June 19, 2014

Breathtaking Boracay

July 5-7 2013. I love celebrating my birthday on the beach! Scorching sun, pristine white sand and crystal clear water -- heaven! 

For this trip, we were choosing between Shangri-la Resort and Discovery Shores. After browsing through reviews and blogs over the Internet, we decided to stay in Shangri-la, which is supposed to be more family friendly. We were not disappointed, this is one of the best resorts we've been to and the whole trip was just awesome!

Ok, so it didn't exactly started out perfectly as our AirAsiaZest flight was delayed for more than three hours. Fortunately, my little angels were in a good mood and busied themselves with playing their iPods while waiting for our flight.

It was a short one hour flight to Kalibo. At the airport, we were met by a representative from Shangri-La who helped us get to a bus going to Caticlan. There are several bus companies and van operators at the airport so getting a transfer on your own will not be a problem. 

Having fun at Kalibo airport
Comfy buses
At Caticlan, Shangri-la has it's own lounge where a private speedboat will take us to the resort. 

Private lounge at Caticlan 
Aboard Shangri-La's private boat

We cruised for less than thirty minutes along the white beach of Boracay and I'm just reminded of how beautiful and breathtaking the place is.

Shangri-La Boracay is just paradise! The atmosphere is so relaxing and the view is just stunning.

Check in was a breeze (you can provide your info and IDs via email prior to your trip to avail of the express check-in). The room is spacious and gorgeous and the bathroom is huge! The veranda has a daybed and opens up to a garden. What I love also is the strong wi-fi connection in the room and free flowing bottled water all through out the resort.

Welcome treats for the kids

Daybeds at the veranda

The pool area is massive -- it's like one huge maze of free-form pools surrounded with landscaped garden and fountains. It's just absolutely beautiful. I know I can't stop gushing, even remembering the place now makes me drool. Haha. 

The beach though is a little dissapointing. The resort has it's own private beach, so it's not that crowded, but the sand is on the rough side (doesn't even come close to the one on White Beach). But of course, this didn't stop us from having a blast.

Snorkeling gear is provided free of charge at the resort. They also have sand-digging toys for the kids.

There's a restaurant at the pool area and they serve yummy and reasonably priced snacks. Me and the hubby stayed under the umbrellas while the kiddos  went snorkeling at the beach and hopped from one pool to another. 

For dinner, we tried their buffet by the beach. The spread is ok and the food is good, though (as expected) a little pricey.

The next morning, we had a hearty breakfast (needless to say it was very delicious) and headed to White Beach. The resort offers a free shuttle that runs every hour. 

We were greeted with powdery white sand and crystal clear, glistening, turquoise water. Not a single trace of lumot!

After walking along the shore and having a sip of the famous Jona's shake, we decided to try two activities -- Banana Boat and Helmet Diving. I wanted to try the Flying Fish but the kids are still too small for it. 

The Banana Boat was a little scarier than the UFO ride we tried in Puerto Galera. Both kids were screaming all throughout the ride. Haha.

The Helmet Dive is waaaay harder than it looks! My daughter was only able to go halfway through the water then decided to go back up. My son was able to go all the way down though he was not able to stay very long. He had a hard time equalizing. Hubby got a terrible headache after. There's a constant noise over your ear and at times it's hard to equalize (you just feel the pressure stuffing both your ears). 

This activity will allow you to see and feed a lot of fish. I just feel like you'll enjoy it more if you know what to expect. I thought it'll be as easy as jumping on the water, putting on the helmet and walking underwater. Just remember that there's pressure underwater and it's going to make you very, very, very uncomfortable.

Dinner at MaƱana Mexican Restaurant

The next day, we stayed at the resort and tried their indoor activities:

Remember to bring socks AND long sleeves for the kids. They need both to play in the indoor play area and use the slides.

All in all, it was a GREAT vacation. I'd say Shangri-la is worth every penny you'll be spending. Just a tip, call or email Shangri-la Boracay directly and ask for their local residents rate -- it's by far the best rate you can get. Even better that discounted rates they offer online.

Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa
Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan
Tel: +63 36 288 4988
Email: reservations.slbo@shangri-la.com