I’d been looking for a nice weekend date idea near Manila and eventually settled on Pinto Art Museum and Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo.
First of all, let me just say that even though I haven’t explored this province well yet, I’m already fond of it. It’s near the city (an hour at the very least), it has interesting local restaurants and it’s very close to nature. In fact, there are a number of nature reserves and resorts in Antipolo for a relaxing weekend getaway.
By the way, we had a date along with Hali’s mom. 🙂
Pinto Art Museum
Pinto Art Museum is part of the Silangan Gardens. It has an open plan with white-washed wall structures and high-ceiling exhibition spaces.
Pinto Art Museum is a nice surprise. I’ve often read and heard about it, but only on the context of being “instagram-worthy.” The architecture of the museum is Babylonian style, which makes it a great subject of photography and selfies. What I didn’t know is that aside from the photographic structures, Pinto Art Museum also has good paintings and installations from local artists… Better than we expected, admittedly.
Galleries 1 and 2 holds paintings with religious and fantasy themes. I’m not a fan of either, especially because religious art tends to be dark and depressing, reflecting how the church glorifies suffering. There is also some art pieces I find grotesque, like that one of a decorated dead bird. From what I understand, art reflects a person, so I wonder what fear or trauma or dark personality someone has to be able to create depressing art. Hey… no judgement, just wondering.
The art gets better with gallery 3 onwards.
There are semi-sculptures made of wires. They’re beautiful, and you can see the amount of work that’s been done on each. There’s also one remarkable art piece made of thread.
Here I’ll show some other pieces that we like.
Pinto Art Museum also has some of the best cultural items from Philippine local tribes that I’ve seen. There are paintings of tribal women including Apo Whang-Od, some awe-inspiring necklaces, clothes with beautiful patterns and musical instruments.
There are also pieces of art outside the exhibition halls. You need to be attentive to see them. Or not… it’s very easy to get lost in the scenic environment of Pinto Art Museum.
For an entrance fee of P200 each only, it’s a very sulit visit for art lovers and enthusiasts.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
Oh Luljetta’s… It’s a visit that has been delayed for quite a while. To give you an overview: Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa (pronounced as lul-he-ta’s) is currently the first and only hanging gardens and spas in the Philippines. It takes inspiration from the old Babylonian hanging gardens, which you can see from its exquisite decorations.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo has fish spas, a hydro-massage pool, warm jacuzzi and sauna and an infinity pool. It also has a few lounges for relaxing, playing sungka or native music instruments or watching a movie.
It also offers various services including massages and body scrubs.
Similar to Pinto Art Museum, we found Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa to exceed expectations. It’s surrounded by trees and shrubs, there are zen-like gardens and statues everywhere, a constant relaxing sound and soft bell rings in the background. The facilities, although are well thought of, the mountain view is amazing.
There’s so much details in its decors, and there are so many spots where you can take great photos. There are also signs with affirmations on the pathways, like “You are loved,” “Good vibes,” “Happily ever after starts here,” etc.
You can tell that this is a place made with love.
I also liked the fact that the staff already provides you everything you need: comfortable (and very cute) traditional bathrobes and towels. There are several rest rooms and shower rooms, so people won’t have to queue (in case of huge crowds). These rooms are replete with body wash, shampoo and conditioner so there’s no need to bring any of these things when you visit.
Hali’s mom tried a full-body scrub, where she got massaged, scrubbed with lemon oil and sugar and then coated with banana leaves. She loved it. I would like to try that next time; I was cautious of how much to spend because everything here is a bit on the pricey end, with massages starting at P700+ and body scrubs at P1200+.
We’re glad we planned this together with Hali’s mom because it’s a wonderful treat for anyone.
Overall, we felt happy and pampered during our stay in Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo. We’ll recommend it as a great option for a staycation in Antipolo in a heartbeat!
Practical Guide to Pinto Art Museum and Luljetta’s
Visiting Pinto Art Museum and Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is a great idea for a weekend date or getaways. I came here with Hali and his mom.
How to get here
- From Megamall or Cubao, ride a van or jeep to Antipolo. Get off at Ynares Sports Arena or Antipolo Church. Then charter a tricycle to Pinto Art Museum.
- Outside the museum, there are tricycles waiting to take to Luljetta’s (or other nearby destinations).
As for us, we rode a private car from Alabang to Antipolo via C6. It took us 1.5 hours (2 hours on the return drive), which isn’t too bad given that it was a Friday.
Here are the current rates (updated as of 2019):
Pinto Art Museum
Entrance fees are as follows:
- Regular guests: P200
- PWD or senior citizens: P180
- Students: P100
Pinto Art Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9AM to 6PM.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is a relaxing getaway in Antipolo. Here are the day tour rates:
- Hanging Gardens Retreat: P1150
- Hanging Gardens Getaway: P1750
Inclusions are as follows:
- Access to hanging gardens facilities (locker, sauna, heated jacuzzi, hydro-massage pool, infinity pools, meditation lounges)
- Traditional bathrobe and towel
- Snacks of Antipolo’s best suman
For the Hanging Gardens Getaway, also included is the set meal (soup, salad, pasta, dessert).
It’s open from Monday to Friday and Sunday (10AM to 9PM) and Saturday (10AM to 11PM).
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa also have overnight accommodations starting at P3600 good for 2 pax.
Where to eat
If you don’t want to go too far, you can dine in at Luljetta’s Cafe which we recommend.
I initially wanted to have eat somewhere else, but Hali likes the mountain view from here so much. The food is priced at P200+ and some dishes are good for sharing between 2 people. You c an order the Luljetta’s popular Antipolo’s best suman. We particularly liked the seafood pasta and soy-glazed tofu, with iced tea which has a hint of turmeric.
For other recommendations:
For couples, Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant has good reviews for its European meals and romantic ambiance.
If you’re looking for budget options, it’s easy to find cheap restaurants around this area in Antipolo.
Reminders and tips
- It’s best to go on weekdays if you want to avoid the crowd.
- In the morning, you can drop by the pasalubong center near Antipolo Cathedral to get your fix of kasoy (cashew), suman (glutinous rice roll, a specialty of Antipolo), kalamay, and many others.
- Bring a bug spray for visiting Pinto Art Museum.
- Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is located on a mountainside and you have to get up or down flights of stairs to move around. As such, it isn’t PWD or senior citizen friendly.
- Walk-ins are allowed in Pinto Art Museum. However, reservation is required in Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa even for day tours. Reservation requires deposit of full amount.
For bookings and inquiries, you can contact the following:
How do you find this weekend date idea in Antipolo? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
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