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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Prestigia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Ctrip TA, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Agoda, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa 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:
- Shangri-La`s Boracay Hotel Boracay
- Shangri-La`s Boracay Resort And Spa
- Shangri Las Boracay Hotel
- Shangri Las Boracay Resort