect Jose Siao Ling of Jose Siao Ling and Associates, while the elegant interiors are by Joel Songsong of Songsong and Periquet.

Upon entering the lobby, you are welcomed by the amiable hotel staff, who are always more than helpful to assist you even if you're just asking for directions. The hotel offers round-the-clock service for all your needs, and employees are are always ready to assist with a warm smile.

Plush furniture and fixtures awaits you once you step inside the hotel. What sets One Tagaytay Place's interiors apart from your usual large-scale hotel, though, is the mix of hip and traditional themes.

The front desk area lit by giant electronic living room lamps with fist-sized crystal beads for a body, and perched atop the nacre-colored counter. The sofas in the lobby are upholstered with chocolate-brown fabric, and adorned with white, cotton-soft pillows.

The hotel lobby's cool palette is a mixture of subtle shades of brown and yellow. Pineapple yellow, that is, as One Tagaytay Place Sales and Marketing Director Odette Aguilar points out. She explains that the tint was inspired by the top produce of Tagaytay. Beige and white colors also used as accents to complement the natural beauty and windy, refreshing climate of Tagaytay, says Aguilar.

Carrying the tagline, “One Fine Day. One Great Place,” going back to your One Tagaytay Place room is a perfect way to end a long day of visiting local landmarks.

Providing an air of wellness and relaxation to the tired traveler, the hotel has a landscaped garden where guests can take a walk and feel the Tagaytay breeze brushing their skin. There is also a spa, and a medium-sized infinity pool if you feel like a leisurely swim.

A gustatory treat, meanwhile, awaits you at the hotel's Azalea restaurant. The hotel changes its menu every month to keep things exciting, according to One Tagaytay Place's resident chef Ron Manalo.

After dinner, you may want to chill out and grab a couple of drinks at the Tower Lounge Steakbar located on the third floor. Sweat out the calories after a night of partying by working out in the fitness gym, which is, ironically, found on the same floor.

The hotel also has a business center for corporate events, a ballroom for weddings and formal celebrations called the Aurora Grand Ballroom, as well as functions rooms named after Filipino historical figures Aguinaldo and Agoncillo and neighboring  towns Alfonso and Amadeo.

[Photo of One tagaytay Lobby]Come One, Come All

Catering to a wide market of families, friends, corporate clients, and balikbayans, the hotel started operations in November 2008, and was developed by Atlantica Realty Dev Corp.

Aguilar says it's always a busy time for the hotel on Wednesdays through Saturdays. On weekdays, the hotel hosts corporate affairs, serving as a venue for conferences, seminars, trainings, and other similar events.

The hotel takes pride in its penthouse suites, which, interestingly enough, are all named after some mystifying quality: Avant, Allure, Aura, Adore, and Ascend, targeting “the sophisticated,” “the hip,” “the oriental,” “the trendy,” and “the businessman on vacation.”

For big groups, the hotel can organize tours around the city and to local places of interests. For instance, the ChinaBusiness team, following a tight itinerary, made a visit a coffee and bee farm in the nearby towns of Amadeo and Silang, which the hotel staff gladly arranged for us.

Art from Above

Granted, hotel rooms and hallways are always decorated with paintings and other works of art. It's a different story for One Tagaytay Place as it takes art more seriously. Taking it a notch higher than any other hotel in the city, it is the only hotel in Tagaytay with a gallery.

Paolo Luis Francisco, manager of Verve Gallery, whose sketches and abstract works are mounted on the walls of the penthouse suites, cut the ribbon during the gallery's inauguration. Dayo, a group exhibition by UP College of Fine Arts students, was also launched during the formal opening of the gallery.

Dayo, which means “to visit” or “visitor” in English, is a collection of paintings depicting the notions and nuances of the word, with themes echoing the issues of diaspora, colonialism, and alienation. The paintings will be on show until May.

Before warming up your car engines and heading back home, drop by the specialty shop located beside the gallery and buy your family or paramour some pasalubong— it's a must to bring home favors! Sample the ubiquitous espasol (it comes in plain and ube flavors) and  buko (coconut) pie, and take home a box for only 160 pesos.

Do you still think One Tagaytay Place guilty of being tacky and pretentious? Then drive up to Tagaytay and find out for yourself. It's definitely worth the long ride.

Print ed: 04/10


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