Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Boracay 2010 Escapade: Day 3

Time flies too fast and we had arrived at our last day of vacation. We had breakfast again at the roof deck, this time I ordered Bangusilog and hubby had Longsilog. Since the rain already stopped and the sun is shining, we head to the beach immediately after eating breakfast.

We borrowed a beach chair from Ms. Cris of Tans Guesthouse and stayed at the beachfront. I ordered two mango shakes beside Island Souvenir at Php 50 each and bathe in the sand and waves.

My baby is really enjoying this. She keeps on running towards the beach with her inflatable toy. Since it is my dream to have nicely tanned complexion, I applied coconut oil all over my body. And yes, it does the trick. I wasn’t burned, but tanned. My ski n does not feel tight or itchy or stingy. I will make sure I will always bring coconut oil when I go to the beach.

After bathing in the sun, we went back to our room. There, I saw another nightmare from Seair. I saw 2 missed calls from an unknown number and a text saying that our flight (scheduled at 4:55pm is cancelled, and that we will be diverted to Kalibo and board Zest Air which is expected to depart at 4:55 pm. I got pissed off again. First, it is because It’s 11 am already and we haven’t packed our stuff yet. Second, for god’s sake, it is the nth time they are attempting to move our flight. Third, the weather is sunny, so I do not think that weather could be a problem. Lastly, I have an infant with me who will definitely not like the 2 hour zigzag travel to Kalibo. I texted them to call me immediately. I even called the number but some untrained customer service agent answered it and didn’t help me much. She just said that it was the instruction and she cannot do anything about it. WTF! Why is she in customer service in the first place if she does not know how to pacify their clients??? Thgis is getting hopeless so we went to the Seair’s office in D’Mall, which didn’t help either. I really swear, I won’t book this airline again.

After that useless talk with Seair, we browsed some pasalubong in D’Mall and went home.

There, I got another call from Seair saying that our flights will be reverted to the original one, at 4:55pm, in Caticlan. I was relieved and at the same time thinking that this must be a setup. Once we are there, they will tell us that we will go to Kalibo and ride a Zest Air flight. Oh please, don’t.

Before totally leaving the island, we went to D’Talipapa and bought some unsalted danggit at Php 130 per 250g and dried pusit at Php 135 per 250g. I also got dried dilis at 20 per pack. If you plan to buy dried fish in D’Talipapa, look for these girls and their products are delicious, plus they are very accomodating. You may also contact Elizabeth Dried Fish at 09395055321.

I also got some CJ’s piayaya at 3 for Php 100, Bong Bong’s Toasted Muffins at 3 for Php100 and Pinasugbo at Php 25 each. I was also able to buy a beach dress for Akisha at Php 100.

After shopping for pasalubongs, we ate lunch at Andoks , still in D’Talipapa. There came the rain again after we eat. So we went home wet and cold.

We dressed up, packed our things and checked out at Tans Guesthouse.

Upon arriving at the airport, my speculation was right. They are diverting us to Kalibo, riding a propeller Zest Air plane. I am so annoyed with this airline. Thank god we were home safe and sound now.

Boracay 2010 Escapade: Day 2

We got up early and had breakfast at Tans Coffee Shop. Hubby had Bangusilog while I had Tocilog. The food is a simple, homey breakfast served at the roof deck of Tans Guesthouse main building. The coffee is the ordinary 3-in-1 coffee which isn’t a big deal for me. Unfortunately, the WiFi is under repair so we weren’t able to use it.

After breakfast, we went to our favorite spot on white beach, Discovery Shores in Station 1. En route, we took some photos on Willy’s Rock. The tide was low so we can walk along the beach with much ease.

At Discovery Shores, we ordered our old time bets, Watermelon shake and Twinnings Raspberry Iced Tea. I also ordered my favorite Sands Mango Cheesecake but sadly, it is out of stock. Our drinks cost around Php 392.

We lounge in their beach beds, let Akisha play in the sand, had photo op at their logo and I was surprised to know that my favorite spa in Ortigas is now in this island paradise – Terra Wellness Spa.

We explored Discovery Shores’ widest beach on Station 1 stretch. This area is really relaxing. I can imagine myself doing yoga here. Very peaceful, the sound of the waves calms down my stressed out nerves. This is paradise. I want to retire in an island like this.

Since the shuttle to Shangri-La arrives in D’Mall at 11:30, we got ready after our long walk in Station 1.

The shuttle arrived just in time when we are already in Budget Mart in D’Mall. Please click here as my Shangri-La Boracay story continues.

We went home at around 4pm, took some rest, had some beer and watched news because we wanted to know the weather forecast, as it rained the whole day in the island.

After watching the news, we went out for dinner. We decided to try one of the Dinner Buffets along Station 2. We settled in Bugs Grill. They have grilled clams, oysters, pork liempo, steamed crabs, shrimps, meat viands, soup and fruits. I ate without using my utensils because the oysters, crabs and shrimps are simply irresistible! The Dinner Buffet is priced at Php 300 per head excluding drinks.

After dinner, we walked along Station 2 again and then went home to call it a night.

Boracay 2010 Escapade: Day 1

I almost thought that this trip is going to be ruined (yeah, Seair almost made me think that way). Imagine our original flight was at 6am on September 30 via Seair. Then somebody called and told us that our flight was moved to 12:45pm. WTF! The reason why we chose the 6am flight is for us to maximize our long awaited vacation. Now, its half day down the drain already. And they did not stopped there. Another email was sent to me the day before our departure date saying that again, our flights are moved to 3:30 pm. This annoyed me too much so I immediately emailed them complaining about the situation. I even posted a comment in their facebook account. After several hours, somebody called me saying our flights was now at 1:00 pm. I nevertheless agreed because I have no choice.

The next day, we went to the airport at around 11am. I haven't seen the Old Domestic Airport in like 2 years. So many changes have been made, for the better of course. What I like most about the new airport is that they have a Children's Lounge where Akisha and her dad stayed before boarding.

Then there arrived our plane, a Dornier 32, a small plane that claims to have the fastest flight to Boracay. I am really nervous because I am really afraid of small, propeller planes. I only rode a propeller twice in my life, one is a plane to Caticlan and another is a plane from Davao to Zamboanga, both Cebu Pacific. And both experiences are scary because both flights were bumpy.

When we already boarded the plane and the flight attendant had finished demonstrating its safety features, the pilot announced that we should deplane again because the plane isn't working. I rolled my eyes in disappointment. But what can I do, I am trapped in this "junk plane", as the girl sitting in my back called it.

So finally, we boarded the new plane at around 1:45pm. True to its tagline, Seair is really the fastest flight to Boracay, that is if you deduct the waiting time. What i like about seair on the contrary is that the flight is so smooth, never bumpy and I never felt that I am on a propeller plane just like Cebu Pacific's. And they also offer free transfers from Caticlan airport to Boracay.

We reached Boracay a little before 3pm. I texted Ms. Cris of Tans Guesthouse when we are already riding a tricycle to Budget Mart in Station 2. Their staff, Lando fetched us from Budget Mart and led us to Namaste F2 room of Tans Guesthouse. It is at the back of Island Souvernirs (the one facing the beach).
The room is exactly what is in the website. New, spacious and best of all, a few tumble away from the beach! And for its rate (Php 1998, off-peak promo), the place is really worth it.

It has a fridge, 2 beds, a cabinet, a bath tub, a safety deposit box, a sink and hot and cold shower.

After putting our stuff in the room, we went out to have lunch (yes, super late lunch). We headed to Mang Inasal because we are really starving and we want RICE! So I ordered 2 Pecho and 1 Pork Sisig. We ate like crazy! even my Akisha ate lots of rice with chicken oil! She must be too hungry too like us. Total bill is Php 388 (pig out mode).

We went back to our room to change into our swimming outfits because we figured we wanted to have dip on the beach. Boracay is more crowded than two years ago. but now, it is crowded with Koreans! It is like I am in Korea and not Boracay.

After swimming, we walked along station 2 to see what's new in Boracay. There we saw a Havaiannas store, a Yellow Cab, a Starbucks and Shakeys and Zuzuni (ala Cyma) along the beach! As usual, there are lots of people who will offer you island hopping services, massage, etc. I decided I want a massage. I came across Ate Marebel (you may reach her at 09995998512 or 09482020569). She offers the cheapest massage service on Station 2 which is priced at Php 250/hour. She used to work at the second floor of Tans Guesthouse (where Haplos Spa is). The massage is really relaxing (I love hard massages). I am really satisfied with Ate Marebel's service and would recommend her to all of you.

After the massage, we had a few cans of beer and then slept, preparing for tomorrow's activities.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Day in Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa

The highlight of our 2010 Boracay trip is none other than – the famous exclusive cove of Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa. After visiting Discovery Shores, we head off to Shangri-La, taking their 11:30 am shuttle from Budget Mart in D’Mall. The ride took around 15-20 minutes. We passed by Fairways and Bluewater. I also saw the arch saying “Diniwid” where Microtel and the other exclusive beaches are. This is the quiet part of Boracay, away from the party scene of the white beach. If you are staying in Shangri-La, you will be transported from Caticlan by a private speedboat and bring you directly to the resort. If you are going here on a helicopter, don’t fret, they have their own helipad.

Upon arriving at the resort, we are immediately transported to a different world. The walkway towards the lobby is surrounded by water which makes the place even more relaxing. Its open air lobby is the total opposite of other Shangri-La hotels in Manila, laid-back and refreshing, perfect for an island like Boracay.

Shangri-La Boracay has five restaurants: Cielo (poolside), Alon Bar which offers a wide variety of drinks, Sirena (seafood restaurant), Solana (wine cellar) and Vintana where you can have their buffet. We decided to have lunch in Cielo, a poolside restaurant. We originally wanted to have lunch by the beach but too bad, it rained all day. So we took one of the cabanas at the centre of the huge infinity pool. Cielo’s specialty is pizza, and when they mean special, they are not kidding. We ordered Meatzza pizza (Php 500, eight slices), a thin-crust pizza topped with ham, salami, ground meat and onions.

The ham alone is really tasty. Combined with the finest cheese, this pizza is something I would love have again and again. I ate 4 slices! Yummy! Even my husband and baby Akisha can’t get enough of this delicious treat. I could imagine how yummy the other pizzas are, especially the four cheese and seafood pizza.

Since we were disappointed because our favourite Sands Mango Cheesecake in Discovery Suites is out of stock, we decided to order Shangri-La’s Classic Baked New York Cheesecake (Php 250).

It is the cheesiest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted in my life. There is no crust, just cheese! It is served with a berry compote and chocolate chip on top. Believe me, I almost finished the whole serving! For its price, it is definitely worth it. Next time, I would love to try their seafood selections in Sirena or their lunch buffet in Vintana.

After lounging in the cabanas, we decided to start taking a look at the rooms. For you to get to the suites and villas, you have to ride a buggy. On of the guest services staff guided us and even drove the buggy for us.

First stop is the Premiere Beachfront Rooms. It has a balcony where you can have a laid back afternoon, read a book or bathe in the sun. If you are into beach bumming, like me, you will love this room.

Next Stop is the Seaview Suite. It has an outdoor Jacuzzi where you can have a dip with your special someone. It also has a very spacious walk in closet, a tub and a fluffy bed. This is perfect for those on a honeymoon, very exclusive, just the two of you.

Lastly, we head off to one of the Villas. The Villa is so spacious you can even do yoga inside or in your very own garden. It also has its private pool, a lounge area and a walk-in closet. This is perfect for those who would really love to unwind and getaway with the noise of the city.

After the rooms, we also checked out The Chi Spa. When you enter the main lobby of the spa, you will really feel you are in The Chi Spa, same scent and feel like The Chi Spa in EDSA Shangri-La. You can have your treatments in one of their private villas/rooms where there is a Jacuzzi, a changing room and the treatment area. Nirvana is within reach in this spa. You will really feel your mind and spirit marrying nature here.

And what is a Boracay resort without white sand? Shangri-La Boracay has two beach areas, one in Punta Bunga which they share with Club Panoly and the other one right in front of Alon Bar. The sand here is not as fine as the one in Station 1. According to the one who guided us (I apologize for having forgotten his name), the sand here are like the ones in Puka Beach, off white and coarser.

This is the cove that they share with Club Panoly.

And this is their exclusive beachfront.

I would definitely recommend Shangri-La Boracay if you are getting tired of the busy party life of the white beach. Yes, it may be pricey, but because of the endless things you can do in this resort, and the service you can get from their friendly staff, and the delicious food they offer, the price is nevertheless, worth it.

Special thanks to Ms. Erica Sotto and Ms. Christine Vivo of Shangri-La Boracay for accommodating us. You may also visit their website here. For more photos, please click here.