By Jyssa Carasco
The modern look and peaceful ambience of 8 Suites Hotel overlooking Taal Lake and Volcano is a boon for people searching for time away from the bustling city. Just recently, 8 Suites Hotel upped the ante when glamping became the newest addition to their offerings. Glamping, short for glamorous camping (the only type of camping I will sign up for!), is just the type of staycation to book when you want something more than a hotel room. Imagine sleeping under the stars in your very own luxurious tent — the perfect barkada getaway!
When my friends and I were invited to go glamping, we immediately cleared our schedules and headed straight to 8 Suites Hotel.
The stunning hotel has an elegant and modern architectural design that exudes a calming presence. It opened in 2008 with eight suites only, inspired by the owner family’s favorite lucky number. Soon enough, the family decided to add more stylish suites with the Master’s Bedroom and a Garden Room, bringing up their room count to an even 10. This year, the young and creative owner Mr. David Gomez brought to life an idea that had been ruminating in his mind for some time: a bohemian-inspired glamorous camping site. Gomez’ family has been in the hospitality business for a long time since they opened Fat Jimmy’s Boracay. For his latest offering at the family-owned hotel
in Tagaytay, Gomez wanted 8 Suites to be the first hotel in the city to bring guests the glamorous camping experience with a perfect view of Taal Lake.
The glamping site was located on a downward slope adjacent to the main building of 8 Suites. Our accommodations for the night were already set up. Two waterproof and windproof bohemian-inspired 4×4 glamping tents have been prepared for our barkada. The attentive staff explained that the tents can deflect the heat from the sun so it won’t be too hot inside even during summer. One tent is ideal for couples who want a romantic tryst under the stars, but in a more stylish manner. LED fairy lights glimmer to give off a romantic feel to the super comfy matresses and mounds of pillows. The bigger tent is suited for a family or barkada of four and the chic styling is absolutely instagram-worthy. A violin and guitar were even provided in the tent, personal possessions of the young owner who is a music lover himself. Of course, we put both instruments to good use that night. The glamping site is equipped with a grilling spot and a dining table for glampers who want to do a bit of cooking and eating while looking at the stunning view.
On that first visit, we had the camp all to ourselves as we occupied both tents. When you can arrange it, do so because this will allow maximum privacy and the exclusivity that will make for unforgettable barkada memories.
As food is another thing that binds our group together, we feasted on plates especially prepared by the kitchen of 8 Suites. A heavy mid-afternoon snack consisted of Spaghetti ala Puttanesca and garlicky stir fried Beef Salpicao seasoned with 8 Suites’ secret spices, all washed down with a chilled glass of refreshing iced tea. Dinner was a spread of the city-famous crispy Tawilis (a fish found only in Taal Lake) and all-time Filipino favorites Sinigang and Pork Liempo.
Our campsite was the vantage point for watching the sun set dramatically, the play of colors changing from deep oranges and pinks to the deeper tones of the night. The sounds of birds singing gave way to crickets announcing their presence, until finally everything quieted down as if the earth was getting ready for a peaceful slumber.
We enjoyed watching the city lights below, the blanket of stars above and the cool evening breeze while jamming, singing and strumming the guitar well into the early morning hours. We were just having fun catching up and luxuriating in each other’s company before we finally called it a day and crawled into our glamorous tents. The fairy lights that surrounded the area made for an enchantingly dreamy ambience, and that helped nudge us all into deep sleep. We felt our stressed bodies and minds drift off in complete relaxation, ready to get up as soon as the sun’s rays hit our tents a few hours later. Some of us were inspired to witness the sky heralding the beginning of a new day. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the exceptional beauty of Tagaytay. Imagine starting your day surrounded by the divine view of Taal Lake and its volcano, the bushes and trees, the clouds, a soft misty fog, and the sunrise all at the same time. That made us ready for a breakfast of savory Beef Tapa with sunny side up egg, Corned Beef with fried potatoes and Daing na Bangus all partnered with garlic rice and a cup of hot chocolate, brewed coffee and orange juice. We had our breakfast while enjoying the beautiful morning view of fresh nature from a 360-degree perspective.
The owner shared that they are adding five more glamping tents, each equipped with a walkie talkie so communication between guests and hotel staff is speedier and more convenient. They are also planning to build a swimming pool by next year, an area for toasting s’mores and warming up to bonfires. That sounds cozy on cold nights.
Glamping at 8 Suites is an altogether different experience as you feel you’re near the edge of a cliff with the incomparable splendor of Taal at your feet. It was a unique bonding experience that my friends and I will treasure. Where nature and glamour combine seamlessly to create a relaxing time, peace of mind and a renewed sense of completeness that only comes by being at the perfect place with the perfect people.
Book your barkada’s own glamping get together at (+02) 655.0194 or 0917.679.3088. To survey your glamping site, visit 8 Suites at Lot 7 Iruhin Ridge View, Barangay Iruhin, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite.