Boracay, in a quite literal manner, is a stretch of beach.
It is divided into 3 sections: Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3, each with its own things to see and do.
We’ve searched for reviews on the web and cross-referenced them with the people we know in Philippines to bring to you the best of Boracay Hotels in each station whichever area you decide to stay at and/or whichever travel group you are with.
If you are looking for a Boracay Hotel in Station 3: Mandala Spa & Villa
Mandala is quite the definition of Serenity.
Surrounded by lush greens and with only 12 villas in total to choose from, you are offered nothing but the best service Boracay has to offer under one roof. The villas are relatively huge and it comprises of a lovely balcony, an enormous bed, huge ass toilet with a bathtub and an outdoor shower facility where two can get romantic at.
Upon checking in, we were brought to our villa personally by their staff and was given a quick tour and explanation of the villa itself (imagine the size of a villa that requires a tour) which was all very professionally done. The service staff was always a call away and i don’t remember a single time that i wasn’t greeted throughout my stay there whenever i saw any service staff be it when they are on or off duty. This all adds up to the ultimate getaway experience which i absolutely adored.
The villa itself is a 5 mins walk away from the beach which has its pros. Being away from all the hustle and bustle, it allows you to really connect to mother nature and it gives you that calmness that revitalizes your soul, which admit it, IS what most beach holidays are about. We were so much connected to nature that while staying there one morning, we were awaken by the bleat of 3 goats right outside our balcony, which ran before we could get our cameras out.
Mandala is also known for their spa service which we took the liberty of trying. The awesome part is that you can actually choose to either do it at their spa villas or get their masseuse to come directly to ur villa itself at NO extra cost. We tried their Mandala Signature massage and i can’t really tell you how it was exactly cause i fell asleep, but I can tell you that i woke up feeling relaxed with not a single ache in my back. And again, i cannot more strongly emphasize how awesome their service is. The masseuse were all very courteous and professional. Even as we were just heading for our milk bath, we were already almost an hr 45mins in despite the fact that our package which was only supposed to run for an hr and a half, they didnt cut our massage short or rush us in any way but still patiently waited for us to be done before cleaning up and serving us our tea.
The second best part about our stay at Mandala; residents get to join their in-house classes which included Yoga every morning(except Sunday), Zumba and Pole dancing classes etc for FREE. Which, i speak for the Yoga class cause thats the only one we went, really starts your engine and preps you for your day of sports activities ahead, and thats coming from someone who has never done yoga prior to this.
And the best part of our stay is that despite the size of their villas, FREE Wifi can be found throughout the villa! And yes, that means you can upload your awesome photos of the beach/sports activities onto instagram, facebook and stay connected to the world despite being in Romantic Heaven(but i strongly recommend you to not do that cause even i got a dress down by the missus for doing so. You’re on a romantic getaway, leave your phone behind, breathe in the serenity and enjoy the company)
Recommended for: New Couples, Old Couples, Anniversary, Romantic Getaway
Pros: TOP-NOTCH service, Free classes(yoga etc), Free wifi, Serenity, kickass villas(refer to pics)
Cons: 5mins walk away from the Beach(which can be pretty dark & scary at night), Mosquitoes, relatively price-er but still affordable
Check out Agoda’s Guaranteed Cheapest price for your stay at Mandala here:
If you are looking for a Boracay Hotel in Station 2: Boracay Regency
I’m going to start of by saying the best thing about Boracay Regency is that out of all 3 hotels, the Regency is the most convenient and accessible of them all. You can literally walk out from the hotel and step onto sand. It is a beach front hotel with 3 in-house swimming pools. If that doesn’t float your boat, cause after all you’re here for the sandy beach and breathtaking sunset, you can just rent a beach towel from the hotel by providing your room number and walk out to the hotel designated beach chairs and sit/tan for free. Forget paying for them on other sides of the beach cause its just lame and its just chairs. That also means not having to worry if your towel gets dirty or sand filled etc. The Regency is so well located on station 2 that D’talipapa is quite literally on the nxt street and is just a 5mins walk away. Station 2 also hosts most of the water sport activities so you dont have to worry too much about walking too far to get your adrenaline craving satisfied. Aside from their in house restaurant, food and cafes are also plentiful within the area. It is a highly popularized and commercialized hotel which offers decent bedrooms. Then there were the negatives. Despite the decency of the bedroom, the place itself is confusing as hell and thats topped off by service that i really did NOT fancy. Amidst their well groomed appearance and uniform, lobby staff barely broke a smile throughout our check in/out process. They (yes they, not he, not she, not singular but plural) were visibly unhappy and at some point seem overwhelmed by the number of tourist pouring in. They seemed unfriendly and every time i walked pass a service staff they barely even looked my way much less greeted us (yes, it may be something minor but just coming from Mandala, the vast difference in service quality took me by surprise). Directional boards were either not updated or not sufficient as it took us quite some time just trying to find our room. The worse case came when we were trying to find our way around trying to get to our breakfast area (which took us 15mins to do so cause each time we asked a service staff, they kept giving us different answers and we were just circling) when we asked one particular staff where do i go for my breakfast. “Follow me”, he said unwillingly, which we did till he was interrupted by his colleague who stopped him and asked him some stuff in Tagalog which we didnt understand. Forget the fact that we were just mindlessly standing and waiting while he was talking to his colleague, the shocking part came when after conversing with his colleague, they walked over and the guy who we were following walked into the staff only area, stranding us there, which i think was cause he forgot about us, like really. We proceeded to ask many other staff on directions before reaching our breakfast area, which really wasnt that great to be honest. And if I had to nit pick, when we first checked into our room, there was just this overwhelming smell of paint. We tried not making a fuss out of it at first till night came and the smell started giving me a terrible headache. They did however rectify the situation by sending their staff up with a freshener and when that didnt work, they moved a new room for us even thou it was in the middle of the night. Kudos for that but why would you rent out a newly painted room to begin with? For all that hype, their spa wasnt exceptionally fantastic either, we had their Haiwaiian Lomo Lomo massage at their in-house Kai Regency. Our package included a body scrub and some hot water outdoor jacuzzi (which is actually very pretty under the starry Boracay night sky) before the actual massage itself. The massage itself was amazing, probably one of the best massages i’ve had and you could even choose the type of oil you want to use (coconut, sweet orange, green tea etc), but i have to point my fingers back to their service. Perhaps it’s cause we booked the last slot of the day and everyone was already tired but the counter staff didnt seem very approachable and our masseuse…… When you’re lying face down about to enter nirvana, the last thing you want to hear is your masseuse talking to each other in Tagalog, walking around, the ‘cling clang’ing of jars and pots as they prep your massage. If it was a back alley 300peso massage, i’m fine, but if im paying SGD$120 for an hr and a half, frankly i personally expected more. And for a matter of fact, the 300peso massage down the back alley i did the day before, the masseuse there were seemingly more professional with their massaging ethics. Last thing, Wifi can only be found on hotel lobby. Recommended for: Families, older people, Friends on a trip, big groups Pros: Very Convenient, amenities within vicinity, decent rooms, designated beach chairs with FREE towel rental, 3 in house swimming pool, Very lively area Cons: Really bad service, Wifi only in lobby Check out Agoda’s Guaranteed Cheapest price for your stay at Boracay Regency here:
If you are looking for a Boracay Hotel in Station 1:Blue Lily Villa
First off, do not let the name blue lily VILLA fool you. I would hardly call them a Villa as i clearly remember not being able to even open the toilet door fully. The room was neat and clean with basic amenities present but their rooms are slightly on the small side. We took the Standard room, as compared to the Deluxe room, and it was basically just a room with a bed and a toilet that was barely big enough to fit 2 human beings in at the same time. It was more of a hostel type of living out of the three, but the price itself was pretty much an indication to what you might expect. On the flip side however, Blue lily is very conveniently located near the beach. So much so that you literally have your breakfast on tables and chairs set up on the sand looking out into the sea. Another major plus was that just next door, there was Jonah’s, the best fruit shake on the whole island, to get your daily vitamin fix. Service wise was decent, then again, there wasnt much need for interaction with the staff cause they barely had a lobby, sort of more like a stand up counter that the staff may or may not be there, and you just come and go as you please. The cheapest of the three options with nothing too extraordinary worth mentioning and nothing too unsightly as well. Overall, pretty value for money for the budget conscious and those who love simplistic living. Recommended for: The budget conscious, young couples, friends Pros: Conveniently located to the beach, value for money, relatively cheaper, near Jonah’s, Free Wifi Cons: small living space, simple Check out Agoda’s Guaranteed Cheapest price for your stay at Blue Lilly here:
If i had to choose one:
I guess throughout this post, it is no secret that of the three, my heart sings for Mandala the most.
But to be very honest, like i mentioned at the start, each station have their own pros and cons, so if you do have the time, why not switch between hotels/stations and enjoy the perks of each area. Nobody said u have to restrict yourself to one area for the entire trip.
However if im one of those that is really insistent on staying in just one hotel and/or hate moving hotels or have time constraint and i HAD to pick just one, Mandala would be my top pick, if they have rooms available that is 😉