Monday, April 4, 2011

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Last February 27, we left for our first trip to Boracay. I had been such a big Cebu fan that I never thought of going to Boracay until now. The only places I had been to in the Visayas were Bohol, Antique and Cebu (thrice!). If I only knew what I was missing in Aklan!

Our flight was supposed to depart at around 10am but the Cebu Pacific plane was delayed. Grrr...they even made us wait inside a packed bus for more than 30 minutes while they do their aircraft maintenance check.

After an hour and a half, we're finally on our way. A few moments after winning one of the prizes (a Cebu Pacific pouch) from the in-flight trivia game, our plane began its descent and landed violently on the airport's short and narrow runway. Quite understandable. It would have been worse if we ran out of runway.
I can already smell the sea when I stepped on Boracay soil for the first time.           
The Shangri-La Resort's fully air-conditioned guest lounge looked like a hotel lobby beside the pier. It offered guests all the amenities...cold towels, welcome refreshments and luxurious washrooms. My son loved their Dalandan juice so much he never wanted to leave.
And he was right...because when the speedboat arrived to bring us to the resort, it was already raining hard. We found it difficult to board the boat because it was rocking from the waves splashing against it. It's good though that they had life vests for everyone, even for my son.
After 15 minutes in the turbulent ocean, we finally arrived at Shangri-La's private dock.
This golf buggy brought us to the hotel.
Our hotel room was really cozy with a king size bed and also featured a flat-screen television, DVD player
and an iPod dock.
Room rates start at Php20,800/night inclusive of applicable taxes and service charge. It also comes with free roundtrip airport transfers, daily buffet breakfast and complimentary broadband internet connectivity inside the room.

 The room even had a veranda overlooking the resort's lush gardens.

The bathroom was huge and gives a view of the bedroom from the glass walls
 if we raise the blinds.

L'Occitane toiletries were provided.  Its invigorating citrus scent lingered for a long time. The lotion failed to moisturize, though.

Still too tired from our tumultuous trip, we ordered room service for lunch. The steak was really good but the Spaghetti Bolognese was even better. It's the best I had ever tasted. I wonder what they put on that sauce to make it taste like heaven. The Apple Cake with Pistachio Ice Cream we had for dessert was also delicious. Our lunch costs around (Php1,700).

After a short nap, we were ready for a stroll around the hotel. Unfortunately for my son, the Adventure Zone was already closed. So we decided to proceed to the Entertainment Center where guests can play at the basketball arcade or use the tennis table without a cost.

There were also broadband-connected computers equipped with Wii Fit consoles.

The Rock Band Room...but guests would have to rent this per hour.

We went next to the Health Club which offered the usual gym equipments, lockers,
shower rooms and jacuzzi.

Shangri-La Resort's lobby at night.

We were too busy exploring that we lost track of time. The hotel's restaurants were closed, so we ordered room service again for dinner. Unfortunately, we got our first taste of bad service. The food arrived after
1.5 hrs instead of the usual 30 minutes because they misplaced our order sheet.

And that's not all...the fish was fried when we ordered for grilled. The Clam Chowder tasted worse than breast milk, with undercooked clams that had the consistency of rubber.

It's a good thing we ordered Mango Pudding with Sago Pearls for dessert. It's the savior of the night!
We decided to complain about everything. The manager on duty personally went to our room, apologized and offered something to replace the bad food. We lost our appetite by then and declined. We were promised though that we won't get charged for everything, including the heavenly Mango Pudding. Well, at least.:)

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

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
Barangay Yapak
Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan 5608, Philippines
Tel#: (63 36) 288 4988
Fax#: (63 36) 288 5088

My Beautiful Mornings with Neo

By: Cheryl Ann Lei Reyes

Sometimes I wonder if the reason why Neo never sleeps at night is because he doesn't want to miss our early morning ritual. Just Neo, me, and Lola in the garden, basking in nature’s splendor: the crowing rooster announcing the morning, birds chirping as they fly by, the butterfly on Neo's favorite white flowers, the faraway airplane just passing by, and the last remnant of the moon before it gives way to the rising sun.

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