When I think about Boracay, the first things that come to mind are the fantastically clear water and then the white, powdery sand that, to this day, I have not seen anywhere else (and I’ve been to my fair share of beaches in and out of the Philippines). But as my mind drifts to this idea of lounging in front of that paradisiacal picture, my thoughts are suddenly interrupted — by a crowd of tourists. Suddenly I remember that despite Boracay’s undeniable beauty, it does get pretty busy there, especially on peak seasons.
And although this is the case, it’s worth noting that, in line with the island’s reopening amidst the pandemic, the local government of Boracay is doing its best effort to keep the island safe for everyone. Strict protocols are in place and documents are required before entering the island, including a negative RT-PCR result. Still, you’d probably want to practice physical distancing as much as possible, which means vacationing among a crowd of strangers isn’t the most ideal.
But hold on! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Boracay anymore. You totally still should go…but to this gorgeous resort with its own private cove, away from the crowd of tourists — Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay.
Crimson Boracay’s 5-star Filipino hospitality and safety protocols
I’ve stayed at quite a number of hotels and beach resorts as part of my job as a lifestyle writer, but I say this with whole honesty — Crimson Boracay has exceptional, stand-out service and is the best hotel and beach resort I’ve stayed at so far. Apart from its private and wonderful location, the lovely amenities, and the beautiful rooms, what I loved the most about Crimson Boracay is the attention to detail (those so easily overlooked) and the warm, professional service of the staffers. There is a tendency at five-star hotels for the client treatment to be too perfect, almost feeling choreographed, rehearsed. But not here. At Crimson Boracay, the heart and warmth of Filipino hospitality is ever-present and is evidently at the core of what they do. It all felt very natural. I loved that.
And because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, Crimson Boracay has established the “Culture of Clean,” a campaign for enhanced safety standards that were put in place for the security of their guests and own staff. You’ll find that every guest experience involves a layer of protection, be it from simple things like driver-passenger partitions, to thermal scanning and footbaths, to the big assuring steps like the total disinfection of all guest rooms after check-out. Housekeeping disinfects rooms equipped in PPE and installs a UV light to fully sanitize rooms. After full disinfection, rooms are marked and sealed and no one can enter until the next guest to make sure the rooms’ cleanliness is not compromised. Rooms are also left empty for at least 24 hours after disinfection, which means the old hotel practice where one guest checks-out and another follows a few hours later is no longer allowed. High-traffic public areas within the resort are also disinfected every two hours. That’s Crimson Boracay’s Culture of Clean.
Image: Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay
Their service starts the moment you land in Caticlan. A shuttle service will wait for you there, ready to drive you to Crimson Boracay’s private dock. (For those not familiar, Caticlan airport is not in Boracay itself. You’ll need to take a 15-minute boat ride going to the island from Caticlan’s port.) You’ll be taken to their Welcome Center where Crimson Boracay guests can rest on lounge chairs, grab a treat from the complimentary snacks table, have coffee and drinks, and freshen up in the restroom. Outside is the private dock, where a speedboat awaits to take you to your home for the next days.
After a couple of minutes’ boat ride to the island of Boracay, we docked at Crimson’s private cove. Located at Station Zero, the resort is north of Boracay’s White Beach, away from the hustle and bustle of the main area.
The welcome party!
Approaching the resort from the ocean was an experience in itself. Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, with its 2.9 hectares property and elegant white structures and villas perching by the ocean, was a sight to behold. At the beach, a welcoming party greeted us, complete with their percussions and island beats. The vacation had officially begun.
The accommodations and amenities
Crimson Boracay boasts of 192 accommodations total, a mix of seven types of Villas, Suites, and Deluxe Rooms. The Deluxe Rooms are perfect if you want to stay within the center of the resort — they feature floor to ceiling glass windows (and automated blinds!) that provide wonderful natural light and a view of the resort or the garden.
The Deluxe Room
There are also Suites if you prefer a bigger space and you can choose among a Suite, Suite With Sea View, or Suite With Plunge Pool. The one with the plunge pool is perfect if you like taking dips to cool off. You won’t have to walk all the way to the main pool; your very own pool will be right outside your bedroom’s glass door.
Villa With Plunge Pool
For more special occasions, Crimson’s Boracay’s Villas are beautiful. This accommodation is fit for small families of four and perfect for honeymooners. With a big space, a secluded structure, and its own plunge pool, you’ll almost not want to leave this Villa.
The Presidential Villa has a dining area
The Presidential Villa’s Master Bedroom
And for very special occasions, Crimson Boracay’s best offering is this — the Presidential Villa. With a maximum occupancy of four adults and two kids, this room is ideal for an ultimate family getaway, especially that it comes with its own living room, dining area, pantry, a big, beautiful bathroom, and a private swimming pool looking out at the beach.
Aside from enjoying your room, there is no shortage of things to do in Crimson Boracay, which obviously is perfect if you want to stay away from the crowd at Boracay’s main beach. All the activities you’ll ever want to do will be available within the resort. At the recreation center, you’ll be able to choose from a list of water activities like a Speedboat Island Tour, Wakeboarding, Jetskiing, Snorkeling, Sunset Cruising, and more.
Crimson Boracay’s private beach
If you prefer to just relax (I understand), all you have to do is head down to the main beach area, where a large infinity pool facing the ocean also awaits. Beach beds and parasols are also scattered around the area for your lounging needs. For your little ones, a kiddie pool is also available in the area. Watch out for event announcements, too. The time I was there, they had a Saturday bubble party, where machines blew bubbles over the pool. Kids and adults alike looked so happy! And if you get hungry while enjoying your time by the pool, J’s Pool Bar is right there, ready to serve snacks and drinks.
Lots of space to social distance in this big infinity pool facing the beach!
For the ultimate relaxation (this is Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, after all), the resort’s in-house Aum Spa offers unique therapies and spa sessions that will help soothe the mind, body, and soul.
Aum Spa’s couples massage room
But if you want to head out and go to the main beach, Crimson Boracay provides free shuttle service. Daily trip schedules will be provided to you at the reception.
The Dining Experience
Now we get to one of my favorite parts — the food. Aside from J’s Pool Bar, there are three dining options all within Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay (we told you, there’s really no need to leave): Saffron Cafe, Azure Beach Club, and Mosaic Latin American Grill.
Saffron Cafe is for the breakfast service and all-day dining
Saffron Cafe is the main dining establishment at Crimson Boracay; the breakfast buffet is served here, and they are open from early morning to late night dinners. The restaurant, with its high ceiling and floor to ceiling glass windows, gives a light and welcoming vibe. The food served here takes you around the globe — Italian pizza, French pastries, Asian favorites, and more. Plus the classic Pinoy comfort meals, of course.
Sinigang na Tiyan ng Salmon
Our recommendations: the Lechon Kawali is so deliciously crispy, while the Sinigang na Tiyan ng Salmon is to-die-for. Get those. (A note though that the buffet-style breakfast is currently not available for the safety of the guests.)
Azure Beach Club
Azure Beach Club offers a contemporary dining experience, with its artsy décor and more sophisticated vibe. A live DJ plays here for a lounge experience, as you savor the flavors of their menu offering of Asian cuisine.
Baked Oysters. | Image: Crimson Boracay
Azure’s outdoor lounge area
Located beach-front and featuring a stylish, outdoor lounge area and an Asian bar and grill, Azure Beach Club is the place to wind down after a long day at the beach, enjoying good food and drinks with equally good company.
Mosaic and its elegant interior
Mosaic Latin American Grill is home to “the most authentic Latin American cuisine” in Boracay island. Perched at the edge of a higher floor, Mosaic gives you an amazing view of Crimson Boracay’s beachfront, making it the perfect spot for sunset drinks followed by an amazing Latin American dinner. The restaurant, which features stylish wooden interiors, gives the place a warm, elegant ambiance.
The dishes offered here are impeccable. Would you like imported oysters? Argentinian Rib-Eye? Or a 1.2kg Tomahawk? Mosaic is the place to go for indulgent cravings — oh, and don’t forget to ask for their signature cocktail!
In line with Crimson’s Boracay’s Culture of Clean, these dining establishments currently implement safety protocols such as reduced seating to practice social distancing, installation of automatic hand sanitizers, a switch to single-use sachets for condiments such as salt, sugar, and pepper, and daily disinfection using a UV light system.
Even before the pandemic, Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay has always been one of the best accommodations in Boracay, with service that just stands out from the rest. And now that we are in the “new normal,” I can’t think of a better place to trust to be my home while I am vacationing in paradise. With their health and safety protocols and their private beach cove away from the tourist crowd, I know that I’ll be safe here and can fully free my mind of worries as I enjoy the time away with my family — or any of my future travel buddies that I will surely be bringing here.
Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay
Station Zero, Brgy. Yapak, Boracay
Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay