Ever wanted to get away from the city but don’t have the luxury of time to be gone for too long? Then go ahead and treat yourself to a time-out at Hacienda Isabella.
Originally a coffee plantation, Hacienda Isabella — named after the owner’s (Ms. Kuh Ledesma) daughter — has now opened its doors to people who want to be refreshed and recharged even just for a weekend.
It has also turned into a favorite wedding venue, and has been witness to the union of several well-known personalities such as Actress/Beauty Queen Precious Lara Quigaman and Actor Marco Alcaraz, and Patty Laurel and Patrick Filart, among others.
With high ceilings, Vigan tiles, Tegula roof, hardwood furniture and vintage pieces, there is an unmistakable old world feel as soon as you set foot inside the hacienda.
Love the pile of old trunks and suitcases!
The sitting area on the second floor of the main house
The well manicured lawn as viewed from the main house’s balcony.
With the lush greenery and fresh air, the ambience easily calms you down. It is so serene, I reckon it’s perfect for meditation or just when you need some time alone.
As the manager of the hacienda, Mr. Victor Aquino, tours us around, I saw several areas where guests can just lounge and read a book. And because the owner is an artist herself, paintings and wood carvings are aplenty making it also conducive for creative activities.
Wooden arches and pathways lined with foliage — that seem to lead to your own little haven waiting to be found — are also a recurring theme.
There are a total of 52 rooms that can accommodate about 200 people on full occupancy. They have rooms good for a couple and some that can fit a large group or families. The Bali room, in particular, has a loft and a total of 5 beds, which I think, can accommodate up to 7 persons.
You’ll also be pleasantly surprised that no two rooms are alike! Ms. Ledesma meticulously designed each room with Filipino, Spanish, Greek, Balinese and Moroccan themes in mind.
Deliberately, rooms are devoid of modern amenities (read: TV and other forms of entertainment) for guaranteed uninterrupted relaxation.
The management was gracious enough to let us choose our room, and we got the Agua 2 room which had a view of the pebbled pool area.
I slept on the bed with the blue sheets where I was lulled to sleep by the sound of the crickets and woken up by the chirping of the birds.
And while they do have WiFi, signal may be weak depending on the room you get. I don’t know about you, but I can certainly live without going online for a day or two. But if you really need to, you may go to the main house where WiFi is strongest to check in, update your Facebook status, post a selfie on Instagram or whatnot.
I love how the whole place is designed where guests can move freely. Each area can be reached from almost all directions.
And oh, let’s not forget the food. Hacienda Isabella serves mostly Filipino classics and healthy meals.
Also, props to the attentive and friendly staff.
DINNER: Pumpkin Soup; Fresh Green Salad; my version of the salad with lettuce, ripe mangoes, apples, corn kernels, walnuts and raisins drizzled with Caesar Salad dressing and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese; pasta with tomato-based sauces (Amatriciana and Tinapa!); Roast Chicken; Sweet Potato Fries
BREAKFAST: Garlic Rice; Pork Tocino; Fried Bangus (Milk Fish); Omelet; fresh pineapple; Suman (Sticky Rice)
LUNCH: Rice; Chopsuey; Chicken Adobo; Pan-fried Cream Dory with Lemon Butter Sauce; and their version of Buko Salad – slivers of young coconut with kaong, nata de coco, topped with chopped walnuts and raisins bathed in milk
Overall, we had a very pleasant and relaxing stay at Hacienda Isabella.
The place is intimate, timeless…romantic, even. It does not try hard to impress. Its understated elegance simply pleases the senses.
If you would like to book an overnight stay or even just a day tour, just call them and they can customize a package to suit your needs.
Tel. Nos.: (632) 625-2543, (632) 531-0688
Mobile: (63917) 813-9065, (63920) 953-9488
Visit to Hacienda Isabella is strictly by appointment so please call them first.
From Tagaytay Rotonda to Soto Grande Subdivision, it is approximately 7 kilometers, or an 8 to 10-minute-drive. From Soto Grande to Hacienda Isabella, it is approximately 8 kilometers of baranggay road, or a 15-minute-drive.