A couple of years ago, a group of ten of my family members had the unique experience of staying at Sonya's Garden in Cavite, Philippines to bring in the new year. It is a B&B located on the side of a cool, misty mountain surrounding a lake that formed around a volcano (I know, it sounds like something out of a fantasy novel). The area is a popular summer destination for locals to escape the stifling city heat. A real vacation would be nice but no can do at the moment. Looking at the photographs I took on that trip is the next best thing, I suppose.
The philosophy behind Sonya's Garden is apparently practicing the "art of doing nothing." In addition to honoring beautiful Filipino colonial architecture and interiors, all the food served is grown organically *on premises*. There was always aromatic pandan* infused water available to drink (which was delicious!). The grounds are also covered in flowering plants and trees. The result is a beautiful, quiet place to dine, relax and de-stress. Far away from our hectic, gadget-driven lives. Some of the houses to rent are large enough to sleep 12 people. But there are accommodations for parties of two as well... The only thing I would say was missing was a water element. Like a pool or hot tubs, perhaps?
I spent the earlier part of New Year's Eve getting a massage at their spa. The only sound I heard while being kneaded was the breeze blowing through a bamboo grove directly outside and the hollow clunking of the stalks as they gently collided. This was followed by an incredible meal with my family while a trio serenaded us with traditional folk music. It was the most beautiful, relaxing way to bring in the New Year. It was amazing.
The bed where I slept. Love!
The exterior of the house.
The living room was gorgeous too. I loved the capiz shell windows throughout.
I also loved the pebbled shower surrounded by windows.
The grounds were also dotted with day beds framed by roots and branches.
Fresh mangoes every morning. Heaven.