For seven years now, me and my friends usually hie away to some quiet place to indulge in a bit of RnR and to bond — especially now that some of us are already working in other companies. Being the appointed “travel junkie” in the group, I was assigned to look for places to spend the usual 2D1N quick sojourn. The requirements were simple: near enough to Manila that we won’t spend much of the morning traveling; pool water must be cold (and not hot because the guys is fed up with the hot pool of past overnights); affordable and the place, while not grandiose, must be presentable and comfortable.
We actually looked for other places located in Laguna (water is too hot); Rizal (too near Manila) and Tagaytay until finally settling in to Casa Minerva after we saw in their website (http://www.tagaytayhouse4rent.com) that the place offers free WIFI. Yes, the promise that we won’t be cut off from the outside world sealed the decision.
Casa Minerva is located at D. Cruzado Senior Extension Road, Barangay Guinhawa South, Tagaytay City. It’s near Soto Grande and is located in the same lonely stretch of road as the Puzzle Mansion.
A bit of a trivia first, that particular stretch of road and area has been very uncomfortably familiar to me and my group of friends since we have already stayed in one of the rest houses located in the area. Aside from the fact that the vacation house we stayed in almost three years ago was very old, we also had a lot of “interesting experience of the supernatural kind” during our stay. Hence, imagine our panic and our very nervous laughter when we found ourselves taking the very same route while looking for Casa Minerva. We had the (almost comedic) experience of getting lost on the lonely stretch of narrow road and getting stuck on mud in front of the same legendary house with its familiar white gate. After one final push, we took a U-turn and found Casa Minerva a few blocks away from where we were.
Reserving a room
Reserving a night’s stay in Casa Minerva is very easy and straight forward. You can either send them a message via their Facebook page or contact them via the contact details indicated in their website. Response is fast, easy and professional. You will be instructed to deposit 50% of the total rate to their BDO account and send a copy of the deposit slip to their personal email address. Your reservation will be reflected on their website (under “Availability”) and also announced as status on their FB page. You will be sent a copy of the confirmation and booking form which you have to fill out and sent back to them.
Note: Aside from the price of the stay, which is PHP12,500 (overnight is considered 2PM (check in) to 12NN (checkout)), you will be asked to pay for a PHP2,000 security deposit upon arrival. Should you also opt to check in early, you will also be asked to pay PHP500/hour, depending on the availability of the property. Your security deposit will be returned to you during your check out as soon as the property has been checked by Michael, the caretaker. This doesn’t take too long.
We arrived at 12NN sharp and quickly inspected the property, carefully assigning rooms to our friends, some of which are still on their way.
1. Kitchen – is well stocked and very efficient and has its own microwave, water heater, pots and pans and plates which can be used generously provided it will be cleaned afterwards. I have some recommendations below (under thumbs down).
2. Rooms are well appointed and clean. Aircon is very strong and in fact, room can get very cold at night. There’s an abundance of pillows and mattresses which can be used for the guests’ convenience.
3. Living room is very cosy and coaches are very comfortable. We loved this area of the resort.
4. Pool – Water temperature is cold (considering its Tagaytay), but pool is a bit shallow for our taste.
5. Restrooms – There are four rest rooms in the resort. The rest rooms are roomy and there’s always a covered shower area within the room. My only concern is that there are no rugs inside the restrooms so, it can get very slippery and muddy after too many people have taken a bath. Water pressure is also not too strong.
6. Good brand of customer service from the caretaker, Michael. Very efficient and accommodating.
😦 Thumbs down (Areas for Improvement)
1. There are some areas of the house that needed a bit of a touch-up due to signs of wear and tear. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful property but some areas are already showing its age. Nothing a good coat of paint and a little bit of carpentry won’t solve, though. The house is already beautiful — it just needs to be maintained.
2. The website says there will be hygiene kits placed in the bedroom. We did not find anything though.
3. WIFI can be spotty sometimes. All of us can’t get decent signal during lunch but this improved greatly by dinner. After which, download time is very fast.
4. I really wish we don’t have to pay PHP1 for a glass of water. I’ve been to many places and slept in a lot of guest houses and hostels, this is my first time to see a water dispenser with a coin slot.
5. Cell signal can be spotty at times — non-existent is you’re downstairs, wonky if you’re on the second floor. Not Casa Minerva’s fault, though. We should blame the telcos.
Would I recommend Casa Minerva to others?
Of course. It’s a nice place, right smack in a quiet neighborhood. However, rest houses are a dime-a-dozen in busy Tagaytay, so you might be able to find a better place, according to your liking. But if you want a place where you can bond with your family, friends or officemates without spending too much, Casa Minerva is for you.
Casa Minerva details:
D. Cruzado Senior Extension Road, Barangay Guinhawa South, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines. Inquiries? Call +63917-8450523, +63917-5845211 or +63932-8800676. Or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not a paid post. Me and my group of friends paid for our stay. This post is written with my own biases and opinion.