Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A paradise called Boracay

We woke up on our second day in high spirits, even though my son kept me up most of the night. We went straight to the hotel's restaurant, Vintana, where buffet breakfast was being served. We had to wait almost 10 minutes because there was already a line of guests waiting for their turn to be assisted to their tables. Only one usherette was doing the job, that's why. They should add more manpower. You don't make hungry, no...make it starving guests wait.
The restaurant was impressively decorated with eye-catching artworks similar to the Igorot-made handicrafts from Baguio. The same indigenous stuff dot the hotel rooms and premises.
The buffet spread was spectacular.
The variety of food was amazing.
It's only rivaled by Sofitel's Spirals but Shangri-la won by a tiny margin. Mango juice gave them the lead. My favorite fruit juice was missing in Sofitel's spread.
Different kinds of bread.
Assorted cheese and cold cuts.
  Yogurt and pastries. I love their freshly-made yogurt. It tasted like a sour version of cream cheese.
Fruits. Their mangoes were really sweet but Cebu mangoes are still my favorite.
After our sumptuous breakfast, we headed to the Adventure Zone. According to their logbook, my son was the first and cutest (my logbook said this) guest of the day.
My two boys in a sea of balls.
My one-year-old was even brave enough to try the huge slide.
Swings and all sorts of toys are available to kids in this huge play gym. Just don't forget to bring your kid's socks. The hotel sells them at Php250/pair. It's more expensive than a play area's entrance fee.
After an hour, we were ready to depart for the pristine beaches that made Boracay a popular tourist destination. But before going to the boat stations, we decided to check Shangri-la's private beach. It was raining and the beachfront was deserted. It was a small strip of white sand beach similar to that of Shangri-la Mactan in Cebu, only a little bigger.
Shangri-la provides free shuttle service to and from d'Mall at station 2. The vans leave every 3 hours in the morning till late afternoon. From early evening until midnight, the shuttle service drops and picks up guests every 30 minutes. For guests like me who wanted to experience commuting from the hotel to the White Beach, they only need to ride a motorized tricycle in front of the resort's main entrance. One-way fare is at Php150/tricycle.
From d'Mall at station 2, we trekked to station 3 where our companions were staying. It was drizzling a little but I was so mesmerized by the beauty in front of me that I wasn't bothered a single bit. People were all over the beach, unmindful of the rain.
The beach was mushroomed by establishments of all kinds...from restaurants to stalls selling beach wear and souvenirs, you can find it here. Being the type to prefer secluded resorts with lots of privacy, I would usually be bothered by the bustle and crowd. But surprisingly, I enjoyed our 20-minute walk so much. The stalls lining the beach were the life of Boracay and without them, it wouldn't be the same. In fact, they only added to the charm of this already magnificent place.
I was a little disappointed not to find a seafood buffet, though. I was planning on sinking my teeth into some lobster and crab. Later on, I found out that seafood here costs like gold. Maybe because the establishments
in this place cater mostly to foreign tourists. We had lunch at Luna Rossa instead, an Italian joint. Food here was expensive and failed to meet my standards. The average cost per order is around Php420.
The beach was clean. Thanks to a government mandate that imposes a littering fine.
Patio umbrellas lined the beachfront.
Fine powdery white sand, only in Boracay! I've been to the beaches of Cebu, Bohol, Batangas, Pangasinan and Antique but nothing came close to this kind of perfection. The beach was free from floating plants and organisms. The only fish I had seen was a dead tilapia on the sand which was immediately carried away by the waves.
Now I know why people are all buzzing about this island. If there's one place I would surely return to, it would be this piece of paradise called Boracay. I would gladly stay in the water forever and become a mermaid.

This is the second in a three part article dedicated to the wonderful island of Boracay.


Kit Cruz said...

I was also amazed when I saw Boracay for the first time, the clear waters, fine sands, hotel in boracay, restaurants, the sunset, the people, are only few reasons why you will love this paradise. It is really a paradise on earth! :)

Cheryl Ann Lei Reyes said...

@Kit Cruz-Indeed!:)

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