To ease my frustrations over getting older, being stuck at home, and not being able to travel, I planned to celebrate my 38th birthday last year by having a staycation. So, I browsed through various hotel/room booking sites, targeted the areas of Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal, until I found one that looked interesting enough to warrant a closer look. It’s located in an exclusive village in Cainta, Rizal. And the listing’s selling point? It’s a studio unit on the rooftop with a mountain view.
I booked for two nights, the original dates falling on my birthday. A few weeks before my reservation, however, the government declared the second round of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). I quickly sent a message to the host requesting to reschedule, which she gladly accepted. Thus, I stayed there from the 16th to the 18th of October.
I wasn’t alone, as always, I was with my favorite travel/hotel buddy, Cai (Travelosyo).
The owner of this listing, Honey, has a Superhost badge in Airbnb. Superhosts, if you’re not aware, are experienced hosts known for going above and beyond in ensuring amazing experiences for their guests. Based on my interaction with her, I can attest that Honey deserves such merit.
She is very responsive and accommodating, and patiently answered all my queries. When I had to reschedule, she willingly obliged.
Because my original plan has something to do with my birthday, I asked her if it was okay to accept three additional guests, albeit non-staying, on the night of my birthday. She told me that while she personally didn’t mind, Airbnb hosts need to observe the COVID safety protocols at that time. Having said that, Honey was willing to let me have two visitors. I ended up canceling the plan because as I mentioned, I didn’t go there on my birthday. Still, I appreciate Honey’s willingness to work around my plan.
Getting there is a bit tricky because there are two Corona streets in Cainta. So, if you’re booking this place via Grab, look for this specific place on the map. This is the one that leads to this Airbnb. There is an SM Hypermart across the main entrance to the village.
The caretaker, Diane, greeted me when I arrived. She even helped me with my small luggage when we took the spiral staircase. The room is on the rooftop within a gated apartment. Before she left, she gave me the key to the room and told me that I could text her if ever I need anything.
The room is fitted with a double bed (which I didn’t realize were two mattresses stacked on top of each other until Cai mentioned it), a TV with Netflix, a small fridge, and a microwave oven.
Plastic tables and chairs are set up outside on top of the artificial grass mat. However, it had been raining a lot when Cai and I were there, so we didn’t get to stay in this area that much. I think it’s a perfect place for a little get-together. If only we’re not having this whole pandemic situation, I would have asked more of my friends to come for a drink.
We bought some groceries from SM Hypermart for our food and I let Cai take care of the cooking.
Now let’s get to the things that this Airbnb can improve on. The showerhead in the bathroom is broken, the water comes out, not from the holes but from the gaping side. It is so weird. Also, the air conditioner was leaking so we had to put the rug and the dipper to catch the dripping water. I informed the host of these when I left my Airbnb feedback; hopefully, they were able to fix them already.
All in all, I loved staying in this Airbnb. My home has been my place of work since the pandemic began so it was nice to be somewhere else and not be reminded of work. The place sits in a quiet neighborhood, the WiFi connection works fine, and there’s Netflix if you want to binge some series or movies. It’s a good place to escape without leaving the city.