Where to stay in Boracay: Sun Villa Beachfront Resort & Spa Review

Earlier this month, I celebrated my 35th birthday in my favorite island, Boracay. My family keeps coming back every year for new and exciting discoveries on food, activities, and hotels. There are a lot of nice hotels in Boracay but some of them can be pricey especially during super peak season. I’m happy to discover Sun Villa Beachfront Resort and Spa which is an affordable place to stay in Station 2.

sun villa beachfront boracay review

[Read more…]

Boracay 2016: An updated guide on rates, eats, hotels, and activities

We just came back from our Boracay trip a week ago to celebrate my birthday. My birthday is November 1 and it’s also time for their Halloween costume parties which are a lot of fun. Whenever friends would ask me the best time to go to Boracay, I’d always suggest to experience their Halloween weekend to see the various scary costumes by the locals. If you’re not into festivities, ideally, BER months are the perfect time to go because the water is clear and the crowd is lesser than the summer season.

It’s been a while since I wrote about a guide of a destination. My Boracay guide post I wrote was last 2008 and the rates and hotels there badly needs an update. So here’s an updated guide on transportation, where to eat, where to stay, and what activities to do in Boracay.

boracay-guide-2016

How to get to Boracay

There are various airlines flying to and from Kalibo or Caticlan airport: these are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia. The easiest way to check the cheapest fare is via Traveloka.com, with just a few clicks, I can see which airlines offer the lowest fare to any destination not just Boracay.

From Kalibo airport to Boracay

We always prefer to land in Kalibo airport because the planes are bigger and there are more flights. One disadvantage is the additional 2 hours travel time from the airport to Caticlan Jetty Port. Check out the updated transportation rates from Kalibo airport to Boracay (as of November 2016):

kalibo to caticlan transfers

If you’re going to DIY your transfers, here’s a sample computation:

Kalibo airport to Caticlan Jetty Port (bus only) via Island Star: Php 200
Terminal Fee at Caticlan Jetty Port: Php 100
Environmental Fee: Php 75
Boat Fee: Php 25 (day) / Php 30 (night)
Tricycle from Cagban Port to your Boracay resort/hotel: Php 20

Total transportation expenses will be Php 420 only versus the Php 600 Airport to Boracay (Door to Door) offered by Southwest and other transpo services. You can save as much as Php 180 should you go on your own. If you’re not in a rush to get to the island, do it yourself.

Tips

  • If you’re traveling with kids especially if they are 5 years old and below, Terminal Fee, Environmental Fee and Boat Fee is FREE, so that’s less Php 200. If you availed the door to door transfers, children have the same rates as adults.
  • If you are a group of 4 or 5, the best and convenient way to reach Caticlan Jetty Port is to take the Southwest Taxi, they charge Php 1,000. That will be Php 250 per head and you have your own car. 

Where to stay

Every visit, there’s always a new hotel in Boracay. Some newly opened hotels we saw are Coast Boracay, Azalea, Hue Hotel, and The Muse. For hotel bookings, I always rely on Traveloka because it gives me the results I need sorted out based on price, popularity, or reviews.

traveloka-boracay

Where to eat

spice-bird-boracay

Our itinerary in Boracay is eat, swim, sleep, repeat. So finding good food and restos is a must. When in Boracay, you should not miss these places:

  • Jonah’s Fruit Shakes – For their fruit shakes in every flavor combination imagineable
  • Paradise Garden Resort – For their ensaymada and cheesecakes
  • Sunny Side Cafe – All day breakfast place
  • Spice Bird – For their piri-piri chicken
  • Boracay Toilet – Food is so-so in my honest opinion but go here because it’s fun and quirky.
  • Gasthof – For the ribs.
  • Two Seasons Boracay Resort’s barLO restaurant – For the four-cheese pizza and oyster sisig.

What to do

Aside from island hopping and the usual water activities like banana boat, parasailing, etc, there are new activities to try while you’re in Boracay.

  • Stand Up Paddle Surfing – Rent a paddle board for Php 300 per hour.
  • Ariel’s Point – Jump off a cliff for the adventurous.
  • Mermaid Swimming – Learn how to swim like a mermaid and have your photos taken too.
  • Sunset watching at Spider House – One of the best places to watch the sunset is at Spider House in Diniwid Beach.

I hope you have an awesome time in Boracay. Feel free to share this for friends and families traveling soon.

Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast Boracay review

Whenever we go to Boracay, it’s always during the BER months where the water on the main beach is crystal clear. We usually don’t go when it is summer because we are very much aware of the algal bloom during this season. But this April, Jeff’s cousin and his friend wanted to visit Boracay before we go to Palawan so we looked for nice accommodations that will impress our guests. Summer is peak season so most good hotels are jacking up their prices. Good thing Jeff’s cousin consulted Trip Advisor and suggested Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast Boracay. This is on the other side of the island which is great because it won’t be affected by the algal bloom, this way, our guests won’t be disappointed with Boracay, touted as one of the world’s best beaches.

fairways and bluewater resort boracay review

Turned out that we made the right decision to book Fairways and Bluewater for our Boracay trip. We all loved our stay even though we visit Boracay often. It’s as if discovering another beautiful secret the island has to offer.

[Read more…]

LSM Square Boracay review

On our Boracay trip this November, we stayed at LSM Square. It’s not exactly a beachfront accommodation but it’s located in Station 1. It’s along the road, in front of Crown Regency Prince. I still like it nonetheless because the walk going to the white beach through the alley is just a mere 5 minutes. The walk to the alley will take you beside Nandana Boracay.

It’s very affordable considering the hotel-like interior of the rooms. Take a look at the family room I booked for just Php 2000 per night, it has 2 double beds and 1 single bed. This is Room No. 9 located at the second floor.

This room for only Php 2000 per night!

[Read more…]

Gasthof, Home of Boracay’s Famous Baby Back Ribs

When in Boracay, do not miss eating at Gasthof for their baby back ribs! You won’t miss Gasthof because it’s a beachfront restaurant, and is located just at the entrance of D’Mall.

[Read more…]

Real Coffee, Boracay

When in Boracay, eating at Real Coffee is a must. Well, that’s what all of other food bloggers say because in here, you’ll find the famous calamansi muffins. It’s really unique and quite intriguing, so I’m also one of those who searched for Real Coffee in Station 1 one morning after a swim near the grotto.

look out for this sign just near the Havaianas store in Station 1

[Read more…]

Kalibo airport to Caticlan via Southwest Tours

If you want a comfortable ride from Kalibo airport to Caticlan when going to Boracay, try Southwest Tours coasters. They are priced higher than the normal vans and L300s, Php 300 for the coaster ride to Caticlan plus the boat ride to Boracay. You have to shoulder the terminal fee, Php 50, and Php 75, environmental fee.

Southwest Tours Boracay

[Read more…]

Travel plans this 4-day long weekend

Where are you heading this 4 day long weekend? Upon President PNoy’s announcement making October 31, 2011a special holiday, I’m sure a lot of people checked some destinations in and out of the country. My officemates checked out some airline promos from different websites to look for cheap Asian country flights and some local destinations. Unfortunately, most airlines and hotels also consider this long weekend as peak season so rates are higher than usual. If PNoy already announced holidays earlier, itchy feet Pinoys should have planned their travels wisely, now this is what I miss about President GMA, being generous with special holidays :p.

As for our family, we are Aklan and Boracay-bound! I am looking forward for a weekend of beach, sun (I hope!) and sand!

see you in Boracay!

[Read more…]

Where to stay and eat in Boracay on a budget

Budget Accomodations:

We all know that tourists from all parts of the world flock to Boracay. And with these, prices of some commodities like food and lodging might be expensive for average travelers like me. First would be the accommodation, beach resorts in Boracay offer varied rates for their fan rooms (cheapest) and the deluxe rooms with air-con, hot water and cable TV. Beachfront hotels have higher rates as well as those hotels found in Station 1. We stayed at Casa Pilar in Station 3. Reasonable rates for a decent cottage, it has its own restaurant and security of the resort is not a problem. Rates of rooms, contact number, email and website are as follows:

Casa Pilar Beach Resort (Station 3, Boracay Island, Aklan)

Deluxe AC: lean season Php 2900 – peak season Php 4000
Superior AC: lean season Php 2400 – peak season Php 3300
Standard AC: lean season Php 2000 – peak season Php 2800
Fan Room: lean season Php 1200 – peak season Php 1800
Tel: (63 36) 2883073
Email:
casa_pilar@yahoo.com
Website:
http://www.casapilarboracay.com/

During our stay, we found a newly built hotel just near Casa Pilar, also in Station 3, called Boracay Sands Hotel. The curiosity in us made us ask for their room rates, the receptionist willingly showed us the rooms and boy, I made a promise to stay in this hotel the next time around. Rooms have 2 double beds, and LCD TV, and a personal ref to boot.

Boracay Sands Hotel (room, pool)
Boracay Sands Hotel (Station 3, Boracay Island, Aklan)
Room rate per night without breakfast: Php 3,850
Tel. no: (036) 2884967 / 4966
CP no: 0927-304-01-31
Budget meals:

Boracay has plenty of restaurants to cater tourists from all walks of life. From fine dining to a simple eatery, you’ll find something somewhere to satisfy your hunger. Andok’s Dokito Frito in Station 3 offers their staple Lechon Manok and other budget meals like Pork Chop, Fried Chicken, Barbecue and Filipino foods. Price of their budget meals starts at Php 49.00. Mang Inasal in D’Mall also has a number of customers because of their cheap but delicious meals. Prices also start from Php 49.00 and up. I ordered Tosilog and Jeff ordered Chicken Inasal when we had our breakfast. If you’re craving for pizza, Yellow Cab has a branch in Station 3 just beside Casa Pilar. They also deliver to your hotels.

Tosilog and Chicken Inasal from Mang Inasal; Yellow Cab

Souvenirs:

For your keepsakes and pasalubongs from Boracay, go to D’Mall to find plenty of keychains and ref magnets for 7 pieces for Php 100. T-shirts that scream “Boracay” range from Php 150-500. On my first visit, I bought T-shirts from “Lonely Planet“. This time, I discovered another store that offers rocking designs called “Metamorphosis“. They sell handpainted shirts and canvass bags for Php 250-580. Just ask for discounts when buying at the store. For summer accessories, sellers can be found at the beach and just choose at your liking from a variety of earrings, necklaces and bracelets offered by the locals.

Metamorphosis Boutique


Accessories and ref magnets a plenty

Jonah’s Fruit Shakes (Station 1, Boracay)

Your trip in Boracay will never be complete without trying out the famous fruit shakes in the island. Jonah’s Fruit Shakes is a refreshing break from the sweltering heat of the sun after walking the stretch of Boracay Island. Aside from the fruit shakes, this humble restaurant also offers meals from seafood, Pinoy food such as pancit, sinigang, etc. and Mexican such as tacos, echiladas, etc.

Mango Banana and Choco Peanut from Jonah’s Fruit Shakes

I ordered Choco Peanut while Jeff ordered Mango Banana. Price range of fruit shakes is Php 75 to Php 150 depending on the combination. The most expensive ones (Php 150) are the Strawberry shake variants. I liked the consistency of the shake because of the fine ice.

Since we’re hungry from walking and exploring the islands, we also ate our early dinner here. If you’re ordering in Jonah’s, orders might take long to arrive so don’t go there with your growling stomach or you’ll die of starvation. Jeff’s Chicken Enchilada was first to arrive, since he’s hungry, I told him to eat his meal at once while I waited for my Shrimp Potato Salad. I waited for my salad for about 20-30 minutes, while Jeff already devoured his enchilada.

Chicken Enchilada

Shrimp Potato Salad

The Chicken Enchilada was good, I know because I got to taste a spoonful of it while waiting for my salad to arrive. To sum it up, you can pass up in trying out their meals but their fruit shakes are definitely a must-try! We even went back the next day to try out a different combination, Papaya Mango and Apple Mango.