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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stonehouse Gardens Resort Naga City

Naga City - Sometimes we get caught up with too much stress that we end up staring blankly. But why stare on a wall or office corner if you can have the option of looking at  a view from Panicuason overlooking San Miguel Bay area. Barangay Panicuason is home to numerous resorts. To name a few, we have the famous Panicuason Hot Spring Resort, the good ol' Penafrancia Resort, a quick dip at Sulat Pool for those in tight budget or a hike to Malabsay Falls for the young and adventurous. 

Stonehouse Gardens Resort is a 5 hectares native rain forest located at Barangay Panicuason just a few meters before the gates of Mt. Isarog National Park. There's an effort to concertize the road going to Malabsay, but at the back of my mind, I just wished that it remains to be the rugged road that it was so that it's not that accessible to many especially to irresponsible tourists.

It's my first time at Stonehouse and it was around 2010 when this resort was at its prime. Imagine, it took me almost 7 years to come here even if I'm a Nagueno. Indeed, timing is something that we don't get even with careful planning and our trip was just a fruit of a conversation at our office's lounge area. Some of the amenities might need a little renovation but I could not complain as this resort has a charm and glamour that you cannot get from the other resorts in Panicuason. 

Here's how you get to this beautiful resort right at the foot of Mt. Isarog.

Jeepney ride. From downtown Naga, go to the Panicuason bound terminal near P. Caceres St./Padian Street just right beside Metrobank. Jeepneys will stop at the barangay proper of Panicuason. Either you make an arrangement with the driver to drop you off the at the Girl Scout area where the private cars are usually parked or you rent a habal-habal so that you'll get to Stonehouse Resort directly. TIP: Get the number of the habal habal driver to pick you up after your stay at the resort. 

Private vehicle. SUV types can easily maneuver the path going to Stonehouse and Malabsay. Drove the Pajero of my officemate during our trip and it can obviously surpass a rough terrain and muddy areas coupled with experienced driving. The last time I went to Malabsay Falls with my college friends, I drove an Avanza. Though my fellow bloggers got their Suzuki Swift up to Stonehouse one time, but if you ask me, I won't risk driving a sedan or any subcompact car to this area.

Reservation is important. I messaged Stonehouse Gardens Resort for a day tour one Saturday on their Facebook page. They responded within the day and gave their mobile number  (0908)4501932 or (0917)5289457 to keep in touch on the day of our booking. Reservation was made easy and fast. Day tour costs P500 per person, inclusive of the use of amenities, plus welcome drinks (so you have to inform them the time of your arrival), unlimited brewed coffee which I really loved.

This is my favorite part of the resort. The main area plus overlooking San Miguel Bay area.

Below is the beautiful gate, as if it's part of the one of the Houses of Game of Thrones.  
The door bell is literally like a church bell. 

The main building with the accommodation. Overnight fee with the accommodation costs P3500 good for two with breakfast included.

Classy indoors. Loved every detail of this place. Even the shadows makes it lovelier.

Now let's go to the pool and lounge area. 

The welcome drinks.

The kitchen and bar area. I bet this whole place will be even charming at night.

The view from the billiard table. Every angle and corner of this place is refreshing to the eyes. 

Played pool too aside from the swimming pool haha. Brings back my high school memories. 

They also have a videoke machine that you can freely use. Just take turns just in case there are other guests.

Now let's go to the pool area. Of no doubt, the infinity pool of Stonehouse is the only infinity pool in the city that will give justice to its kind. An infinity pool is often designed such that the edge appears to merge with a larger body of water such as a larger body of water and the sky. The location of the resort sufficiently provides that requirement, San Miguel Bay and the sky with the perimeters of Mt. Isarog.

Probably this is the most photographed area of Stonehouse. No actioncam? No problem! Back when waterproof cameras are still expensive, Stonehouse has already given you the opportunity to have an underwater photo. 


Food. If you don't want to bring any meals for lunch. You can pre-order and talk about your food during your reservation. As for us during our trip, we packed our lunch together with a few drinks and snacks in between. You can order meals for P250 per person like this one below. 

Banana not included hehe. But I guess when there are harvest from their farm, fruits are also available.
Some tourists may actually choose the beach or any natural free flowing water for excursions. Stonehouse Gardens will not pass in that criteria but this resort is more than just an infinity pool. If aesthetics and design would be considered, for me the structure of this resort does not totally disturb the natural habitat of the place. Though yes, there's a built structure but the whole landscape is still natural. Panicuason Hot Spring resort might offer the "hot spring" per se which is their prime service, the whole place looks barren and too concrete. But again this is just my personal opinion and I also love the hot spring too, every outing really depends on what you would like to experience. 

I can actually gaze on the view that Stonehouse is offering even for a whole day without dipping in the pool. Here's a bonus, if you chance upon the resort being you as the only guest? Then you are in for a wonderful treat! It's quiet, serene and you'll be able to relax mentally, physically and psychologically. The experience will actually let you feel that the place is private and exclusively for you with the superb comfort. When looking down upon Naga and San Miguel area it's as if it's a temporary escape from the noise and pollution of the city, include toxic people too haha. And this we need once in a while. The next time I visit, I hope it would be an overnight stay, I bet the whole resort will glisten like a star. Hoping that it will not take me another 7 years. Oh so lovely!

Just one last tip, wait for the sunset. It's all worth it. 

All photos does not have any filter. What you see is what you get. 

Stonehouse Gardens Resort
Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/pg/StonehouseGardensResort/
For day tours, overnight and private parties: (0908)4501932 or (0917)5289457


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