Boracay Trip Report

May 7th, 2009, 05:39 PM
  #1  
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Boracay Trip Report

Hi. I just got back from a four-day trip to Boracay. Since there aren’t many posts on Boracay on the forum, I thought I’d do a short trip report.

Overall Impression:

Boracay is a beautiful island. Unfortunately, it was slightly cloudy/rainy so we didn’t get a chance to go snorkeling or parasailing, which was fine with us. We just sat on the beach, swam a little, and got daily massages.

Transportation:

We flew from Seoul to Manila to Caticlan. Once in Caticlan, we had arranged for a transport (boat and van) from the airport to our hotel on the island. Fortunately for us, our travel agent gave us three hours to transfer from the international terminal to the domestic terminal in Manila, and we used every bit of that time. The ride from the int’l terminal to the domestic terminal, which should have taken five mins (per our taxi driver) took 30 mins b/c of traffic. Also, we waited for about 10 mins for the free airport shuttle to take it us to the domestic terminal, but it never showed up. We ended taking a taxi (under 200 pesos). Once at the airport, you have to go through a security check just to get into the airport. After that we got stuck in one line or another. On our return trip, instead of getting stuck in traffic b/n the terminals, we got stuck trying to get into the airport. It took us about 2 hrs from landing in the domestic terminal to completely checking in at the int’l terminal.

Departure Fees:

Unlike most airports, the departure tax is not built in your ticket price. We paid 50 pesos at the domestic terminal and 800 pesos for the int’l terminal. If you run at out pesos like we did, you can pay your departure tax for the int’l airport in dollars. In Boracay, we had to pay 50 pesos to enter and leave the island.

Hotel:

We stayed at the Residence at Fairways & Bluewater New Coast Hotel. It’s the only resort on Boracay with a golf course. It also has a private beach, but we don’t recommend it. The sand isn’t as smooth as the White Beach, and they don’t provide any lounge chairs. They also have two pools right off the main clubhouse/reception area. Overall, our room was very nice (we stayed at one of the new villas off the golf course). However, I think the “hotel” part of the resort is new to them. As a result, the service wasn’t great. They didn’t clean our rooms one day and forgot to stock our room with some basic items (soap, cups in the bathroom, etc). The free breakfast they offered in the morning got progressively worse throughout our stay. They charged a rental fee for the beach towels. On the upside, the staff was extremely friendly. Always smiling and saying hello. Also, they had a spa that provided in-room massages, which were divine. Getting the in-room massages (800 pesos) was a lot cheaper than going to the actual spa (over 1500 pesos).

Hotel Location:

The Fairways is a little ways from the White Beach. But, the hotel provides a free shuttle service to the White Beach twice an hour. If you miss the shuttle, it is relatively easy and cheap (about a 50 to 75 pesos) to take a motorbike taxi. Just make sure you arrange the price before you get on.

Food:

We ate a variety of places on the White Beach during our stay. Our favorite place was Aria, which is in D’Mall right on White Beach. The food and service was great. We also tried the buffet at SeaWinds (a hotel). You pick all the meat/seafood you want them to grill. On our last night, we tried the restaurant at the Discovery Shores. The atmosphere was very nice, but the food and service was a little lacking. In the end, our dinners ran about 1000 pesos per person (including drinks). Mind you, we tended to go overboard and get a lot of food.

Note:

At night the mosquitoes come out, so don’t forget to bring your bug spray. If you forget, there is a great market (Budget Market) that is stocked to the gills with everything that you may need (all of which is packaged in small containers, perfect for traveling.)
jyoung is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Hi Jyoung,
I have heard that Boracay is beautiful but my impression of it was an Island with very little else to do other than lie on the beach. Am I right?
Is there plenty of quaint little local restaraunts and bars and villages to visit or is it more a resort type Island?
How much is 1000 pesos.
shanek is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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Tanks for posting about Borcay. You're right, there is little here about the Philippines other than BillT's reports. Thanks for posting.
Kathie is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for an exotic post -- it is wonderful to read about travel to the Philippines. I am curious how you decided on Boracay and the Residence at Fairways Hotel.
marya_ is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for posting. As Kathie says, it's nice to hear more about the Philippines.
Femi is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Currently the exchange rate is abour 48 pesos to the US Dollar. I would say that if you are looking for a very lux beach vacation- focus on Thailand. Thats not to say that a trip to Manila is not worth considering- but you have to be a veteran traveler- most on this forum skip the Philippines but there is much to do and see in Manila and surroundings- not the least of which is it is the best for pearl shopping and the dollar really goes far there!
BillT is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 08:25 PM
  #7  
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Shanek: The White Beach is filled with a ton of restaurants, bars and little shops. And, there is a lot of water activities you can do. Also, our hotel offered horsebacking riding and golf. We just elected to be lazy and sit on the beach all day.

Marya: We wanted a low key beachy vacation. And, since Boracay is one place that none of my friends had visited, we went. Plus, everyone we spoke to loved Boracay and it's close to Seoul (where we are based). We selected our hotel b/c of the price (about US$90 per night) and the golf.

I loved Boracay, but it's a hassle to get to. The Manila airport is a pain.
jyoung is offline  
May 17th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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I went to Boracay in April 2008 (I'm pretty sure I posted a trip report) and have just come back from Railey Beach in Krabi Thailand. I found Railey to have quite a similar atmosphere and in many ways to be a tiny version of Boracay. Same kind of restaurants and cool little shops - same sort of hotels, same east and west difference. Except Boaracay is so much bigger and doesn't have all the European tourists. I thought the filipinos were so friendly! It's a great place if you can get to it!
carrom is offline  
May 17th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for your post. Echoing everyone else ... glad to see a trip report on the Philippines.

It's been years since I've been to the Philippines. Boracay or maybe one of the other beach resorts is on my possible far-term travel wish list.
globetrotterxyz is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Excellent and concise report. Thanks for sharing jyoung.
Jervin is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 11:38 AM
  #11  
 
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Thanks!

Article from tomorrow's New York Times:


http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/07/11...tml?ref=travel
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 03:43 PM
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thanks...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 05:17 AM
  #13  
 
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It sems that Boracay now has a few 5 star properties!
BillT is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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But a major mosquito problem reminds me of roatan. I was actually considering Boracay as 1 of 2 destinations in 2011 with the NT Times helping a bit but I think i may re-consider. We are avid snorkekers and fre divers and loved Indonesia this past April. how does it compare to Bunaken, Komodo, Gilli Islands?
StanKase is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 01:10 AM
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Boracay has enchanted many visitors and many chose to remain.There is the luxurious shangrila hotel,discovery shores - many hotels and residences for rent..popular among europeans is nami resort which is up there in the hills and has an astounding view of the water just like santorini as compared to the novotel resort and other resorts below who have fabulous views as well..long beach of sugary fine beige to white sand,, various activities include motorcycle and dune buggy rides at 1-2 euros per hour,sailing and parasailing, banana boat rides,island hopping, the beautiful sunset cruise on the vanelle boat with wine,cocktails and white uniformed waiters, also by request only "dinner on the water " complete w torches and candles,bonfires on the beach, rugged meals at 3 euros or less in the market where one points which seafood is preferred,karaoke nights at the shangrila,lunch at a greek restaurant, thai or spanish cuisine in the evenings,french desserts in a bistro at d'mall,varied host of restos..seasonal activities: row with the dragonboat team in the spring till the first of may, volleyball and beachparties from april-may,on new years eve one can watch the fireworks from the vanelle which has the best view, party every night in hey jude or any of the station 2 bars, unique spa experiences like the water-dance, great massages along the beach.there is good shopping for beach clothes or anything you might have left behind.. get to know the natives, store and restaurant owners,employees - its worth it , meet local artists,sculptors,visiting and permanent chefs,wine lovers..a friend from paris took the inter-island flight from boracay to palawan. another beautiful island..Downside-to avoid the manila airport, one can fly in to cebu island from international destinations and get a connecting flight to boracay,..very wholesome island vacation with the kids too however it cannot offer the raw adventure of komodo island, and yes mosquitoes at night. i like the quiet boracay from january to march and from june to december 20th, i try to avoid the christmas tourists, i have 2 bars where i regularly go for my sunset drink complete with music under the coconut trees,meet up with friends for dinner, lazy swim , neck and back massages and people watching in the long beach..sunset cruise,dinner on the water and under the stars, snorkel on island hopping trips..yes your dollars and euros go a long way.
pppeaches is offline  
Jun 11th, 2011, 07:26 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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It's nice to know that you enjoyed Boracay. I've been there once and it was such a lovely experience. Lucky for us, though, the sun was up and high that time so we were able to enjoy other activities.
jh2011 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2012, 02:40 PM
  #17  
 
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Just reading this...thanks for reporting on Boracay....may add to our China trip.
barefootbeach is offline  
Sep 9th, 2012, 10:56 PM
  #18  
 
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We tried cliff diving in Boracay! I really got scared the entire time I was waiting for my turn but the people who were there entertained us and was joking us. It was a great experience!
crystalsolatido is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 06:30 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Great to hear about your experience there. I did also noticed the lack of cusotmer service, delay in certain things of when the food is delivered or when your drink is still empty and you have to flag someone to get it filled. I just now ask for a pitcher of water or soda what not. It's nothing like California service though your in another country what can you expect. Food is great as for Sea Food Lovers ... as for Beef Lovers ... dry at certain restaurants, i won't give a bad rep so i'll just leave it at that. I just hope they improve.

Especially with their customer service.... it's really bad .. yeah their friendly but then again they have to be hahahaha more or less it's their job.

Stores / Tiangge is pretty cool .. nice stuffs don't know how long its going to last if you buy it. I've already worn it a few days and the bracelets i bought for they say Pasalubong is already broken LOL oh wells .. few cents won't hurt

Overall the beaches are pretty cool ... not as i though like white sand and clear waters comparing to Hawaii or Bahama's .. though it's a cool place.

I think Boracay is like Manila put on top of an island.. that's pretty much my overall saying on that.

I'd prefer Puerto Galleria / or Palawan over Boracay .. My Opion ... glad you experience your stay at Boracay...
It's not my cup of tea really...... kinda remind me of Hawaii but the Ghetto Style in Boracay
Jomel is offline  
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