After chasing writing deadlines and keeping up with a varied schedule of errands, events and classes to teach it’s imperative that I allow my brain (and my body) some time to just think of (and do) nothing. It’s times like these that I look forward to taking some time away from the city.

These days my daydreams gravitate south of the Philippines but when a quick getaway is needed, Tagaytay is always the answer for many Manilaneans like myself. It’s just a quick 1-hour drive out of the city (which probably is faster than your Manila morning commute on most days) and the view of the lake coupled with a string of restaurant options is enough to break your work-filled illusion of life.

Coupled with this vision in mind is that of someday basking in my own rest house retreat outside of the city. This brought me to look for an AirBnb that would awaken my imagination and allow me to – just for a day or two – live in that dream. I was lucky enough to find such a place in Tagaytay Overlooking Chalet.

It was so spot on. Note that you’d need to take quite a few steps down the private, open stairway in order to reach the Chalet so be prepared to carry anyone unable to get down. Another tip is to prepare to stay there (bring some snack and food to cook!) going down all those steps means you have to climb all of them to get out too.

Good news is that those stairs are a great warm-up in case you’d like to do some yoga when you get to the paradise that is the Chalet. You can roll out a mat easily on the roofed balcony which monopolizes it’s own view of Taal lake. Just amazing.

The Chalet has one large residence that’s cut into three rooms by dividers. Their AirBnb page says it can accommodate as many as ten people.

This cozy place brings you close enough to immerse in nature while feeling the comforts of modern life. It’s rustic, enchanting and oh so peaceful. My favorite part – they have a large picturesque kitchen which you might as well start a cooking show in. My kitchen rat self was happy.

Overall, this place was a great meditative experience. Truthfully, it may have been better maintained in certain areas but all that was minor in book. It sent me an energy that was joyful, simple and consoling. Consoling? Yes, absolutely. A workaholic like myself can go through a type of work-withdrawal and therefore experience guilt at any sign of relaxation. It’s a point where your insides are screaming “The nerve of this person to stop replying to calls and emails then put her feet up to relax?!” But then again we know that life is not all about work. Unravel yourself and allow yourself to be unlabelled, unbound and unreachable for a few days. This place told me I needed to do all of that before it could lend me the rest of its charming secrets.