Okay, so Indonesia is a plane ride away and definitely will cost a lot if I plan on going there now. The great thing about experiencing Indonesia that's practically the same in the Philippines is the weather. But anyway, going to Bali, Indonesia is very pricey without the promo fare Bali is definitely one place my family would love to go to since they also have great volcanic mountains to hike. For now, I'd settle for a cheaper alternative, a Balinese Garden Resort and Spa that’s not too far away from home—Cintai Corito's Garden. This high-end garden hotel is not cheap when it comes to prices but with a mind-blowing 47% discount, my family and I really had to go there!
Since this is a nature getaway, it's not that near from the city. It's a good 1 to 2-hour ride from SLEX to Cintai Corito's Garden Hotel. You won't hear many garden hotels anywhere; you'll often hear about mountain resorts, mountain hotels, beach resorts, etc. but garden hotels are hard to come by and especially not as beautiful as this one. It's found along Leviste Highway and it isn't hard to find at all.
There’s no other place to buy stuff once you get there. So, expect to buy any necessities from the Cintai Coritos at an overpriced cost. The location is beautiful, hugged by trees and natural forests right around; it is home to a lot of feathered friends who are willing to sing your melodies at any time of the day, especially early in the mornings.
Standing just by the entrance of Cintai Coritos, you already expect to enter a different country. The Bali-inspired garden hits you right in the face once you enter the gate. And of course, the stunning garden just really pulls you towards it even before you check in. I love that different parts of the hotel are in different buildings. Each accommodation is separate from the other. So, anyway, upon entering the vicinity of Cintai Coritos, I was super excited. I already spotted a spa nearby.
The staffs were very friendly and open. Nice smiles are great ways to begin the day at a new place and with the added beauty of the place, I'm happy to be greeted by friendly staffs. The staffs were very helpful as well. Since the rooms are too far from the receiving area, we have to walk a long way with our luggage. It’s a good thing that one of the staffs offered help immediately. They will go out of their way to help you in whatever it is that you needed. That's probably one of the plus sides I like about this place.
As usual, the check-in time was 2 PM and the check-out is at 12NN. But they can check you in an hour early once your room is nice and ready. But that won’t happen during peak season because they tend to be fully booked. Anyway, we arrived a really early so we stayed for few hours in one of the swimming areas. While going to our room, I was pretty psyched about the place because I can already feel the different ambiance it offers. It's a great natural location and the place really did feel unfamiliar—as if you really were outside the country.
We booked the cheapest room we can get as a family and it was a Terrace Villa. I expect it to be small but it was too big for just us three. There are two huge queen sized beds in our room. It was very clean and every single thing is Bali-inspired – the paintings on the wall, the fixtures, the furniture, and even the added lining have a touch of Bali. I also particularly liked the carpets.
Our room is really spacious. It comes with a wide cabinet and bedside tables. However, with such a wide space, it does feel a bit bare since it doesn't have much in it. It has its own sitting room right outside the villa. The seats are nice with an overhead canopy of vines and flowers.
The toilet is very spacious as well. There's plenty of room for four people to do their makeup all at once. The mirror was also set in Bali-style and I love that every aspect of the entire garden is right on cue with the Bali theme. On the downside, they didn't give complete toiletries; just the soaps and shampoo and conditioner sets. I felt a bit upset by that because their rates are really high and when I asked just to confirm whether they forgot to put toiletries, they told me that they are bought separately—my jaw dropped. Still, it wasn't a problem but I did kind of expect that they should give the dental kit like other hotels because you pay really good money to check-in on their garden hotel.
Many would complain about the fact that they do not have Wi-Fi or that their rooms had no TV. Well, that was actually the point! In order to get away from the city and really enjoy mother nature, you have to detach yourself from the luxuries of technology. If guests are pretty desperate to check-in on social media, the mobile data connection in the Cintai Coritos may work, so you have to bring your own internet pack with you. But don’t expect too much.
The entrance to our villa was through the wide doors that open up to the terrace. I kind of found myself very bare and open but I'm glad the glass doors are mirrored. Meaning, I can see from the inside but those outside can see the glass as mirror. But I still felt kind of on display in my own villa. They do have curtains in case you feel the same way I did.
NOTE: Had I known that they also have Deluxe Villa that is good for a family of three, I would have saved even more!
Though it was a Bali-inspired garden hotel, the food was absolutely nothing but a typical Filipino menu. The breakfast was kind of plain—and no other choices to pick from—Filipino breakfast with egg, rice, and protein. But you will love other food from their menu, especially the desserts. I really liked their panna cotta. They also offer the famous Batangas Kapeng Barako to your absolute delight. I did find things pricey but what can you expect if you enter a place where you're not supposed to think you're in the Philippines.
This is the highlight of Cintai Coritos. It is filled with intricate Hindu statues and architecture. Majority of the statues feature Balinese, Javanese and Hindu divinity. I love the very detail they put in every building, every pathway, every statue, and even every door. All the villas come with a Bali-inspired roofing and structure. Even the swimming pools are wide and are also surrounded by gardens and beautiful day cottages.
Cintai Corito's has a mini zoo. They feature peacocks, spotted deer, miniature horses, eagles, and other birds that live around the area. It also has a playground for kids. The entire place isn't actually that big because you can easily go around in one day but with the arrangements and the proper meticulous design of the buildings and the gardens, it looks so wide. The place has plenty of steps though but not too troublesome.
Cintai Corito's Garden Hotel has a beautiful history along with such a beautiful surrounding. This place is meant to be a getaway from all things that bustle in the city. It's meant to relax you, keep your mind off things and also escape from the typical resort experience we often get. I loved this place and I was so happy to cut cost from getting a nice discount. If not, I'd never go to this place because it's way over my budget. I will definitely go back here again if there’s a discounted opportunity.