Fall in love with Las Casas de Acuzar Quezon City
A love story has blossomed in the heart of the Metro Manila’s largest and most populous city, one that is destined to give birth to other romances. Las Casas de Acuzar Quezon City, an unabashedly romantic setting if there ever was one, was made for weddings and other gatherings close to the heart.
Driving along Quezon City’s old streets, paved with rich history and framed by the Filipino milieu, it’s easy to miss the latest jewel in the Las Casas Heritage Collection. Like many of the Old Rich mansions that line the many millionaires’ rows in the city, it is hidden away, its beauty and glamour tucked discreetly behind thick stone walls and heavy gates, its elegant terraces and awnings shielded from view by centuries-old trees, their swooping branches dressed in glossy green leaves.
Amble past the long driveway, step inside the grand entrance and you’ll find yourself transported, not quite to the past, but to the most decadent Gatsby-esque daydreams. Even empty, the place evokes champagne fountains, gossamer-light silk dresses encrusted with crystals, white tails and bow ties, and fireworks all night long. The Art Deco mansion, a creation of National Artist Pablo S. Antonio Sr., was once one of the most beautiful estates in along the avenue. While the house’s original structure (including the pool and the several trees that dot the property) have been retained, the interiors and gardens were transformed, filled with intricate carvings, gilded bas-reliefs and baroque flourishes—a medley of styles intent on celebration.
With many of the Manila’s storied old buildings and sites being torn down, keeping and refurbishing the old mansion required special skills and an uncommon vision. The previously-named Casa Juico along Roosevelt Avenue was set to be torn down and turned into a residential building, but thankfully its owners, the NSJBI Group, headed by Las Casas de Acuzar CEO and Founder Jerry Acuzar, saw the unique beauty of the place and sought to turn it into an event space and boutique hotel.
It felt fitting, considering its history as part of the Juico family’s properties and its being a creation of a National Artist. Acquired in 2016, the group took in several artisans to create Las Casas de Acuzar Quezon City, which quickly became a popular place for wedding receptions and shoots. Each of the rooms were designed to inspire, starting with the foyer where a larger-than-life painting by another National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo, looms over the crystal chandeliers and elaborate sitting areas. Upstairs, the interconnected rooms are a touch more restrained, but the amount of intricate carvings, paintings, chandeliers, and art pieces are seemingly endless, and one has the feeling of falling into a rabbit’s hole or entering a cave of wonders. Everything sparks joy.
The dining area was also one of the areas that was maintained; bright, airy and with a touch of a bygone era, it’s now serviced by one of the premiere food and beverage groups in the country—Cibo di M under Margarita Forés, named Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016. While the group is primarily known for its Italian cuisine, Las Casas by Margarita Forés is a celebration of Spanish-Filipino food, where favorites like the garlicky, fork-tender beef salpicao and delicately fragrant paellas mingle with more modern pastas.
Diners can choose to eat inside in order to admire the beautiful paintings, whether hanging or on the walls themselves, or opt to eat outside al fresco by the garden, enjoying the symphony of the breeze weaving through the old money trees, the gentle lapping of the swimming pool and the faint buzz of the modern city outside the thick, high walls.
Currently the property is still in the midst of construction, with the boutique hotel on its way and the other spaces cleaned and spruced up by art pieces. Even then, Las Casas de Acuzar Quezon City is already a stunner. One part Versailles, one part East Egg, and Old Rich Filipino, with a dash of mid-century charm, every nook and cranny of the mansion, every detail was made to surprise and thoroughly delight.
The fact that every visitor can’t help but take a selfie or photograph their surroundings is testament to the Las Casas magic. This is definitely a maximalist’s dream—from the high ceilings, colorful tile murals, carved spiral staircase and the endless flash of gold and crystal. Spend a day there and you will find a something lovely, something desirable at every turn. The delight never ends.