Last quarter, I plunged into the crystal clear waters of Boracay for my annual soul-searching trip in the island paradise. Like most of my travels, my flight to Boracay was booked a year ahead to take advantage of promo fares. It was my first time to take a domestic connecting flight, and I’ll share my experience in detail in a separate post.
Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of crowded Boracay, that’s why I’ve always chosen to visit during the lean season. As a solo traveler, I value peace and quiet, but I do socialize when I’m in the mood to do so. The crowd mix during my previous lean season visits were just perfect, laidback but not deserted at all. I love how the island has this chill type of vibe during the months of July to September.
On my first night in Boracay, I stayed at the Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel. The Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel is a well-known Triple A resort centrally located at the beachfront of Station 2.
Sense of Arrival
Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel staff assisting guests with their luggage
While any visit to Boracay will always be fun-filled, getting to the island can be quite burdensome. To get to your chosen accommodation, you would have to do at least four transfers. Definitely inconvenient, especially for first-timers.
Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel’s speedboat transfer from Caticlan to Boracay
Thankfully, I didn’t have to go through any of that because I informed the hotel of my arrival details. The best part of the whole island transfer experience would have to be the private speedboat service. There, I really felt the exclusivity of choosing to stay at the Boracay Mandarin. It was a glorious moment which ended too soon.
Location, Location, Location
The 52-room Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel is probably located at the best beachfront location in Station 2, right at the very center. The famed White Beach is of course just a few steps away. Basic needs are within 100 meters from the hotel: a convenience store, an ATM, several dining establishments. Juice Bar, one of the more known nightlife places, is a stone’s throw away. Likewise, D’Mall, Boracay’s shopping center is a leisurely five-minute stroll along the white beach path. The hotel’s location is very desirable, especially for those like me, who want to experience the rich and vibrant nightlife of Boracay.
Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel entrance
Immediately as I arrived at the entrance of the Boracay Mandarin, I was met with a smile by hotel security. He asked me if I was checking in and led me to the lobby at the end of the pool. I presented my hotel voucher and valid ID. Check-in was pretty straightforward. While filling up the check-in form, I was pleasantly surprised when I was served a glass of refreshing orange juice, which was a very welcome gesture considering the post-noon heat. While my room was being prepared, I was handed a cold towel so I could freshen up while waiting. Shortly after, my room was ready and I was accompanied by one of the hotel staff.
As I explored the room, the hotel staff pointed out in detail everything I needed to know about the room. She then gave me my “Welcome Drinks” and breakfast vouchers. Wi-Fi access is complimentary for all hotel guests. The whole property is a Wi-Fi zone.
View from my Grand Poolside room, and yes, it is literally by the poolside
Grand Poolside Room
I was billeted at a Grand Poolside room at the ground floor. Being located at the center of one of the happening areas in Boracay, guests’ safety and security is one of the primary concerns of the Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel. A magnetic key card is issued to guests. A safety deposit box can also be found in all of the rooms.
The closet contains clothes hangers, two umbrellas, two pairs of slippers, and the safety deposit box which is big enough to fit a laptop and a DSLR camera.
Before this stay, I really expected the place to be quite noisy considering its central location. I had to be technical in my validation so I sought the help of the Line Tools app on my phone to check the sound level. I was amazed when it registered 47 decibels, which the app describes as a “quiet residential area”.
View from the bed
The room is equipped with an efficient individually-controlled air-conditioning unit, a SMART Cable TV, telephone, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and a mini-bar. The room is ideal for a romantic getaway with its contemporary Filipino design, with touches of Mediterranean inspiration.
The Grand Poolside room is approximately 26 square meters in floor area
Complimentary water. The room is also equipped with an electric kettle and instant coffee and tea
On the bed is a wooden tray, with what I’d call a kit which contained all the information about the Boracay Mandarin and their complete list of services so I’ll be able to maximize my stay. I was also impressed that they also had an in-room magazine, Suite. To top it all, the hotel also provided a sachet of sunblock. How thoughtful.
These towels shaped as swans added to the romantic feel of the room. I could only hope I traveled to Boracay with a significant other. Hahaha.
King-sized canopy bed at the Grand Poolside room
I thoroughly enjoyed the king-sized bed! Since I traveled on my own, I was excited to own the whole bed. The sheets were all-gleaming white. They looked and smelled clean and fresh. I loved how soft but firm the goose-feather and fiber pillows were. I hid under the plush comforter while I set the air-con to full. Despite the limited sleeping time due to nightlife, I really had a good quality one during my stay.
Toilet and Bath
Wooden folding doors separate this luxurious bathroom from the rest of the room.
One of the things I do check out before settling in a room is the toilet and bath area.
The bathroom has a separate bathtub and shower
The spider shells and the intricately carved wall added a nice touch to the bathtub.
I loved how the bathroom was complete with toiletries’ kits: bath gel, body lotion, shampoo with conditioner, shower cap, dental kit, comb, shaving kit and a vanity set.
The Swimming Pool
With the pool just outside your room, who wouldn’t be tempted to take a dip? I had a relaxing swim when I woke up the next day and I enjoyed playing with the water fountains, not minding anyone who passed by. It’s one of the advantages of solo travel, you’re free to be carefree!
OVERALL, I really had a wonderful stay at The Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel: top-notch service, best beachfront location within leisurely strolls to the pleasures of Boracay, a charming and elegant room which gave me good quality sleep, a lively atmosphere, modern facilities, and mouthwatering food. (Read about my dining experience at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano in a separate post). It is ideal for any kind of traveler, may you be a solo traveler, couple, family, or a group of friends. A return visit is in order.
Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel
Beachfront, Station 2, Boracay Island, Philippines
Contact Numbers: (+6336) 2884999 or (+6336) 2885999
Disclosure: The Mandarin Boracay Island Hotel hosted me for one night on August 8-9, 2014.