Boracay, Boracay, I Love You
When in Manila, you must take a weekend away to Boracay. Almost everyone I know who has been to the Philippines actually came through because of Boracay. Because of this, it was an easy decision to make this our first island to hop to. From Manila, without any hiccups, the whole journey should take an hour on the plane to Catlican and then 15 mins by boat to Boracay island.
In my unfortunate case, the flight was cancelled due to bad weather in Catlican, so I had to take another flight to Kalibo, and then a 90 min drive to Catlican. What was meant to be a 2-hour journey turned into a 9-hour nightmare. UGH. Word of advice: always try for a standby flight, even when the counter chick tells you that all of the flights are full. Flight delays are not uncommon in the Philippines, so make sure you have a good book or any viewing technology and charger with you. And don’t forget your sense of humor. It’s the only way you’ll survive airport delays in the Philippines – or anywhere, really.
Frustration is inevitable during delays, but if you bear in mind that both Catlican and Kalibo airports are small island terminals with only one runway, you will appreciate the delays. Seriously, you don’t want to be landing at these airports in bad weather or after dark. Luckily, there was one moment that erased the bad temper in me that day. As I was waiting in the standby line, I heard a high pitch crowing (??), I looked around and saw there was a rooster, in a box, right next to my leg! I burst out laughing until I had tears in my eyes… welcome to the Philippines.
Then the moment finally came when I stepped onto the speed boat in Catlican. The boat ride to our hotel gave us a spanning panorama of stations 1,2 and 3. Glorious restaurants lined the beachfront; young and beautiful people were scattered along the shore, sailboats, paddle boards, kayaks and jet skis dotted the skyline – all of the ingredients of a picture-perfect postcard. The glistening blue sea and the breath-taking sunset made any left over angst from my flight delay melt away. I had heard so many dreamy stories about Boracay’s pristine waters and heart melting sunsets, and it was certainly true to form.
It was my birthday on this trip – a very good reason to book into Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa. I don’t do things by halves. If we are celebrating MY birthday, we do it in style all the way! For around USD $400 per night (depending on the season), we expected some kind of royalty treatment, and that we got! In absolute Shangri-la flair, we were taken care of every step of the way. I highly recommend this resort for couples and families, any stress or drama just dissipates when you hit Shang shores.
The Shang resort is actually built on its own private beach, and isn’t a part of station 1, 2 or 3. Some say this leaves you far from the action. But if you ask me, I was happy to relax on my exclusive beach front and not worry about finding a spot for my towel or losing my husband or finding a seat at a restaurant. And when we did feel like being social, the Shang shuttle ran every 30mins to the stations anyway, so it was easy to get our shopping or dancing fix. However, we chose to spend most of our days rolling out of bed and straight onto Boracay’s Shangri-la paradise. You can see why.
The real cherry on top was when our server said to us on our last day “Good morning, your speed boat is ready and waiting for your departure” – Boracay, heaven on earth with a side of James Bond cool.
Shangri La Boracay Resort & Spa
Phone: +(63 36) 288 4988