Summer has come and gone, and rain showers tend to get in the way of our travel plans lately. If beaches seem less appealing because of the gloomy weather, but maybe you still need to get away—for a special occasion or to just take a breather from whatever it is that’s stressing you out. Well, you can’t go wrong with a quick Tagaytay retreat.
One of our favorite places there is Discovery Country Suites, a bed and breakfast tucked in the lush Tagaytay Ridge that offers beautiful views of the smallest volcano in the world, Taal Volcano, and its surrounding lake. The charming country haven is designed for families and couples looking for a quiet escape from the city, just a short drive away from Manila.
Restaurant Verbena greets you upon entering the property
Discovery Country Suites is reminiscent of stately summer homes in Baguio City, with its oak and stone foundations blending gracefully with the fine furniture and art pieces of the interiors. It’s a stately manor home refurbished to become the first luxury B&B in Tagaytay City adjacent to quaint concept restaurants, flower farms, and public courtyards.
This vacation home features a heated outdoor jacuzzi overlooking Taal Volcano, as well as a lovely colorful garden that’s popular among brides. In fact, as we were checking out on our last visit, we saw the staff preparing for a wedding that very day.
View of the garden from our suite
Uniquely designed suites
We’d stay there every time we visit Tagaytay if we could, but it’s usually a challenge to get reservations: They have only seven master suites, each one with uniquely designed interiors, reflected in their names: There’s Nara, which is bedecked in Japanese decor, from wooden SOJI sliding doors to tatami mats and Japanese dolls; and Saint-Tropez, a bright suite with dainty little accents that easily transports a family of three to the quaint little town along the French Riviera. There’s also Oxford, Siam, Andalucia, Ceylon, and Nantucket, which is where we last stayed.
The Nantucket suite, located on the main (ground) level, features a laid-back American Cape Cod concept, with all its little nautical details. At 61 square meters, with one king bed and one double bed, it can comfortably accommodate a family of four. It offers a splendid view of the Tagaytay ridge and the fabulous Philippine sunset from its balcony, where one can recline on a lounge chair as she takes in the view of the property’s garden and Taal Lake.
This air-conditioned suite has a spacious en-suite bathroom, a large writing desk, coffee/tea making facility, iPod dock, LED TV, DVD player, personal refrigerator, safety deposit box, and complimentary wifi.
Balcony of the Nantucket suite
The other reason we love coming back to Discovery Country Suites: It houses the award-winning Restaurant Verbena, known for its contemporary country cuisine, Verbena Country Breakfast, and al fresco dining amid Tagaytay’s cool breeze with a beautiful terrace view of Taal Lake and Volcano. We tried some of Restaurant Verbena’s bestsellers for dinner, which I talked about in more detail here.
Meanwhile, the Verbena Country Breakfast entrees are all at P495++, which includes a buffet of butter croissants, biscuits, Danish pastries, pan de sal, banana bread, fresh fruits, seasonal fresh fruit juices, and a drink: a choice of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
I wanted something light and uncomplicated, so I ordered the French Toast—their classic toast that was curiously breaded, served with grilled cling peaches (more like peach slices), dulce de leche, and whipped cream. It was crispy and crusty and had a light taste, not sweet at all. It’s also not soaked in syrup, just drizzled with a little bit of dulce de leche—I had to ask for more of the latter, since I wanted to make it sweeter and less dry.
Jessie went for their Verbena Breakfast Steak: a seared US beef short plate with onions and pepper, served with egg and roasted potato. I had a few bites of it, and found it a bit spicy and very savory. The thick slab of meat was tender.
Luxurious and comforting treats
One of my favorite features of a stay at Discovery Country Suites is their complimentary wine and cheese platter at Restaurant Verbena. They serve a selection of cheeses along with fruits, nuts, and bread, which you can enjoy with a choice of red or white wine.
And there’s more: When we returned to our suite after dinner, we found milk (warm, in a teapot) and cookies as part of their turndown service, as well as popcorn and iced tea for us to enjoy while we watch some movies they selected for us! They have several DVDs available for you to borrow from their mini movie library located near the front desk. It really made us want to stay there and get pampered forever, haha!
I definitely recommend staying at Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay if you’re celebrating something special—be it Father’s Day, your anniversary, or your birthday. The staff just pulls out all the stops for you. We were overwhelmingly pleased with their highly attentive, personalized service. They went over and beyond. I’ve stayed there twice, and they have been consistent so far. Checking into Discovery Country Suites always feels like coming home to family you haven’t seen in a long time, welcoming you and wanting to spoil you.