After a few days of “torment” in trying to select the best hotel for us in Boracay (with the big selection possibilities ranging from beach-front, non-beach front, with pool or without pool, Station 1, 2, 3) I believe that in the end we made a good decision with Boracay Garden Resort. It is right in the middle of everything (between D’mall and D’talipapa), and near the beach but still away from the craziness and noise of the White beach (constant concerts through the night, street vendors, drunk people). Once you pass through the tunnel everything becomes quieter and more relaxed.
It is obvious that the rooms had brighter days and need renovation in the near future, the bathroom is a bit worn down and the wall paper as well but you have everything you might need in the room, including a big empty fridge+freezer that is useful and good to fill up with water/beer/local rum (surprisingly tasty) from the always handy Budget Market in D’mall or fruits from D’talipapa. Our fridge was quite noisy though and we turned it off during the night but even so it kept everything cool so no problem.
The outside however is already nicely renovated and very clean, the pool-houses are perfect for spending the very sunny moments of the day while still enjoying the outdoors , the pool-towels are changed whenever you wish and the cocktail selection at the bar is enough. The pools are clean and large (the biggest on the island I believe) though they are sometimes very crowded with little Korean kids and grown-ups splashing everything around.
There is some construction work going on during the day so you might hear the occasional banging and cracking but they do stop at a decent time in the afternoon. As a minus point, they also start quite early in the morning with the construction and it is not very nice if you want to sleep later. But worse than the construction noise - which gets somewhat buffered in the rooms - are the house-keeping carts that make horrible sounds because of the metal wheels + concrete floors on the corridors and the housekeepers that start quite early (7:00 AM). I think they could just push the housekeeping later in the day, at least after 9! And maybe change the carts.
The breakfast selection is ok, it is catered for the Asian (mostly Korean) tastes as they are the vast majority of the guests in the hotel/on the island, but the egg/omelet-boy does a good job at preparing whatever type of eggs you might wish, there is bowl of green salad and also fruits (melon and pineapple), milk (and cereals, and bread, and sweets), coffee, meats, noodles, rice… We never had dinner at the hotel so I cannot comment about other food choices.
The staff at the hotel was friendly and helpful, always smiling and willing to be of assistance. The beach chairs on the beach are most of the time enough (I think in 7 days we only had to wait once for about 10 mins to get seats) and also have umbrellas, and the beach-boy cleans them every time between guests.
The hotel arranges trips with local tour guides at good prices. The island hopping was very nice and smooth, Cove Island is a definite must see in the neighborhood. We did however have a bad experience with the Paraw Sailing, we paid for a full hour and they brought us ashore after less than 30 minutes, we complained and they took us another 10 minutes on the sea (not the whole half an hour we were missing!), I was in a way too good mood to fight with them anymore so I just gave up after telling them they make bad business and I’ll make sure I’ll give them negative reviews. I complained at the hotel and suggested that they should start working with a different provider, but just in case they ignored me, be careful at what you get from the paraw sailing guys especially if you are brought to a yellow-painted boat called Why Knot (yes, like this).
On a side note and completely unrelated to the hotel, dear Korean guests, pretty please learn how to behave in a society, stop being rude, noisy and pushy, and do clean after yourself! Leaving a big chunk of litter behind you just makes everything unpleasant.
Overall, I think the hotel was a good choice because of the location and the pools. I would not recommend getting a hotel directly on the beach especially if you go during the peak season.
PS: Take the Glass-bottom boat (you find booths for reserving along the beach), it was a very nice experience and the boys on the boat are very funny with nice stories to share!
Though they seem to be the best online (I also wanted one but couldn't find it available) the po...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.