accommodations,  staycation,  Tagaytay,  Travel

La Bella Tagaytay | Santorini-inspired Staycation in the South

Tagaytay, being in close proximity to Manila, is one of the top pick destinations for those craving for a quick escapade. Even during non-summer months, the place doesn’t go empty with vacationers. Then add the emergence of unique resorts and hotel such as La Bella Hotel and Residences, the craze intensified even more!

See also: Crosswinds Swiss Luxury Resort in Tagaytay

 

Our trip to La Bella Tagaytay

We went there last end of October when everyone’s available on weekdays due to sembreak. It was a gloomy trip in a cold setting. Still, the place’s charm was evident.

La Bella is quite secluded which makes getting there a bit challenging especially if you’re commuting. Nonetheless, it’s the peace and serenity that will have you asking for more of it. And of course, its unique and instagrammable features too (let’s not forget that point).

And since its location is a little hidden, make sure to stock-up on food and other necessities especially if you’re on a budget or you came by commute.

If you’re bringing a car, the guard will give you a parking card which you will need to pay at La Bella Hotel’s reception. Overnight parking is P300, while all-day parking is P75. In our case, we overlooked that card so when the guard asked for it upon exiting La Bella, he suggested we just hand him the payment and he will just transfer it to the reception which I found very considerate. It will be a hassle if we go back to the reception just to pay. But I still suggest everyone to pay the parking at the reception, don’t expect that the guard is always available to do that especially during peak season.

Entrance to the pool
La Bella’s most popular attraction: the aquarium-like pool

We stayed in La Bella Residences, which should not be confused with La Bella Hotel (they are 2 different establishments situated in one place). The two differ in rates and inclusions.

If you choose to stay in La Bella Residences, you can book condo units via Airbnb where you can find cheaper units compared to rooms in La Bella Hotel. You can cook as each unit is equipped with kitchen. However, swimming pool fee (P100) is not included.

In La Bella Hotel, room rates are relatively higher, no kitchen, but you’re free to use the pool. Weigh your preferences, I’ll let you decide for yourself.

 

Our Accommodations

Since we’re 5 and there was no available unit good for 5 by the time I was browsing through Airbnb listings, I just booked two units:

R-205, La Bella Residences

This unit is definitely stylish and insta-worthy! It has kitchen, bathroom with hot shower, airconditioner, flatscreen TV, WiFi, and board games! Diane and Tita Dolly had fun playing sungka, while mom was enjoying the fast WiFi connection, while I enjoyed taking photos as the place was worth every snap!

I loved the artsy wall art, as well as other thoughtful touches in the dining and kitchen area. R-205 is quite spacious, so this is where we flock during free bonding time as the other unit is a little smaller. This unit was good for 3 by the time I booked it, but it’s now good for 2 as of writing. I booked this unit for P1,862 in total (including cleaning and service fee). You can book this unit here.

Don’t have an Airbnb account yet? Get P1,600 OFF when you sign up in Airbnb here.

 

R-216, La Bella Residences

This unit is simple and minimalist. My mom and I had a sound sleep as the bed was clean and comfy, and the ac was cool enough. It’s a bit smaller than R-205 but just enough space for 2 people.

It has a kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, rice cooker, electric kettle, plates, mugs, utensils, etc. Bath towels and bottled water for two were also provided. There was also a flat iron and hair blower available for use. The unit is equipped with flatscreen TV and fast WiFi connection. Hot shower was available too. I booked this unit for P1,862 in total (including cleaning and service fee). If you want to book this unit, you may find it here.

Don’t have an Airbnb account yet? Get P1,600 OFF when you sign up in Airbnb here.

R-205 and R-216 are just close to each other (which we did not expect). R-216 is just in front of R-205 (but not face to face). Both are on the second floor near the elevator.

And it was great that there was also parking space on the second floor so that it’s less hassle to carry our stuff to/from the car.

 

Swimming Pool

The weather was too cool for a swim but we sure had fun in the aquarium pool! What’s more enjoyable, the aquarium part is in front of a huge glass tinted wall so you can see a reflection of yourself. It’s also great for photo-ops!

Swimming pool is open from 8am to 8pm. Fee is P100/person for those staying at La Bella Residences.

The pool was clean but quite small and might get overcrowded easily especially on weekends and holidays. I suggest you come here during weekdays and lean season.

I really loved the aquarium part I can’t get over it. Without it I might not get interested in using the pool considering the cool weather. It was even foggy in the morning!

The pool could also look magical at night if you’re more of a night-swimming person. I forgot to take photos but it looked beautiful!

 

Bodhi Library and Cafe

You will not run out of places to explore here in La Bella. Bodhi Library and Cafe is another spot worth visiting. During our visit, there was no staff on duty so we were not able to try their specialties. Still the place was open so we had the chance to explore the library.

Inside Bodhi Library
Tita Dolly and Diane at the roof deck of Bodhi Library
Stairs going to the library. I agree with the yellow one. Though I can’t accept the other because for me, happiness is neither a direction nor a destination.

Side comment: Happiness is too conditional, it’s just a feeling. And I don’t want my choices and decisions to be influenced by a feeling. JOY is supernatural. It encourages me to continue going after God’s will, whether I feel happy about it or not.

The books in the library are available for guests to read. Though I haven’t found something that interests me. It’s more on astrology, consciousness, yoga, mysteries, myths, etc., which are not aligned with my beliefs. But I enjoyed picture taking, the place was too cute!

I was holding a book about cooking as it’s the only thing that I can accept from this library haha
The most photographed corner
Photo-ops with the stairs HAHA

Be careful when using the stairs going to roofdeck as it might get slippery especially after a drizzle. The place was cute not just in appearance but in size as well. I suggest you bring a wide angle camera for easier capturing of photos. Unfortunately, ours was battery empty.

 

El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

We had our dinner at El Cocinero which is a Spanish restaurant inside La Bella. We tried their specialties: El Cocinero Paella and El Cocinero Pizza. I’ll talk more about this on my next post so stay tuned!

Dinner at El Cocinero

 

Aside from the aquarium pool, Bodhi Library, and El Cocinero, there are still more to explore inside La Bella. There’s Organico Gourmet Restaurant just beside the pool, Hirase Japanese restaurant just in front of La Bella Residences’ lobby, and few more attractions that are still under construction.

 

Few more tips

If you’re on a budget, you can book your stay at La Bella Residences via Airbnb where you can find cheaper units. The condo units are equipped with kitchen so you can bring enough food (cooked or ready to cook) to save for food expenses. You can allot one meal to try a restaurant if you really want try a specialty.

But if you can indulge yourself go ahead. Enjoy as much as you can, you deserve it. You can book either in Residences or Hotel. There are more available condo units in La Bella Residences with mid-range to luxurious rates just like in La Bella Hotel.

If you’re planning for a day tour, you can visit the attractions inside La Bella with no entrance fee! Except for the pool, of course you still have to pay for it.

 

Getting there

Via commute:
1. From Buendia or Pasay, take a bus bound for Tagaytay, Alfonso, or Nasugbu. Fare is P100+
2. Alight at “Radar Taas”.
3. Ride a tricycle to take you inside La Bella Hotel and Residences. Fare is around P30.

Via private vehicle:
Waze/Google Maps: “La Bella at Tagaytay”

 

More Photos!

Outside El Cocinero
Somewhere near the entrance gate hehe
La Bella Residences parking (left) and lobby (right) entrance
La Bella Residences Lobby
Little Paradise. Tita Dolly, Jeric, and Diane.
Me at La Bella Residences Lobby
At the entrance gate

 

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