I love vacations where I have no agenda other than seeing what a place has to offer for nature and food. That’s how I spent last weekend in Hacienda Isabella in Indang, Cavite off Tagaytay City. Together with travel blogger friends, I hit up south of Manila and casually made my way enjoying a wide stretch of great landscapes for prenup wedding photoshoots, gustatory delights and of course, cool company. 😀
– THE BLOGGERS –
The name “Hacienda Isabella” didn’t ring a bell until I read some blogs about it. Apparently, I had known about this place years before, when it was featured on a TV show. Confirmed: Hacienda Isabella is owned by Philippines’ Pop Diva Kuh Ledesma and is named after her daughter, Isabella.
According to their website, visits to Hacienda Isabella are strictly by appointment. The same thing was said by Victor Aquino, management staff of the hacienda and first cousin of Kuh, for the reason that they want guests to feel relaxed and somehow treat the place as their own property when on vacation. I guess I’d agree to that; we felt so pampered and special! 😛
Review of Kuh Ledesma’s Resort: Hacienda Isabella (Indang, Cavite – Tagaytay City)
“Hacienda” is a Spanish term which means “vast ranch” or a large estate or plantation. Sprawling five hectares of land, Hacienda Isabella is no plantation of any agricultural crop though it has vast greens displayed as visually attractive lush grounds throughout the property. Walls embellished with exuberant decoration and giant doors with carved embellishments welcomed us, making the place look enchanting. The walkways directed us to cobbled patios, spacious grounds and the villas surrounding the main house.
Victor shared that the main house (in the following pictures), built 15 years ago, is where Kuh Ledesma stays when she’s in the Philippines. It was originally intended to be a coffee plantation and private rest house until TV Personality Apa Ongpin held his wedding there and it became the very first wedding in Hacienda Isabella. She then decided to develop other villas and opened the houses to the public six years after, though number of visitors was still kept to minimum.
Kuh as an artist designed all these and I’m just so impressed! Ceilings like those of typical old houses are stretched up high and everywhere there was beauty and decadence.
Designed with touches and traces of Mexican, oriental and Western modern decor and amenities, the landscapes, interior and exterior designs are truly mesmerizing. The vintage stuff, the glamorous chandeliers, the rustic doors and windows, paintings, and wooden pieces of furniture are put together so well that they made me feel dreamy — dreamy of fairy-tale wedding concepts, as this venue is just perfect for such. ♥
I don’t watch a lot of local TV series and films but it’s interesting to know that Hacienda Isabella is a popular choice of location for taping and shooting shows. Examples are:
- the movie “Till I Met You” which showcased the romantic pairing of Regine Velasquez and Robin Padilla;
- ABS-CBN’s teleserye “Beautiful Affair” which starred Bea Alonzo, John Lloyd Cruz and John Estrada;
- GMA 7’s “NOW AND FOREVER ” with Sheryl Cruz and Zoren Legasp;
- Vice Ganda’s movie “Petrang Kabayo”, a Filipino remake comedy-drama film which became a blockbuster; and
- GMA7’s “Mundo Mo’y Akin,” a prime-time drama series currently being aired which stars Angelika Cruz, Jaclyn Jose and Sunshine Dizon.
Weddings of famous TV personalities and celebrities like Actress/Beauty Queen Precious Lara Quigaman, ABS-CBN’s Newscaster Nadia Trinidad, Patty Laurel, Chef Luigi Muhlach (Son of Actor Aga Muhlach and Actress/TV Host Janice de Belen), and fashion models Anna Lloren and Sarah Meier transpired here. Question is, will you be next? 😀
What about service? It was no doubt, top notch! Hacienda Isabella reflects a simple personality yet with grace that can be seen through its staff (about 30 of them).
Every person here took pride in their work, whether it was the wait staff in the kitchen and dining area or groundskeepers of the houses. They were courteous and generally had just the right amount of attentiveness. They were punctual in serving our meals, responsive when we asked to move some couches together, and helpful in touring us around, answering our questions about the places and taking some of our pictures. We always felt safe and well cared-for.
When we arrived, we were greeted like family. Much to our surprise (and gratitude), the staff gave us the freedom to choose our rooms. There are now 53 rooms in Hacienda Isabella, all with different designs and sizes, and in different houses/villas. Each room can fit two to 10 people, and since they don’t have brochures yet and great information about the villas, the staff can recommend which room would be best if you’re staying in as a family, couple, or any group (school, office, church, organization, etc.).
We took three rooms in Villa 7: the Marrakech near the pool area and one whole Villa 4: Casa Agua (if I’m not mistaken, two rooms here). Each room was occupied with either two queen size beds or one mega king size bed good for 4-5 people. Additional pillows and mattresses can be provided by request.
Here are pictures of our room:
It’s a good thing that the faucet is outside the comfort rooms, for others not to wait for the person inside when they only need to wash hands, wash face or brush their teeth. The comfort rooms are divided: one is dedicated for the shower room/bathroom, and the other is specifically for toilet purposes.
We have toured all rooms and I’ve noticed that there are about two inspirational books in every one as well as framed messages consisting of devotional passages lifted from the Bible, to provide guests with hope during their stressful journey.
Hacienda Isabella is also great for team-building activities and retreats. We met some guests who did Bible-studying and just spent time reading books in the quiet. There are no television sets, computers and any gadgets but you won’t feel much secluded from civilization, as some areas have Wi-Fi connection available. Aside from relaxing in the bedrooms and the couches around and taking pictures, visitors can also swim in the pool and play billiards and Foosball.
Food can be brought to the side of the pool from the dining area (main house). Guests can also bring food to their rooms, but they cannot cook anywhere inside the hacienda.
For total satisfaction, Hacienda Isabella offers massages but you need to inform them prior your visit because they have to call their affiliate masseuse for the relaxing service.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Choosing a great vacation house can be as difficult as finding a best friend or companion. The relationship between the guest and the vacation house is just as intimate as there must be loyalty and a certain level of trust involved. The visitor not only risks money but also time in exchange for great accommodation, serenity and hospitality.
Hacienda Isabella is an ideal choice for your next great vacation house. I highly recommend a visit here to anyone who likes to relax and forget worries. Of course the food and accommodation aren’t the most economical, but the entire experience would be totally worth it.
Room rates vary according to your villa and room of choice. But just to give you an idea, prices range from PHp 3,500 (for the smaller rooms that can accommodate two people), PHp 5,500 (for those rooms for 4-5 people) and PHp 7,500 (for large rooms which can occupy 10) — exclusive of meals.
If you don’t intend to stay in but want to tour Hacienda Isabella, price of the day-tour with lunch, breakfast or dinner is PHp 1,500.
In any case, don’t trust these posted rates fully as I might have not remembered them right. The best thing is to contact them through the numbers below. 😉
So yeah, I have just returned from the most wonderful vacation of the year thus far at Hacienda Isabella. What a gorgeous setting — huge, expansive vacation houses with great staff who are ready to make you feel like royalty at least throughout your stay.
I don’t think I can go to this place alone, with my friends or even my family because our knowledge about places outside Manila is really limited. With that, I have to thank Wazzup Pilipinas for inviting me, tagging me along with their classy adventure and “widening my horizons” when it comes to marvelous sites and travels. 🙂
I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again next time with my family. In the meantime, I’ll be reminiscing over these photos.
How to Get to Hacienda Isabella
There’s no public utility vehicle that goes straight to the hacienda. So it’s a must to rent a van or bring your own car to get to Hacienda Isabella. The map and directions are available in their website, but I’ll share these guidelines anyway for added reference:
Drive to Sta. Rosa SLEX exit. Turn right towards the Tagaytay rotonda. Go straight and you’ll see the famous landmark: Taal Vista Hotel. Turn right to the Sotogrande Subdivision and you’ll find yourself along General Maglabe Street. Go straight past the Flower Farm and look for the “Welcome Barangay Anoling Lejos” arc.
Turn left when you see a triangular barangay hall. Drive straight then turn right on the corner that says “Carasuchi.” It is very near The Puzzle Mansion! 😀 There are signs pointing to where you should be headed so you won’t get lost. Hacienda Isabella would be on your left.
8 Carasuchi Street Brgy. Carasuchi, Indang Cavite
Contact Numbers: (02) 625-2453, (02) 531-0688, +63917 813-9065, +63920 953-9488
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s the link to my food review, a guest post to Wazzup Pilipinas. 😀