First let me tell you that that I am a young solo or with friends traveler, so I am not very picky regarding easy to live with imperfections that might appear in my holiday BUT:
Stayed here for 2 weeks, traveling with friends. First of all I have booked my deluxe room through Agoda website, and I paid the whole booking in advance with my credit card on the website. When I looked online for the hotel website I found a site under construction and an email address. I sent an inquiry at that email address only to receive a response from a very SIMILAR email address asking me to make another payment in advance, also giving me my AGODA BOOKING ID which was private. When I called Agoda and forwarded those emails they simply said: “The hotel recommends to avoid email conversations with dubious email addresses”. Second of all, my first interaction with the receptionist wasn’t that pleasant, because although I had booked a deluxe room, she first gave me a standard room, and the girl who led me to the room was trying to convince me that I have received a deluxe room, so I had to insist on changing the room to a deluxe one that I have paid for !
Accommodation: Average at best, maybe a 2.5 star hotel with European standards(except the bathroom which is proper for a very cheap motel). The beds are comfy though and you do get a flat screen TV. You do not get a view whatever room you choose because the resort is surrounded by D-Mall and other houses. Mini bar is basic with juice, water and beer, and prices are low.
Breakfast, is very poor in variety, and they have only one toaster, so every morning you have to get in line and wait for your turn. They clean the tables when they remember and if you want to eat after 9 AM you might just find leftovers, because the food “runs out” ?? (breakfast program 7 – 10 AM)
The pool is small and almost nobody goes there, so I cannot confirm, as other stated, that they are very strict regarding bathing suits in the pool. When White Beach is 2 minutes away, why would you stay in a small hotel puddle ?
Location, now this is the best part. The hotel is situated exactly in the middle of D-Mall, exactly in the middle of Boracay island, in station 2. The back entrance to the hotel takes you exactly into D-Mall, where you can find shopping areas, restaurants, clubs, and White Beach of course.
Boracay details: The island is divided in 3 parts: Station 1(furthest from the jetty port, with the most luxurious hotels, close to Puka Shell Beach), Station 2(middle of the island, where all the action is, but where the crowds gather up as well), and Station 3(closest to the Jetty port) which is quieter, cheaper but poorer. Here you can find Talipapa(seafruit and fish market, where you can choose your supper while it’s alive. They have modest restaurants in the market that cook your own food for a small price)
What bothered me was that they have a lot of taxes:
When you get to Caticlan Aiport: 75 Pesos for the 2 minute ride to the jetty port. Here you pay 25 pesos for the boat, 100 pesos terminal fee, and 125 environment fee. From the Boracay jetty port to Station 2 you pay 100 pesos per motorbike with attach(up to 5 people). So the transfer from the Caticlan airport to the middle of the island should be approx. 425 pesos(10$) per person. When you leave the island, you do not pay the environment fee again but you pay an airport terminal fee of 200 pesos, so that gets you to 500 pesos per person.
Be careful, because at Manila airport, only when you leave the Philippines, you have to pay a 550 pesos terminal fee per person(12 $). If you do not have any more pesos you can use your credit card, but I had problems using mine because it is a Visa card with microchip(the bank told me that the problem was that chip). If you cannot use your card there are 2 ATMs in the airport, but they have 200 pesos extra fee for cash withdrawal. For the local flight from Manila to Caticlan you need to transfer to terminal 3 or 4 depending on the airline, there is an airport bus that transfers you for free. There are 4 terminals and they are separated, you need to take the bus for a terminal transfer.(free, provided by the airport if you have a plane ticket). Free WiFi in the airport is nice, because internet takes your mind away from the ugly airport with insufficient seats.
Now, I am a big fan of beautiful beaches, and you get a lot of this in Boracay, but good hotels are very expensive, and you have to keep in mind that Philippines is a very poor country, and not all the philippinos are very friendly. The prices are as follows: (1 US $ = 45 pesos, 1 euro = 60 pesos)transfer from one station to another(100 pesos for up to 5 people in one motorbike with attach). Local beer 45-60 pesos, cocktails from 100 to 150 pesos, a complete meal from 300 to 500 pesos for each person. All in all I spent 600 euros in 2 weeks for food, drinks and water sports and I find that to be a lot in a supposedly poor country, having breakfast included in the room price.
I would recommend this location for young people traveling alone or with friends, because there are a lot of parties and there are a lot of single girls going around(especially russian and local girls(be carefull about the lady boys though ) )
For couples and families I wouldn’t recommend this place, because there are nicer places for them, like Punta Cana in Dominican Republic for example, where you can find a 5 star All Inclusive hotel directly on the beach for the same amount of money I’ve paid for this basic hotel, and the beach is the same if not nicer.
I would only recommend this hotel for its location. If you don’t mind taking a short walk, and you don’t insist on staying where all craziness happens, go somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Boracay Resort, the latest and coziest resort that offers "affordable luxury" in the Island of Boracay. Conveniently located at the D'Mall in Boat station 2, just a few steps away from the pristine white sand and clear azure waters of this idyllic island getaway. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA and HotelTravel.com so you can book your Grand Boracay Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Boracay Hotel Boracay