This was my second vacation to Boracay and this time we choose to stay at Sur Beach Resort. I made my reservation directly with their office as they don't appear on discount websites. Instead I used the recommendations from TripAdvisor.
We enjoyed our stay of 4 days and 3 nights in a Standard Triple room. The beach is amazing as always and we really like the location in Station 1. It's about a 10-15 minute walk to the heart of the white beach, but far enough away to offer a choice if you prefer a more quiet stay.
We were allowed to check in early, at 11am. The staff was really nice and helpful during our stay. The room was clean upon arrival and the air conditioning was cold, making for a nice getaway from the heat outside.
Other positives were that the beachfront area was always kept clean. And they offer cheap and really good fruit shakes from the bar during the day.
Selling itself as a mid-level resort, there are certain expectations. When making reservations, I understand that it's not Shangri-La, but it's also not a budget hotel. Throughout our stay there were odd little things here and there that kept it from being a perfect vacation.
First, they are undergoing renovations, which makes for loud hammering and other noises during the day. I appreciate that they try to do it while everyone is out at the beach, but maybe peak season isn't the best choice when people are paying a premium to stay there.
The rooms are not very modern at all. They are clean, but not up to date compared to other hotels. There were cracks in the wall, the TV was an old style tube TV, and the amenities offered were just adequate. You could almost see through the bath towels they were so used and worn thin. And the balcony was useless as any usable space. Honestly I don't think 2 people could stand on the balcony and not be touching it was so small. But none of those were huge deals because honestly nobody comes to Boracay to stay inside their hotel. But for the price paid, I feel like it was a little lacking.
One of the most annoying parts of our stay was the beach towel policy. You had to check them out from the security guard near the beach. Guests were only allowed to check out one per person per day. If you wanted to swim in the morning and then later in the day, you had to use the same partially wet towel. If it rained in the afternoon, which is does often, you had to keep the same wet towel. If your towel gets covered in sand, too bad. I don't know if they can't handle the extra laundry, but it is unreasonable to make guests stick to one beach towel per day at a beach resort.
Another reoccurring thing was having vendors come up to the resort and try and sell their things or offer water sports. Security did nothing to have them leave, sometimes even stopping and chatting with them. We choose to stay at Station 1 because it's further away from everything and quieter than Station 2 or 3. At some points during the day, the same vendors came every 3-4 minutes. I saw other resorts enforce their "no vendors" policy, but Sur apparently had no policy like that.
While Sur Resort was relatively quiet, the next door resort, 2 Seasons, had a DJ blaring music during happy hour starting around 4 or 5pm. People running around doing shots and even offering it to us next door. The reason we stayed in Station 1 was to be away from the party. We can walk down and join if we want, but also have the peace and quiet of the resort if we choose not to. Unfortunately, the DJ was so loud we had no choice. It's not Sur Resort's fault, but it did impact our stay.
Included with staying at Sur is breakfast. They state that if there are more than 30 guests staying, they will do a breakfast buffet instead of made to order. No problem as we are not picky eaters. On our first morning, the food was OK, the usual of bacon and ham, eggs to order, etc. But the next 2 days the food was terrible. Not even breakfast options with what seemed like old leftovers from dinner the night before. When food was running out (at 8am when breakfast runs from 7-10am), they didn't refill items until we had to ask them. I don't need a big fancy breakfast, but the buffet was a joke. I'd rather them charge a little less for the rooms and not even offer any food. And they didn't even offer coffee until our third morning.
The airport to resort and resort to airport transfers were inconsistent, but that was using a third-party vendor for their services. Not completely their fault, but in my opinion, Sur should re-evaluate who they are selecting. On the way home we basically had to guide ourselves and ask guards for the next step as nobody helped us along. As we've been to Boracay before we knew what to expect in general, but we need to know which boat to get on, which van or car, etc.
All in all we enjoyed our days at the beach. The resort was OK, it wasn't a highlight of the trip and it didn't ruin it either. The location is ideal if you don't want to be in the middle of the parties (minus happy hour next door) and the beachfront is really nice. But it is not a 5-star (or 4-star) resort.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.