Antonio’s Tagaytay is one of the very best restaurants in the Philippines, set in a colonial-style mansion cocooned deep in a tropical forest. The journey here from the Conrad takes around 90 minutes by car—a perfectly lovely drive through the countryside, if you’re up for it—but we suggest saving time and splurging on a helicopter ride. (The Conrad concierge can arrange this through our preferred partner, Philjets.) No matter how you travel, your lunch or dinner will be a memorable one. Start things off on the lush garden patio and treat yourself to a signature TB Martini (with a splash of the chef’s own housemade limoncello). Then adjourn to the handsome dining room, with its dark-wood plantation shutters, wooden chandeliers painted white by local artisans, and floors of hand-painted Spanish tile. The menu—dry aged steaks, tender lamb, fresh fish—leans European, but with a discernible local accent. Chef Tony Boy Escalante and his wife Agnes were farming this land before they opened their restaurant, so you’re just steps from the source of their fabulous meat and seasonal produce. Insider tip: the lechon de leche, an organic suckling pig roasted to fall-off-the-bone perfection, is a Filipino classic, and must be ordered in advance. Don’t miss it.
Antonio’s is typically a 90-minute drive from Conrad Manila, though it can take up to two hours on weekends. Come for a weekday lunch or dinner if you can.
PHILJETS: Working with our preferred partner Philjets, the Conrad concierge can book a round-trip helicopter transfer from Metro Manila to Antonio’s helipad (including on-board champagne and an aerial tour of the city or Taal Lake), allowing for a three-hour meal at the restaurant.