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 🙂

 

 

 

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 Activities with BPHT (The Zipline Experience)

Last year, we were able to have a hassle-free and convenient roundtrip transfers to Boracay via BPHT (Boracay Philippines Hotel and Transportation).  As much as I would like to book their services again in our Boracay Trip last week, the package we had with Discovery Shores already include the roundtrip transfers.  Operating in their second year in the travel and booking industry,  BPHT has already mastered the craft of offering topflight service to their customers.  They are not only specializing in booking roundtrip transfers but also hotel accommodations and Boracay activities.  

In our 4d/3n stay in the island,  we have opted to include Boracay activities on our third day.  Our first schedule for the day was the zipline and cable car.  We were picked up in the hotel by Armel, a BPHT representative  and he escorted us to the Happy Planet van.

 

happyplanet

Happy Planet Van

 

with armel

With Armel, our BPHT guide in our zipline activity

 

before zipline

Before the zipline activity

 

We went up and selected our pink head gears while hubby is paying the rental of Go Pro (P300) at the booth.

pink headgears

our pink head gears 🙂

I fell in love with the awe-inspiring view and all my fears disappeared.  All I wanna do that moment was to FLY and be a superhero for few minutes.

 

the view zipline

the breathtaking view

 

And so, we were assisted by the Happy planet staff and prepared us for the zipline ride.  I was surprised that even my 10 year-old daughter wasn’t afraid to fly at all!  It was indeed an experience I would never forget.

 

preparing zipline

 

When we have reached the end, I thought that we were going to bump the trees, hehehe!  But then the staff assured us we that flying with them is totally safe.  We climbed up the stairs and had the cable car ride.  It is kinda slow but still relaxing (though not as exciting as the zipline).

 

cottage 1

while waiting for our CD  (it includes our zipline and cable car video)

 

after the zipline 2

The next time we visit Boracay, this will be included in our itinerary.  For inquiries about Boracay activities, you may contact BPHT directly.

logo-bpht

Manggayad Main Road, Talipapa Bukid Manoc-Manoc ,

Boracay island,  Malay, 5608 Aklan  

Phone Number:  (036) 272-1226

Mobile Numbers:  Smart(+63) 9201260307

Globe (+63) 9771738552

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

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

Discovery Shores: Is it Worth Every Penny? (My DSB Experience Part I)

 

Last week, I spent 4d/3n in Boracay island with hubby and my ten-year-old daughter, Shane. It was my birthday treat for her- instead of having a family outing somewhere near Antipolo, I decided to just take her with us in our yearly escapade.  

There were changes I have made since I had this realization that vacations are meant to be enjoyed.  I had what this what you call “upgrading” or “levelling up.”  After a year of working, we needed a break!  From Air Asia, I have shifted to Philippine Airlines and I have carefully chosen our hotels for this escapade.  I even included Boracay activities in our itinerary.

So, what made me settled for Discovery Shores (DSB) even if it’s an arm and a leg?   Based from the reviews in TripAdvisor and blogs that I have read, DSB is well-liked by their guests because of their exceptional service and amenities.  It’s a beachfront hotel  (situated in Station 1)  with  complete amenities (like swimming pool, fitness center, library, kid’s room, and function rooms) and best of all, the roundtrip transfers were already included in the fee when you booked with them directly or in Agoda.  The rate per night is actually my whole month’s salary as a public school teacher, but for me it’s okay to splurge once in a while as long as we enjoy our vacation.  According to reviews, they felt like a VIP during their stay there and for few days, I would like to feel like a VIP (knowing that after a month, I will be back to reality and focus into my chosen vocation which is teaching).  I have convinced myself that I have made the right decision in choosing DSB.   Was I right in making the decision?  Let’s find out…

dsb bracelet.jpg

When we arrived in Caticlan, as expected, we were greeted by the DSB staff, gave us DSB bracelets, carried our bags and escorted us to the van.  

to the dsb van

It was a 5-minute ride from the van to Fairways Newcoast- a private Jetty Port for selected hotels.   The driver welcomed us with their line:  “HAPPY SUMMER!” and gave us mints.  We were comfortable during the transfers- we were prompted to sit down in the lounge while waiting for the DSB boat.  

fairways.jpg

We sat comfortably on the sofa while waiting for the DSB boat

fairways2

our dsb boat

In the boat, we were welcomed by the DSB staff, handed us wet face towels and gave cookies and bottled mineral water.  

boat usherettes

The staff announced that after reaching the Jetty Port, we will have a 15-minute ride via van to DSB.

in the boat.jpg

After the boat ride, we were escorted to the van.  Upon arrival at the waiting area, we were welcomed by Carlie and the staff gave us each a welcome drink ( a glass of refreshing Pandan water) , mints, and cold wet face towel.  She led us to the lounge facing the beach and I filled out the registration form and settled the security deposit.

welcome drink1

The famous Pandan water (DSB’s welcome drink)

escorted by carlie.jpg

We were escorted by Carlie to the lounge

carlie

One of the effiecient staff in DSB, Carlie.

One thing that is remarkable wit the DSB employees is that they were trained to deal and communicate effectively with  people.  

filling out the registration form

After the registration, we headed to our assigned junior suite (Room 305)    It is the most basic room in the hotel, but it can accommodate 3 people.  Aside from the P19k I have paid per night, I also paid P7k plus additional for my daughter.

our room.jpg

Our assigned junior suite room (40-45 square meters)

Though the suite is contemporary, honestly, I wasn’t impressed that much.  Actually, the seaside suite that we have occupied in Estacio Uno last summer (their best and most lavish room), worth P12-13k is far better than this one.   I was just thinking how much we would have saved if we booked there again.  Anyway,  I conditioned myself that it wasn’t just the room- probably the reason why DSB is a big-ticket is because of their outstanding service. 

Let us have a tour in our room 🙂

welcome treats

Welcome treats for us!

We had a plate of fruits, sweets, native delicacies and Pandan water in out dining table.  I just didn’t like the idea of placing it near the sliding door leading to the veranda.   In the veranda, there is a coffee table and chair for one person and drying racks wherein you can hang your wet clothes.

coffee and tea

Perfect treat for coffee lovers like me!

3 bottled water were provided.  I was able to get one Evian mineral water by mistake in the mini bar– too bad, I had to pay P120 for that 😦  There is an electric kettle that you may use- a good aternative for mineral water.

wash area and mirror

Wash area and mirror

toiletries

the complimentary toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body milk , shower gel and round bath soap

toilet

the toilet

closet

The closet which consists of 3 robes, ironing board and iron

charging area

The double-purpose headboard which also serves a storage for your stuff and charging station as well.

the daybed.jpg

Shane’s daybed

 

double beds 1.jpg

our double bed

 

After a few minutes, Girlie (from Housekeeping) knocked to give us a complimentary foot wash.

foot wash.jpg

After the foot massage, Carlie came in and we had a tour in the hotel.  Below you will see their amenities.

Carlie showed me around DSB

happy summer.jpg

Their artificial waterfalls with colorful lights at night

This is their standard greeting for summer.  Everytime we see employees or staff of DSB, they would greet us “HAPPY SUMMER” with their right hand at their chest sealed with a smile.

Unfortunately, only the One Bedroom Premier Suite (78 square meters)  is available during our tour.

1 br premier sals

The living room

 

double bed 1 premier

the doubble beds

 

jacuzzi 2

the jacuzzi at the veranda

 

the private lounge chair

the private beach bed

view of the pool

The view of the swimming pool from the second floor

 

pool morning

I love the lukewarm water in the swimming pool 

terra wellness 1

Terra Wellness Spa

 

 

 

terra wellness2

 

wishing well

The Wishing Well

gym 1

The fitness center

gym 3

The fitness center

(Unfortunately, we were not able to use the fitness center because we have been busy during our stay),

souvernir items

The gift shop wherein you can buy souvenir items from DSB

library

the library wherein you can surf the net and print documents for free

activity in the kids room

They have activity for kids daily from 4 to 5 pm.  

lounge chairs 1

One thing that I loke is their beach beds in the beachfront exclusively for their guests

With the amenities and ambience, I may say that I was satisfied.  I was also pleased with the free WIFI connection but sometimes, it goes on and off.  The front desk officers were efficient during our first day- I asked for a paracetamol and it was delivered in our room.

Despite of the positive things that I have mentioned,  there are still minor things that they have to improve– especially if the rate per night is quite exorbitant.   

  1.  Whenever we pass by the path leading to our room at the back of the cafe/restaurant, there is an unpleasant smell.  We couldn’t figure out if that is a kind of chemical, garbage or spoiled food.
  2. They have to be consistent with their VIP treatment. If they treat one client as special, they should treat everyone with the same kind of service- 
  3.  The staff should coordinate with each other (I will have another blog post about my DSB experience).

 

A Blissful Experience at Tirta Spa

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.

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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.

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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

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

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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).

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Prashant Spa- an affordable brand of Tirta Spa

 

 

 

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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.

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

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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. .

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My Boracay 2017 Travel Tips

     

 It was my 4th time in Boracay last week and I have learned a lot with my previous experiences.  I’ve realized that careful planning should be made prior to your trip. My last trip to Boracay was not perfect but it was the best I’ve had so far!  I hope that  this article would help you in planning your next Boracay trip.

  • Book your plane tickets in advance to get the best deals.  Usually airfares are lower months before your planned trip.   ( I have chosen PAL (Philippine Airlines because I haven’t flown with them yet, I always choose Airasia and I want to try a different airline this time.   

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  •  Allot budget for your summer outfits every month (This is because I am in a tight budget.  If money is not a problem to you, you can shop anytime you want.  I only used half of the clothes in my pink luggage- it’s better to have more outfits than run out of clothes.
  •  Choose a hotel that suits your taste and budget.  (I have chosen DSB- Discovery Shores Boracay because of the good reviews I have read.  I know it’s kinda expensive-almost my salary for the whole month per day, but vacations are meant to be enjoyed so it’s all right to go for expensive hotels as long as it’s worth the price and  we are satisfied with their service).   I always go for a beachfront hotel so beach would be easy to access and of course lounge chairs.

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view of the pool

Note:  A review of Discovery Shores will be posted in this blog soon.

  • Make sure you have your gadgets (phone and netbook/laptop and camera).   You won’t like for sure to be worried if ever there are reports to be done and you don’t have your laptop to open your files or do your task in your spare time.   For bloggers like me, internet connection is also a necessity.  I post pictures in Instagram, Facebook and Twitter once in a while).  If your hotel has no Wifi connection, turn your mobile data on or purchase load for internet connection).  Bring also your powerbank to be assured that you won’t have a low battery and you won’t miss any interesting photos.
  • Bring cash and credit cards

Check with your hotel if they require security deposit.    Most of the establishments accept credit cards but do not rely on them, you need to have cash with you.  Do not rely on ATMs also because there are cases that they are offline.

  • Plan your activities so you can create an itinerary.  In that case, you won’t waste time and you can enjoy the beauty of the island.

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 We had the mermaid photo-op for 30 minutes

I had anti-time treatment in Tirta Spa- the best and number 1 spa in Boracay.

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We had island hopping and zipline in day 2

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after the zipline

  • Discover inexpensive choices of food by walking around.  You can even go to the grocery store and buy stuffs like 3-in-one coffee, cookies, noodles, etc.  Inasal, Andoks are my favorite since I do not eat pork and fish).  Food from hotels can be expensive if you will order ala carte.  Smoke is an alternative; however, you will be lucky if there is a vacant table since most of the time the restaurant is filled with people.

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There are still things that I haven’t done yet like having henna tattoo. parasailing, zorbing and trying braids, but this Boracay escapade is the best from all my trips.