Tuesday, July 11, 2017

For us office workers, summer breaks are only when: A.) There is a planned vacation leave or B.) When your family and friends asked you to spend time with them. So when Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay invited me to a three day trip, I absolutely agreed to come back to one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. And true enough, I had loads of fun, because as they say, third time's a charm.

Touchdown, Boracay

It has been three years since I last went to Boracay, and true enough, so much has changed. Though more surprising than the first time I went, I noticed that there are more establishments, cafes, Korean markets and fastfood chains now. But first things first, you can get to Boracay either in Aklan or Caticlan. We had the latter via AirAsia. The first time I went to Boracay, we had to land at Caticlan, ride a tricycle to the Jetty Port. This time, a bus awaited in front of the plane and took us to the Boracay Airport to get our luggage. What's nice about Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay is that they have free airport transfer to the Jetty Port, then from the Boracay Port to the hotel. Whew! So much really has changed.

After so much traveling (with our plane delayed for an hour), we finally got to Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay at almost 6PM. Saying that the place is beautiful is an understatement because the place is really gorgeous. I remember going to Azalea Baguio and I was overwhelmed. Their establishment in Boracay makes you feel like you're in a different time zone - serene and relaxed. 

Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay

Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay is located at Station 2, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. Though not located at the beachfront, it is very easy to access the beach for a few minutes' walk. My landmark is the eskinita of McDonald's, so I wouldn't get lost with all the hustle and bustle of Boracay.

The hotel's tagline speaks well for itself - Your Holiday Haven - as 284 accommodations for groups, families, friends or a romantic retreat. But first, let me talk about their lobby. Their front desk has this huge LED screens that either show an aquarium, or the beach. It is stunning, that I can just look at it the whole day (but who does that? LOL). Their resident restaurant is Kuya J's, which you can easily see after passing the lobby.

Azalea Boracay has four types of hotel rooms: Deluxe Hotel Room, One Bedroom Apartment Suite, Two Bedroom Apartment Suite and Three Bedroom Apartment Suite.

The Deluxe Room has double sized beds, a convertible sofa bed, cable TV, living, dining and kitchen facilities and a mini bar. Every room has a balcony as well.

What I call the room for lovers is the One Bedroom Apartment Suite because it has a Master's Bedroom with 1 King Sized Bed, a convertible sofa bed, cable TV, living, dining and kitchen facilities and a mini bar.

The one we stayed in is the Two Bedroom Apartment Suite. I was roomies with Ms. Laila, while Jeman stayed on the Guestroom with 1 King-sized Bed. He was gracious to give us the Master's Bedroom with a Private Bathroom since there is a common bathroom that he can use for himself. I was appalled when I saw that there is living, dining and kitchen facilities as well, because we have three TVs in the suite altogether. Of course, the convertible sofa bed and mini bar are also available.

Probably the biggest among their suites is the Three Bedroom Apartment Suite. You can fit a whole family of six and can still party all you want. It has a Master's Bedroom with a private bathroom, 2 guestrooms with two double beds each,  living, dining and kitchen facilities, a common toilet and a mini bar. 

Did I say the rooms are very spacious? Yes, I had to emphasize that. I've been so happy about their rooms that I can almost forget that I'm at Boracay. If I wanted to cook something up, their kitchen is stocked up with pots and pans, kitchen wares and whatnots. I should definitely ask the fambam to stay there when the brother gets home from abroad. He'll have a blast cooking, and I'll have a happy tummy. Win-win right? 

If you can't swim at the beach during night time, they have Adult and Kiddie infinity pools where you can enjoy up to 10:00PM. They also have a roof deck bar (as if their spacious room is not enough) and an Open Tent Event Facility. 

Why is it Your Holiday Haven? You can either have a great staycation, or a great outdoor adventure. The operative word is just GREAT! It's the best way to experience Boracay, even after three visits like me. 

Island Hopping and Exciting Adventures

If you're like me, I get all OC about itineraries. During my trip to Korea, I packed one day with so many places to go to, without considering the weather, transportation and how close the places are to one another. In conclusion, we were so tired after Day 1. 

Azalea Boracay has a Travel and Vacation Concierge which can help you plan your activities - partnering with tour operators, boatmen, etc. So for our Day 2, we started our Island Hopping activity and going to Tambisaan Beach to snorkel. Remember how I always dreamt of being a mermaid? This is close to that. I am that type of person who would enjoy looking at sea creatures and not get tired of what's down under.

Also another first for me is going to Crystal Cove. During my previous trips, I would just stay in Boracay Island. I'm so happy I got to explore it in a different way this time. The Crystal Cove entails you to pay Php200 for entrance fee. They have two different coves and other picturesque places that you can explore. 

After going to Crystal Cove, we had lunch at Tambisaan Beach where we feasted at huge crabs, shrimps and mostly seafood. I'm just happy that I'm not allergic to any of them or I would have to bring antihistamine with me.

And even after visiting Boracay twice, this is my first time at Puka Beach. They say that the fine sands were made with Puka shells. You can also take a dip on the beach, or rent cabanas by buying drinks on the island. Since we have a rented boat, some of us enjoyed swimming beside it instead. This is exactly how a perfect holiday for me is - just chilling by the beach and not caring if I have so much emails waiting for me at work.

It is my second time riding an ATV and you can also do that in Boracay. We went to the Happy Dreamland and it looks like a Korean Village-slash- ATV and Buggy Place. We were lined up in one course and went to the Ocean Tower. Upstairs, you can see the majestic view of Boracay and other islands surrounding it. You can also relax at their roofdeck bar and enjoy fruit shakes.

After all our exciting activities, we had dinner at Mamitas and sing the night away at the M Music Town Karaoke. This is a Korean KTV, and you know my obsession with Koreans right? I never in a million years thought that I could experience one of my most favorite countries in Boracay. 

Back to the Beach

If you have gotten to this part of my post and haven't realized that I wanted to be a mermaid, then I don't know what will convince you. During our last day, Martin, Jeman and I went to swim at THE Boracay beach. I believe that this is the best time to go to this island because it is not that crowded, the beach has lesser seaweeds and it doesn't get very hot in the afternoon.

And another crowd favorite in Boracay are the Calamansi muffins at Real Coffee. I just had to bring home these for an authentic experience.

Third Time's a Charm

It was my third time in this beautiful island, but I am so grateful to Azalea Hotel and Residences Boracay for making it a memorable trip. Not just because I had the most comfortable sleep and vacation, but I had first time experiences I never thought possible. I'm also thankful that I'm with friends like Jeman, Lou, Ed, Paul, JM, Rain, Erica, Martin and Laila - and made the experience worth treasuring a lifetime. See you again, Boracay! This is definitely not the last time we'll meet.

Azalea Hotel and Residences Boracay is located at Station 2, Boracay Island. You may reserve through telephone numbers (02)4840080/4840081/4843061/09178611641/09199944140 or reservations@azalea.com.ph

To know more about Azalea Hotels and Residences Boracay, you may visit https://www.azaleaboracay.com

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