Manila promises plenty in exchange for the nearly nine-hour flight from Dubai: artisan markets, friendly locals, eccentric architecture, historic landmarks, and a buzzy nightlife. It also promises noise, pollution, overcrowding, and congested roads alongside – so what’s a girl to do? Explore the good and escape the bad for a quick breather to Narra Hill, a wonderfully tranquil boutique B&B located in the city of Tagaytay. Here, Savoir Flair gives you seven reasons why.
Far from the Madding Crowd
Tagaytay City is one of the more accessible vacation spots in the Philippines. People often drive there to take in both the crisp mountain air and the city’s most famous view: that of Taal Volcano, which sits at the center of a large lake and is perfectly framed by surrounding flora.
To say the whole scene is picturesque would be an understatement, so naturally Tagaytay – considering its proximity to Manila – can get quite crowded. And that’s where Narra Hill will first take you by surprise. Following a steep road down from the main thoroughfare, you’ll arrive at the property and immediately notice how secluded it feels.
Layer upon Layer
Aesthetically, Narra Hill strikes the perfect balance between rustic and grand with its wood and stone architecture inspired by the native kubo huts of the islands.
What will really take your breath away is the never-ending canopy of trees surrounding you, which parts perfectly to reveal the most amazing view of Taal Volcano.
A World Without Web
More surprises come courtesy of the fact that there are no TVs or WiFi at Narra Hill, which is a turn-off for some, admits the lovely owner Chian Callaghan. But she also reiterates that this was her exact intention in creating the B&B – a case of addition by subtraction. She envisioned Narra Hill as a place to proverbially get away from it all.
It’s hard to imagine being offline for an extended period of time, but honestly, it’s downright refreshing. You’ll find yourself being more present with your travel companions – not just physically, but also mentally – instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and catching up on Netflix shows. Disconnected from the outside world, you’ll be able to connect with yourself and reconnect with others. It will also allow you more time to appreciate everything else that Narra Hill has to offer – and what it really excelled at offering were the simple things that were done exceedingly well.
Back to Basics
The rooms here are very simply appointed; they’re pared down to the necessities, but enough to make guests feel at home. With only four rooms on property, the hotel is able to maintain a real sense of privacy and serenity. Natural accents such as straw roofs, thatched walls, and bamboo floors feature alongside creature comforts like air-conditioning, but it’s the open balconies you’ll appreciate most – they welcome in the thick rolling fog as it engulfs the hillside, making you feel like you’re among the clouds.
Between the two suites is a small wading pool filled with natural spring water from the mountainside, its wooden embankments ideal for morning salutations, especially while watching the sun rise lazily from behind the hills. At night, the view of the starlit sky from the pool or balcony is also a sight to behold. From the pool, there is a short eco-trail that leads to a lagoon brimming with fish and exotic plants, while a waterfall with its gentle trickle adds another layer of calm to this nature sanctuary.
Green and Clean
The food served at the property is another example of simplicity at its best. The dishes here have that elusive home-cooked quality to them, what with the freshest ingredients used alongside flavors and aromas that feel immensely satisfying, but not overwhelming. It helps that Narra Hill has its own greenhouse, where organic produce is grown and ready for picking.
Considering luxury equals time, Narra Hill is the ideal getaway from city life. The cool weather, the soothing birdsong, the rustling leaves, and that seemingly endless hillside all combine to create a sense of tranquility. It’s not an adventure and it’s far from opulent, but it offers quality time away from everything and everyone except yourself, Mother Nature, and those who really matter – and isn’t that what a holiday should be about?
For more details or to book a stay at Narra Hill, click here.