Sometimes all you need is a change in scenery to refresh your mind and keep yourself focused on the tasks at hand.
Luckily, Laguna is just a 2-3 hour drive from the busy streets of Manila, and they have a number of places which are conducive for a workation, and then some.
If you plan on going on a workation, schedule it when you don’t have obligations in the office or other important on-site work. But while working on your to-do list, don’t forget to enjoy and make time to experience what these unique accommodations have to offer.
Casa San Pablo
Colago Avenue, Barrio San Roque, San Pablo, Laguna
Upon entering the Casa San Pablo compound, you’ll be greeted with vast gardens and tall coconut trees—a remnant of its days as a coco plantation.
Today it serves as a bed & breakfast as well as a community arts space. It even has a gallery which you can visit for free if you book a stay. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch their Artist in Residence working on his or her unique creations.
They also have a cafe where they serve hometown-inspired meals like the San Pablo staple Kulawong Talong (grilled eggplant with coconut cream sauce). Speaking of which—you can sign up for either their Coconut cooking tour or demo to learn more of these dishes.
In Casa San Pablo, no two rooms are the same, with the furniture carefully-selected to inspire creativity of those lodging there.
“People say that when they come here, they want to create things,” says innkeeper An Alcantara, who also makes the terra cotta clay figures you’ll see in the cafe. This simply proves that, even in this genteel setting, a lot of work can be done.
- Contact number: 0917 772 8981 or 0917 812 6687
- Room Rates: Php 2,400 to Php 5,900 depending on capacity
- Tours: Coconut Native Cooking Tour starts at Php 3,750 per head inclusive of ingredients; Coconut Cooking Demo starts at Php 1,900 per head
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casasanpablo/
- Website: https://casasanpablo.com/
88 Hotspring Resort
#9061 National Highway, Bagong Kalsada, Calamba, 4027 Laguna
Spread over seven hectares of land at the base of Mt. Makiling, 88 Hotspring Resort has 10 outdoor pools surrounded by a well-maintained landscape. For hundreds of years, locals have relied on these hot springs to heal and restore their bodies.
According to the resort, the “miraculous water” that comes from the hot spring is odorless, clear, and tested and proven to be rich in organic minerals. These are believed to relax the body and cure several skin diseases.
Forty-eight rooms of seven different types are available in the resort, from Standard and Bamboo Suite to Villa and Nipa Hut.
- Contact number: (049) 536 1388
- Room Rates: Php 3,500 to Php 7,000 on weekdays and Php 4,600 to Php 10,000 on weekends depending on room type. All rooms come with free breakfast for 2 people.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/88HotSpringOfficial/
- Website: http://www.88hotspring.com/
Sulyap Gallery Café, Restaurant and Boutique Hotels
Brgy. Del Remedio, Cocoland Compound, San Pablo, Laguna
Before becoming the sanctuary that it is today, Sulyap (which means “to glance”) started as a museum and coffee shop back in 2007.
Owner Roy Empalmado loved art, antiques, and architecture that he hoped to spread this appreciation by opening a gallery with old paintings and artifacts for Laguna locals and visitors alike.
Over time, they’ve built several casa or houses using restored materials of old homes from different provinces like Quezon and Batangas. They would disassemble the houses from their original locations and rebuild them colonial-style on Sulyap’s land.
The rooms there are spacious enough for two to four people. They also have a balcony with benches to lounge in as well as a swimming pool at the end of the lot’s garden where you can take a dip in after a hard day’s work.
Sulyap also has an open-air restaurant which offers modern Filipino cuisine such as Ensaladang Pako (fiddlehead fern salad), Boneless Bangus (milkfish), and Pork Adobo sa Kamatis (pork adobo with tomatoes).
- Contact number: (049) 545 5144 or 0917 182 1483
- Room Rates: Php 2,100 to Php 8,000 depending on capacity
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sulyapgallerycafe
- Website: http://www.sulyap.info/
Auravel Grande Hotel and Resort
Maharlika Highway, Brgy. San Francisco, Calihan, San Pablo, Laguna
If you prefer a full-service hotel with simple and elegant interiors and basic amenities like a swimming pool and an indoor gym, Auravel may be better for you. A carwash run by the hotel owners is also located in the same compound, so you can easily give your ride a quick cleanse before heading home.
Aside from the two main hotel buildings which house a total of 48 rooms, Auravel also has a restaurant called Auravel Fusion Cuisine where they serve Filipino food with a twist. Next to the restaurant is Cafe Avelino, which is a go-to for students and young professionals who want to get some work done while enjoying a sweet drink.
Both the restaurant and coffee shop are open to walk-ins, so you can definitely drop by for a quick bite or sip.
- Contact number: (049) 503 0579
- Room Rates: Php 3,070 to Php 6,460 depending on capacity
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/auravelofficial/
- Website: http://www.auravelgrandehotelandresort.com/
Have a safe trip!
All tourist destinations in Laguna have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip, check the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel, or download it from the Google Play or Apple Store.