The nuances of a great view, like that of Taal Lake and its surrounding natural attractions, are free and can be seen any time of the day, from dusk to dawn.
It inspires, rejuvenates and—depending on your mood and mindset—can make you die of bliss. It’s just that, sometimes, beyond the selfie taken somewhere on the popular ridge, you want to take in the whole experience of the landscape.
Domicillo, built along the Tagaytay ridge, is an eight-room hotel that expands the meaning of a simple getaway. A design and architectural collaboration between its owner, designer and exporter Rene Alcala, and the Budji + Royal architecture firm, Domicillo is built on a steep terrain. The graveled frontage and parking lot have a concrete wall that conceals the steps and a ramp that leads down to the hotel.
Private but social spaces
On the “ground floor” is La Finca, a farm-to-table restaurant by chef Butch Zaldarriaga set to open soon.
Already your sense of touch and sight is engaged; add to this your curiosity on what lies below.
On the second and third levels on the lower terrain are the hotel’s lounge and guest rooms.
They are spaces that can be private and even meditative but also social.
Budji Layug and Royal Pineda of Budji + Royal considered Alcala’s lifestyle preferences for rest and relaxation: breakfasts with a view; sunset cocktails on the deck; a piping-hot bowl of ramen at Aozora Japanese resto-bar and café adjoining the deck; wine and cheese in the lounge; and blissful naps in rooms furnished and accessorized by some of the country’s leading designers—Milo Naval, Tes Pasola, Rene Alcala and Budji Layug himself.
It inspires a quiet holiday with someone, alone or with a group of good friends. Your privacy in Domicillo is paramount—as hackneyed as that may sound, that is the impression you get.
Working with the environment
There are many types of elemental magic at work in Tagaytay: light, air, wind, mist and fog. Building a structure like Domicillo takes all of these into consideration. Its design showcases the power of nature to transform and delight.
Rough, unfinished surfaces and cement left raw is used in most parts except for the low ledges that double up as benches, where the cement is sanded down and polished.
Cantilevered overhangs shade walkways and allow for small individual outdoor settings for every room.
Plants and greenery are selected to hold their own strong forms with cement, stone, wood and iron. There are giant staghorn ferns, elephant ear taro, sansevieria, ground ferns and towering pole bamboo.
When weary urbanites seeking a view of the volcano arrive in droves, effectively shutting down the main road to gridlock, be glad that there’s Domicillo.
There are places that engage your perception and senses beyond the concept of a weekend getaway. Domicillo is one such place.