Who hasn’t heard of the idyllic paradise island known as Boracay?
The highly acclaimed flagship island of the Philippines has received an explosive influx of tourists, beach and sea lovers alike since the early 70s. So much so, that the Philippine government had to shut down the island for six whole months in April 2018 to address sewage issues which had been the sole black spot on the island’s otherwise perfect reputation.
Boracay was reopened later that year in October and welcomed back its first wave of tourists with much fanfare. Today, the ocean oasis off the coast of Panay Island is regaining its footing and bouncing back from this setback, albeit with some limitations in place.
Unlike previous years, the number of tourists allowed on the island at any one time has been limited to 19,000 and only 6,405 tourists are allowed to enter the island each day. Also, tourists may be obliged to provide proof of stay before they can be fully admitted to the island. Likewise, the number of activities one may partake in these days in Boracay has also dwindled significantly — a stark contrast to the vibrant and much raved about nightlife of the island’s yesteryears.
But while these limitations may put a damper on some, that doesn’t make the island any less of an attractive beach destination.
Boracay Island is still a haven for relaxation and has an irresistible allure for seekers of island paradise. Here, we unpack 5 best places to stay in Boracay, Southeast Asia’s famed white-sand beach paradise.
Getting to Boracay
Although there are no direct flights into Boracay; all visitors can easily get to the island by either flying to Caticlan (the closest airport) or Kalibo, followed by a 20-minute ferry ride from Caticlan Jetty Port to reach Boracay.
The good news is that in celebration of Cebu Pacific’s 24th anniversary this year, the Philippines’ leading carrier is bringing back Super Seat Fest under the theme of One Flight To Fun, to encourage you to explore all that the Philippines has to offer with just one flight.
As part of Super Seat Fest 2020, Cebu Pacific is holding a seat sale from now till 12 March, with all flights from Singapore to the Philippines on sale for as low as SGD89 all-in (travel period from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020). In addition to the promotional fares, you can also purchase the CEB Flexi add-on, which allows you to rebook your travels up to two times at no additional cost.
Stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to explore the Philippines! To participate visit www.facebook.com/discoveristsg or find out more details about the sale and book your seats now at www.cebupacificair.com!
Where to Stay in Boracay
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On April 4, 2018, the Philippine government announced that Boracay would be closed for up to six months starting on April 26. It’s crazy to think that they had to close this island to tourists for 6 months to help restore it back to its natural beauty. The island’s beauty was destroyed, due to it being 30% over capacity which in turn caused mass water pollution and destruction of its natural beauty, sand and shore. It reopened again on the October 26, 2018. We were lucky enough that the dates we booked to visit the Philippines meant we were able to visit. This is Boracay, in November, when we visited.
First thing’s first, the most popular beach by far in Boracay is White Beach. And it is also on this four-kilometre long, pristine white beach fringed by crystal clear azure waters that you’ll spend a vast majority of your time in.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that the most touristy part of the island hosts a complete set of resorts, hotels, lodging houses, and other tourism-related businesses. If you’re looking for the right accommodation option (depending on your budget), your best bet is definitely in one of the three different stations found on White Beach.
Station 1 is where you’ll find most of the upscale boutique hotels and luxury resorts. Seriously, there are a ton of luxury accommodation choices here which offer only the best services and facilities on the island. On the flip side, Station 2 and Station 3 are catered towards the family-oriented and the budget-conscious.
Also, do note that only accommodations that have been accredited will be allowed to accept bookings and reservations on the island. So you should do your research on your options first before committing.
Featuring an affordable family-friendly affair, La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel is found in the heart of one of the world’s finest beachfront — the aforementioned White Beach.
Specifically, the hotel is centrally located in Station 2 and is just a stone’s throw from White Beach. Other tourist-centric spots also include D’Mall Boracay and D’Talipapa — two of only less than a handful of markets on the island. Both are only a short walk away from La Carmela de Boracay. Other than that, the beach resort is also located a little over 5 kilometres from Caticlan Jetty and about 6 kilometres from Puka Beach.
Like every other upcoming entry on our list, you may find similar facilities offered by the hotels. Expect the standard hotel fare such as air-conditioned rooms, private baths, a swimming pool, a 24-hour restaurant, and maybe even a dedicated beachfront party place.
La Carmela de Boracay also offers packages for families and big groups, along with airport shuttle transport services (for a fee).
Where: Station 2, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines
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Also set in the lively neighbourhood of Station 2, Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds is the perfect blend of homely ambience coupled with a great value-for-money price tag packed in a scenic hilltop locale.
In particular, the 27-room apartment hotel is sandwiched between two popular beaches i.e. White Beach and Bulabog Beach. With the former being a short 5-minute stroll from the delightful guesthouse, you can be sure that Agos Boracay’s strategic location is also a convenient one.
But speaking of convenience, you’ll also be able to easily explore the local offerings of the ever-popular seafood market, D’Talipapa, as well as D’Mall Boracay from Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds. And in case you were wondering, Bulabog Beach is also only a few minutes walk away.
With five room types catered to solo travellers, couples, families, and even long-term stays, it’s easy to see why this accommodation is a constant hit among visitors.
Where: Main Road Station 2, Brgy Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, 5608 Philippines
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Looking for a quiet and relaxing time away from the crowd? Station 3 is where you want to be. In this charming enclave of Boracay, we recommend checking into Sheridan Villas which offers a laidback and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for spending quality time with your loved ones.
Facilities-wise, what sets Sheridan Villas apart from its Station 3 peers would be its variety of guest accommodations, which includes rooms, suites and villas to meet your needs. And don’t you worry about being too far away from the sea, Sheridan Villas is just a 2-minute walk from the famous White Beach.
Where: Angol Beach, White Beach Path, Boracay, Aklan, 5608, Philippines
Similarly found in Station 3, the intimate setting of 357 Boracay’s beachfront boutique hotel resort is up next. And with only 11 rooms to spare, 357 Boracay Resort does indeed evoke feelings of a home away from home.
Here, you’ll find simplicity at its best. The rooms are spotlessly clean and well-maintained which ensures the privacy and utmost comfort of its clientele. All guestrooms also come with a veranda with a spectacular view. We’d suggest booking the Ocean View Suite where you may take in the amazing view of the beach backed by a magnificent sunset — all from the comfort of your air-conditioned room.
There’s an on-site bar and restaurant if you aren’t feeling up to venturing out. But if you are, the resort is also conveniently located not too far away from Station 2.
Where: Station 3 Angol Road, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, White Beach Path, Malay, Aklan Province Mm 1200, Philippines
Found on the “luxurious” end of the island, The Lind Boracay is a five-star beachfront hotel with classic boutique aesthetics designed to provide a great coastal escape for travellers, sophisticated jets-setters, and really, anyone who desires opulent comfort on a paradise island.
Situated on the beachfront of White Beach’s Station 1, The Lind Boracay has more than 100 rooms under its banner. And each of these rooms opens up via the balcony to a stunning view of either the beach, pool or the garden. But if you want to crank up the indulgence, there are also rooms with their own private pools in The Lind.
Otherwise, guests may also enjoy a decadent spread of cuisines at the international restaurant, or have a drink at the bar. There’s also a fitness centre, a children’s club, and even a gift shop in the hotel as well.
However, compared to our previous entries, The Lind is a tad further and out of place (though still walkable) to most of the island’s attractions. The hotel is about a 15-minute walk to D’Mall Boracay and less than 10-minutes from Willy’s Rock.
Where: Station 1, Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, 5608 Philippines
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