MANILA, Philippines -- Love’s giddy first blush and its progression into aching affections come to life in this new boutique hotel in dreamy Tagaytay.
Dubbed by its owners as “the house of emotions,” The Boutique Bed and Breakfast is a seven-room hotel built around the exquisite yarns of romance.
The Boutique’s unique rooms and services have romance all covered—from the first furtive glances to the awkward conversations, from the first embrace to the lifelong commitment. The mushy, sappy and cheesy elements are rolled into one because, like it or not, that’s how the universal language of love is still spoken.
“We wanted to put up a place that would be more than just a boutique hotel so we adopted this fun concept on the pleasures of living,” said The Boutique’s young visionary, Happy Ongpauco.
Along with business partners Allana Montelibano, Sweet Cañete and Melon Santiago, Ongpauco leased a lot June last year with the picturesque view of the Taal Lake, tore down the old house and rebuilt everything from the ground up.
As the clock ticked away closer toward Christmas, construction was at lightning speed 24/7. By late November, the Boutique had its soft opening and, sure enough, became fully booked for the holidays.
Rooms are named after seven emotions, what Montelibano called the “seven processes of falling in love”: I Lust, I Dare, I Desire, I Dream, I Escape, I Surrender and I Love—and in that order, she stressed.
Montelibano said the rush of emotion begins with lust before one musters enough courage to say hello and strike up a conversation. “And then you get that dreamy faraway look and probably try to run away from the overwhelming sensation. When you get past that it’s when you’re ready to surrender and finally fall in love.”
To the lonely or the inconsolable, sorry, but there is no room called I Regret.
All rooms are equipped with wall-mounted LCD TV, iPod-ready docks, king-size beds with 300 thread-count linens. On purpose, only I Lust, the presidential suite, has a bath—the old-fashioned, four-pronged fixture with soft curves on the edges. And only I Love has a four-poster bed. Second-level rooms I Dare, I Desire and I Dream have private terraces overlooking Taal; I Love and I Surrender, on the ground level, have patios, while I Escape has its own pocket garden.
Room rates, from P5,000 up per day, are inclusive of all-day breakfast in bed for two.
Like the women behind it, The Boutique (tel. 046-4131885/1795/1698) knows what pampering guests truly means. Upon check-in, visitors are escorted into the Pamper Me room where they can choose from a variety of scents exclusively prepared for the hotel. Guests have options for their bath essentials, as well as room scents.
“We hired a chemist to come up with these wonderful products so that guests can bring their fantasies of luxury to the fore,” Ongpauco said.
Making choices is a heady rush. For bath scents, people can choose from tea tree, choco mint, lavender and lilac, milk and honey, peppermint and green apple, etc. For room fragrances, people can choose from blackcurrant, orange, strawberry, grapes, ocean breeze, rose, apple and hydrangea, etc.
The Pamper Me room has toiletries for sale, as well as souvenirs such as “naughty” pillow cases, exclusive perfumes and makeup sets. Strip poles are also available upon request.
“We want our clients to fulfill their romantic fantasies at The Boutique. If striptease is in order, why not? We want them to feel at home and enjoy their stay. We are not trying to be sleazy here,” Ongpauco said.
Designed by architect Jay Pabalan with interiors by Chat Fores, The Boutique’s look is a combination of Old-World charm and modern fixtures. The style veers away from the square and the serious. Fun, after all, is the operative word in this hotel.
There is a pillow menu, too, to ensure the utmost comfort of guests so they can doze off into slumberland—if tucking away for the night is part of their agenda, that is.
Busy executives who can’t live without their laptops in tow—even on a romantic holiday—have free access to Wi-fi Internet connection.
Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue, the bar and restaurant located on the ground floor, offers al fresco sitting with a delightful food menu. Ongpauco, after all, is a graduate of the Culinary Arts of America.
“There is a misconception that food infused with fruits is sweet. I mix my recipes with the right combination of fresh spices and herbs for the dish to avoid becoming too sweet,” she said.
As Ongpauco is as passionate about food as she is about life, The Boutique is also lined with potted herbs and spices.
“We want to take our guests to a place so strange and yet familiar, and that is our emotions. This is sophistication, this is passion, this is the high life,” Ongpauco said.
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