That’s the greeting guests receive when they arrive at Anya Resort Tagaytay. It’s a simple, yet heartwarming welcome from a sanctuary that wants to make every one feel, well, at home.
Anya’s fresh air and tropical landscape make it an ideal destination for individuals who want a weekend getaway of relaxation—no distractions from work, with a conscious effort to focus on well-being, and just being in the moment.
Just an hour and a half away from Manila, Anya is close enough to drive to (even on a whim), but exclusive and private enough to shake off all hapless energy that a prolonged lockdown restriction has brought people for having them stay cooped up inside their houses for far too long.
In Anya, there’s a lot of open spaces for guests to walk around in, plenty of lush greenery which further cools the already chilly weather of Tagaytay, and beautifully designed rooms with familial Filipino tropical theme, accentuated with functional contemporary flourishes.
The result is a decisively comfortable ambience and restorative vibe.
“In Anya, nothing feels rushed, as if time slows down just a little bit,” Mikel Arriet, general manager of Anya Resort Tagaytay, told Getaway.ph in a recent visit there.
Anya is managed by AHG, one of the most-trusted hospitality management groups in the country. With over 20 years of experience, AHG continues to prove its success in managing top hotels and resorts such as Club Punta Fuego, Amara Residences, Terrazas de Punta Fuego and Go Hotels.
Over sumptuous and healthy food, Arriet notes how wonderful it is to hear the laughter of children in the resort once more. That’s because during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and senior citizens weren’t allowed to go out of their houses, let alone stay in hotel and resorts. This was a huge blow for Anya, whose guests are made up primarily of families.
And while lockdown restrictions would seesaw (from tight to lose) over the course of the pandemic, this time, Arriet feels positive that Anya would be able to open for good from this day forward.
“We are ready to welcome our guests in a safe environment. With only a handful dozens of rooms in a 7.2-hectare property, it doesn’t get too crowded here, which means guests are able enjoy the fresh air outdoors and rest in their cozy rooms afterwards,” said Arriet, who first arrived in the Philippines in 2007 to work as an executive chef in the properties in Tagaytay, Batangas and Davao del Sur.
Despite the lingering challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic (and the Taal Volcano eruption before that), Arriet is determined to make Anya an eco-friendly hotel and a legitimate wellness haven.
Starting in January, there will be wellness programs that include classes on meditation, yoga, tai chi, art, cooking and other body-mind activities. To show that they are serious about this, Anya has partnered with European Wellness, an international organization that specializes in holistic health management and antiaging.
A big part of Anya’s push for a wellness thrust is the food they serve. The goal, Arriet said, is to create a resort where people can detox for a week while engaging in some resort activities such as meditation and workouts for a holistic wellness experience.
Arriet, who is originally from Spain, brings some of his Catalan background into the menu. Some of the must-try dishes in the resort are the ravioli with goat cheese from Nasugbu, Batangas, and the charcoal-grilled a la vasca (barramundi in olive oil and garlic sauce), the local version of Basque hake and the black squid ink paella with grilled octopus. Though, if you ask Arriet, his favorite Filipino dish is the kinilaw.
Anya is also big on sustainability. Already, the hotel is 95-percent free of single-use plastic. They also use eco-friendly chemicals and natural toiletries with biodegradable packaging. There’s a composting section at the back of the garden.
Arriet said: “The pandemic is far from over, but we’re definitely expecting a much happier Christmas and New Year this year. We look forward to welcoming back more of our guests sooner rather than later.”