Summer in the Philippines is all about the family going out of town. We all have memories of road trips to Tagaytay and Baguio to escape the heat; and the beaches of Pangasinan, Batangas or our islands to enjoy it.
According to a study on travel trends by Airbnb in March, family vacations are the primary reason to travel in 2021 for 6 out of 10 Filipinos.
“Enjoying free time to unwind and relax, as well as visiting close relatives and friends are also key motivators to get Filipinos back on the road. Travel with immediate and extended family emerged as the No. 1 reason for domestic travel among Filipinos, with 88% of all respondents saying they felt more connected with their families during the pandemic.”
The study continued that health and safety protocols (64%) and affordability (61%) are top considerations when choosing travel accommodation. Over half of all respondents (53%) also expressed preference for traveling to less crowded, off-the-beaten-path destinations, away from mass tourist hotspots.
Since last year, when summer was “cancelled” due to the pandemic—and this season’s first half pretty much went the same way—we’ve really missed going out of town.
Now that NCR Plus is under GCQ (with heightened restrictions), we’ve rounded out Airbnbs you can rent south of Metro Manila.
While many driving-distance staycation hotels are still closed to NCR Plus residents, Airbnbs being private homes have continued to operate throughout the pandemic, but most of them require negative COVID test results for all guests.
As part of our series of the best Airbnbs around the country, here are some Tagaytay homes we love—for their views, pools and just great design. Prices range from P1,900 to P25,000 a night, depending on stay dates.
Mountainside Luxury Cabin
This is how we’d build our cabin on a hill if we had the money! This Mountainside Luxury Cabin’s architectural style is mid-century modern with lots of wood, dramatic lighting, and an infinity pool for those 360-degree views of Mount Batulao sunsets, calming Balayan Bay, and lush Nasugbu farmlands.
We spotted a classic Herman Miller/Eames lounge chair and ottoman against the backdrop of mountains and the setting sun, and the space looks so relaxing. We don‘t mind having a drink or five in that chair.
It has two bedrooms (three beds), outdoor grill area, ensuite bathrooms with heater and a sleek, modern kitchen.
This Guesthouse with Cinema, Bathtub and Patio is so chic we want to spend the entire summer here and watch all our fave movies with its 120-inch projector, soak the heat away in its pebble-shaped bathtub and have drinks in the patio.
Airbnbs with clubhouse facilities
Homes with a swimming pool are expensive to rent—but not if they’re part of a development, which gives you access to clubhouse facilities like a swimming pool, basketball court, badminton court and a bowling alley.
Here are some in two enclaves that we’ve shortlisted.
Homes here are connected to Splendido Taal Country Club & Golf Range with its swimming pool, bowling alley, basketball and badminton courts. Guests pay additional charges to the country club, which is open only from Friday to Sunday, for use.
Depending on the homeowner, PCR and/or health certificate required for all guests.
Pepper’s Place is a one-bedroom unit (two beds) that’s our hands-down favorite in Splendido for its chic country design.
It’s a mix of plush condo and country furnishings with lush views outside.
This spacious unit is a two-bedroom (three beds) accommodation with scenic views and home comforts like living and dining rooms, and kitchen. The unit does not provide WiFi, so consider your stay here a digital detox.
Maddie’s Place is a studio with two double beds and one floor mattress, and can accommodate four people.
As SMDC condos go, the Airbnbs here are mostly small studios or one-bedroom units. And here you will see the difference between a homeowner with an eye for design and one that, well, doesn’t.
They’re cheaper than other Airbnbs and because of that, it’s a great place to book multiple units if you’re going with a group and still want your privacy.
Airbnbs here have access to Wind Residences’ amenities like the swimming pool. Some units face Taal Lake (and their balconies are furnished with table and chairs) and here are a few that caught our eye.
Tarryn Heights is a unit that shows how you can make a small space bright and cool with its use of colors on a white canvas. This studio is all beds (three including sofa) and no dining area except a desk. It does have a kitchen though. Meant for a trip where you’ll spend your time mostly outside, or as the bedroom unit for kids if you have a big family and then rent another one for the parents and use for eating together.
Nordic Cool is reall cool for two things: You can take your pet with you and it has a PS4. It allows only one small pet and has four mattresses for extra (human) guests.
Sky Home Serene and Blissful Place is a studio unit (two beds). It’s has a galley kitchen (with subway tiles!) but they don’t allow cooking. However, it has a microwave, electric kettle, coffee maker and rice cooker.