Hazy ribbons of ginger, persimmon, crimson and mauve floated over the lucent blue turning to cobalt water, unraveling the night like a dainty gift, full of romance and surprises. The sunset in Boracay Island’s White Beach area is a gift, a bonus. The beach with its unrivaled fine, white sand is attraction enough, a dream, making it the Philippines’ top tourist destination and one of the world’s best. At the other side, as vacationers strolled by the beach, played and pondered, the crowded strip of hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and stores lit up one by one. Later, Boracay would come alive to own its tag as the best party place in the country.
Discovery Shores Boracay was awash in golden and indigo lights, lacing the sunset glow on the sand and white beach lounge chairs. Nearby a white tent was set up with long table. Glass stars and bubble were hanging above the table with a captivating setting of leaves, candles and starfish skeletons.
From the kitchens of Discovery Shores Boracay, the best ones in the island if not the whole country, and prepared by Discovery Group’s corporate chef, Anthony Raymond, Alaskan gindara with bruleed citrus, cherry tomatoes and crisp basil, drizzled with calamansi vinaigrette; grilled lobster from Palawan with sweet corn and chive risotto, mushrooms and bacon dashi broth; and warm citrus honey pudding with almond ice cream, brown butter roasted tropical fruits and salted brandy snap crisp delighted the distinguished guests.
That night, March 23, Discovery Shores Boracay gave tribute to its travel agents for their work the past year, thanking them as well as other guests for making the resort, which one of the properties of the Filipino Discovery Leisure Co., which has the Discovery Suites in Metro Manila and Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay, one of the best in the island.
Discovery Shores Boracay was voted as one of the Top 25 Hotels in the Philippines and one of the Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the Philippines by TripAdvisor in its 2013 Travelers’ Choice awards, and is cited among the Top 50 World’s Best Hotels and named the Top Island Hotel in Asia for 2013 by New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure, among many others.
Many of the awardees are Korean. This is not surprising as the resort’s number-one clientele, as well as of the whole island, are Koreans.
After the Top Producers 2012 Awarding Ceremony, the resort participated in the worldwide Earth Hour. As the lights were switched off in the public areas of the resort, a black-light presentation amused the crowd by the shore. The only light were from the moon and an Earth Hour sand structure glowing with lit candles at the beach. Swirls of colors danced around and formed images with the dark sea as background. Discovery Shores showed that its commitment to the environment given much importance as their quality of service.
It is not hard to see why Discovery Shores emerged as one of the best in the country and even in the world. Special guests got a sumptuous taste of it from March 22 to 24, which the shore as “A Weekend with the Best,” with the Top Producers 2012 Awarding Ceremony as highlight.
The magic began as we stepped into the room, where guests relations manager Carlo Arboleda helped us with the checking-in. All of the 88 rooms of Discovery Shores Boracay are modern and spacious suites, elegant and cozy. The wide window opened to a commanding view of the sky and sea. The resort perches on one side of a hill, straddling the top down to the beach. The architecture is clean, minimalist, geometric — very likable and stylish. The dominating white paint compliments the green of the pocket gardens and blue of the sky and sea. Our room was one of the topmost, affording us an invigorating vision of clear blueness and space that seeped right inside.
The Discovery Shores Boracay Rooms are categorized into junior suite, one-bedroom suite, one-bedroom suite premier, two-bedroom suite and two-bedroom suite premier.
The junior suite, about 40 to 45 square meter, has bathrooms overlooks a scenic rock garden. The one-bedroom suite, about 65 square meter, has a spacious living area, a nook, a bar and a separate bedroom with two queen size beds. The one-bedroom suite premier, about 60 square meters, on the lower level features a personal space on the deck with either a view of the beach or the lovely landscape of the resort. The two-bedroom suite, about 120 square meters, is suitable for groups of up to six guests and has a living area, a dining area, a bar, two private rooms with their own toilet and bath and a balcony. The two-bedroom suite premier, about 120 square meters, has two levels, including a private deck with an outdoor Jacuzzi on the first level. All suites are luxuriously furnished and equipped for a lovely, lovely stay.
The divan by the window was laden with tokens—beach bags, sun block, luggage tags. The table was laden with treats—a plate of sweets, personalized with the name of the newspaper; a bowl of fresh fruits; a pitcher of cold pandan drink. A banner over the bed welcomes guests as if one is coming home. Immediately, one will surely miss these little sweet things as soon as thoughts of departing pops up. Apart from the luxury, this thoughtful attention to detail and the needs of the guests distinguishes Discovery Shores Boracay from most of the resorts in Boracay and even in the whole country. Each element is given thought for the delight of their guests. Each is like a little surprise gift.
When the bed is turned down for the night, there is a card with a picture of a man lounging in a hammock during sunset and a quote from C.S. Lewis: “You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Capping the welcome is a foot wash and massage to ease you into dreamy island living. You slip on the Discovery Shores Boracay flip-flops, which amusingly leave imprints of the resort's name on the sand while you walk. You can either flop into the plush bed or explore the island. Discovery Shores Boracay is at a very good location, Station 1, the quieter area of White Beach but near center of activities.
Food is one of its best features. Its Indigo restaurant was shortlisted for the 2010/2011 The Miele Guide, a guide book to Asia's best restaurants. It serves a highly seasonal menu of coastal cuisine and has the island's best selection of wines. Additionally, there is Platitos, which is set up at the beach and features creative appetizers and finger foods. Sands Restaurant offers breakfast and themed buffets by the sea. The Sandbar/Pool Bar serves a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Discovery Shores Boracay itself has facilities for recreation and an enjoyable stay such as the pool and the gym. It also makes arrangement with the island's water sports operators for guests to enjoy Boracay. Try scuba diving, boat trips, snorkeling, paraw sailing, skim boarding, wind surfing and kite surfing, waterskiing, banana boat rides, glass-bottom boat ride and parasailing. The last one we tried. Harnessed to a parachute, one is pulled by a speedboat and gets a panoramic view of Boracay and the surrounding seascape and landscape, an exhilarating ride.
After a day full of activities, Terra Wellness Spa is a welcome retreat. The number-one hotel spa in Asia, as declared in the Travel + Leisure 2012 World's Best Awards, offers a range of relaxing and pampering treatments. For massages, try Terra's Touch, the signature massage, which is a “deeply relaxing massage” that “combines slow and graceful gliding strokes that are applied to different key pressure points of the body to relieve tension and aid blood circulation. The experience is enhanced with the use of specially blended therapeutic oils.” Terra Wellness Spa offers different packages, facial treatments, scrubs, wraps and foot therapy.
This summer, Discovery Shores Boracay's theme is Happy Summer. Resort staff greets you with “Happy summer,” an infectious smile and hands to their hearts.
“Happy Summer” is our way of saying thank you, said Leeds Trompeta, resident manager of Discovery Shores Boracay.
With it, the resort offers the Happy Summer Package, with the special rate of P8,888 net per night. It includes accommodations in their junior suite, a complimentary buffet breakfast at Sands Restaurant, a roundtrip boat and land transfers from the Boracay airport in Caticlan, Malay. The promo package is ongoing until June 15.
Happiness is not really based on big events. It is made of up of little things such as a sweet note, a piece of pastry, a smile, a delicious piece of dim sum, a beautiful seashell found by the shore, signs of thoughtfulness, a soft bed, the smell of lavender, a request warmly granted, little surprise gifts. One finds these in Discovery Shores Boracay.
For inquiries and reservations, contact Discovery Shores Boracay at (+63 2) 720-8888 or (+63 36) 288-4500 or visit Discoveryhotels-resorts.com.