You’ve probably heard about “the simpler times” far too often from every aunt and grandma you’ve ever crossed paths with. But in this bed and breakfast in Laguna, where nature follows your every stride, you’ll find that there is so much life in simplicity.
Here, there is music in the rhythmic rustling of leaves and the quiet hum that envelops the casitas. Each bite of the food they serve comes from the most natural ingredients sourced from their little gardens. Water flows in lotus ponds, spring water baths, and dipping pools perfect to soak your feet in after a long day under the summer sun. If you’re used to busy work days and a cramped office space, this is the exact opposite.
Lotuspod Bed & Breakfast greets you with Balinese architecture woven intricately into the surrounding elements. It’s very simple, nothing to think too hard about. Yet every corner of this bed and breakfast immerses itself in its greenery and lotus pond with so much reverence and respect for nature. Beyond the spacious huts, magnificent Bali-themed entryways, and elegant outdoor dining setup is the humble backyard garden that has continuously nourished this 3-hectare property in Bay, Laguna.
From lettuce sprouts and family picnics
Founded by acclaimed Filipino journalist Cheche Lazaro, the place was born out of the desire to share the kind of peace she would experience in one of her favorite travel destinations. But while the majority of Lotuspod is inspired by Bali, look into the small details and accents and you’ll see that it is actually a seamless combination of the many places Cheche has traveled to.
From small organic vegetable plots bloomed what is now a picturesque nature-centric destination for anyone who needs a weekend of calm and serenity. As the years passed and the family’s knowledge for organic farming grew alongside their crops, they decided to welcome relatives and friends to their farm. They would gather under the shade of their large mango trees and feast on their favorite meal—chicken adobo with warm rice and freshly chopped tomatoes.
This image would spark interest in many other hopeful visitors who wanted nothing but to view the farm and listen to stories of how it came to be. Look-sees soon turned into day tours, now with activities and lectures from their neighboring friends from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. All the family really wanted for a time was to grow organic, pesticide-free arugula and lettuce. Now, Lotuspod is a sought-after location for Filipinos who want a unique but easy and laid-back escape.
The peaceful landscape has also entranced several event planners in and outside Laguna. So as they developed the area, Lotuspod soon opened its doors to weddings, parties, and other events that called for an elegant and tranquil space with the majestic Banahaw mountain range serving as a backdrop.
Lotuspod’s humble meals and grand catering services for events are meticulously prepared by multi-awarded chefs Ariel Manuel, the man behind Lolo Dad’s and Bistro Manuel, and Jessie Sincioco who took on the prestigious role of cooking for His Holiness Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines. Guests can enjoy dining al fresco underneath a canopy of lights. Even for big events, Cheche wishes for her guests to experience the same joy and ease she feels during family lunches under the shade of their trees. While Cheche continues to let her travels inspire Lotuspod Bed and Breakfast’s new ventures, she and her family see to it that little pieces of home would always remain within reach.
Sanctuary for nature and people
The farm now grows a variety of vegetables from red and green lettuce to leeks, eggplants, limes, and papaya. Step into the reception, and immediately the staff offers you a sweet and fruity drink made from their freshest fruits and lemongrass, an instant refresher from the road travel. Curious eyes may see around them several antique pieces kept in what looks like a vintage closet—pieces from the owners’ personal collections.
On the walls of the Casitas hang paintings of Nina Lim-Yuson, president of the Museo Pambata Foundation and sister to Cheche Lazaro. The delicate ink and watercolor artwork complements the simplicity of the rooms’ uncomplicated combination of wood and soft textile patterns. What is home away from home without subtle personal touches like these?
Every Casita has a private entrance that leads to a walkway with a garden and your very own open-air hot spring dipping tub. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll find an unobscured view of Laguna’s rice fields and plantations right from your terrace. Their Casitas can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 kids, or three adults if you’re planning a staycation for you and your best friends.
The traveler who yearns for ease and comfort will find a home for himself right here. Leisurely outdoor walks, whether during the day or at night, are so quiet that you can hear the faintest sounds. They have a dipping pool for feet at the far end of the casitas area, just in case you feel the need to rest your feet at any time of the day. And as the facilities are situated quite near each other, you might just find yourself at the spa sooner or later, grabbing one of their colorful abaniko fans and relaxing in a hot tub with water coming from Laguna’s famous hot springs.
Through Lotuspod’s efforts to take good care of the earth that gives life to their produce, they have created a haven for advocates of sustainability and conservation. This is what inspired visual artist and muralist Anina Rubio’s stunning botanical piece by the pool’s bar area. Bright paintings of lotus petals, bird of paradise flowers, and banana leaves surround you as you sip on a refreshing drink right beside the pool on a hot summer day.
“Beef bulalo and chicken adobo,” our guide responds with certainty when asked what their restaurant’s best dishes would be. Filipino dishes are a must here, something to remind you of where you are and of the comfort of your own home-cooked meals.
As the sun sets, opt to dine underneath the stars and allow the cool breeze to sweep around you as you cap off a day of steadiness and ease.
Little piece of the world, little piece of home
It is fascinating to observe how Lotuspod Bed & Breakfast has thoroughly combined the intricacies of Balinese architecture with interesting Filipino elements, while seeing to it that they always go back to where it all began: as a small plot of organic arugula and lettuce. Like their gardens, growth has found Lotuspod in its rightful time.
Because of the simplicity that cloaks the place, you never feel overwhelmed. There is only a sense of having just enough—enough to house you and your loved ones for a quiet night away from the city, enough to satisfy your craving for a bit of fresh air and some good Filipino cuisine. It is perhaps an ode to the humble beginnings of this Laguna farm, a quiet family picnic underneath the mango trees on a perfect summer afternoon.
From the personal gardens in the Casitas to the several dipping pools scattered around the area, there is utmost tranquility in the fact that here, in this sanctuary that feels like a slice of home, the calming power and beauty of nature always finds its way into even the smallest, most unassuming details.
2340 Kalsadang Putol Street, Purok 6
Brgy. Puypuy, Bay, Laguna
(0995) 237 0590 (SMS only)
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