by Julia Escano
Beaches are a staple when it comes to weekends and short vacations out of town. Likewise, mountain climbing and camping have become a popular activity across the board. But too much of these and you can’t help but look for something new, something different, but something equally fun. In the past few years, farm resorts across the Philippines have grown in number. Soon they will probably become the next hot destination for weekend warriors and out-of-towners looking for a different experience.
Farm resorts are great in that they offer a different side of nature we rarely get to see, while providing all the creature comforts of a true getaway. Imagine the serenity of waking up in the morning and looking out into vast farmlands where you are protected from the hustle and bustle of the city. The following is a list of farm resorts near Manila, which offers a unique escape from the daily grind or the usual destinations.
Costales Nature Farms
Located in Majayjay, Laguna, Costales Nature Farms was established in 2005 to cultivate premiere organic produce in the country. Now, it has also opened its doors as one of the pioneering farm resorts in the region. They’ve also developed several tours and weekend packages depending on the activities guests want to experience. Packages range from P411 to P4000, from one-day farm tours to two-night outdoor explorations with accommodations. While it has yet to become five-star, the freshly picked, all-organic ingredients in every meal continuously get raves.
Villa Socorro Agri-Eco Village and Farm Resort
Villa Socorro isn’t just a banana plantation or a manufacturer of banana chips. It’s a resort nestled in the middle of farmlands that’s perfect for groups and families. One of the features of the farm is a tour of their plantation and a demonstration of how they make banana chips. Other activities range from early morning yoga sessions and hilot in their Forest Spa to swimming in the Balanac River, to vegetable picking and tree planting, to river rafting and trekking, there’s an itinerary for every guest’s palate. One of their most popular activities for families is carabao rides for kids, a favorite for city children who rarely get a glimpse of farm-life.
Sitio de Amor Farm Resort
With its landscaped grounds, well-designed cottages, and Filipino-themed room interiors, a stay in Sitio de Amor is a great balance between luxury and nature. Swimming, stargazing, and spa treatments complement leisurely walks and horse-back riding around hectares of trees. Hammocks and gazebos scattered around the farm also await those wanting to just sit back, relax, and take it slow.
Location: Km 88 Maharlika Highway, Purok Paraiso, San Antonio, San Pablo, Laguna
Contact: (+632) 401-7344, (+632) 552-7340
More info: Website
The Farm at San Benito
As farm resorts go, The Farm at San Benito is perhaps one of, if not the best in the country. But a few days here isn’t just a vacation; it’s a holistic lifestyle adjustment. From personalized detox programs, to anti-aging and rejuvenation packages, to weight management routines even after your visit, The Farm at San Benito aims to revert your habits and health practices radically back to a clean, natural, and positive state. With its trained staff, first class accommodations, and five-star organic food, a stay at The Farm is sure to reenergize its guests mentally, physically, and emotionally for months – if not years – to come.
Dewi Sri Farm
Perhaps one of the best things about this Balinese-inspired farm hideaway is that it’s a mere two hours from the metro. Dewi Sri is a working farm, with livestock and produce, but feels more like a lush resort with its interior-designed rooms, swimming pool, and landscaped gardens. Activities in Dewi Sri are centered on learning about various types of farming and loads of animal interaction for children. Bustling farm-life is perfectly balanced with indulgent comforts, making Dewi Sri farm a unique experience.
The Coffee Farmhouse
This quaint escape in Cavite isn’t just for those looking to get away from the city; it’s for coffee-lovers as well. Farm activities are centered on coffee, among the acres of coffee trees planted in the property. Guests learn everything about this beloved drink, from how it is processed as beans to the different ways to enjoy it as a drink. Between tours, guests can enjoy some recreational activities from swimming to ball sports to massages. The Coffee Farmhouse is a great place for couples, families, barkadas, and even corporate groups.
Unlike the rest of the spots featured on this list so far, Pacific Farm is not a resort, nor your typical farm with livestock and greens. It is a salt farm located in Bolinao, Pangasinan. A visit in Pacific Farm is a unique learning experience where visitors can tour of the salt flats, the salt mounds, and a salt lake. They can also try raking salt themselves to get a feel for the kind of work it takes to create table salt. Activities like gourmet pairings elevates salt and lets the guests experience how it can accentuate flavors. All in all, it’s a farm experience like no other as visitors get to learn things they won’t find anywhere else.
Location: Bolinao, Pangasinan
Contact: (+632) 371-4304 to 05, (+632) 412-5425 to 27
More info: Website
Doña Jovita Garden Resort
Sitting at the foot of Mt. Makiling is this unpretentious, family-run garden resort. Its main feature is the pools of hot springs famous in Laguna. Being so close to Manila, it’s a great day trip destination for a quick escape from the flurry of the city. The thick trees and fresh air, however, can quickly pull guests in for an overnight stay. The resort offers two styles of room accommodations, some with their hot springs pool, plus a variety of cottages and treehouses for those visiting for only a day.