This Lake House-Turned-Eco Lodge Shows You How To Live Off The Grid
It’s 2019 and change has, indeed, come. And we’re not just talking about the lifestyle and culture of our society, what with our existence in the present world overrun by the internet. Our real, concrete world had undergone a total transformation, too, and the apparent effects of human activities in the past decades had taken its toll on the environment.
We are all too familiar with gloomy summers and insanely humid monsoon season, the unpredictability causing drawbacks and more stresses in our everyday lives, leaving us exhausted and hopeless by the time we hit the sack. While we’re grateful for the advancements we’re currently enjoying, thanks to modernization, the feeling of finding a respite amidst of all the chaos has become a necessity rather than a luxury. In turn, we rely on what’s readily available for us to find solutions to this need–you guessed it–the internet.
A 15-minute boatride will take you to this retreat in the surrounding area of Caliraya Lake. A green house run by solar power, it has maintained its simple splendor and charmed many a guest with its beauty and candor.
One of the good things that cyberspace brought us is the accessibility to information. Thus, promoting the green movement to counter the obvious effects of environment toxics is easier, reaching more and encouraging people to do their part, even in the smallest of ways. From 3Rs to “greenifying” everyday life, the increase in awareness is truly a promising start.
There are some who, from several years ago, went ahead and led the green life. Before this ecolodge became available on Google search, the owners have settled in the lush nature of their home-turned-guesthouse, which now serves as a quick weekend getaway to many. More than a year ago has passed since it officially opened its doors to the public and it continues to draw in guests and inspire a simple way of life.
We discovered The Lake House at Caliraya through a recommendation of a friend. The breathtaking photos on their website are enough to convince us of its unassuming beauty, but actually being there is an experience to behold.
Its location is secluded in the middle of the forest and situated by the lakeshore, with an overlooking view of Mt. Banahaw. The guesthouse, composed of the lounge, an outdoor activity area, an open kitchen, al fresco dining area, a spring water pool and two villas, is surrounded with astounding flora and fauna, adding to its allure. Owner Emily Artadi Henrichsen and her husband, who acquired the 5,000 square meter property way back in the early 2000s, worked on its design. What started out as a quaint wooden hut was turned into a majestic weekend home, with interiors inspired by modern tropical homes in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
She’s also drawn to the Danish concepts of simplicity and functionality, as well as quality and sustainability, and incorporated these to the overall treatment of the house. “We used several kinds of recycled hardwood from demolished homes in several areas of Laguna and pressure-treated pinewood from renewable forests in New Zealand for the walls and floors, while organic materials like seagrass, capiz shells and granite add detail and texture,” Emily shares.
With an overlooking view of the Caliraya Lake and Mt. Banahaw, it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
“The landscape was a significant consideration.” She continues. They intended for the structures to fit in the existing landscape rather than imposing on it. And then there’s the weather to look into as well, thus the high ceilings and big glass doors to allow air and light to come in while framing the view of the lake and mountains.
Truly fitting to its theme, the impressive visual treat sets the mood for a special nature retreat.
What’s more, the house runs entirely on solar power, while water supply is sourced from the ground. Thus, the home is self-sufficient with minimal impact on the environment.
Your home away from home
“The best thing about the Lake House is the experience of living with and around nature,” Emily muses. A decade and a half worth of happy memories of family reunions, weekend getaways, gatherings of friends, windsurfing, and guilelessly being one with nature stay at The Lake House, and continues to collect moments, this time, of their guests. “The decision to open the Lake House to the public came when we opted to move to Denmark. Sharing our home to others was inevitable and only a matter of time,” she adds.
The open kitchen and al fresco dining set up make mealtimes more enjoyable. Sit by the wooden chairs and tables and breathe in the cool air and the scent of nature surrounding you.
Its charm brings in the crowd, the sense of freedom and exclusivity makes people go and come back. Reconnecting to nature when you’re here is as easy as breathing in the refreshing air. Plus, staying at The Lake House doesn’t feel like you’re just there for vacation. Its purpose as your home away from home is fulfilled. And everyone who’s been to The Lake House can attest to that.
Photographs by Daniel Soriano for Metro Home & Entertaining