Featured, Living

Belonging at Elinor, a Congregator of Creatives and a Traveler’s Dream Straight from the Victorian Era

In the droning outskirts of town, on a long stretch of Mandaue highway, adjoining industrial hubs and trade headquarters in an inconspicuous brick building, is a dramatically restored traveler’s suite with a tendency to welcome guests like they’re time travelers—Elinor, an hôtel particulier you’d never suspect.

Dramatic is just the word—a three-bedroom apartment rental in an industrial city stimulates its affinity for convenience, but Elinor is a three-room mini mansion with Victorian-style decor and vintage upholstery, and the air turns delicate at the first step of the guest’s entrance. 

The strength of this juxtaposition only serves to scratch the surface of what Elinor offers, though. At Elinor, classical and traditional inclinations extend beyond aesthetics; the space is, at its core, a place for creativity—worthy of the Renaissance—which is how it was born, too.

“Elinor is a product of creativity,” says Clare Inso, one of Elinor’s three co-founders. “It’s a creative space where anything that fits is possible! From photoshoots to events, soirees, parties, intimate gatherings, and musical sessions.”

Anyone is free to express themselves at Elinor, a process that its resplendent interior design tends to evoke naturally. The people first to gain this experience are its founders, a trio of seasoned travelers.

Inso, who is a Manila-based content creator, established Elinor together with Mika Caram, founder and flight-attendant-turned-CEO of FoxHomes, an agency that manages a portfolio of unique rental properties all over the country, and Chezka Carandang, a commercial pilot also based in Manila. For them, the freedom and comfort of lodging while traveling in an unfamiliar place is a desire travelers share all too well. 

“As the three of us all share the same interest in booking unique and aesthetically pleasing stays whenever we travel,” Inso shares, “it became a dream for us to become part of the memorable stay of travelers.”

It was a meticulous journey to get to that dream, “a tedious process and in-depth curation,” as Inso describes it. For one, the building they had chosen was decades old, dating back to 1967. After five months of construction, Elinor officially opened its doors in November of 2022. 

“It was a total makeover,” recalls Inso. “It was a combination of sourcing the perfect pieces from vintage stores, having some of them created and locally sourced for the place, and thoughtfully deciding [how] they would all go together.”

And looking at the results, it was all worthwhile. Elinor is split into three main rooms: The Red Hall, the Le Soleil Room, and the Noir Room. The Red Hall is allure itself, from the name to the centerpiece wooden console piano. The room is awash in ruby red and accented in gold, with wine-red velvet furnishings. 

Two large canvas paintings watch over the main hall—one of the Elinor whom the suite is named after, and another named Petra. “Both blindfolded symbolically, as if to say, ‘Do as you please—your secret is safe here,’” remarks Inso. “The Red Hall is where everyone has a place for whatever it is they came to Elinor for, may it be to strike a conversation, to satiate a need for art and music, or to feel a sense of belongingness.”

The Le Soleil Room, which happens to be Inso’s favorite, is the romantic and mystical master bedroom with a slightly rustic feel. Guests sleep like they’re floating here—literally, courtesy of an elevated four-poster bed always flooded with warm sunlight through the side-facing windows.

The third room is the Noir Room, which houses chessboard tiles and a striking tapestry spanning the width of an ornate wooden queen bed with the likeness of an antique Rococo piece. Together, the entire apartment is able to welcome a maximum of 50 guests and sleep up to 12 people.

All of Elinor is owed to the restoration process of a 57-year-old space—nondescript on the outside, now a fusion of design inside, only possible because the curation was careful, the process painstaking.

“Being able to marry the old with the new, we made the interiors fresh while keeping the design feeling like it takes you back to the old times, and incorporating it with modern designs,” Inso says.

Just like how the founders of Elinor transformed it into a landmark for self-expression in a neighborhood for the strictly mercantile, anyone can belong at Elinor, whether they’re searching for a place of rest, a bit of fun, or that sense of je ne sais quois.

“We hope more like-minded people will come together at Elinor to celebrate people, music, art, or whatever they can think of.”

Explore Elinor and its offerings on Instagram and Airbnb.

Photography Kyrra Kho

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *