Luxury Hotels to Check at the End of Summer

Summer has not yet waved its goodbye on us. There is still time for one last trip and what better way to end the summer, then cruising yourself into a luxury hotel? The world is full of some luxurious experiences and new hotels are popping up to give us the opportunity to live like queens and kings – if only for a few days.

Peach Cute Illustrated Trinkets Travel Postcard

So, take out the credit card and get ready for the ultimate end of summer party. Here are the luxury hotels you need to stay in during the final days of the seasons – suddenly the closing autumn doesn’t feel that bad.

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Shop at Ayala Malls and Travel Asia

There are always two things that fit perfectly, coffee + milk, salt + pepper, peanut butter + banana, tshirt + jeans, popcorn + movies, and of course, TRAVEL + SHOPPING. Two things everyone loves and enjoys.

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Boracay, Aklan (April 5-7, 2008)

Summer + beach = Boracay
Perfect equation, right? Boracay island, located in Malay, Aklan, is still one of the hottest destination during summer. With its powdery white sand and still blue crystal waters, one can never forget his/her summer spent on this island paradise. Boracay should be included on one’s “to-visit-list” before dying, its beauty should not be missed.

How to get there:

Boracay is accessible through a 10-15 minute boat ride from Caticlan Jetty Port. You have two options to get to Caticlan Jetty Port. One is through a direct flight going to Caticlan. SEAIR, Asian Spirit, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific travel to Caticlan daily. If you’re afraid of riding small aircrafts like me, other option is to take flights going to Kalibo. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have flight schedules going to Kalibo daily. In Kalibo, there are available Ceres Liner buses or L300 vans going to Caticlan. L300 vans charge 100 per head. One hour travel time will get you to Caticlan Jetty Port.
On my previous visits to Boracay, there are 3 stations (Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3) where boats/ferries can load and unload tourists. But this time, they implemented a “one-entry one-exit policy” and required all guests going to Boracay to register. From Caticlan Jetty Port, one has to pay the environmental fee (Php 50), terminal fee (Php 50) and transportation fee (Php 19.50). Ferries/boats will dock at Cagban Port, from there, visitors will have to ride trikes or multicabs going to their hotels. Some hotels offers pick-ups at the Cagban Port.

Cagban Port

Activities:

Aside from swimming, walking along its shores, food tripping and checking out stuffs at D’Mall, there are plenty of activities you can do while in the island. In the afternoon, you can get a henna tattoo or braid your hair ready for partying at night. As for us, we hired a trike for Php 450 to get us Puka Beach and Mt. Luho, Boracay’s highest elevation. Puka Beach reminds me of Putipot Island in Zambales, it still has the powdery white sand and calm waters Boracay was known for minus the crowd. So if you want to have some peace and relaxation, then head to Puka Beach, lay your beach towels, read a book or just soak up the sun. To see the island on a different perspective, we went to Mt. Luho to see the entire island. The view from the top was breathtaking, great for picture-taking. We had a 360 degrees view of the island, a panoramic vista of the sea and the establishments in the island. The trike driver also mentioned the Bat Cave and the Crystal Cave as another tourist destination and perhaps, we’ll visit them in the future.

Puka Beach

Mt. Luho

view from Mt. Luho

One can never ran out of activities in the island. You can pass up the afternoon lulls by playing frisbee, beach volleyball, having a massage or by sipping your favorite shakes. Come sunset, you can avail of the Sunset Cruises (Php 499) to experience the sunset while in the ocean.

Travel expenses:

From Manila to Boracay:

Round trip fare (Manila-Kalibo-Manila; Manila-Caticlan-Manila): ranges from Php 3000-Php 8000 (book early to avail of promos and discounts)

Manila Domestic Airport Terminal fee: Php 200

Kalibo-Caticlan Jetty Port via bus or van (if via Manila-Kalibo): Php 100

Transportation fee: Php 19.50

Environmental fee: Php 50

Terminal fee: Php 50

Trike from Cagban Port to hotel: Php 20 per head

From Boracay to Manila:

Trike from hotel to Cagban Port: Php 20 per head

Terminal fee: Php 50

Transportation fee: Php 19.50

Caticlan Jetty Port-Kalibo via bus or van: Php 100

Kalibo Airport Terminal fee: Php 20

Going North – Laoag, Ilocos Norte (Part 2)

After basking in the fine sand of Pagudpud and slept in Villa del Mar Ivory Beach Resort, we woke up at 3:00 am the next day to prepare for our early morning trek to Kaibigan Falls. But to our dismay, it was raining hard, the weather is bad for trekking. We initially planned to catch the sunrise at Kaibigan Falls but decided not to push through with it. We left the resort at a later time and went to Bangui Windmills, coined by the locals as “giant electric fans”. The weather was gloomy and the skies were covered with clouds, not a good background for picture perfect windmills, but what the heck…. the windmills are breathtakingly beautiful, I feel like I wasn’t even in the Philippines.Bangui Windmills

Next stop is the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse also known as Burgos Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. This is one of the must-see landmarks aside from the windmills in Ilocos Norte. It’s proudly set on a hill overlooking the South China Sea making it the highest lighthouse in the Philippines. From 1892, it still serves its purpose, flashing its light every minute.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

Another landmark worth seeing is St. Augustine Church popularly known as Paoay Church. The church is known for it “earthquake baroque” style and is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Coral stones and bricks made up the structure. Looking closely at the church’s structure, it reminds me of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Paoay Church

In front of Paoay church is where you can find Herencia Cafe, home of the famous “pinakbet pizza”. But we were too full of our lunch that we decided skip to eat pizza. We spent the rest of the afternoon touring Malacanang of the North and Fort Ilocandia.

Fort Ilocandia