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AIRBNB VIRGIN NO MORE: CHECKING IN AT MOON GARDEN TAGAYTAY
I’ve been musing about Bali lately (Ubud specifically): those picturesque paddy fields, tropical vibes, and the harmonious marriage of Hindu and Javanese art in the interiors, architecture, and everywhere else. I’m definitely infatuated with Bali.
My friend’s wedding in Tagaytay last weekend gave me a chance to unabashedly try out Airbnb for the very first time. Although I am fond of staying in hotels (because of their location, services, and facilities), I don’t mind trying out fancy B&Bs as it’s also an ongoing trend. Of course, I have several considerations in mind when choosing a place: price, location, design/interiors, bed, cleanliness, shower/toilet area, and overall ambiance.
I went online and quickly found this — check out this enchanting hidden gem in Tagaytay, the Bali-inspired Moon Garden (SVD Road, San Jose, Tagaytay):
Owned and managed by Ian (check out his Airbnb profile), the property was unlike anything I’ve ever imagined: it was beguiling, playful, yet exclusive. We were ushered in by Tony (the local concierge) to the main hall for check-in and was served hot tea. Varied eccentric Balinese-inspired pieces and warm Earth colors of the interiors welcomed us at the foyer. We were the only guests there at that time. We later learned that there are only five similar-sized Casitas (rooms) in the estate, so do expect some exclusivity throughout the day.
Possibly the most striking view in the whole estate, which was truly reminiscent of what Ubud is like, is this pretty nipa hut floating in a small pond just across the foyer. It was a great place for meditation, reading a book, or having your breakfast. If you don’t mind the loud toads making noises and jumping once in a while on the pond, then you can enjoy this area for the entire day if you wish. I nearly jumped off from my seat when I first heard the princelytoad croaking.
On the other side of the foyer is another hangout/dining area. I imagined myself having a sumptuous boodle fight here with my friends.
Our spacious room was built on stone walls/flooring and although there wasn’t any air-con, it was breezy and cooling nonetheless. It was clean and not dusty at all too, so two thumbs-up to the staff maintaining this place. Our walls were painted in warm mustard yellow tones which accentuated the wooden interiors. The bed had white linens which I totally dig over any patterned and embroidered bed sheets and blankets.
At the side of our bed (both left and right) were the entry points to the huge and tidy shower room area. They’ve got all your basic needs: towels, bidet, hot & cold shower, tissue paper, shampoo, and soap.
I was told by someone that not all Airbnbs serve breakfasts. We were quite fortunate to have breakfasts included in our package. Of course, you get better breakfasts in hotels, but at Moon Garden, they were served thoughtfully nonetheless.
The only let-down in Moon Garden was the modern hip-hop playing at the foyer all throughout the day. I imagine it as the staff’s own playlist — but it will be a much better experience if they do play some zen or jazz instrumental music instead. This way, this will help the guests relax even more.
Will I ever try Airbnb again? Definitely I will. I’m now looking at a Melbourne B&B as I write this piece… so many tempting options!