Yes, the island paradise has never been busier. Believe it or not, there’s heavy traffic on the main road and on the beach (which has been going on for some time now). There’s just no escaping the crowds these days.
Just like what the islanders say, “There is no low or peak season in Boracay. It’s just high and peak seasons.” So what’s the perfect time to go?
It has been almost a couple of years since I set foot on the island again. I knew what to expect of the place but sometimes surprises come, like this visit.
I arrived on a Sunday and the place was jam-packed. The main street was too busy for comfort, so was the white beach. Tourists were like ants making their way to the shoreline and standing up in attention facing the setting sun. Sunset is the most crowded time at the White Beach.
A decade ago, the crowd was far less and you’d be able to enjoy your private space. Sunsets in Boracay were quite romantic then. Tranquility and romance are difficult to achieve in the island these days.
Well, maybe not. Have you been to Barangay Yapac? I used to dread heading to this area a long time ago. The beach may be gorgeous in this part of the island — secluded, pristine, serene, but it was just too far.
However, on the recent visit to Boracay, I was able to appreciate — and fall in love — the area. Its seclusion and serenity is a welcome escape from the bustle of “central” Boracay.
Savoy Hotel Boracay is one of the new hotels in the area. It’s part of the Boracay Newcoast township, a 150-hectare development which will allot 60 hectares to living and commercial complexes and 90 hectares to green and open spaces.
The 559-room hotel is its finishing stage with 498 rooms open for accommodation and the majority of the facilities—restaurants, ballroom and swimming pools—fully operational. The other outlets, like the spa and boutiques, will be open soon.
To welcome guests prior to full completion just shows that there is a demand for accommodations in Boracay. Savoy has been enjoying a consistent high occupancy rate of 78 percent since it started welcoming guests is April 2017, said Czarie, Savoy’s Front Office Supervisor, with Koreans and Chinese as the majority of the hotel’s patrons.
It’s easy to like Savoy. The design is modern which is displayed at the spacious and airy lobby in white infused with pops of colors—aqua, magenta, purple and green—to relay its message of “Color your experience.”
The ceiling’s mesh design, which reminds me of the bird’s nest Olympic structure in China, is carried through the rest of the hotel interiors to tie in the look. It’s at the restaurants and walls along hallways. It seemed like the open spaces and nooks make for great backdrops for social media-worthy shots.
What I like about the rooms of Savoy is each has a private balcony. I was given a room that faces the sunrise and a view of the surrounding verdant hills and the cooling color of blue of the pools. All these scenes and colors I was able to enjoy from my room’s balcony.
The pool on a hot, sunny day will always be inviting but I’m more of a beach person, and Boracay is all about the beach. This is where Savoy scores another point—the property has a private beach.
The Newcoast Beach is a short walk downhill from the hotel or if you can ride the club car if you wish. Unlike the White Beach, this stretch affords you the privacy and space you seek. If the White Beach can offer a breathtaking sunset, Newport Beach can give you a beautiful sunrise. It’s a good way to start the day.
But if you’re itching to head to The Mall to shop, the White Beach to swim or have a bite in one of the many restaurants by the shoreline, by all means do so. Savoy will make it comfortable for you. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle bus rides to and from the drop off area with regular services running from morning until night.
I did go to the White Beach for a photo of the sunset, and a quick bite at a favorite burger joint. But for the rest of the my three-night stay in Savoy, I spent it watching the sun rise at the private beach, had a hearty breakfast at the restaurant and enjoyed the cool comforts of the room.
This is how do I imagined a trip to Boracay to be—no crowd, peaceful and relaxing. Just like the old days at the famed White Beach, but this time it’s in a new spot in the island destination, the Savoy Hotel Boracay.
Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.