TALE AS OLD AS TIME 2: PARADORES DEL CASTILLO
Maria Cristina M. Aguilar
Not far from the Casa Villaviciencio is the Paradores del Castillo. It was the former residence of Herminigildo and Leonore del Castillo, which was built in the early 1900s. The casa is surrounded with wide, wooden, and vintage sliding windows reminiscent of its pre-war history.
It opened for business last 09 March 2015. It welcomed the delegation from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) comprising of international students from Seoul National University and Yale University for their 2-day stay in Taal, Batangas.
As the guests entered the facility, Filipino hospitality became evident. The staff welcomed the guests with refreshing citrus drinks and cold, moist hand towels. Guests’ luggages were immediately transferred from the bus to each of the designated rooms. Since there are no elevators, the service staff were courteous to carry the luggages up a flight of stairs.
Paradores, a bed-and-breakfast casa, is located on Calle H. Del Castillo. It is a few meters from the famous Casa Villavicencio; the San Lorenzo Ruiz steps to the Virgin of Caysasay Church; and the Sta. Lucia Well. It is walking-distance from the Taal Municipal Market; Don Juan Restaurant; and the St. Martin de Tours Basilica – Asia’s biggest Catholic Church.
Its seven (7) rooms have been named after fruit-bearing trees that provide bountiful produce during its season. These trees also provide shade in the casa’s rear garden. These trees are Langka, Lanzones, Mangga, Niyog, Saging, Sampaloc, and Santol. Likewise, Ms. Maria Rosario Ria Saldana Benedicto (wife of the owner, Mr. Ernie Villavicencio), is an interior designer who landscaped the property with several fruit-bearing trees and aromatic flowers (e.g. Cananga odorata also known as ylang-ylang), which adds to the scenic view and ambiance.
The spacious rooms are decorated with a combination of Filipino, Spanish, and American accent. Its high ceilings and vintage decorations are reflective of how spacious Filipino homes were. Rooms are equipped with WiFi and are air-conditioned for the comfort of the guests.
Paradores serves complimentary Filipino buffet breakfast - tapang Taal, adobo, corned beef, and special dried fish (biya) with pickled green papaya (achara) were served together with bonete bread and steamed white rice. Coffee (Batangas’ famous kapeng barako), fresh fruit juices, and lemon water were also served unlimited. You can also request to have your egg cooked as an omelette, sunny side up, or scrambled.
For a night of quiet talks overlooking the garden and surrounding skyline, the Blue Note Bar, Bamboo Lounge, and View Deck provide guests with relaxation while enjoying the view of the surrounding skyline.
For more information, visit http://www.paradoresdetaal.com/
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