Thursday, April 7, 2011

How do I say goodbye to Boracay?

On our third and last day, it was breakfast as usual at Vintana. I was expecting the same menu because after serving all the food I can think of yesterday, what else was left? And lo, there was a lot more! Half of the dishes in the buffet were new ones. I was in pig heaven! I took a bite of everything and walked away with a light heart and a full stomach. So that's where all the heaviness goes.:)
We immediately returned to our hotel room to change into our swimwear. For the first time in 3 days, the sun was up and shining. It's the perfect time to take a dip in the hotel pool. My son failed to enjoy the beach yesterday for it had been raining and the water was cold. This was his last chance to splash around.
After requesting the pool attendant to pump air into my son's lifesaver, we waded in the not-so-warm waters of the infinity pool. The weather was chilly yesterday which explained why the sun's heat hadn't penetrated the pool water yet.
The view from the pool was nothing short of breathtaking, the turquoise waters of Boracay sparkling and shimmering from the sunlight. I could almost hear the splashing waves.
My son particularly enjoyed playing with the cascading water from one of the tiny waterfalls in the pool. After an hour, we reluctantly said goodbye to the already warm water. If my son had his way, he would stay there while we pack our bags.:)
A view of the sea from Shangri-la's lobby.
The checkout process was fast. The lobby personnel gave us the bill and after he swiped our credit card, we're on our way. No more waiting while they check the room for property damage or missing things from the mini-bar. They do take your word at face value. They figured they could always charge your card afterwards if you had been naughty.

Since our flight was not yet until 4pm, we left our luggages at the reception while we did a little sightseeing around the hotel.
Just one of the many private sanctuaries around the hotel where guests can relax and feel at one with nature. 
Lush tropical gardens surrounding the resort. 90% of guests during our stay were foreigners. I can imagine why Brangelina (Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie) thought of vacationing here. Unfortunately, some Filipinos couldn't keep their mouths shut. According to some, they were here. But a reliable source said they never were. They backed out when the news was leaked to the media.

After a while, we requested for a golf buggy to take us to CHI Spa. We decided to burn some time taking pictures. If not for my son (and the price of the treatments!), I would go there for a massage. An hour of massage would cost you Php6,000 and a 4-hour treatment inside a CHI Villa would set you back Php11,500. I can already hold a spa party in a decent place in Manila for that amount. Or...said my guilty conscience, "it can feed several destitute families for a week".

CHI Spa entrance.
Odd-looking bamboo and rock embellishment in CHI's reception area.
Spa Pool

Treatment Villas encompassing the pool.
 I wasn't able to take pictures inside a CHI Villa, so I got some from Shangri-La Boracay's site. What do you think? Is it worth the cost? An hour of massage inside a regular spa in the US costs around US$100 or Php4,500. Foreigners and the really rich would definitely find CHI Spa's rates reasonable.
Spa Villa Bath
Banana Leaf Treatment inside a Spa Villa.
Time flew fast and we had to depart for the airport. After the considerably calm boat ride, we were back at the comfortable lounge where a number of guests were already waiting for the shuttle service. The van arrived 20 minutes later.

At the airport, the Shangri-la personnel not only unloaded our bags but also brought it for weighing inside the terminal. He also asked for our passports and e-tickets so he could take care of everything. After a few minutes, he emerged and gave us our boarding passes and luggage tags. He then bade us goodbye and left in a breeze. Outstanding service! He succeeded in making me feel like a real VIP.
The Caticlan airport was a little busy that day. And while waiting for our flight, I saw a lady foreigner boarding a plane wearing nothing but a two-piece swimsuit. A little bit shocking to my sensibilities.:)

The priceless look of awe on my son's face when he witnessed a plane taking off right before his very eyes. Something you don't usually see in other airports.
The Air Philippines plane was early and left 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Alas, it's the end of a nice vacation that forever changed my resort standards. So, how do I say goodbye to Boracay?

May this three part article serves as my farewell to the island with the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.

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

Related Articles:
Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
A paradise called Boracay

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