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Reviewed November 14, 2010

The first time I stayed at this hotel was in 2001. This hotel has been one of favourite places to stay in Asia and I have been its biggest advocate recommending the hotel to as many friends and families that wanted holiday ideas. When I had the opportunity to take off 5 consecutive days at work I jumped at the chance to go with my boyfriend. It certainly did not have the same charm I remembered, sadly it was obvious that this once famous hotel had lost all of its charm.

The curtains were dirty, outdoor shower had cockroaches and the pump to the shower was hot and cold and little power leaving us annoyed when staff told us there was nothing they could do. They would not even consider moving us on the first night we stayed there saying all the rooms would be the same. What a terrible reaction to a paying customer!

There is more… but where do I begin. Don’t get me wrong, the staff were full of smiles but like I said the standard lost, the yoga classes were basic and uninteresting. The staff were not attentive and apartments were not tended with the same level of detail in which I remembered. When I asked for a pool villa my email was not even replied to, and when asked if we could reserve one, I was simply told it was not avail on my arrival.

Still understanding that the service of this place is not five star, the prices we paid were five star prices. So with this, it became hard for me to feel justified to pay for this. Especially with the room service. The food lacked any excitement. It is vegetarian but the lack of choice was embarrassing. The four cheese sandwich we ordered was bland, boring and lacking any fines. I am not going to recommend this anymore. I will however go keep going back to Boracay but will not be staying at the resort.

Then finally when I left, I realized I had left my bikini top in the villa, I have called twice, sent email and still have no response. I do not understand the utter lack of service for a customer, but I will not be returning to this resort. It is a real shame, as the fond memories will be a distant memory.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank KatKat71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandalas, Owner at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2010

Dear Katkat,
As the owner of the brand I took your review to heart. As all of us know, sometimes it is necessary to houseclean with a steel brush. 7 staff were retrenched for poor service. Your comments initiated changes that I hope will make the Mandala Spa and Villas resort experience now more enjoyable than ever.
Beginning January 1, 2011 we are refurbishing our resort villas with HD internet tv, a movie library, a personal breakfast chef, as well as daily massages and personalized yoga sessions on request. As always we are thriving to provide service with a soul.
My sincere thanks for helping to turn things around and I hope you will recommend us to your friends and family in the future again.

One small correction, the resort villas opened in 2004.

Dieter Schrottmann

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2010

Mandala Spa is located on a hill overlooking Boracay beach and what appeared to be the rooftops of squater homes. It was a contrasting viewscape.

I did not stay at the resort but asked for a tour and to view their rooms prior to my spa treatment.

The property did not appear to be fenced off and only had one visible security guard stationed at the entrance. This is in sharp contrast to the better practices of other properties on Boracay. I can see how one reviewer was robbed.

The property is overgrown with vegetation and a breeding ground for mosquito's. I read a previous review from management of the property stating they don't believe in spraying... I hope they believe in things like denque which can kill you and is an epidemic in the Philippines.

What perturbed me is that I did not see one citronella plant on the grounds or by the windows of the open air huts. I also saw the staff spraying aerosol cans of raid around.

There are no mosquito nets covering the treatment tables so you become a buffet feast for the bugs.

If you want to be green and avoid spraying pesticides at least use the counter measures that nature has afforded us; citronella, mosquito nets, frogs, house lizards.

Maintain the property by inviting in sunlight and leaving no pools of stagnant water will also go a long way.

The prices the hotel charges for the rooms is too much when seen up close. They are plain old and have seen better days.

The best thing about the spa is their therapists. Very well trained but at rates equivalent to Chi Spa at the amazing Shangri-La you better save money by going elsewhere for an like experience or treat yourself to Chi Spa.

A free sarong is yours at the end of the treatment.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank sjohnson67a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandalas, Owner at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded December 21, 2010

Dear Sjohnson67a,,
Thanks to your feedback all our spa guest can now enjoy the most romantic billowing mosquito nets so you can enjoy your spa experience in total relaxation. Thank you very much from all of us for initiating this improvement.
Surrounded by nature, Mandala Spa is an estate full of birdsong . Our spa experiences are award winning and we use and only use fresh, natural ingredients. We plant lemongrass in our property, provide a sanctuary for many endangered plants in the estate and are actively involved in environmental causes. In fact we plant a tree for every room night or spa treatment we sell. We are listening and are willing to learn. Please help us to save Boracay.
By the way, on the day of your visit we had 4 security guards on duty. Discreet.

Sincerely

Dieter Schrottmann

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Reviewed August 15, 2010

I have several friends and family members who have been to Mandala Spa and came back raving about the spa treatments. Being a spa lover myself, I decided to finally try a treatment at Mandala during my stay at Boracay last summer. I chose the Shodhana Karma treatment from their spa menu since it sounded so good and it was also one of their award-winning treatments. My verdict is TWO THUMBS UP! It was the most heavenly spa treatment I've ever experienced in my life! It starts out with a massage, then you go into a sauna for a good sweat, then you get a body scrub on this bed with a shower above you!! I came out of my villa feeling really clean and beautiful. Like nothing I've ever experienced in other spas. The service was excellent. Their therapists are so well-trained and so skilled with their hands. Thank you so much Mandala Spa! Shodhana Karma is the BEST!

Also try out the food in their restaurant (Prana). I'm not a vegetarian, but their vegetarian food is really awesome too!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank darthkulot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2010

If you can stay at Mandala I would highly recommend it. It's up on the hills with a great view of the sea, great food and excellent spa. I stayed at the suite which had its own indoor pool and was just dreamy. To go to the beach the hotel will call you a tricycle which is so cheap. In the evenings its nice to be away from the crowds on the beach so Mandala is perfect for that.

Stayed: January 2009, traveled solo
1  Thank RafeTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2010

I selected this hotel for our honeymoon this year and was really looking forward to a nice treat but honestly for the price we paid it was not worth it. We took the good with the bad for 3 out of intended 7 days and left on the 4th day to check into another hotel on the island.
This is not a personal attack on anyone particular at the hotel but i must mention similar to bday wishes on your biday you'd also expect something on your honeymoon. But sadly we got nothing, not even a card in our room. Speaking of the room, we stayed at the pool villa and guys, please don't be fooled by the photos online, this room is not worth the money they charge for it. you can't make a decent trip to the toilet without burning in the sun or having an insect bite you in the outside toilet. It is hot and humid while brushing your teeth and bathing, not a very nice experience.
the walk from the beginning of the hotel to the "lobby" is about 8 mins on pebbles, and another 10 mins to your room, on pebbles again. very annoying as i slipped more than once on them.
breakfast wasn't very nice as well as everything is open and un air conditioned. we sweated a lot through breaky, yoga (which we went to only once as it was just too hot). our pool got so dirty everyday and we literally swim in it until it was cleaned. also room service food was shockingly bad....we just couldn't be bothered sendign it back as it would take too long to get something else.
the staff though are very nice but the place does need sprucing up. also, it is way too far away from the main part of town. and yes the "transport" they arranged for us took us was heaps longer than the normal transport. all in all, i would probably not go back to borocay as it's just too small an island with exorbitant prices and not a lot of value for money.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TeamTapping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandalas, Owner at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2010

Dear TeamTapping,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. I sincerely appreciate your comments regarding our hotel services and amenities for they give me an opportunity to remedy all the things that you mentioned. You made valid points.

At Mandala Spa, we wish to provide an experience different from most other resorts. Many of our guests enjoy the fresh air, peace and quiet, natural environment, fresh vegetarian cuisine and scenery - far from the loud hustle and bustle of the main part of the island.

I apologize that we were not able to deliver the true Mandala experience during your stay.


Sincerely,

Dieter Schrottmann

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