Boracay: My Vacation in Paradise
Boracay was true paradise and such an amazing beach resort destination! Justin & I spent 5 days in Boracay, a small island in the Philippines located south of Manila, that is famous for its white powdery sands found along White Beach.
We went in late May which we learned from the locals was approaching low season as the weather was starting to experience rain showers. It was great as it wasn't as busy and packed with tourists. We got to enjoy blazing hot days and then the occasional torrential downpour which we didn't mind. On clear nights, we would hear epic roars of thunder and watch bolts of lightning light up the sky while swimming. Very surreal!
Stay: We stayed at Shangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa. It was more expensive than we initially budgeted for but in the end we decided to splurge and it was worth it. It's the #1 hotel on tripadvisor.com and it definitely lived up to its title. From the moment we arrived at the local airport, we didn't have to worry about anything as the staff took care of everything. We hopped on the private high speed boat to the resort and were driven immediately to our stay on a golf cart buggy. Super efficient service and definitely puts you at ease instantly.
The resort offers a private beach, huge infinity swimming pools and amazing restaurants. The grounds and facilities are maintained with pristine. I was really impressed by the hospitality and service of the staff. They were all so friendly and made sure we were happy and comfortable.
Justin actually surprised me with upgrading our room to an ocean view loft villa which was so sweet. It was a two storey loft complete with a kitchenette, infinity pool, outdoor shower and the best perk was our own personal butler! We were given a smartphone to contact our butler directly 24/7 if we had any special requests.
The infinity pools are naturally filtered with sea water. They were spacious, extensive and offered amazing scenery. We appreciated the private beach as it offered a calm and relaxing atmosphere. My biggest highlight was swimming in the sea. Balmy weather, warm waters and hypnotic colour. I have never experienced water so clean, calm and pure. Amazing!
Dining: The food at the resort was excellent. There is a free breakfast buffet every morning that offers an international variety of cuisines, fresh fruits and sweet treats. My favourite thing was the honey and jam bar. So many varieties!
We had dinner at the resort restaurants which were all really impressive with their own unique culinary journey.
Rima, an Italian restaurant, is a fine dining restaurant in the treetops that overlooks the resort. Very romantic ambience and delicious food!
Solana, a casual lounge, has an amazing view where we enjoyed drinks and tapas while watching the sun set. We were also able to watch the nightly fire dancing show by the beach.
Sirena, the signature seafood restaurant, offers a variety of fresh catches of the day. There is a "seafood market" where they display their live menu and you get to select what you would like for dinner. We had clam chowder, soft shell crab, prawns and a whole red snapper. So good!
Cielo is a nice casual poolside restaurant that is best known for their wood fire oven baked pizza. A satisfying place for lunch!
Play: There are many activities offered in the resort that you don't really need to leave at all. We took a complimentary "hobie cat" sailboat tour all the way to White Beach and had a friendly captain who was also our guide.
We ventured outside of the resort to White Beach to go parasailing which was an exhilarating experience. I can't remember the company we used since there were so many. We decided to go with the best price for a same day booking. There's a lot of downtime waiting around to get transported to the water, but we got to stay up for 30 minutes. The staff were really nice and offered to take photos for us while we were up which was a great bonus as well!
Relax: We went to CHI Spa at the resort at night which was absolutely divine. The spa is a detached complex on the resort. Truly a sanctuary for peaceful rejuvenation. You can enjoy the private pool and jacuzzi anytime as long as you have an appointment. There are individual villas for any service and there is a couples villa equipped with its own shower, washroom and change room. We spent a good 3 hours at the spa. I had a signature body massage, body scrub and algea body wrap that was pure bliss. Definitely the best spa experience I've ever had!
Outside of the resort on White Beach, we went to Bella Isa Spa on Station 3. This spa has awesome reviews on tripadvisor.com. We had the 4.5 hour long "You Deserve It" package which was super relaxing as well. The package includes full body massage, scrub, facial, pedicure, manicure and hair spa. The service was outstanding. They went out of their way to walk us to the back roads with umbrellas to make sure we got a tricycle when it was dark and pouring rain (Shangri-La offers a complimentary shuttle bus to D'Mall and back).
Boracay is a tropical jewel and staying at the Shangri-La was luxury and service at its finest! It was hard to leave such a beautiful place but it was definitely an unforgettable adventure.