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Domicillo, a gem of a boutique hotel in Tagaytay

NOTE: This hotel has long ceased operation and is currently a Starbucks branch

A lovely boutique hotel in Tagaytay nestled at a hillside area with sweeping views of the famous Taal Volcano and the lake. This greeted me when I arrived at Domicillo Design Hotel that is a league of its own. It champions Philippine design and crafts, done by well known designers and an organic architecture that blends well with nature. Personally, it’s the perfect place to cocoon, to get away from the urban rush and just enjoy the scenery of volcano, lake and the cool Tagaytay weather.

An eight room boutique hotel in Tagaytay

The owner, Rene Alcala loves European small hotels and this was his idea of Domicillo Design Hotel, close to nature thus, the use of mainly organic materials and color. It only has eight rooms: three Deluxe suites that opens to the garden, two Superior suites that has a lake view and three Premier suites at a lower floor which is bigger, has a mini garden, and a veranda that affords sweeping views of Lake Taal.

It’s not actually far from the main road but what I love about the place is the privacy and sense of being detached but close to nature. As I stayed in one of the Premier rooms, I can just sit at the veranda and watch the changing colors of the lake and the volcano. Or climb up to the highest level where the viewdeck is. I swear, the mauve pre-sunrise color was the best view I had of the lake. And I should add, a very comfortable bed.

Championing Philippine Design and craft

Each accommodation type has rooms designed by well known Movement 8 designers: Deluxe by Tes Pasola, Superior by Milo Naval and Premier by Budji Layug. The bed and furniture were custom designed and each of these designers were given a free hand in conceptualizing their assigned spaces. The garden and elsewhere around the property has works from notable artists.

It’s actually an interesting hotel where you feast on works of art, feel proud of the intricate and interesting Philippine design and crafts as well as revel in the different textures and colors that abound: the cement walls, the multihued mother of pearl pieces, the ceramic chairs, the driftwood turned into cross like pieces and many more.

La Finca and Aozora

Despite it’s size, this boutique hotel in Tagaytay has two restaurants: La Finca, a farm to table restaurant where you have the option of having your breakfast here, the garlic longanisa is really good, by the way. It serves comfort food with quality ingredients as well as dishes from around the world. I love it’s homey decor and that impressive view of Lake Taal.

Aozora Japanese Cafe+Bistro offers delicious Japanese dishes by Chef Seiji Kamura. But its unique Bulalo Ramen, a signature dish is what I love here. It pays homage to what Tagaytay is famous for, the bulalo and translates it into a delicious Japanese noodle dish, the ramen. The soup is hearty and had that rich bulalo taste and a tender yet chunky pieces of beef! (a separate post on Aozora to follow)

I love this hotel. Close to Manila, cooler weather, and good money for comfort and service.

Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The deluxe garden suite designed by Tes Pasola
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The premier room located at the lowest floor is spacious, was designed by Budji Layug and has this veranda with a view of Taal Lake
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
Three deluxe rooms designed by Tes Pasola opens to this garden
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The brutalist Domicillo Design Hotel is lit up as dusk sets in
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The verandas of the lake side room affords views of Taal Lake
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The topmost floor is a viewdeck
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
A glass of wine, the day’s newspaper and a travel magazine with a view of volcanic Taal
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
Clockwise from top right: Aozora Bulalo Ramen is a signature dish of Aozora Japanese Restaurant that pays homage to Tagaytay; Aozora Restaurant interior; a generous serving of garlic longanisa for breakfast served at La Finca; La Finca’s interior at night. During daytime, the floor to ceiling glass panels provide sweeping views of Taal Lake
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
The premier suite where I stayed in was designed by Budji Layug. Red wine is complementary.
Domicillo Design Hotel: boutique hotel in Tagaytay
Right to left: an ebony wood lounge chair; detail of fabric, and the day’s newspaper inside a locally woven pouch

Thanx to Domicillo Design Hotel for the invite

Domicillo Design Hotel
Km 58, Emilio Aguinaldo Hi-way
Maharlika East,
Tagaytay City, Cavite
+63 46 413 3552

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