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“Nice Experience, If You Have the Cash to Spare” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

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Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Barangay Yapak, 5608, Philippines   |  
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Ranked #1 of 131 hotels in Boracay
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Nice Experience, If You Have the Cash to Spare”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

This is probably the most luxurious and expensive resort on the island, and it is not too hard to understand why. The moment you arrive at Caticlan airport, you do get some kind of a “VIP treatment”. You are whisked away to Shangri-la’s own jetty and waiting lounge on its van, less than 5 minutes’ drive away. There, you wait in comfort for the Shangri-la boat to arrive while everyone else is queuing up for the bumboats only in the next building. Needless to say, the Shangri-la boats are also more comfortable and faster than the other overcrowded-looking bumboats.

The boat ride to Shangri-la resort, which is on the far end of Boracay island, is about 15 minutes long. While slightly bumpy when the sea is choppy, you do feel that you are already much better off than the other people crammed in the bumboats to the island. There you arrive at the jetty in the resort, and there you have a buggy waiting to bring you and your belongings to the lobby.

We stayed in the Seaview Suite, which was very spacious and had its own jacuzzi on the balcony. It faces the sea, and was great for watching the sunset. The only drawback was, however, that the suites are located on the lowest level, so views of the sea and beach are partially obstructed by the trees.

There is the usual Shangri-la level of luxury and comfort in the room—definitely very comfortable with touches of luxury and attention to detail. However, I personally felt it was a little too clinical for a beach resort of its level. Except for the day bed and jacuzzi on the balcony, almost everything else in the room would probably not look out of place in a business hotel in the city. For the price and the location, I was expecting some kind of additional surprises to make it more unique. Perhaps the corporate branding executives had very strong ideas of conformance with the group’s brand identity.

The hotel grounds were well-maintained, and there were some nice touches to ensure people enjoy their holidays. The beaches were great, with beautiful views of the sunset. There was a saltwater infinity pool which also had great views of the sea, especially in the evenings. However, we might not have been able to enjoy this pool if we could not swim, as it was very deep. While the other 2 pools in the resort were larger and had more features like fountains and greenery etc, we thought that the view was best from this one, and naturally we spent the greatest amount of time in this one.

We also appreciated the Entertainment Centre, where guests could enjoy games like foosball, pool, shooting hoops, table tennis, board games etc, use the computer, or watch TV programmes on the projector screen at no extra cost. The Fitness Centre has the standard amenities and equipment that are present in most Shangri-la properties—good enough for regular gym-goers like us. We thought it was nice that they even loaned shoes to guests who did not have suitable shoes with them.

The spa did not disappoint. It occupied an expansive portion of the resort premises, and had its own swimming pool and jacuzzi. The spa treatments were done in little huts in the spa compound—rather cosy with the right touch of privacy. As expected of the Chi Spa in Shangri-la, prices are never cheap. The spa was a very peaceful area in the resort. When we went in the evening, we might have been the only guests in the spa, as we did not see anyone else there. The spa also has its own buggy to transport guests between their rooms and the spa.

In terms of location, Shangri-la is tucked in a corner on the island. It feels very exclusive, as there is not much traffic at this end of the island. The drawback, however, is that it takes some time to travel between the resort to D’Mall, where most of the shops, eateries and activity centres on the island are located. There is also a nice beach with white sand near D’Mall, but we preferred the ones in Shangri-la as these were much less crowded. The resort provides an hourly shuttle to and from D’Mall.

Service was what one would expect from Shangri-la. Staff were well-trained and knew what to do and what to say in almost every situation. There was a good attention to detail. However, again, I felt that this being a beach resort, service was a tad too clinical for my liking again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff had scripts to follow for every foreseeable situation during the course of duty. When everyone is there to relax and enjoy a vacation, perhaps staff could be allowed more leeway to be less uptight and be casual, instead of adhering to the SOP in almost every instance?

I had a somewhat disappointing experience though. On one of the afternoons when I was out taking pictures with my wife on the beach, one of the parts of my gorillapod fell off without our realising it. I knew it must have fallen off in the area between the two beaches, as I had last used it at one end of a beach, and realised it had fallen off when I wanted to use it again when I reached the other beach. When we searched the area on our own, it was no longer there, and we figured perhaps the employees who were setting up tables for dinner in that area had thought it was a piece of rubbish and disposed of it promptly. It is otherwise hard to imagine that a large piece of equipment measuring one foot long could disappear within 5 minutes.

I then checked with one of the gentlemen who was there, asking if he or any of his colleagues had picked it up, showing him what it looks like. He promised he would alert everyone working in the area to look out for it, and send it to my room once it was found. A couple of hours later when I called back to check, it appeared that this employee had not bothered to follow up on the matter as no other person was aware of it (maybe this was not in the SOP or service scripts). By then it was dark, and the few people who were sent out to hunt for it could not find it, and the rubbish bags had probably been removed. I never got the item back.

In all, I think this is a good resort, and most people would probably have few complaints. The VIP treatment extends past check out, when staff at the jetty accompany you all the way to the airport and assist with checking in for your flight. There is also a Shangri-la lounge in the Caticlan Airport’s Departure Lounge, which ensures you are comfortable until you board the plane. However, the experience does not come cheap, and whether it is worth the price is open to debate.

Room Tip: If possible, get a room on the highest floow. Most other rooms have views that are blocked by trees...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Khabarovsk, Khabarovsk, Russia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

I stayed in Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa this January. It was my first experience to stay in Shagri La and I can say with confidence that this resort is the place where I'm ready to come back again and again. Pleasure began when we were met in Calibo by a careful staff who having taken all our luggage led us to the comfortable waiting area which was rather contrasting to Calibo surroundings. Having come in we understood that luxurious and blissful vacation is about to begin. After 15 min going to Boracay by Shangri La's speedboat we were also met by a pretty girl and several other staff at the moorage who took us to the lobby by buggy. Notwithstanding our terrible tiredness and exhaustion we managed to see and understand how beautiful the hotel area is. Every following day of our vacation generously gave us relaxation and enjoyment. Breakfast buffet is splendid. Besides, all the staff is perfect and I'd like to thank many of them personally. Especial gratitude to Areis who works in Cielo bar. It was really pleasant to be served by him as he behaved both courteously and friendly so that I felt like we were good acquaintances! Similar words I'd say about Niel who is a bartender. He became a friend for me and it was really fun to speak with him while watching the sunset which is so wonderful there. All visitors' preferences and tastes are remembered so you don't have to remind the waiter whether you need sugar or still water or something like that. What's more they even create something special for you. As for the hotel area, it's splendid, every small place is worth being photographed.
If you want to feel calm and forgive that there are such words like stress, noise and tiredness, certainly go Shangri-La's Boracy!

Room Tip: The rooms in the northern side seem to be better as this area is quieter. Also villas look luxurious...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

From the moment you step into the tiny arrivals area at Caticlan airport and are greeted by the Shangri-la rep, then whisked away to the air-conditioned Shang lounge area by the waterfront, where there is time for a refreshing towel and a cold drink before being escorted onto a high speed, dedicated shuttle speedboat (enclosed and with life jackets) … then the personal greeting when you arrive at the Shang’s personal pier on Boracay … yes, you know you are in for a special holiday at this resort.
We chose rooms in the north wing because we had heard the south wing got noise from the public beach. That would not have been a problem during the day, as most days there were fewer than 10 hotel guests on that beach and you would swear it was a private beach because it only has two hotels fronting on to it. Perhaps in the peak season it is a different story. They do have weddings there – but on the north side they hold outdoor functions for corporate groups, so I think it is on par.
Rooms are island chic. Think of woven mat on the polished wooden floor, textured wall finishes, marble bathroom and a large tiled balcony with soft, spacious lounge seats. Good size rooms, comfortable bed and furniture. Our youngest daughter discovered you can open the blinds in the bathroom and watch TV while having a bath (there are speakers in the bathroom).
The staff are a delight. 99% of them will go out of their way to assist you, greet you with a smile, ask if you need anything; it’s truly five-star customer service. The gardens are beautiful, the night lighting sublime, the pool is spacious and creative in its design, which means we always had an area ourselves.
It was cloudy almost every day we were there (nine days) and we had been worried about how cool it might be in January, which is winter - but the humidity is a warm blanket and it was always hot enough for the swimming pool. Most days we perspired profusely! On the one day we had clear skies for half the day, there was a cooling breeze. There is no doubt that the water is so much more brilliant when the sun is shining but (uncharacteristically for us), we didn’t feel short changed by the clouds because we had the feeling of being on a tropical island.
The resort filters and bottles its own water, which is sealed and provided to guests free of charge. There is a doctor and a nurse on duty and when we needed them for an ear ailment after snorkelling too deep, they were excellent. The resort staff also organised to buy the prescription “downtown” and delivered it to our room.
We like resorts that are large but not crowded and which are self contained. The thronging beach scene with touts, fake sunglasses and booming music is not our scene. The resort has a free shuttle service into D Mall, about a 10—15 minute drive. We missed the return shuttle most times and opted for a tricycle, which costs 150 pesos and the Shang representative at D Mall will organise it for you. There are a range of eating options. We tried them all. The first night we had pizza overlooking the beach. Lunch was usually a salad by the pool. Vintana, where you have breakfast, has a multi-national menu. The sizzling sisig was good; a bit salty but delicious. In this version they leave out the entrails! The top restaurant is Rima, an Italian restaurant with a wonderful setting above the trees high on the hillside; our entrees were superb but the main courses didn’t hit the mark. Our favourite restaurant was Sirena, which specialises in seafood but has other alternatives, including a first-rate pressed lamb confit. Each night they had a buffet in a different location, including the beach and under the palms. The focus is usually seafood. We did this one night under the palms when it was more focused on meat (our children are not big fish eaters) and it was well worth the investment. With a local band crooning, you have a wide choice of fresh seafood, pork belly, beef, lamb, marinated pork, curry, a noodle bar and an excellent variety of local and international desserts. As with other Shangs, the breakfast buffet is like a gastronomic United Nations where you are spoiled for choice. Try the ensaymada with ube (purple yam). The French toast freshly made is superb and you get good coffee (we always ask for strong).
Other points for consideration include: good spa as you would expect at a Shang; wander down and admire the wedding set ups and the sand carvings; good equipment for the snorkelling and kayaking; internet is included but speed is variable; prices are often what you would pay in a Western city (ie. not cheap but you knew that when you booked); and there are 48 drinks on the cocktail list, so my wife was well pleased!
How can the resort improve? In our mind they need to add to the selection of wine by the glass, or at least change them for each restaurant. And add a few more beers into the mix; offering a selection of a few local beers and Heineken is not good at a resort of this quality.
A last note about the time of year we went - it was mid-January and quiet at the resort. However, on the weekend the hotel was full and we had to queue to get into breakfast, wait ages to get a coffee, the juice bar was always running out … and suddenly we had a sense of what it would be like in peak season. Half of the guests were part of a corporate trip so they went off and did their own thing most of the day, leaving the pool quiet and peaceful. We always got a good pool chair, even when we strolled down at 1pm. But in peak season I doubt that would be the case, so seriously consider not going in the peak time, I doubt you will get the most from what is a fabulous resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

You could easily spend a day or two just inside the premises of this resort. Beautiful private beach (although the sand isn't as powdery as the one on the main beach at D'Mall area), beautiful pools and beautiful rooms. They also have a free shuttle service to D'Mall which is very convenient. Staff was friendly and service was good. Rooms were very spacious and clean.

Tips: Reserve a cabana at the Solana Restaurant for sunset watching as it gets fully booked fast. Or visit after dinner, like what me and my husband did! (Some photos of how it looks at night: http://bit.ly/11M4f0d) Another tip: during the morning, when they're not as busy, ask if one of the buggy drivers can drive you around the resort and give you a tour! It was nice to see how the different villas looked!

Only complaint (which is a minor one) was how during breakfast, there didn't seem to be enough waiters for everyone. We asked three different waiters for our water to be refilled but nobody came: I guess they were all too busy (so we just went up to the juice bar)

Enjoyed my stay so much, I didn't want to leave!

Room Tip: The Deluxe Room, cheapest of all their rooms, is already huge!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed for 5 nights at the Shangri-la Boracay. We originally booked a loft villa but we decided to have a look at Villa 13, a 2 bedroom villa with a large pool and private beach access. Once we had seen it, we immediately took it and absolutely loved it.

Shangri-La Boracay is large and there are a lot of guests, however, by staying in Villa 13 we got a totally different experience. It was like we were on a private island with the 5 star service that comes from the Shangri-La.

The food was great. The gym was massive and always very clean. Everything was perfect.

I would highly recommend it and will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Villa 13 is the best! if you're after a 2 bedroom villa with a large pool and private beach acc...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013 via mobile

We stayed there once when the resort had just opened. We were impressed by the pampering and assistance we got from the staff. And if one is looking for a place to stay in Bora which is quiet and serene but not at the popular White Beach, then this is the right resort.
However, for us who had been regularly going to Bora, we yearned for the vibe and atmosphere in White Beach, which we reached only after taking the resort shuttle to D'Mall.
We also did not enjoy the food that much. In fact, it was quite pricey. But worse than that is the massage at the Chi Spa. Totally overpriced.
I don't think we are staying there again when we go on our yearly trip to Bora.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I heard about shangri-la boracay from this website: http://weekendhobbyist.hubpages.com/hub/Top-5-Best-Hotels-in-Boracay and I have stayed in all the hotels that he has suggested. However he was not kidding that Shangri-La was on top of the list. This place is simply amazing.

The only bad thing that I could think of when I stayed in Shangri-La boracay was that I had to leave and go home. This place is amazing. Great private beach. Overlooking private cottages. Personal pool on a veranda looking towards the pristine white sand beach and sparkling blue water. Some of the high class Villas also come with a personal butler and a personal chef as well. The staff is very kind and accomodating, sometimes you don't even need to ask and they are there ready to lend a hand. My hat's off to the well mannered staff of Shangri-La they really know how to make a person feel special.

Each room comes with a nice window veranda with day beds perfect to laze around in the heat of the tropical sun and the cool breeze of fresh ocean air.

If you've been to Boracay before and stayed on the long stretch of white beach - you have to try Shangri-la at least once. It is a totally different experience.

However that is coming from me who enjoys a leisure travel more than the hustle and bustle of a pumping night party scene. No. For me what really got me hooked to this hotel was it's beauty and relaxing ambiance. Stress just magically flows away from your body - don't forget to try Chi Spa - that was a privilege to say the least.

Amazing. Me and my family enjoyed our stay and would do it again in a heart beat, vacation time taken into consideration of course.

I hope you take my advice and book here. You will not regret it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Address: Barangay Yapak, 5608, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Boracay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Boracay
#1 Spa Hotel in Boracay
#1 Luxury Hotel in Boracay
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Boracay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa offers a new level of luxury to the beautiful island of Boracay. Marrying luxury and comfort with a reverence for nature, the 12-hectare resort encompasses 219 rooms including 36 villas and suites; comprehensive leisure facilities; 350 meters of secluded beach front; and a thriving ecosystem of diverse, even rare, flora and fauna. With two private beachfronts and an infinity pool, the resort offers a myriad of recreational activities. Those looking to soothe weary senses can head over to CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. A variety of dining options of different cuisines is located within the resort. May it be a family holiday or simply a quiet retreat, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa is the perfect paradise destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Boracay Resort And Spa
Shangri-La`s Boracay Hotel Boracay
Shangri Las Boracay Hotel
Shangri Las Boracay Resort

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