Oh Tagaytay, I used to believe in a false idea that you were overplayed and the traffic was too severe; how I was wrong! The trick is two things: go on a weekday and stay overnight. Who would have thought staying overnight would be so magical in Tagaytay? Believe me, it is. With the ease of weekday traffic the drive down was painless. Let me share with you an option for #AnyWeekdayTagaytay getaway. I give to you Discovery Country Suites aka ‘The Cabin.’
The boys and I happily referred to this country home turned bed and breakfast as ‘The Cabin.’ With only seven bedrooms you can’t help but feel that you are staying in your own mountain cabin. I love the story behind this country home turned B&B. The original owners (who still own and run it today) were not getting enough use out of the family home so they converted it into a B&B. The master bedroom was the parents original master bedroom and the six other bedrooms belonged to the children. Our whole stay it felt as if family friends invited us up to their cabin for the night. It really has such a homey feeling. Lucky for us, the weather was a bit gloomy which put me in the mood to just lounge and enjoy The Cabin. It worked out perfectly. Plus, we went midweek so it took just over an hour. Can I get a woot woot?
Welcome drinks and the delicious salad greeted us upon arrival. The greens were grown right on site in the hydroponic gardening system. The arugula packed the perfect punch and was paired with THE best raspberry dressing.
The Cabin is most famously known for their killer food at Restaurant Verbena. Restaurant Verbena is an absolute must. She is a culinary gem perched on the Tagaytay ridge waiting to be experienced. My middle son is gluten free and the menu was very accessible for him.
Just when you think a place cannot get any better, they go and have a pastry chef on hand! The Resident Manager, Rhea Castro-Sycip, is not only the thoughtful mind behind The Cabin but also the pastry and cake chef! Chef Rhea creates these beautiful cakes for desserts for any event on site. Her specialty is naked cakes and she can also accommodate classes (planned in advance and even for kids). They are worth the drive alone. My pants got a bit tighter over the twenty four hours we were there.
With the intimate number of bedrooms, highly specialized staff and rustic setting The Cabin feels like home with details of embroidered pillows, towel animals, robes and a table spread of fruits and eye candy awaiting. I have never had an experience so tailored as I have with Discovery Country Suites and Discovery Suites.
The seven bedrooms each have a theme. We were fortunate enough to spend our time in the Siam Room located on the bottom level which opened right up to the jacuzzi and backyard. Pinch me!
My kids loooooooove staying in hotels. I am not sure why but it is pure magic for them. Actually I do know why. The places we stay are pretty incredible and as a mother I do try and appreciate our time in these places to the fullest.
Here are my four tips for a fun hotel stay:
- Wear the robes and slippers! They aren’t there just for decor. Put those suckers on and glide on the floor. Be ninjas. Have a little dance party.
- Jump on the beds. That’s right, judge me if you must but I believe jumping on hotel beds is a must.
- Guiltlessly watch tv. We don’t have cable so my children have no concept of broadcast television. They have never seen these channels before so I do let them indulge, usually during nap time while the baby sleeps in the port-a-crib in the bathroom or closet. Ha! *This is for downtime. When we travel we spend a lot of time outside so when we come indoors I let them indulge.
- Swim, swim, swim. Swim in all the pools and swim as much as you want. The magic of a new pool never wears off. Our backyard for the day. What you can’t see is Taal just over the ridge. Oh my.
Our lovely host Sabrina had activities set up for us on and off site. *I will share more about the offsite visits in other posts. These can all be organized through DCS.
The boys stamping away on our back patio. DCS and DS often have holiday packages inclusive of activities. Last Mother’s Day they had Alessa Lanot of Life After Breakfast hold a workshop for stamp and canvas bag making. The boys and I got to enjoy this activity too.
There is so much space at The Cabin. Down stairs there is an open game and tv room that doubles as a conference room. Our first day the boys owned the space playing and tv watching in between games of chess. The Cabin really is set up for families. They have board games and DVDs all to use free of charge.
The view at night of the backyard was nothing short of dreamy. The whimsical lights and foliage everywhere were that of a fairy tale. The kids got to swim in the jacuzzi (room temperature) while watching an outdoor movie. As I looked at them swimming and splashing while on the ridge of a mountain top overlooking a volcano I couldn’t help but think how great their life is and they have no idea. It was not but a moment later I connected the same thought to myself, I am so fortunate to be here and have the life I have.
Swimming, popcorn and movie watching is what childhood memories are made of.
It always comes back to the food at The Cabin. Around sunset you will be greeted with the inclusive wine and cheese platter. Yes, this is just part of the package for everyone who stays at The Cabin. Since we don’t drink alcohol I opted for tea. The Cabin did not skimp on the cheese selection, these were bonafide gourmet cheese platters. I am learning to expect nothing less from this group.
The dinner. Where do I begin? Perhaps with the hand made pasta filled oysters and caviar? That is probably a good starting place. Never in my life has pasta tasted so rich. I was not a huge seafood eater but I am now a believer. If you are going to try oysters for the first time or one hundredth time, do it at Verbena. I finally got to try bulalo! Bone marrow is all the rage these days and I have only tried it but a few times. When you hear “bone marrow soup” as an American it can be intimidating, don’t be intimidated! It is a delicious broth with yummy beef and vegetables. That’s it! It is really quite simple with soft flavors and tender meat. If you want to go full Filipino and shake out the marrow, tak-tak, the kitchen will do this for you. I suggest at least trying it. The flavor is delicious but the texture is not my favorite.
Restaurant Verbena has a strong menu that uses local ingredients and has a top chef, Anthony Raymond who attended both Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Sounds fancy, right? Ha! You will never be disappointed after a meal there.
For breakfast I had the Eggs Benedict, always a favorite. My children gorged themselves on cereal and fruit. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I was very satisfied after The Cabin’s spread.
After a packed twenty four hours it was time to head back home. We loved our stay at The Cabin. One positive about leaving was that we were driving home on a weekday so traffic was manageable. I am currently writing this during a rainy day and wishing we could escape down there again. What perfect weather it would be for hot cocoa at The Cabin.
**Not only did we do all of this while at The Cabin we also explored three other family friendly places in Tagaytay, with no traffic might I add. Find the posts for the Flower Farm, Paradizoo and Museo Orlina.**
Things To Know:
Discovery Country Suites, 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, 4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines+63 2 529 8172 / +63 46 413 4567
- Discovery Country Suites would be an ideal setting for the holidays.
- Restaurant Verbena was very responsive to food allergies. Make sure to give them a heads up and they will have options available.
- If you would like any specific tours and activities on or off site organize them ahead of time to maximize your stay.
The jacuzzi only takes a short time to fill so if it is empty, don’t fret just ask them to fill.