The Travel Blogger In Pink

Fashion, Lifestyle & Travel Digital Magazine

A Blissful Experience at Tirta Spa Featured

The primary reason of having my Boracay trip is to enjoy and forget all work-related stress.  It was an excellent decision that I have included Tirta Spa in my itinerary.  The renowned spa is stationed in Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc in Boracay Island- a 15-20 minute drive from the main road.  A visit here is perfect if you intend to simmer down for a while and forget about all the negative things that bother you.

entrance1.jpg

Upon reaching the place, you will be astounded with the elegant entrance of the structure and picturesque surroundings showcasing a taste of different Asian cultures.  Our arrival was announced by the sound of the temple gong which releases all the negative energy.   Upon entering the lobby, I couldn’t help but to admire the choice of furnitures and decorations inside the lobby and seeing all the accolades speak why they are the best and number one spa in Boracay.

awards.jpg

awards 3.jpg

All of the awards they have earned since they opened in 2007 proved that Ms. En Calvert, the owner and managing director (now based in Dubai)  has indeed succeeded in making Tirta Spa a world-class spa.  Since 2012, they have been bagging prestigious international spa industry awards – (“Best Day Spa in Asia and Asia Pacific” and “Best Luxury Day Spa”) in different organizations.  In 2015, they have received the Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor, thus enlisted them into Hall of Fame.

We were greeted by Rose, the front desk officer.   She gave us each a glass of  fresh calamansi juice and asked me to register.  Because I was still enthralled with every single detail in the lobby , I didn’t even notice that Rose was asking me to choose a spa package.  I selected the Anti-time Facial and body massage (one of the Biodroga Facial packages) because my skin needs pampering.  I would really want to achieve a youthful look.   I was asked to select an oil which will be used for the massage– I have selected Ylang-ylang because it helps to release stress and anxiety.

Before the treatment, I was fortunate to meet the gorgeous and charming manager, Ms. Cecille Acuna.   As we have a quick tour in the 1 hectare property, she shared to me how her sister, Ms. En had made Tirta the best spa in the island.  Because they already have made a name in the international spa industry, that was the perfect time to open a branch in Dubai.  For that reason, Ms. Cecille had to take over, and with the help of Ms. En, she was able to manage Tirta Spa.

with ms cecille

buddha with pons.jpg

Buddha with koi pond in each side.  In Japan, koi fish means good fortune or luck.

nature 1.jpg

The fantastic view itself will make you feel relaxed, what more if you have availed one of their spa packages?   Tirta is currently the leading spa in Boracay not only because of the impressive architectural design and exhilirating ambience, but of their superb service.  The rates might be considered exorbitant –because they are offering service beyond compare and all of the ingredients/products used are of premium quality.

On our way to the villas, we passed by Prashant Spa, a Tirta brand with affordable rates.   This is perfect to Filipinos who would like to have the Tirta Spa experience — same quality of service, same therapists, the only thing that differs is the ambience and set-up.  (A separate article will be posted in this blog about Prashant Spa).  On the second floor,  I have spotted a hidden haven- a luxury Home Stay accommodation at Tirta Spa.  (It will be featured in a separate post).

prashant jas.jpg

Prashant Spa- an affordable brand of Tirta Spa

the indonesian villa.jpg

At the Indonesian Royal Suite Villa

There are three Royal Suite Villas that you can choose at Tirta Spa (Indonesian, Thai and Indian-Moroccan Villa).  Each villa has amenities which include a private bathroom, bathtub and vichy rain shower.

inside the thai villa.jpg

This is inside the Thai Royal Suite Villa (where I had my anti-time treatment)

thai villa inside.jpg

coy fish2

Each villa has a coy pond

 

As I entered the Thai villa, a relaxing music was played- setting the mood for me to unwind.  Before the treatment, I was introduced to Lady (my therapist) and April (her assistant.  At first I felt uncomfortable, but they were very professional in dealing with their customers.  I was given complete instructions – from undressing, taking a shower, and putting my stuff in the safety deposit box. .

 

lady and april.jpg

The treatment started with the foot ritual..  “Tirta” comes from the Hindu word means “Holy Water”  which cleanses our body and soul and drives away  all the negative energy.  Lady placed a white flower on my right ear.and I was given fresh ginger tea.

ginger tea 1.jpg

Fresh ginger tea prepared by Ms. Cecille’s mother.

foot ritual before.jpg

 

foot ritual ginger tea.jpg

During the foot wash

After the foot wash, Lady presented the Biodroga products that she will use for my Anti-Time Facial and body massage which is priced at P7,320.   The authentic Biodroga products that they using are from Germany.

biodroga presentation.jpg

biodroga.jpg

Biodroga products from Germany

Time has finally come and I had one of the most unforgettable activity in Boracay 2017– the Tirta Spa Experience!  Hubby and I had the complimentary massage by the beach last year (part of Estacio Uno’s package when you book with them), but it was a different experience.  Honestly, instead of feeling relaxed, I felt like I was beaten.

In the registration, I have chosen to have medium pressure in the massage and even requested to have a 10-minute focus on the upper back.   I was about to request Lady to shift into light  pressure in the leg part,   but she knew whether her client is comfortable or not.  As if she can read my mind, she asked me if I would like have the massage in lighter pressure.  She made sure I was comfortable in the entire treatment.   I didn’t hear any conversation from her and her assistant.   When she was talking to me, her voice was like that of one of the sirens ( a creature in Greek mythology who lured sailors with their enchanting music and voices).  I resisted the temptation to fall asleep because I would like to enjoy every second of the treatment.

treatment preparation 2.jpg

treatment preparation.jpg

After the treatment, I felt younger and rejuvenated.  I received a compliment from hubby and my daugther Shane told me that I looked young and I had a different glow.  For spa lovers especially those who would like to look and feel younger, I recommend Anti-Time Facial and Body Massage.

For inquiries or reservation, you may contact Tirta Spa directly.  They have different packages to choose from.

BORACAY LOGO tirta.jpg

Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay island, Malay, Aklan, 5608

Website:   www.tirtaspa.com 

Telephone Nos. +63 (0) 36 288 6841/ 288-6481

Mobile Nos.  0920 918 4857 / 0922- 892 8696

Disclosure:   The anti-time treatment I had was complimentary; however, all the opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Sweeter The Second Time Around @ Date & Dine Resort

The last time I’ve been to this exclusive resort was two years ago— Hubby and I had an initmate wedding anniversary celebration here.  Last week, when I was searching for a private, classy and inexpensive resort in Antipolo where we can celebrate the long weekend with my family,  I didn’t think twice when I thought of Date & Dine Resort & Residences.  I immediately booked the Rustic Room (King room) for us via Booking.com.

img_2559
The resort can be found in Beverly Hills Subdivision (boundary of Taytay and Antipolo).  It was indeed a perfect choice because we were able to have family bonding in such a quiet place with an awesome view.

date and dine welcome

Upon entering, we felt we were HOME.  Upon check-in, the staff explained to us about the payment.  We just paid for 2 sofabeds @ P500 each for the 2 kids (includes breakfast).  We were amazed to discover that they really made an effort to provide excellent service to their guests.  It was quite the same as before, still very clean and they have made some improvements.   There is a common living room and dining room in the first floor and all the rooms for the guests are located at the basement.

sala1

The living room

.bruce and papa 1

 

dining

dining room

stairways

 

We were escorted to our room (the Rustic Room).  It was big enough for 2 adults and 3 kids.   After fixing our stuff, we went to the gym and decided to have our afternoon swim.  That afternoon, we had the pool for ourselves!

jasmine pink

This is the seating area for non-swimmers.  (You are not allowed to sit here when you came out of the pool).

 

family day

 

pool view

 

kylr pool

We have enjoyed the privacy that we really wanted and it was definitely a time and money well-spent for our family bonding.  The staff got our order for dinner and breakfast ahead of time so they can prepare in advance.  They specialize in Italian food in their menu but they also serve selected Filipino dishes.

pizza

Since I am a pizza lover, this is definitely in the list 🙂

 

carbonara

Authentic Carbonara served without cream

 

barbeque

Barbecue for the kids

 

banana split

generous serving of banana split for family sharing

I think we just spent around P1500 for the dinner and extra breakfast for Baby Bruce. The price is really reasonable enough paired by excellent service from the staff.   In other restaurants and hotels, they do not grant requests like changing of sausage or longganisa to hotdog.  When I requested to have hotdogs instead of longganisa because I do not eat the latter, the staff instantly agreed.  We had our dinner at past 7pm.  It was served in our reserved area (the lovers’ spot).  After that, I had a scheduled foot spa service in our room at exactly 8pm.

If there is one thing that we didn’t like is the WIFI connection.  Though they have provided us with passwords, those were useless because we have used our mobile data to connect to the internet and be updated in my social media accounts.  Hubby, on the other hand couldn’t use his mobile data because of the weak signal in the place.

The following day, before we had our breakfast, we walked for a while and headed to the  gym.  We noticed that they have upgraded their equipments.

kids

The lounge

 

d and d gym

 

gym 1

 

gym bruce

 

gym kyle

 

After that, we had our breakfast in the poolside.  Another improvement that we have noticed was the presentation of their food.

breakfast3

kid’s meal

 

breakfast2

 

bruce breakfast

 

breakfast1

 

The staff were always kind to accommade our request for family pictures 🙂  After breakfast, we prepared for our morning swim before we finally say goodbye to D & D.

yman poolside

ate and bruce

 

bruce pool

 

with the kids pool

 

snacks poolside

platter of fries, calamari and mojos

 

jasmine1

 

What elese can I say?  Our first visit here was quite perfect, now it’s more special— definitely sweeter the second time around because this time our kids are already here 🙂

http://www.dateanddineresort.com/

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

For more information, you can personally visit their website:  http://www.dateanddineresort.com/

Phone Number:  (02) 571 4122

 

Hotel H20:  Terrible Service from Beginning to End 

Part of my childhood days is visiting Luneta Park and after almost 3 decades, it’s a great feeling to be back.  Luneta is one of the most special places that’s  why I was thriled when I have learned that Hotel H20 is situated behind  Quirino Grandstand.  It is operated by Manila Ocean Park and since it’s a four star hotel I was expecting excellent service from them.  I used to pass by this hotel before and I would like to experience something unque- I perceived that it’s one of the reasons why they have that superior rating.

entrance

I booked a bayview room at this hotel via Agoda and I opted to settle the full payment at the hotel- the total amount to settle is P6K plus taxes.  I called their trunkline to confirm my reservation and asked if it’s possible for me to upgrade the room because according to the customer service representative, each room is only for 2 adults.  I had to pay for the extra person amounting to P1,200 and the buffet breakfast amounting to P1,600. I asked her over the phone how much is my total bill?  Her answer is P10,020.  I needed to know so that I can prepare in advance.

Upon reaching the place, there were two entrances– one for the Ocean Park visitors and another for the hotel guests.  There’s a door leading to the elevator (with a small lounge wherein you can relax).  Everything was classy- from the hotel interiors and furnishings.

sunflowers

 

shane lounge

 

yman and kyle 3rd floor

The hotel lobby is located in the 3rd floor– when I approached the front desk, the representatives were snobbish.  One representative told me, “Somebody will attend to you in a while.”  I have been to different hotels and resorts and I have not encountered that kind of treatment.  Part of customer service training is to welcome your customers with a smile. Nobody greeted us and offered welcome drinks which was very strange, especially to a 4-star hotel.  

I asked how much do I have to settle and I was surprised to know that my total bill is P17k plus.  The lady told me it was because of the upgrade but they didn’t tell me when I called that I have to settle that amount.  They said they were not able to charge my card- why the hell are they going to do that when I opted to pay at the hotel.  If you have chosen an option, it should be followed.   I think that was deception- if they will charge my card with P7k and I will settle the P10,020 at the hotel (If they were able to charge my card, I wouldn’t know that there are other charges because of the P10k I have settled in the hotel.  I wouldn’t know that I was charged with additional amount.  As a customer service representative, it is your responsibility to give crystal clear information.  I didn’t agree to pay the P17k plus and settled for the standard bayview room I have booked previously.  




The room was approximately 25 square meters with a queen bed. After 5 minutes, the room attendant knocked carrying a mattress for our additional person for the room.  We also ate the freebies- chocolate chip cookies, 2 cans of sodas and 2 bottled waters.  We planned to go to MOA but agreed to just stay in the room to rest.  




We just enjoyed the room and then we explored Ocean Park to buy inexpensive food.  





After spending the night, we planned to explore the place once again after having our breakfast.   We were about to go out of the room when somebody knocked.  I was surprised to know that I requested for room service for breakfast and I was asked to settle the bill.  I told the room attendant that I did not order anything and I have settled the full amount when I checked in.  I explained that I paid P400 per head- if they are going to deliver those, why is it that the food is only for 2 persons?  The attendant told us that if I paid for P400 it was for buffet breakfast.  He used the phone to verify and found out that the delivery is for room 3115 and not for 3215.  







Their buffet breakfast was okay- with variety of choices but they did not include pizzas and cakes.  For the juices, those are concentrated and not made of real fruits.  After the breakfast we headed to the White Moonbar to have photo session. 




After that we decided to go for a swim in their outdoor pool.  You have to go out and enter the pool lounge to reach the pools.  They have two swimming pools (roofed and the other one is open).  



We went back to the room before 11am to take a shower and prepare for checkout.  When I was checking out I was informed that I have additional charges. “HUH?  What additional charges?”  I asked.  The front desk staff told me that I have to pay for the additional person and buffet breakfast for 4.  I tried not to freak out and explained that I have settled the full payment upon check in. 

For a four- star hotel like H20, they should invest in giving their representatives seminar on giving excellent service.  Staycations should be enjoyed and it’s unfair for a customer like me who paid and then ended up NoT SATISFIED with their service.  

Not in Cloud 9 (A Review of Cloud 9 Hotel & Resort)

My ideal way of spending Mother’s Day is just to be with my family– the top place in my list is Cloud 9 Hotel & Resort.  Originally, I just wanted us to have lunch in their restaurant and experience the hanging bridge.  When I called the front desk and learned that we can also swim in the pool even if we did not check in one of the rooms, I instantly informed the kids and we were all excited.  

parking

 

information

 

nature

We went to the Information and paid for the swimming entrance fee (P150 for adults, P80 for kids until 11 yrs. old and P50 for kids less than 3 ft.  After paying, we spent about thirty minutes looking for the swimming pool.  (The pool is hidden so it is not easy to locate and there is no signage that tells the guests where the pool is).  

yman 1

There are no cottages unlike the other resorts in Antipolo, but there are tables and chairs that you can use and those are FREE.  There is a small pool (suited for kids but adults can also swim).  I only stayed there for an hour because I wasn’t comfortable and my skin was beginning to itch.  I took a shower right away and waited for my kids to finish.

pool 2

 

pool

 

family pic

While waiting, we have witnessed a kid who got drowned 😦  The parents were busy chatting in their table and there was no lifeguard at the moment; fortunately, they were able to revive the kid.  After that incident, we asked the kids to get ready for lunch because it was almost 12nn.  There was a long queue in the shower rooms– I waited for more than 30 minutes.  

after swimming

 

We headed to the restaurant but we were surprised to see people lined up and waiting for their turn to get inside.  We decided to just go to Jollibee for lunch because we were already starving.

 

7th heaven

 

hanging bridge

 

TIPS:  Do not expect too much about the pool- you will just get disappointed.  Though I appreciate the beauty of nature in the property, I was disappointed with the pool and all of us got itchy after swimming.

Call the front desk first to know how much is the corkage fee for the food that you will bring.

Go to the restaurant early to avoid the queue.

Do not go there on weekends — the place is jampacked with people.

 

It wasn’t the perfect time, I just didn’t like the swimming pool but I don’t have any idea with their rooms.  Will we go back?   We will definitely have lunch or dinner in their restaurant one of these days and try the hanging bridge 🙂

 

 

 

Boracay Activities with BPHT (The Island Hopping Experience)

Our Boracay 2017 Getaway is the best that I had ever because I carefully planned about it.  I  scheduled the Boracay activities on our 3rd day because I wanted to have all the time for ourselves and to feel relaxed on our last day.   We started with the zipline at 10am then we headed to Station 2 with Armel (our Guide from BPHT) and waited for our private boat. 

the view zipline

Island hopping is really recommended for those who would like to explore and enjoy Boracay.  Before, I didn’t want to engage in this activity- I felt like this is a waste of time but thanks to BPHT my perspective has changed.   

You can opt to book this by group (with other tourists) — or you can have a private boat.  I prefer having a private boat so you can control your time.  You can even  tell the boatman which places would you like to visit and you don’t have to wait for the other passengers.    You can bring your own lunch because the free lunch buffet is only for group island hopping.  We bought lunch in Andok’s and just had lunch when the boat stopped by Crocodile Island.

before the island hopping

At Station 2 while waiting for our private boat

The sight of the tranquil sea made me forget all my troubles even for just a while.  I felt like a kid again– amazed to see the different attractions.

in the boat 1

 

island hoppers

group of tourists 

turtle island

Turtle Island

island hopping 4

island hopping 3

 

aqua fun

Aqua Fun

crystal cove 1

Crystal Cove

I chose not to stop by Crystal Cove anymore because it will consume our time (but I promise that I will be back!) ; instead, we just had a tour enjoyed the different places.

aron magic island

Aron’s Magic Island

 

island hopping1

We were amazed to see vendors in the sea:  first one was the coconut vendor.  We bought 3 pieces of coconuts for P100.

buko in the island1

Buko for sale

The second one that we saw was the ice cream vendor.

ice cream vendor 1

 

enjoy

 

When we were near Crocodile Island, we stopped by to snorkel.  At first, I was hesitant to jump into the water but the boatmen assured me that I will be safe.   I saw the amazing view under the sea- the coral reefs and the colorful fishes.   

 

snorkerling

 

snorkkeling2

 

Our last destination was the Puka Beach- it is smaller than the White Beach but the sand is not as fine as what they have there.

family pic puka 2

in Puka Beach

We lined up just to take photos here- a proof that we have been in Puka Beach!

puka 1

 

After that, we had a 15 minute swim before we finally go back to the boat.

shane puka beach

 

Thanks to our boatmen who were with us for 2 to 3 hours  (who also served as our tour guide and photographer) 

private island hopping

To book Boracay’s activities like island hopping, zipline, parasailing, etc. you may contact BPHT directly.

logo-bpht

Manggayad Main Road, Talipapa Bukid

Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

Phone Number:  (036) 272- 1226

Mobile Numbers:  Smart (0920) 126 0307

 Globe:  (0977) 173 8552

Website:   http://www.boracayphilippineshotelandtransportation.com.ph/

Disclosure:  This activity was complimentary; however, alll the opinions in this blog post are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

 

My Boracay 2017 Getaway (Day 2)

Of all our Boracay trips, we felt that our last Boracay trip was the best.  Our first day in Boracay went well- we were able to explore DSB, rest, swim, walk, have dinner and have our night swimming 🙂  For day 2, of course, we knew that we had to be productive also.  As early as 4am, I was up and we prepared, sorted, and packed the clothes back in the luggages for our early check out at 11am.

 

jas veranda2

at the veranda

 

The pool was inviting me to have my morning swim but we decided to have our breakfast first before having our planned activities.  It’s a good thing that Discovery Shores offer their breakfast buffet for their guests at 6am.  

jas and yman breakfast1

breakfast @ The Sand’s Bar

After breakfast, we headed to the beachbeds in the beachfront to relax for a while and to have a quick morning swim. 

shane and jas lounge chairs

 

ready for the morning swim

After the morning swim, we headed back to the room to get ready for our Mermaid Photo Op.

3rd floor 1

Our scheduled meet-up was 9 am and we were advised to go there 30 minutes before.  I thought it was just a short walk , but I was wrong.   Shane was feeling lazy at that time to walk and was irritated at the same time because of the heat.  While we were walking along White Beach, we passed by Estacio Uno.  I really missed the seaside suite that we have stayed in last summer and I promised myself that we will definitely go back.

 

estacio uno seaside

Estacio Uno

Finally, we reached Fisheye Divers beside Starbucks Coffee to meet the mermaid swimming instructor.  After signing the agreement, choosing and fitting our tails, we had our photoshoot.  

 

with the mermaid instructor

with the mermaid instructor 

mermaid by the seashore

mermaids hello2

tails up 3

 

After the photoshoot, we fixed our things and checked out of DSB.  The concierge service arranged for our private tricycle going to Tirta Spa for my Anti-time treatment.

 

entrance1

The Tirta Spa entrance

foot ritual ginger tea

the traditional foot wash

treatment preparation

my Anti-time facial and body treatment

After the treatment, I felt rejuvenated and because I just wanted to have that unique glow in my skin for the rest of the day, I decided not to take a shower or have an afternoon and midnight swim.   We went back to DSB and they dropped us to True Home Hotel for free.  (The only trouble we had was waiting for almost an hour because the DSB staff brought our luggages in the airport by mistake).

 

true home check in 1

the smooth check-in process with True Home Hotel

After checking in, we just decided to put our luggages in the room,  let our daughter have her afternoon swim and catch the beautiful sunset in the beachfront.

 

true home hat

 

beautiful sunset

 

lounge chairs1

 

shane's afternoon swim

 

Because it was getting dark, we walked from Station 1 to the D’Mall to find an inexpensive restaurant. Luckily, there was a vacant table and chairs for us in SMOKE Restaurant!   (This is one of my favorite restaurants in Boracay because the foods are reasonably priced and best of all– delicious!)

yman smoke menu

 

burger steak

Shane’s Burger Steak

spicy chicken

Hubby’s Spicy Chicken

chicken barbeque

My chicken Barbecue 🙂

 

After dinner, we bought some “pasalubongs”  like ref magnets, pair of earrings and bracelets.  We also went to the grocery store to buy coffee and chips.

 

ref magnets

Hubby shopping for ref magnets

After the long walk back to True Home Hotel, we decided to sleep early for another set of activities the following day.   We joined Shane in the living room because the aircon in our bedroom wasn’t working 😦

 

shane sleeping1

 

We had a lot of activities, but we were not exhausted– it was indeed a PRODUCTIVE DAY!

 

 

Discovery Shores: Is it Worth Every Penny? (Part 2)

In my previous blog post, I have shown some  photos of our Junior Suite room and the amenities in DSB.  If you are paying for a fortune per day, you should be satisfied with your room and you should get the BEST service.  In this article, I will share about my experience and observations in my 3 days and 2 nights stay in DSB.  

Compared to other hotels, you can’t ask for anything more in DSB— everything that you need is almost there (the cafes, the library/business center, kid’s room, spa, fitness center, etc.)  Best of all, I like the swimming pool with lounge chairs and the beach beds in the beachfront.   

view of the pool

 

pool lounge chairs

 

lounge chairs 1

 

 The junior suite room was OKAY, but I was never delighted like the way we felt when we saw our seaside room in Estacio Uno.  I think the room is not worth the price 😦

junior suite 1

 

In our second day, I requested the staff to keep our luggages after checking out because we had to go to Tirta Spa at 12 noon.  (We had to check out because we booked True Home in our second day, but we will be back in DSB the following day).  I have explained that to the front desk and we were expecting that when we came back from Tirta Spa, we will just head to True Home Hotel.    When we got back to DSB and we were asking for our luggages and service to True Home Hotel, we were informed that the staff were able to put our luggages in the van and they were already in the airport.  We waited for almost one hour for our luggages to arrive 😦   We couldn’t afford to get mad because they were apologetic and we couldn’t do anything that time but to wait. 

 

checkin out of dsb

after checking out and before we go to Tirta Spa

 

When we checked in again to DSB the following day,  everything went well.  I sent a text message to them to pick up our luggages in True Home Hotel while we were out for our island hopping activity.  I also asked the front desk officer to send the driver to True Home Hotel to pick us up after our activity and we were able to check in without any problem.  We were welcomed by Patricia and she informed us that we are still going to stay in the same room.  

patricia

Patricia, the front desk officer who welcomed us

 

So when we got back to our room, I can say I missed their welcome treats, freebies and amenities.

native treats 1

their free palitaw

 

shane's kiddie towel

Shane’s kiddie towel

Shane attended the activity for Kids @ 4pm – that day, they played dodge ball.  While she was playing with the other kids, we went to the library to check in online and print our board passes for our flight the following day.

toys kids room

the toys in the Kids’ Room

library1

 

What we like about DSB is that they are offering the complimentary breakfast for their guests as early as 6am.  There are various foods to choose from and we didn’t have any complain with the taste.  Their pineapple juice is made from real pineapple 🙂

 

breakfast 1

breakfast in the Sand’s Bar

During our stay in DSB, we were able to unwind– we just ask the staff to bring us water.  We felt secured because we knew that even when we go for a swim and leave our valuables on the beach bed, we won’t lose those.  Also, the staff only allow guests to occupy their beach beds in the beachfront– you have some sort of privacy.  We also appreciated the hassle-free transfers from the hotel to the airport.  

 

 

relax feet

 

What else should be improved?  Every time we go down or go back to our room,  we couldn’t figure out where the foul smell comes from.

downstairs

 

So, are we going to come back?  Honestly, I’m NOT sure.  Estacio Uno is less expensive but the suite is damn better;  however, roundtrip transfers are not included and there are no lounge chairs in the pool area.  

Will I recommend DSB to travelers?  YES (if you can afford) but if you are considering your budget, there are still other options 🙂

A Day As a Mermaid

One of my childhood fantasies is to become a mermaid– and I was ecstatic when I was given a chance to fulfill that fantasy.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I can never forget and it was made possible by the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy.    

cute mermaids 3

 

I booked for a Mermaid Photo Op for me and my daughter Shane (total of P2,100 ) through Go Discover Travel’s website.  The package includes tail rental for 30 minutes with a guide who will assist you in the photoshoot.   (You have to bring your own camera).   I was instructed to proceed to fisheye Divers in Station 1 beside Starbuck’s Cafe for the meet-up. 

with the mermaid instructor

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the Mermaid swimming instructor and she asked me to sign the agreement/waiver.  Basically it was just about taking care of the mermaid tails– if you were able to damage those, you have to pay P1,000 per tail.

 

mermaid agreement

I signed the agreement 

After signing the agreement, I was asked to choose the color of the tails.  Luckily, I had the pink one 🙂

choosing the tails

choosing the tails

getting ready for the mermaid experience

Getting ready for the photoshoot 

We started with the two of us  followed by the individual photoshoot.   There were two photographers at that time (hubby used the camera and the mermaid instructor used my phone).  The instructor was the one who directed the poses (She was really patient in teaching us and dealing with Shane’s tantrums at that time).

 

cute mermaids1

 

mermaids sideways

 

mermaids1

 

mermaid sunbathing

 

mermaids hello2

 

 

shane front

 

mermaid by the seashore

 

It was an unforgettable experience because you can keep the photos and show those to your grandchildren that once you have experienced to become a mermaid.  Another thing that made it memorable was that the photoshoot was done in the crowded area of the beach.  We felt uncomfortable at first because we were watched by people (locals and foreigners) and they even took pictures of us.  

 

mermaid with korean

A Korean asked to have a photo taken with me 🙂

tails up 3

 

If you are interested to have this kind of experience, you may book directly to their website:  http://www.boracay.travel/ .  

 

 

 

 

Tirta Spa Homestay: A Hidden Haven In Boracay

If you are in Boracay to unwind and you need a serene place to stay— away from the loud noise and distractions, Tirta Spa Homestay is exactly the one that you are looking for!   Tirta Spa is known as the best spa in Boracay but only few people know that inside the property lies a hidden haven for tourists.  15-20 minutes from the main road, you can easily access the place by hiring a private tricycle.   In my recent visit to Tirta Spa, I was given a chance to have a tour here.  

The house is located atop Prashant Spa.  When the glass door was opened, we were openmouthed-  this is even more luxurious than what we saw in other hotels and the best part is it is even more affordable.   During the tour, we really couldn’t help but to admire everything–

        Here in Tirta Homestay, guests may use the living room, kitchen and dining area;  however, they are expected to maintain the cleanliness of the place.

 

sala2

the living room

dining

the dining area

windows

 

view from the terrace 2

view from the veranda (in the second floor)

There are two rooms to choose from: the Deluxe room-Queen and the Premium loft-King.

THE DELUXE ROOM- Queen

bed

This is perfect for couples and probably one kid

sofa

the daybed

de luxe toilet

the toilet

Room rates (room only for 2 people)

P2,980 + Non Peak Season  (June 15- Sept. 30)

Extra person- P1,200

P3,500 + – Peak Season (Oct 1- June 15)

Extra person, P1,500

P4,000 + HIgh Peak Season (Dec 20- Jan 20 & Chinese New Year

P6500 +Super High Peak (Dec 30- Jan. 5)

Extra person:  P2,500

to the loft room

to the loft room

 

THE PREMIUM LOFT ROOM- King

bed loft 1

bed loft1

loft 1

loft toilet

the toilet

loft toilet 1

the bathtub

tv loft 1

Room rates (room only for 2 people)

P3,500+ Non Peak Season  (June 15- Sept. 30)

Extra person- P1,500

P4,200+ – Peak Season (Oct 1- June 15)

Extra person, P1,800

P5,500 + HIgh Peak Season (Dec 20- Jan 20 & Chinese New Year

P8,500 +Super High Peak (Dec 30- Jan. 5)

Extra person:  P3,500

All the furnishings and decorations are classy and elegant.  Actually, the rooms are better than we had in other luxury hotels (I know the rates are reasonable enough) .  When I asked one of the staff if the building was newly constructed, he said that it was there for years and it is Ms. Cecille (the one who manages Tirta Spa) who is responsible why the building is well-maintained.  

veranda

The amazing view from the veranda

veranda1

 

view from terrace 1

 

 

 

with michael

With Michael, who accompanied us to have a quick tour

 

To book the room/s, you may contact Tirta Spa directly:

BORACAY LOGO tirta

Telephone Numbers:  +63 (0) 36 288 6841/ 288 6481

Website:  http://www.tirtaspa.com

 

 

 

TRUE HOME HOTEL: An Affordable Beachfront Hotel in Station 1

Are you planning of a perfect vacation in the world-class summer destination in the Philippines?  If your answer is yes, you’ve come to the right blog 🙂  The next thing to do if you have already booked a flight to Boracay is choosing a hotel or your temporary home.  One thing that you have to consider is the station where your hotel is located.

Station 1– if you prefer a tranquil place and would like to have privacy.  This is where the most expensive hotels are located. 

Station 2- if you love parties and loud music is never a problem to you.  This is where “average” hotels are located.

Station 3-  if you go for inexpensive hotels.  This is where backpackers stay.

Most of the tourists  choose Stations 2 and 3 because hotels in Station 1 are quite pricey.  In this article, you will discover that you can stay in Station 1 without having an empty pocket.  

Last week, we had our 4d/3n getaway in Boracay- we spent two nights in Discovery Shores and one night in True Home Hotel.  I booked an overnight stay in the Presidential Suite for P8k in Agoda.com.

We stayed in True Home Hotel in our second day in the island after our scheduled activities:  the mermaid photo op and treatment in Tirta Spa.

 

true home check in 1

I opted not to swim nor take a shower after my anti-time treatment.  After checking in, we just put our luggages in the bedroom and took a 30-minute rest  then we headed to the beach to catch the sunset. 

true home beachfront

True Home’s lounge chairs 

 

sunset

the beautiful sunset 

beach beds 2 true home

 

Though it is not as big and classy as the other hotels in Station 1, we liked our spacious suite (Actually the structure is kinda outdated and it just needs a total make-over).  It is perfect and practical for families to stay here.- the staff are very friendly and polite.   The only problem that we have encountered during our stay was the malfunctioned aircon in our bedroom– we slept in the living room though they have provided an electric fan because it was freakin’ hot at that time.   We didn’t mind at all because there were sofa beds that we have used and the aircon was working in the living room.

 

living room true home

 

Let’s have a tour in True Home’s Presidential Suite.

 

true home hat

the living room with an awesome view of the sea

 

 

living room

 

sink true home

the kitchen where you can cook your own food

 

 

dining room true home

dining room

bed

 

bedroom 1 true home

breakfast 2

our free breakfast

 

breakfast with sweetie

 

cereals

Shane’s free Kiddie Meal

 

Nothing can beat the sight of the view here in the morning–it was soooooo relaxing and inspiring.  I told hubby that this is the perfect spot for me to write blogs.   I could have grabbed the netbook in the veranda but then I realized that we have to prepare our luggages because we have scheduled zipline and island hopping for the day.

 

veranda view beach true home

 

 

sunbathing veranda

 

It was sad that we had to check out early because of the scheduled activities.  We just requested our luggages to be taken cared of because the DSB staff will pick those while we were out.   We also asked if we could borrow one towel for the island hopping and without hesitation, Ms. Che-che (the front desk staff) agreed and even asked us if we only needed one 🙂 

Overall,  we enjoyed our stay in True Home and there’s no doubt that we will be back the next time we go in Boracay— this time with all my family members.    If you would like to book there, I suggest that you contact them directly here: http://www.truehomehotel.net/ .

with cheche

with the very friendly and accommodating Ms. Che-Che 🙂

 

family pic 1

My Boracay 2017 Getaway (Day 1)

In our recent Boracay trip, we had some teeny tiny changes or some sort of-an upgrade or levelling up.  From Air Asia, I shifted to PAL (Philippine Airlines) and I was glad that I was able to get a good deal- I got the roundtrip tickets for three — (Manila to Caticlan and Caticlan to Manila) for ony P15k.  

 

before checking in the baggages

 

In our previous Boracay trips, we fly to Kalibo and take the loooooong 2-hour ride from there to Caticlan Jetty Port.  This time, we flew directly from Manila to Caticlan.

 

boracay airport

In Boracay Airport

I booked two hotels:  Discovery Shores Boracay (DSB) and True Home Hotel.  Though the per night rate in DSB is a highway robbery, I decided to give it a try because it already includes roundtrip transfers and they have good feedbacks in the blogs and reviews that I have read.  

fairways

In the Fairways Lounge

fairways2

 

our dsb boat

 

in the boat

DSB’s private boat

Upon reaching the hotel, we were welcomed by Carlie and escorted us to our room.  

with carlie

 

shane poolside

It was just disappointing when we got into the assigned junior suite to us  because I felt the room rate wasn’t worth it.   Though I felt like that, there were inclusions that I liked in the room- the coffee and tea making facilities; toiletries, high-quality bedroom slippers provided and the turndown service every afternoon.

 

our room.jpg

Room 305- Our Juinior Suite Room

espresso machine

espresso 🙂

twinings

 

We planned DAY 1 specifically to just enjoy DSB and to have a walk along White Beach at night.  After putting our luggages in the right place, we had our complimentary foot wash.

foot wash jas

the complimentary foot wash in DSB

After the foot wash, we decided to just hang in the pool area while waiting for Shane.  We let her attend the activity in the Kid’s Room.   We just relaxed in the lounge chairs and watched the other guests swim.  After Shane’s activity, we had our afternoon swim.

 

activity in the kids room

 

jas and shane

in the swimming pool with Shane

jas pink bikini

yman and shane pool

Father and daughter bonding in the pool

 

After the swim, we looked for an affordable restaurant to have our dinner.  

firedancers

the firedancers

night 1.jpg

 

island chicken inasal

Luckily, we spotted Island Chicken Inasal in D’Mall.– (I’m too glad the place wasn’t jam-packed with people at that time).  After the dinner, we headed back to DSB to have our night swim (Night swimming is until 9pm).

 

shower dsb2

in the shower area

night swim 1

 

We were not that exhausted, but we decided to rest and sleep early because we had to fix our stuff the following day, do the planned activities and have our early check-out and transfer to True Home Hotel.   

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: