Located two-three hours away and 80 kilometers south of Manila, Lipa City is Batangas’ seat of ancestry, recreation, commerce, religion, and culture. It is a town considered as paradise by many – from those celebrating special occasions, to those on religious pilgrims, and to those simply wanting a tranquil getaway.
In the late 1800s, Lipa was purported the richest town in the Philippines as it became the world’s biggest and only supplier of coffee beans. With its rise to premiere economic status, Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain conferred the title of “Villa” to Lipa as a reward for the hardwork of its people and its contribution to the Philippines and the world. Amidst their city’s earned status symbol, the Lipeños still remained industrious, hospitable, and strong-willed – characteristics that still hold true to this day.
If there’s one particular place in Lipa that can represent its heritage and beloved people, that is Hotel 1925. Nestled on a 1,209 sqm property, Hotel 1925 is a modern, 16-room boutique hotel, that parades timeless architectural beauty and pays homage to the height of splendor and luxury of Lipa.
Experience Travel & Living gives you the story behind Hotel 1925, and a sneak peek of what you can expect at this classic getaway and the symbolic places where you can get a decadent experience and taste of the historical city of Lipa.
The Tale of Hotel 1925
The tale of this new landmark in Lipa city began with Rufino Mojares, more popularly known as “Pinong”. Manong Pinong (born 1925) was a survivor of the Japanese occupation, thus he needed to develop a high entrepreneurial spirit to rebuild his life. He sold a variety of things – from appliances to jeepneys – and just like the stories of Filipino tycoons, he also experienced some highs and lows as an entrepreneur. In the same light, Manong Pinong reached his success story and eventually built an open-space warehouse in Lipa to store most of his products. Then, he had three daughters: Ma. Socorro Mojares-Cadiz, Esperanza Mojares-Leyeza, and Michelle Mojares-Fabie.
During one conversation with his daughters, Pinong requested a statue to be built in his memoriam. Fast forward to 2016, the daughters, with the help of Michelle’s husband TJ Fabie III, built Hotel 1925 right on the grounds where Pinong’s warehouse was erected. The hotel serves as a monument for their father, Pinong, and how his success story inspired them to provide an emblematic place that Lipeños would be proud of.
Unwind: The Hallways and Suites of Hotel 1925
Before we had a peak of the chic 56-sqm Balcony Suite King of Hotel 1925, we were delighted by the sight of the exquisite hotel interiors and set of antiques at the hallways. Upon entering the hotel lobby, you’ll be greeted by warm smiles of their staff and a deluge of stunning sights. A wooden grand central staircase, a vintage cashier box, classic black-and-white Machuca tiles, antique walnut dressers and aparadors- these are just some of the things that truly take a guest to the good ‘ol times.
Now, onto the Suite. With a Suite King Balcony room, you can expect to use an electronic key card to open your wide wooden door, then lay down on a chiropractic king-size bed after a day’s worth of tour in Lipa City (which we’ll get to later). While relaxing, you can turn on the LED cable television set, or binge on your favorite Netflix show with their high-speed internet connectivity.
You can also look forward to the ensuite bathroom that provides you with imported French toiletries by Les Couvent des Minimes, or stand on the balcony to breathe in the cold breeze of Lipa at night.
Before you get to enjoy the luxury of this elegant suite, wouldn’t it be nice to have a tour of Lipa and enjoy what the town has in store? Experience Travel & Living recommends 5 places in Lipa where you can experience the best of Lipa in culinary, history, education, and relaxation.
Dine: Imprenta and Casa Marikit
When it comes to great Filipino cuisine, you don’t have to go far away. Located at the first floor of the hotel, you can find Imprenta Modern Filipino Cuisine where you can enjoy classic Filipino dishes and drinks. Enjoy a sip of the signature kapeng barako, savor the taste of Beef Kare-Kare, or go the traditional recovery food route with Tapsilog.
If you’re craving for international cuisine, we highly recommend Imprenta’s “sister restaurant”, Casa Marikit Ristorante Italiano. Michelle Mojares-Fabie, a culinary aficionado, brought Casa Marikit to life, making it the very first fine dining restaurant in Lipa. It is an 11-min drive from Hotel 1925, located at Brgy. Banay-Banay, right across the San Fernando Airbase.
This place has been getting rave reviews from food review sites, so we wanted to have our try at it. After a two-hour lunch of trying out varying pasta dishes, their signature steak, and gelato, all we can say was that everything was worth it! All the dishes were well-plated, the atmosphere was relaxing, the interiors are ‘worth that Instagram shot’, and the servers were attentive. Casa Marikit can indeed be a great place for special occasions and make you feel as if you’re dining in Italy.
Experience: Beehive Farm and Kitchen
If you have kids with you, or maybe you just love honey, make sure to include the Beehive Farm and Kitchen in your itinerary.
It’s a humble home turned into a dining place and center of learning for the buzzing beekeeping business not only in Lipa, but in the entire world. Owned by Mr. Joel Katigbak, the Beehive Farm and Kitchen serves fresh dishes that use honey produced from their very own bee farm as a key ingredient.
Apart from offering delectable dishes, they also offer short tours where you can get to take a close look at a beehive and see how the bees produce honey. One recommendation is to visit from January to May as it is the season for honey flow. Also, you and your family can also have a taste of different flavors of honey, learn the difference of their tastes, and know why they taste differently. Who knows, it might be your jumping-off point to becoming a honey expert, right?
Discover: Casa de Segunda
This is another must-visit place when in Lipa. Casa de Segunda is a renowned tourist site in Batangas as it is where the Luz-Katigbak ancestral residence stands, an almost century-old ‘bahay-na-bato’ that is known to be the home of Segundina Solis Katigbak- the first love of Jose Rizal.
The story of this National Heritage site was shared to us by the accommodating host Mrs. Lilet Malabanan, the granddaughter of Segundina. She started off with the story of short-lived romance of the young Rizal and Segundina, who met in Manila when the young girl from Lipa was still studying in La Concordia College. Unfortunately for the young Rizal, Segundina was already engaged to Manuel Luz, a son of an affluent family in Lipa as well. From then on, there story never picked up again, and Segundina spent the rest of her life lived in this ancestral house. Due to deterioration, Casa de Segunda underwent restoration and later turned into this beautiful museum.
Chill Out: Il Capo
Located in the same floor as Imprenta, Il Capo is one of the newest go-to places in Lipa for gentlemen who would simply love a tete-a-tete over a glass of whisky and get a well-deserved clean cut and shave – all while listening to relaxing jazz music.
Apart from professional barber services and a wonderful menu of coffee and liquor, the guests of this snazzy craft barbershop can also expect to see antique collections, such as a vintage Vespa and old-fashioned furniture. Il Capo surely is a unique barbershop in Lipa where you can have an experience that will exceed your expectations.
From mouthwatering local and international dishes and educational experiences to the warm hospitality offered by the people of Lipa and Hotel 1925, our visit to this amazing city was truly one for the books. It is an experience that made us want to return to the hotel and the city along with our families.
As for Hotel 1925, the coming years looks promising for them as it aims to build a fitness gym, grand ballroom, swimming pool, spa, salon for women, a large garden and more exquisite rooms that will delight both Lipeños and town visitors alike.
If you’re looking to have a deluxe experience in a culture-rich city that’s mere hours away from Metro Manila, Hotel 1925 is your place to be.
Facebook and Instagram: @hotel1925