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“Summer vacation with family”

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Estacio Uno Lifestyle Resort
Ranked #51 of 226 Boracay B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We stayed at the resort from May 16 to 19. I booked their Seaside Presidential Suite, it was spacious but lacking in some amenities you may found in other resorts. You need to call the housekeeping a couple of times a day just to have a newspaper deliver to you or clean the room, considering the rate for this kind of room is expensive. Although the staff at the front desk are very helpful and courteous. What lacking in their facility, their staff did a very good job on giving you a par excellence service (bartender, servers at the restaurant, front desk staff and the poor TWO guys who clean the rooms). About their facility, nothing much to say..the pool although with bar is just okay, spa facility not so much, and they don't even have complimentary non-motorized activities for guests. Their buffet breakfast and dinner are good, different viands everyday. Prices on their menu list is a bit high compared to other restaurant in the island. All in all, my family still had fun at boracay.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Josephine V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 24, 2012

We stayed at the Estacio Uno resort during our honeymoon in the Philippines late April 2012.

The resort is comparatively smaller than the other resorts in the area, but cannot say enough good things about its location. Its meters away from Willy's Rock, right on the prime stretch of Station 1. I would go as far as to say that the beachfront of this resort is the best of all the others in Station 1.

The overall grounds, if you want to call it that because literally this resort is 50 meters from entrance to the sand, is super clean and modern. Lots of marble and nice finishings. The outdoor eating area/restaurant is fantastic, but oddly surrounded by a small moat like pool. Unless you have kids, the pool is useless when you have the gorgeous waters of Boracay to swim in. Above the restaurant there is a terrace where you can relax and catch the views of the water and beach. Great place to read a book or get away from the other guests as it is rarely used by anyone. But it is directly in the view of many rooms, so not a private location per say. The beach front of the resort has cubicle like cabanas that you can book for 3hrs at a time, which is great cause it lets everyone have a chance at enjoying them. You can even book them for your dinner. On the beach there is a limited number of lounge beds, and a few hammocks. Stay away from the hammocks as they are very uncomfortable and nobody uses them. Not sure why the resort doesn't just replace them with more beds.

There is good WiFi connection throughout the lobby, the restaurant, your room, and even when on the beach loungers.

We stayed in the standard room of this resort, which is rather small, with no view or windows for that matter. But it was the most affordable, and we really only spent the night in our room, so it met our needs. Again, if you have kids or think you will be spending more time in your room you may want to opt for a bigger room with a view. The room was quite and the bed comfortable. Everything was modern, with a great shower and bathroom amenities. Large flat screen TV if you get bored. A closet for your clothes, but no drawers to put things in. Which is not a big deal since you have your suitcase. There is also a safe in the room to use. We had no safety concerns whatsoever, and even when we left coins and small denominations on the counter when we went out for the day, they were still there when we came back and our room had been cleaned. I often do that on the first day to see how safe and trustworthy a resort is, and I was very impressed, as I figured they would assume it is tips for cleaners and take them, but not so.

While we were at the resort breakfast and dinner were included in our package, and I have to say I enjoyed them both. Sure it's not 5 star food quality or selection, but it was good enough all things considered. We even ate lunch at a premium resort down the beach and regretted doing so as the food was just as good as our resort but almost double the price. For variety, just head to D'Mall just a 5 min walk from the resort. There resort does have 2for1 drinks during happy hour between 4:30-7pm. So take advantage of that. The only downside is the coffee at the resort, it was terrible. Luckily, there is a Starbucks just 5min walk towards D'Mall. Yes, there is even a Starbucks in Boracay!

The best thing about this resort was by far the staff. They were all so helpful and eager to please. Always smiling and always greeting you with a "Hello Sir/Ma'am". The best being a great guy named Mark. Make sure you ask for him when having dinner or afternoon drinks. Such a nice and helpful guy. Really made our stay extra special. They work hard and make very little, so do make sure to tip them when you get good service. You'll be surprised how appreciative and attentive they will be when you do.

Now for what to do in Boracay. As you may have read elsewhere, the main action hub during the day and at night is D'Mall. It's an outdoor food and shopping area along the beach. All kinds of restaurants and shops to buy things. All over Boracay you will be approached by people trying to sell you activities. You will need to get used to saying 'no thanks' a lot, like dozens of times a day. And if you decide to do activities, either book through Estacio or haggle with these guys for a better deal. We felt it safer to book through the resort and only did Island Hopping, which we highly recommend as it is worth seeing all the different islands and beaches around Boracay. But what we had the most fun with and seriously advise you do if you are adventurous is to rent a scooter and go zooming around the Island. It is safe, easy and we had so much fun that we did this a number of times. You can even get to some remote and gorgeous beaches when you take the trails at the end of the main road.

For shopping, skip D'Mall altogether and go to D'Talipapa. It a little further down and hidden away, but has way cheaper souvenirs, and if you are good at haggling, you can pick-up good stuff for cheap. For food, even though you are on an Island and probably not there to have western food, you have to try Yellow Cab Pizza. It really hits the spot when you are hungry and not feeling like having food you're not familiar with. There is also a great dessert place in D'Mall that serves the biggest fruit and ice-cream bowl we have ever seen. Forgot the name though.

We really enjoyed our stay at Estacio Uno and Boracay. Having been there now and knowing Boracay better, we will likely stay at a far less posh and expensive resort next time, but for those on honeymoon, a romantic getaway, or just wanting a little luxury at an affordable price compared to other high-end resorts, we definitely recommend staying here.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TravelPoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2012

I should have realised the trap when they deducted the full payment from my credit card months before I was due to arrive. Having lived in Asia for 20 years a lightbulb should have gone off in my head and warned me something was up.

From probably one of the most unwelcoming welcomes on arrival (think essentially being given a laundry list of "don'ts" to appearing as though we were interrupting whatever the staff weren't doing), to one of the hardest beds that I've had the unfortunate experience not to be able to sleep on, to the inedible food, to the fact that they wanted to charge for the use of the iron on-a-per-piece-basis (go figure) I am honestly having a hard time to think of a positive comment to include in this post. Maybe the beach, but then again, that's not really under the management of Estacio Uno. So I'm left to keep searching for that elusive positive comment and wondering what the beach would be like if it was. Expensive seems to keep coming to mind. An expensive beach with hard sand and bad service.

At near enough US$375 per night (Php15,000) I'm still trying to understand how they can price themselves that close to the Shangri-la. There is some economic theory that has gone horribly wrong at the Estacio Uno. A Nobel Prize awaits someone who can work out.

I won't even get into the drama of getting to the hotel with rushed connections in Manila, the 10kg baggage limit on Airphil Express or even the lack of the Airphil Express plane on the way home and the resultant unscheduled overnight in Manila (I stayed at the Shangri-la this time just for some return to normality, happily at my cost and the thought that the Estacio Uno was 500 miles away never to be seen again).

So back to searching for that elusive positive comment...

Room Tip: The best room for you to choose is in another hotel. Any hotel.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

I recently stayed at the Estacio Uno with my best friend for 5 nights. Love this hotel! Their boat picked us up from the Caticlan airport & took us right to the hotel. My friend's luggage was delayed (stupid Airphil Express Airlines - don't use them) & the airline people kept telling us her luggage would be "on the next flight." Randy from the hotel stayed over 2 hours waiting with us! Wonderful service! Once we made it to the hotel, I found everyone very friendly. They greeted us with necklaces & mango juice! Our room was great - it was huge! We had the deluxe room & it was on the 1st floor. A little loud a couple of night, but not a big deal. The pillows were a little too big for my taste & hurt my neck, also the bed was a tad on the hard side. Breakfast was delicious every morning, good selection of rice, noodles, bread, fruit & eggs. The location of this hotel is great, station 1 tends to be more quiet & it is a quick walk to the action of station 2. We used the pool everyday, a nice switch from the beach at night. Swim up bar was awesome! I would totally stay at this hotel again. Everyone who worked at the hotel was very nice to us. Also you can reserve cabanas at the pool & beach area & the people who work there will set up umbrellas for you - great staff & great hotel!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JoJoDro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

I've been at this hotel in April 2012
It was a very mixed experience, but it not god value for the money.
I have previously lived in red coconut before (3 times), and this time, we will try something new, it was my travel agent there suggested the Estacio Uno.

It was an expensive hotel, compared to what you get for money.

It started with they forgot to pick us up in Kalibo airport, where we waited for 1.5 hours and their solution to the problem was we could just wait for 2 hours more, then we did not want to wait, so we paid for a taxi 1700 pesos inc boat ticket , the agreement was that they would reimburse us for the amount (it was also the hotel who made fall, they have your flight informant)
Then when we check out they cannot remember anything about this and think we should have 300 pesos back, which we shut pick up elsewhere in the Philippines where I bay my ticked but I not go back there, they took 1500 pesos to pick us up, forgot to come, and will give us 300 back it is the same as theft.

So I will the most strongly warn against in pay prior to transportation

The reception is completely hopeless, they should check our flight home, and you'd think they will be more professional, after their blunder with the arrival, but again quite incompetence, our flight was over two hours late and we was there two hours before normal flight, two hours we could spend on the beach in steed of the small airport.

There is breakfast is include in the price, it's the mostly only for Asians, rice, dry fish, etc., you can ordered eggs / omelet,

There advertise with the internet, but in our room it was so bad connection 0.07 Mbps

They have a swimming pool, but it is almost only decoration, but can be used for a quick dib.

The food they serve on the evening ala carte is certainly excellent, but there was always something that was sold out while we were there.

There are VERY big difference between the servant there serving you, there are some that are super-fast and there are a few of them there turning their backs to the customers, it could be seen every night.
On tresses you have a fantastic sunset

The rooms are large, but very Spartan decorated while we were there they forgot cleanings a day, not that it matters, but when prices are as they are, I expect such things to be in order.
There is definitely something positive about this hotel, it is fantastic right on the beach.

I will never stay in this hotel again, it's too low, if the price was 1/3 as it suited with the service and the rooms
Very bad value for the money

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ptrholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

I stayed at the Deluxe Room with pool access. I was happy with room. Everything was in place when we arrived at 6pm. Room smelled good. Bed was perfectly made. Bathroom was clean.

Room had a ref with beverages but no snack. Its a good thing though so guests can sample local food outside.

The bed (king or bigger) was very spacious for 2. Sheets smelled good but pillows were a little hard.

The bath/toilet area and the sink area was separated by opaque glass.The sink area was equipped with blow dryer.

The blinds of the room allowed sunlight to enter the room during the day.

Right outside the other door in our room lead to the pool. It was a nice short cut, but if other people decide to swim during the day, you will hear them from your room.

Breakfast was ordinary, with local meat, fish, rice, pancake, omelette and fresh fruit.

One of the best things about this resort, (formerly known as Waling-Waling) is their cabanas. They are located right before the shore. Each equipped with hammocks. They also set up tanning beds and more hammocks right by the shore. It will be easy to relax here.

Room Tip: Room 103 was right beside the pool for easy access but can be noisy if theres an event at night or w...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank mimiding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

Estacio Uno is conveniently located in Boracay's Station 1 area. I must say, it has one of the nicest beach fronts - it is pretty clean, almost right in front of Willy's Rock, has a wide beachfront and is near the other more up-scale resorts and establishments. The location is probably its best asset.

They set up tanning beds, stand-alone hammocks and umbrellas right on the beach front for their guests. They also have cabanas which you can reserve (more on that later).

Their pool is kept clean and it has a submerged bar, making it perfect for chilling-out. The dining area is also well-maintained and well-ventilated. They have a cute little tree-house style hut for massages.

The rooms are newly refurbished. They can't match, say, the luxuries of Discovery Shores, but if you get a promo price, it's worth it. The beds are soft and comfy, the sheets similarly soft and clean (except for our first night; our comforter had a tinge of mildew-smell then), the pillows fluffy and cuddly. Good lighting. The one-bed rooms aren't large, but they are quite sufficient for a couple. The bathrooms are clean, very much functional and of a good size. Flat-screen TV, cold air conditioning, good wi-fi in the lobby and dining areas.

The breakfast buffet is a let-down. They serve cheez-whiz, red hotdogs and thin slices of white bread, along with the usual Filipino breakfast fare and congee. If you're OK with longganiza (local sausage), eggs and bacon for breakfast, then good for you. But if you want a luxurious, high-quality breakfast buffet that can match 5-star hotel offerings, then you will be sorely disappointed with Estacio Uno's breakfast buffet.

The dinner buffet is good, though. Fresh seafood, grilled meats, and other dishes will be served. The package we availed of came with breakfast and dinner buffets. Skip the breakfast buffet, eat here for dinner, if you don't want to spend elsewhere. You'll be reasonably satisfied, especially if you like fresh, grilled seafood. A word of caution, though. Three of my companions had a bum stomach the day after eating oysters from here. Avoid oysters if your stomach is sensitive.

Staff issues. Sigh. The guys who fetched us from the port didn't even greet us nor did they introduce themselves. It was like hitching a ride on a public transpo van. No warmth or hospitality at all, considering they're the first Estacio Uno employees you'll be encountering. The van ride was smooth and safe, though.

The lady receptionist who briefed us was not warm at all. Seriously, it was like being lectured by a stern school mistress, the way she spoke about the resort's house rules. It was like being checked-in by a strict principal. Also, when I returned a beach towel that I didn't notice was stained by henna or denim dye (which was not mine) the lady staff who received it coldly said, "Ano 'to?" (What's this?). Yes. That's how she said it, as if she were talking to some kindergartener who spilled her juice. "Ano 'to?" Sheesh. I was so turned off.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, hotel guests can reserve cabanas. We had 4 rooms, so we reserved 1 cabana. When we were about to use our reserved cabana, we saw 2 visitors sleeping there. The staff let them use our cabanas even though it was reserved for us. Being polite, we just opted to use another vacant cabana. We told a waiter that we can move once the guests who reserved our temporary cabana arrived, as long as they'll assist us with the 2 sleeping guests using our reserved cabanas. When the two other guests woke up, we transferred to our reserved cabana. An older, senior grandpa companion of ours wandered into a vacant cabana and fell asleep. Soon after, he was woken up and told to leave. What upset us was how he was asked to leave. Also, there was no sign that the cabana was reserved. Had there been a sign, he would not have stayed and this whole incident could've been avoided.

Upon check out, they wanted to charge us for van fare, even though our receipt had an inscription saying "free van transfer". This caused some delay. Worse was how they managed it. Again, one of their lady staff was brash in dealing with us. Exasperated because she knew that we would be late in catching our plane trip and because a commotion was happening by the front desk for other people to see, she (in front of us and other guests) told another male staff member, "paalisin niyo na sila" ("have them leave now".) Wow. How polite and hospitable. No warm good byes from their front desk staff. No pleasant adieus.

Bottom line: They have to train their staff to be more polite, warm and courteous. Their staff could totally make your stay unpleasant.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank manilasundiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estacio Uno Lifestyle Resort

Address: Station 1 Balabag, Malay, Aklan Province, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Panay Island > Aklan Province > Malay > Boracay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 226 B&Bs / Inns in Boracay
Price Range: $114 - $215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Estacio Uno Lifestyle Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 29
Reservation Options:
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