I wasn't sure what to expect about Boracay as I’d heard mixed reviews from fellow Singapore expats. One thing I have learned over the years is everyone’s travelling experience is different, therefore you can’t always rely on others to guide you. I believe you just have to experience it for yourself.
My husband had a conference at the Shangri-La so I decided to tag along. I had seen photos that expat's had posted and thought it looked like a great place to see.
The Beaches and Pool Area
The Shangri-La resort looks good and has some great landscape design. They have lots of functions on the main beach side at night. During the day you can relax on the private beach side of the resort under the shade of the umbrellas and trees.
The pool area is really cramped and small so if feels like everyone is on top of each other (and we weren't there in peak time either!).
The Shangri-La Guest Rooms
The rooms are big, it feels relatively private and they are clean. The beds are not comfortable at all, well that's my opinion anyway, and as the food made me so unwell I spent more time in the bed than I wanted to.
Breakfast and Food around the resort
The morning breakfast buffet was an experience I don't care to repeat. It was truly horrible. Firstly there is a huge line to get in and there's staff dressed up in animal stuff to keep all the kids entertained. Once you finally get in it's like you have entered a world with the rudest people who physically push you out of the way. A guy pushed past my husband to grab 7 bread rolls and a pile of croissants. My husband said it was like it was their last meal. The food is very limited if you don't eat meat or wheat (like me) however there's a large variety of food on offer, again low quality food so don't get your hopes up too high. The staff are rushed off their feet and we felt really sorry for them as they had to endure dealing with the rudest guests!
We ate at a few different places in the resort and the food was below average. Our friends who had stayed previously had pre warned us about the poor quality of food. I was unwell from the food every day which isn’t what you want on holiday. By the second night, I wanted plain food - just plain rice and broccoli, and they sprinkled it with garlic stuff which gave me horrid heartburn keeping me up for hours! The following night again I asked for plain PLAIN rice and broccoli and it tasted like they have washed the broccoli in hand soap it was completely inedible! I was so unwell from the first few days of food, I was reduced to drinking a few coconuts trying to keep my electrolytes up.
Getting to and from Boracay
Getting there was a long and tiring venture as it's two planes and a boat ride to get there from Singapore taking almost a day!
When we landed in Caticlan we were taken to the 'The Shangri-La waiting area' so we could get the boat over to the island. The location reminded me being in the poor parts of Thailand as you can see from these photos (not that there is anything wrong with that, just a heads up!). You also need to return through this area so just be prepared, but there is no need to worry the staff will look after you.
Leaving was also an unpleasant experience
Once you are at the airport for departure take note you need to pay a tax before you exit and you can only pay cash! (something the hotel failed to mention!). The airport itself is tiny, hot and cramped as people are all over the place everywhere. They are in the process of building a new airport but in the mean time you are a sardine in a can as you wait for your departing flight, so please be prepared.
My overview of Shangri-La Boracay
I wouldn't return here again not even if it was for free. I really didn't like the resort, I was constantly sick and the guests were rude! That being said the staff are great but there are much better destinations to holiday like The Maldives or The Datai Langkawi. This place is really expensive for what it is, with poor quality food, an average beach and location. Sorry to say but I personally would stay away as I have experienced better, don’t be fooled by my pictures which make it look it great!
So with that in mind if you want to check it out please feel free to do so, your experience might be better than ours?
Until next time I travel, I see, I share... This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!