Wake up and smile. Stay young and wild at heart. Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.
I get these kind of subtle messages, the moment I entered the wonderland that is Casa de Amor Bed and Breakfast. The B&B is part of the KJC Farm, hidden at the heart of Amadeo, Cavite. The town is known as the “Coffee Capital of the Philippines”, but with Casa de Amor around, it may also be dubbed “the Boho Capital of the South”.
Hippies, artists and free-spirits will surely feel at home staying, partying, or simply soul-searching in this quaint and chic vacation farmhouse.
After I attended a work-related activity in Tagaytay, I extended my stay when I found out that Casa de Amor is just about 30 minutes away from the hotel I was staying in. From the photos I’ve seen on AirBnb, the place looks whimsical and enticing. And up close, it truly is.
It is accessible by commute (tricycle drivers in Amadeo are familiar with KJC Farm). But instead of taking the jeepney, I decided to hire a tricycle from Tagaytay (Amadeo Road) to avoid several transfers. It’s necessary to use Waze or Google Map, since the place is a bit far from the main highway and especially if the hired driver isn’t from Amadeo.
The two-storey restaurant is the most visible structure of the B&B from the road. It also doubles as the reception area. It is spacious, covered in screen, and has a laid-back and youthful vibe with nice Bohemian touch. Banal, lacklustre, ordinary – seems like these words aren’t part of the vocabulary of the owners, who made sure to put a big smile to anybody who steps in and discovers about the place.
The stairs look like a rainbow. The 3D mirror wall sticker clock is fancy. The flower-decorated bull skull with horn wall décor appears dainty and feminine, not scary. Houseplants and cacti not only embellish the interiors but also help purify the air.
The upper floor has a more relaxed ambiance with all the multi-coloured bean bags and throw pillows surrounding Japanese-inspired low tables (where diners need to sit on the floor). What’s more amazing is the real tree which forms part of the decoration, and is adorned with lanterns, lights and dreamcatchers. Promise, every corner is IG-worthy.
There is also a wooden cabinet filled with toys, books and magazines, a wonderful collection of the owners lovingly shared with the guests. Kids will definitely love playing with Marvel super heroes, miniature cars or Peppa Pig.
As for me, I got to re-read my favorite lines from Mitch Albom’s all-time bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie - “Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent”; “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning”; “This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It's knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”
I was also happy to find among the collection, Harper Lee and James Patterson.
I also found several musical instruments and learned that a live acoustic band regularly plays every Saturday night to entertain diners. I missed the show so I just played around with the guitar.
The restaurant also offers appetizing comfort food such as pasta, burger, coffee and fruit shakes, and all-day breakfast meals.
There is an al-fresco area, located in the lower backyard, for those who want to dine closer to nature and interact with their friendly house dogs.
Behind the restaurant are the two newly-built villas of the B&B (two more are being constructed to accommodate more guests). The villas, enclosed within a bamboo fence, are good for couple or family of four.
As expected, they are not just “the usual” accommodation but rather signature modern Bohemian rooms that look like entries to the annual and prestigious exhibit of the Philippine School of Interior Design.
Both rooms are vibrant and eclectic; have queen size-bed and extra mattress, with almost a dozen of pillows of different sizes and colors. Ornamental plants are also present in the room, making it more relaxing. The Te Amo room has this gorgeous bed with a hip and artsy headboard. It also comes with its own duyan.
The Mahal Kita Room, on the other hand has this attractive four-poster bed, with a cute pink lips pillow, and a mismatch of vintage and modern furniture and decorations. The bathroom is clean, spacious, and has an outdoor tub.
With a chic and charming room like this, I’m certain no one would ever want to leave. I didn’t want to. Maybe except to dine in the restaurant or take a late afternoon or early morning stroll around the vicinity and admire the expansive vegetable farms, pineapple fields, and the simple, pastoral daily life of the locals. Time is slow and sweet in this part of town.
I love the fresh and clean air of Amadeo, the dusk, how the Casa glows at night, and the amazing and friendly people behind one of the most eccentric and lovely AirBnB listings I’ve come across. It is certainly a gem just waiting to be found.
From Manila, take Tagaytay bound bus from Lawton, Buendia or South Terminal in Pasay. Get off at Premier Plaza in Silang. From there, ride a tricycle going to the Casa.
Casa de Amor Bed and Breakfast
#3083 Halang-Dagatan Rd.,
Purok 6, Brgy. Halang
Tel. No.: 0929-5874281