When In Manila and life gets a little stressful, reward yourself with a well-deserved and idyllic getaway in a place that’s just as welcoming and comforting as home. We found this place called Casa San Pablo in San Pablo, Laguna that just took all our stress away and rekindled our love for simple things, reminisced our childhood and appreciate the hospitality of others.
One weekend we found ourselves on a bus heading to San Pablo Laguna. Half-thrilled the adventure that awaits us and half-worried due to the erratic weather. What awaits us on the end of the bus ride is a place called Casa San Pablo. Tucked inside the Gomez family estate, Casa San Pablo is an enchanting place where the small things count and make you feel that you’re just right at home.
“If you too are looking to pull back a bit from your hectic pace, come stay with us. We’ve created a cozy place for you to relish simple joys and rekindle a hometown feel for beauty in ordinary things. Let us comfort you with delicious food the way our lola used to serve them. And let’s swap stories like old friends. – Boots and An Alcantara, Casa San Pablo
Casa San Pablo is owned by Sir Boots Alcantara and the missus, Ms. An Alcantara. We were graced by the presence of Sir Boots upon our arrival at Casa San Pablo and they sure weren’t kidding when they mean that they’ll welcome you like Casa San Pablo is your home too.
Casa San Pablo immediately gave me a sense of comfort and home upon settling in. I guess that’s the good thing about bed and breakfasts, you’re in a new place yet you will never feel too far away from home. A small place card caught my attention while we were waiting to be checked-in, it says on it :
“Modern Nostalgia. That’s how we describe the ambiance of Casa San Pablo. It’s rustic but not really; vintage but not quite. What it is is strangely familiar — like you’ve had bits and pieces of our place in your own childhood. That’s the whole idea. We’ve taken nostalgia and given it a playful twist. The knickknacks you see around were put together to give you that find-and-seek feeling. Come and explore.”
I couldn’t agree any less. :)
We were assigned Room Number 1, which is good for 2 persons. It has a connecting door to Room No. 2 for families or groups who want adjoining rooms.
Casa San Pablo has a total of 18 rooms and casitas, each having a distinct personality to it. That means you have a pretty lot of reasons to go back and experience every room, right? And I won’t indulge into the details because I would like you to experience it yourself. :)
Inside Room Number 1. It is highlighted by a painting called “Hanging by the Moment” by E.J. Cabangon. When you get to visit Casa San Pablo, you will be able to read about its story which I think all of us can relate.
(Right) See those leaves in the bathroom? Those are clay leaves, molded from leaves
picked up in the compound of Casa San Pablo and hand-prepared by potter Ugu Bigyan.
On almost every bits and pieces within Casa San Pablo, there is a story behind it and that makes it interesting. The owners’ eclectic taste have given Casa San Pablo its irresistible charm.
Casa San Pablo’s overall aesthetics is of the perfect balance of artsy and homey. Your eyes will have a feast looking upon all the art installations and adornments; and when its time to rest those curious eyes, their cozy beds are waiting to lull you to sleep.
After settling into our room, we get to meet with Sir Boots Alcantara himself and he accompanied and toured us around his wonderland.
Welcome to room number 2! Its yellow walls are adorned these frames with something very valuable to Sir Boots.
What is inside them, you ask?
Lots and lots of miniature cars!! All still in their boxes and in mint state.
These babies are part of Sir Boots’ collection. I love toys as well and I was amazed with his love and passion in collecting them and integrating it inside Casa San Pablo which he also loves dearly.
The Room Full of Mirrors.
Now let’s go to Room Number 3! Vibrant with its magenta walls, this room is inspired after paper mache horses called the “Taka“.
Room Number 4 on the other hand contains a collection of birdhouses and birdcages from Paete some were gifts from friends of Sir Boots and Ms. An.
Room number 7 is a favorite. Named after a San Pablo-born poet Rofel Brion. He inspired a lot with his works and this room is also made for inspiration. It might seem small but it is very intimate and peaceful. I wouldn’t mind spending the entire day in this room, grab a book and send myself to an adventure.
Even the bathrooms in Casa San Pablo will give you a visual treat.
There is always something unique to find out.
And here’s Room Number 11, it is perfect for big groups as Casa San Pablo also hosts team building activities. May it be a corporate team building or just simply a barkada bonding, no problem! Everyone’s welcome at Casa San Pablo!
It has a screened porch that is ideal for that late-night tambays and talks with the barkada.
Newly-added casitas to accommodate more guests. The more, the merrier!
Now let’s see Room Number 12… it is said to be Casa San Pablo’s most romantic suite. Let us let the couples decide for it.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, then let me build you a dictionary with these paintings. Room 12 is adorned with a large painting of Malyn Banayo and these various nude drawings. It has glass sliding doors that open to a very pretty view of the garden.
On the other hand, room number 13 is great for big groups. It also has big sliding glass doors open to a great garden view. Your group can spend an afternoon here just chilling or playing games with cool breeze coming in. It can be also converted into an instant meeting room as there is a hidden whiteboard inside it, you will just have to find out for yourself where it is. ;)
A large oil painting called “Time Warp” by Malyn Banayag dominates room number 13.
You can check out the other rooms on Casa San Pablo’s website HERE. :) We only got the chance to peek inside some of the rooms, so there are more reasons to visit again and check out the others!
Last on our tour is the Dining Hall with the unforgettable bright red door and it’s upper floor.
The second floor of the main dining hall is really very interesting. It has toys, trinkets and thought-provoking paintings. This was where I was convinced that I share the same eccentric taste with Sir Boots when it comes to art and love for toys. :)
Since Casa San Pablo caters to wedding receptions, they can easily convert it into a reception area and adorn it with unique and personalized wedding decorations.
Then off we went to the dining hall to have our lunch. Casa San Pablo’s dining area is a treat not only to our visuals but also to our hungry stomachs!
Casa San Pablo serves Filipino food that gives the same comfort of home. Their meals are made from the freshest ingredients and home-cooked comfort food from Laguna is Casa San Pablo’s specialty.
Over our meal, Sir Boots told us a lot about Casa San Pablo and we will never get tired of his stories and his vibrant and personality. He told us about Casa San Pablo’s beginnings, how a storm bought havoc to Casa San Pablo and their family efforts to restore its charm (and even expanded it).
You can then spend the afternoon by talking a walk around Casa San Pablo’s grounds…
…or lounge around with friends.
Adore the small and unique things and decorations around just like the “taka” sheep mold that I found irresistibly adorable.
You can borrow a bike and relive your fun childhood memories as you go for a round or two on the trail.
Take a moment to appreciate nature and be grateful for life.
…or just sleep the afternoon away on one of the hammocks,
Or perhaps grab a chair and devour your favorite book.
Casa San Pablo inspires you to see the beauty in small and ordinary things. You will learn to appreciate the value of importance of simple things and what difference it makes when seen in the bigger picture.
And when night falls, Casa San Pablo is lovelier.
You can spread out a mat or lay on the hammocks and gaze at the night sky. You will surely have a good sleep afterwards. :)
Good morning Casa San Pablo!
Lounge around or even take a dip in the pool on lazy morning to complete your stay at Casa San Pablo.
Thank you Sir Boots for welcoming us warmly and all the fun stories you’ve shared with us!
We definitely can’t wait to go back to Casa San Pablo and get that feeling of familiarity on its grounds and just have a great time!
In Casa San Pablo, you are always bound to discover something new.