Luxury Hotel Review: The District Boracay, Philippines @thedistrictboracay

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor November 23rd, 2015 Posted in Luxury Hotel Review, Philippines, Travel Blog 3 Comments

Located at the northwest tip of Panay island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, Boracay earned its spot on the map because of its white sand beaches and vibrant nightlife. It has received numerous international awards and recognitions, including being named as the best beach in Asia by TripAdvisor in its 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards.

This was my fourth trip to Boracay, and the island still continues to amaze me. There is always something new and exciting, and one stand out example is The District Boracay.

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Photo from The District Boracay website

The District Boracay refers to itself as a contemporary boutique beachfront resort. It is located in Station 2 of White Beach, making restaurants and souvenir shops very accessible. It offers 48 rooms and suites that are designed to make your stay unforgettable.

When my brother and I arrived in the Caticlan Jetty Port, the staff of The District Boracay were already there to pick us up and bring us to their own wharf. A few minutes later, we were led to a private boat that took us to Cagban Port, the one on the side of Boracay. When we got there, we were fetched by the hotel shuttle and were brought straight to the hotel.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Upon entering the hotel, we were welcomed by the staff, greeting us is unison and with their hand-on-heart gesture. One of them was holding a tray of welcome drinks and cold towels, which helped us cool down. We have just arrived, and I was already impressed with their service.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Check-in was also a breeze. After giving our IDs and filling up the necessary forms, we were led to our room on the second floor. The staff member was explaining to us the facilities they offer while walking to our room, pointing to the pool, the gym, and the restaurants, among others. It was a gesture that I really appreciated since it wouldn’t be difficult to look for them when we are on our own.

For inquiries and other information, you may visit its official website.

Hotel Room Price: Private double rooms start at around $231 or you can check the latest price in:  Booking.com | AgodaHotels.com | Expedia | Hotelscombined, or Read Reviews on TripAdvisor

Related Article: Click here for other luxury hotel reviews.

HIGHLIGHT of the PROPERTY

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Aside from its prime beachfront location, The District Boracay is famous for serving the best brunch buffet in the island through Star Lounge.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

For two mornings, my brother and I feasted on different delicious dishes, including pancakes, waffles, bacon, Vigan longganisa, garlic rice, omelet, pork siomai, roti canai. With the diversity of the food that they offer, the list could go on and on.

We were also treated to a complimentary grill-to-order dinner on our second night. We scheduled our dinner at 8:00 p.m., and before 3:00 p.m., they made a call to our room to ask what we wanted for dinner. It’s nice that they ask in advance so we didn’t have to wait long come dinner time.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN
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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

My brother had baby back ribs while I had marlin, and both were cooked to perfection, served with steamed rice and sauteed vegetables. We were also served pumpkin soup and Caesar salad before the main course, and had fresh fruits for dessert.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN
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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN
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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Star Lounge is also the only establishment in the Philippines to offer the Meduse shisha, a unique type of shisha imported from the Czech Republic.

Feeling very full after dinner, we asked if we can transfer to their lounge area on the third floor for our Meduse shisha experience. It rained earlier that day so parts of the open deck were wet, but it was so nice of them to still allow us to go there. It’s also good to know that they look after the welfare of their guests, informing us that we have to take extra caution as the floor might be slippery. They led us to the section that was dry, and a few minutes later, they brought in the Meduse shisha.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

I liked the fact that Ann, the staff that was checking on us, shared some information about the Meduse shisha. She talked about where it’s from, how different it is from the regular shishas, and even how they were able to order the units. After a bit of chitchat and bringing in our complimentary drinks, she left us to enjoy the rest of the night. She would only come back to change the coal that is heating up the shisha, and would ask if we are having fun, to which we would reply a very giddy “YES!”.

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Trying out the Meduse shisha in Mango Boy flavor

The lounge closes at 10:00 p.m., and again, they allowed us to stay a bit longer as the shisha session would normally last around 45 minutes. I would like to commend their initiative on that, adjusting to the needs of their guests and going out of their way to give them first class service.

THE STAFF

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

The District Boracay takes pride in the unrivaled service of its staff, and it does live up to its claim. Service was top notch, and each member of the staff is friendly, professional, and accommodating. Pick up from the bus terminal was also a breeze, as well as the transfer from Caticlan to the island in a private boat, and vice versa. They never forget their signature hand-on-heart gesture every time they would greet us.

Our driver, Nelson, asked if it was our first time in Boracay. When I told him that it wasn’t, that it was my fourth time, he still told me on what to expect. He even shared some insider tips on how we can lessen our expenses. When I mentioned ‘LaBoracay,’ he was quick to point that people are close to overflowing during that time. He also said that the hotel management had to give them vitamins so as not to get sick. Plus points on taking care of your staff, The District Boracay!

I loved that even if he was aware that it was not my first visit, he still explained everything to me. It’s good that they treat their guests like it was their first time in Boracay, share with them as much information as they can to make their stay memorable.

THE ROOM

We were billeted to one of its 31 deluxe rooms with two queen-sized beds. Located on the second floor, it comes with complete amenities, including a private veranda that overlooks the pool. And as a pillow person, you can imagine my delight when I saw all these fluffy pillows!

The veranda overlooking the pool area was a great addition to the already posh bedroom. It’s a great place to have coffee or tea (the room has complimentary coffee and tea, as well as a water heater) while people watching. You may also hang your wet swimming clothes here using the provided clothes stand. No need to dry them inside the bathroom!

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Forgot to bring sunblock? Don’t worry because The District Boracay has you covered. Aside from the usual grooming supplies, they also provide sachets of sunblock in case you run out or forgot to bring one.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

As for their bathroom essentials, it’s good to know that they use Eco-fresh products which do not only make use of essential ingredients but are all environment friendly as well. Plus points for providing a bottle of insect repellent as well, and for replenishing the products everyday!

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

THE FOOD

The District Boracay serves breakfast and brunch buffet in their Star Lounge bar and restaurant. Yes, breakfast and brunch! Breakfast is served from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., followed by brunch until 1:00 p.m. Great news for those who partied hard the night before and chose to oversleep!

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

On to the dishes. They serve a wide, and I mean WIDE, variety of both international and Filipino favorites, plus a salad bar, hot and cold drinks, and various live action stations (omelets, stir-fry noodles, pasta, and crepes). No wonder that Star Lounge is said to have the best brunch buffet in the island!

The restaurant has both indoor and alfresco areas, with the indoor, air conditioned section perfect for those who prefer a cooler environment. The alfresco section caters to those who would like a view of the beach.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Aside from Star Lounge, The District Boracay has another restaurant under its wing, Caruso Ristorante Italiano. It offers an outstanding selection of Italian dishes that has brought fine dining in Boracay to a whole new level.

On our first night, we decided to have our dinner here, on their beachfront area that they assemble when night falls.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

For our soup, we were served Ministrone soup. It was really flavorful, and the vegetable chunks were just the right size to bite. It was probably the best Ministrone soup I ever had.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

For our main dish, they served us their Set A menu. It consists of Pollo Salvia, Garden Salad, and Spaghetti Aglio Olio Vongole. I guess I was at a loss for words when I took a bite out of everything, because they were all delicious! Every synonym you can give to ‘delicious’, they were all that!

The servings might look small, but they were all very filling. Kudos to Caruso for coming up with this combination. This is a great way to have their customers taste a little bit of what they offer, and also providing them with a full meal.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

Here’s a funny story regarding our dessert: Since we were all so full, we decided to skip dessert and go back to our room, freshen up, then explore the nightlife. While walking towards our room, Jestoni, one of the staff, went to us and said that he had dessert prepared. Touched by his gesture to reach out to us, we assured him that we will drop by Caruso before heading out for some drinks, which of course, we did.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

For dessert, we had Zuppa Inglese, an Italian dessert, made up of layers of custard and sponge cake. It also had a bit of a kick, thanks to the alcohol added to it. It complemented really well with the brewed coffee that they served it with. It was my first time to taste this dessert, and I’m glad we decided to come back for it. Two thumbs up, Caruso!

AMENITIES

Star Lounge bar and restaurant, prime beach area with sun loungers, 5-foot deep lap pool with jacuzzi, conference facility, and Premier Lounge.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN
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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

INSIDER TIPS

  1. Choose rooms that face the swimming pool.
  2. There are rooms on the ground floor for those who want a more immediate access to the pool and the beach. But for those who prefer greater privacy, meaning less people passing by, rooms on the upper floors are recommended.
  3. There’s a shortcut to the Star Lounge from the rooms if it is raining. The access door on one end of the corridor may be used. Just ask reception if it is open.

WHAT TO DO AROUND/WITHIN THE AREA

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

1. Visit D’ Mall for dining and shopping – D’ Mall is just a few strides away from The District Boracay. Various bars and restaurants are found here, as well as numerous souvenir shops. D’ Talipapa in Station 3 is another option.

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Photo by MICHELLE CALIGAN

2. Watch the sunset – Boracay has one of the most amazing sunsets, and viewing it is FREE! Walk along the shore and take as many photos as you can. You may also ride the ‘paraw’ that will take you in the middle of the ocean for an even better view.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

3. Get drinks during ‘happy hour’, usually from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Discounts can go as much as 40 percent for both beer and cocktails, so make sure to grab a bottle or two during this period.

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Photo by DOMINIQUE CALIGAN

4. Don’t miss Jonah’s shakes – Dubbed as “The Best Fruit Shake in the Island,” Jonah’s should not be skipped when visiting Boracay. There are currently three branches, with the one on the beachfront of Station 1 as the largest and most visited.

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Photo by CECIL CALIGAN

5. Stand up paddle boarding/surfing – The last time I was in Boracay was in 2011, and as far as I can remember, this activity wasn’t that visible. But today, stand up paddle boarding is being offered all over the island. Rental rate is between Php400 to Php600 an hour.

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Note: The hotel stay is sponsored by The District Boracay, but the opinions in this review are my own.

A big thank you to Ms. Vina Mataganas and Mr. Leo Avila of The District Boracay’s Marketing and PR Department for arranging our stay. Special mention also to Star Lounge and Caruso Ristorante Italiano for taking care of our meals.

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