Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Discover Boracay Hotel -- a Gateway to Aklan Province, Philippines

It happens during travel -- you get in late at night from a flight or you have a very early scheduled flight in the morning. Either way, arriving or leaving the airport at irregular hours can cause inconvenience. One, there might not be any available shuttle to wherever you plan to go or you might not make your flight if you'll be coming from somewhere very far from the airport.

When my family and I had our recent vacation in Boracay, I had to book an early morning flight out of Kalibo airport to save on plane fares. The dilemma though was getting to the airport on time to make the 8AM flight. I weighed the options -- it's either we leave Boracay at 4AM, which may entail unforeseen delays like unavailability of ferries/boats from the island and a land vehicle going to the airport at such an early hour OR leave Boracay the day before the flight and stay overnight at a hotel in Kalibo.

I chose the second option. It's better to be safe than sorry. So I started my quest for a Kalibo hotel via I really love this website because it's so easy to look for accommodations with specific features I am looking for. This time, I searched for hotels with family rooms.

My top choice was Discover Boracay Hotel because, from agoda's built-in map, I saw that this hotel is the closest to the Kalibo airport. However, their family rooms were already booked for May 11 so we booked one double deluxe for me, hubby, and our special child; and one triple deluxe room for our other three boys.

reception area of the hotel with the restaurant right across the entrance 

We left Boracay around 2PM, got on a ferry via Southwest Tours and rode their bus to Kalibo. We arrived at the airport past 4PM. All I knew was that Discover Boracay Hotel is walking distance from the airport. To my surprise, it is directly across the departure area! Now that is what you call NEAR!

I checked us all in and we were welcomed by the friendly staff in the reception area. They gave us refreshing welcome drinks while we wait for our room keys. Soon, we were led past the lounge and restaurant area towards another building at the back where the rooms are.

Triple Deluxe - the boys' room
This hotel is lovely! Its receiving area has really nice furniture and decorations and our rooms are bigger than we expected! The boys happily settled in theirs which has one small and one big bed. 

The double deluxe room, on the other hand, has a spacious area with a cute table and chair. The soft and comfy bed is big enough for me, hubby, and James. Each room has its own spic and span bathroom, a mini ref, cable TV, and air conditioning unit. 

Double Deluxe - our room
We rested for a couple of hours before we ate dinner in the building next door. That setup of having a restaurant a few steps away is so convenient! What's more, the dishes they serve are delicious! We had a Korean meal composed of tasty appetizers like kimchi, potato pancakes, squid rings, and steamed garlic (hubby loved these the most!). We also had Padang Korean chicken and tasty Seafood Chowder.

appetizers, seafood chowder, and hungry boys :)
If you are a salad buff like me, make sure you order the beautifully prepared Discover Salad that has thick slices of cheese and two kinds of dressings. I, of course, chose the light vinaigrette, which for me is yummy and healthy!

Other dishes that will tickle your palate are the Chicken Curry, Beef Stroganoff, Chili Crab, and the Jeuk Doepbab (pork with carrots and bell pepper). 

Discover Salad, Chili Crab, and Chicken Curry
We also had Chocolate Crepe with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Such a great way to end a sumptuous meal! 

Although most of the main dishes are quite spicy, the burst of various flavors and textures as well as the creative platings will really make you appreciate the effort put into making each dish.

Jeuk Doepbap, Beef Stroganoff, Chocolate Crepe
plus a photo op with Chef Rolina
This was why hubby told the waiter to pay our compliments to the chef who, unexpectedly, happened to have just come out of the kitchen! So we got to meet Chef Rolina Ojerio, the lady behind Discover Boracay Hotel's savory offerings. She was so nice to spend a few minutes with us. 

I should mention that the restaurant is open 24 hours so anyone who arrives late at night could simply walk in, eat, and wait for their ride even if they're not checking in any of the rooms. Aside from the massage area with therapists, there are also several token-operated massage chairs in one corner. There's likewise a shopping area near the main entrance.

Back in our room, I took a hot shower, checked my emails (they have free and fast WiFi!) and watched TV for a bit before having a long, restful sleep. Sunrise came too soon. By 5:30AM I was already knocking on the kids' door to tell them to prepare all their stuff.

The rooms come with free breakfast so we ate a hearty one around 6AM. I was so thankful that we didn't have to rush too much or panic about time. After eating, we even got to spend time in the reception area to take some family photos before literally strolling (take note: not running, not hurrying) across the street to the airport's departure entrance. 

I'd estimate it takes more or less one minute to walk to Kalibo airport from Discover Boracay Hotel. That is how close the two buildings are! So, if you're like me, who don't want the hassle of missing a flight, choose to stay at this hotel. It is convenient, comfortable, and affordable. Just make sure you book through to get the best discounted rates! :)

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* You can check out individual photos from the collages here and here

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