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“Nice.... but overrated and overpriced”

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Discovery Shores Boracay
Ranked #5 of 146 Hotels in Boracay
Certificate of Excellence
China
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice.... but overrated and overpriced”
Reviewed 18 October 2013

We’ve just returned from a 5 nights stay at this resort. It was our 4th visit to Boracay in as many years and thought we'd splurge more than usual for our 'babymoon'.

Overall, the experience was inconsistent. Things were often over-the-top, or lacking and for a supposed 5* resort (with high price tag to boot), it's just not good enough.

Booking/payment before arrival - we have NEVER had to prepay hotel accommodation before. Didn't like that. The requests for copies of ID etc was also too much. Their website online payment seemed to only work with Internet Explorer browser, after trying several times before getting it to work.

Rooms - modern, clean, spacious. Private balcony overlooking pool was nice. Coffee machine supplied but quality of coffee was not good. Shower area should have a non-slip mat (husband fell over on soapy tiles and now has large bruise). Free desserts and cookies on arrival, and evening turn down sweets were appreciated.

Beach area - we liked the double sized lounges. There were plenty for guests to enjoy. Beach attendants periodically offered free canapes, jugs of iced water and sunglasses cleaning. It was nice how the security guards brought sand toys out for the young kids to enjoy. They also made it feel safe to leave belongings on lounges while paddling in the ocean. On less windy days, we were able to put up umbrellas to protect us from the sun. Some relaxing background music played throughout the day and its a great spot to watch the sunset. Jigs (beach attendant) was very good at his job.

Amenities - kids club, pool table, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and gym available. I did not use the spa services as no prenatal massage was advertised.

Drinks/bar - 4pm - 7pm happy hour was good as local bottle beers, mojitos and some others were 2 for 1. Pregnant ladies/non drinkers are recommended to try the (generously sized) mango (or other) fruit shakes made with fresh fruit, which are similar to a daquiri, but with no booze :) Some barmen kept the bottle beers fridge too cold and several beers froze over (thus undrinkable) when lime was added.

Service - people were friendly, but the millions of "hello sir/maam" and "my pleasure sir/maam" (with hand always held over their heart! ) each day was too much and made us feel awkward.

Food - The head chef really needs to scale down the al-a-carte menu! They're trying hard to cater for all nationalities palates and the list is extensive. However, as we found quite often, many items listed on the menu were in fact "not available". In one sitting, my husband and I had to re-order 3x as what we'd requested was again, "not available." Quality is better than quantity and the kitchen should always have ingredients on hand if it's listed on the menu!!

Breakfast buffet was included but a mixed bag. Pancakes, noodle soup and fresh cooked egg stations were good. Dairy products (cheese, milk, yoghurt) were placed on a glass shelf above (not in) ice, so were not as cold as they should be. Fruit and cold cut meats the same.

Transfers - before arrival, we were told our flight was arriving at Kalibo, not Caticlan and we'd have to pay extra. This was untrue and the staff had not read our forwarded itinerary correctly.Not a good first impression! Thankfully, this was amended before our arrival. A car picked us up from airport but we had to wait 20 mins+ for the resort boat to collect us from pier. There was an awkward (formal and unnecessary) announcement by a boat attendant before we were given cold towels, cookies and water. The departure transfer was a different experience. It was speedy but no water or other freebies were offered despite it being hot in the boat and airport. We also felt it unnecessary, awkward and over-the-top to have someone do the airport check-in for us and to have them walk us through security just so we found the Discovery Shores guest "lounge" OK. We're capable of doing this ourselves, thanks! The airport "lounge" is just a separate room to wait in, with a tv and sofas. That's it. No water, coffee, newspapers or other nice treats to end the discovery shores experience.

It was a nice few days in the sun, but don't think we'll return to Discovery Shores because of its inconsistency, and high price tag, for what we'd rate as a 3.5* resort.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank kam2350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Chicago, IL
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Ohmygosh! This is what heaven must be like! DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY IS THE PLATINUM EXPERIENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Very friendly employees who speak English well. Very educated. (I chatted with a lot of the staff here and they are top notch graduates of Hotel & Restaurant Management programs of universities and colleges in the Philippines!)

Where do I begin?
1) Complimentary foot massage as soon as you arrive in your hotel room. HEAVEN! (Please tip well. Our massage therapist was a college educated woman who was sending money to her family in the province.)

2) Filipino mangoes in your room at all times! Fat kid in me was doing the happy dance! You haven't tasted real mangoes until you've eaten Filipino mangoes. The American "Mexican" mango is nothing compared to these!

3) You are greeted with a smile and a hello/good morning by EVERY EMPLOYEE you meet! (Please be polite and give a nod or a smile also. I saw a lot of Korean, Chinese, and Filipino guests who treated employees here with disrespect. They are very nice people! No need for your elitist and [--] attitudes.)

4) Complementary snacks at 10AM (I was poolside and was treated to a delish plantain with brown sugar) and at 4PM (Filipino sweets like bibingka, rice cakes, etc.).

5) Breakfast buffet consisted of Filipino and American food. DELICIOUS! Service was top notch! (Again, please tip well. The service here was superb!)

6) Super duper duper duper clean hotel rooms! I just could not stop gushing about how clean they kept the place.

7) Lounging chairs by the beach and they even offer cleaning of sunglasses while you are lounging on the beach chairs!

We got to know a lot of the staff and their stories (college educated, sent money to family in the provinces, would want to work in an international hotel someday, etc.). It felt like they were family by the end of our trip.

Highly recommended! Clean place, safe, friendly staff, customer services was top notch. Other Filipino businesses should get a lesson from the people here about customer service.

HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HAZELoftheNORTH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Reception : attitude of the staff at the reception was bad, particularly Donna and Aurora who don't even look at you when you talk to them to request for service. The only one who has a decent attitude is Anton. Found out later from Spa staff that there was no Hotel Manager managing the hotel on the spot. A new Hotel Manager called Ms Seng is expected to arrive sometime later - but this is no excuse for poor service and bad attitude.

Spa : the place was operated badly.
(1) don't know what they put into the bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Shower gel and shampoo don't lather. Also noticed they diluted the content with water - what for?? So ultimately ask for those cheap and rough amenities from the hotel room as an alternative.
(2) no cream or lotion available for application after shower.
(3) The receptionist Dominique didn't provide any service except on request. So I had to ask for bathrobe, large and small towels, slippers etc. Shouldn't a professionally run Spa have all of these ready for the Guests without asking? No wonder no one is frequenting the place. While Dominique's attitude was fine, but she gave the impression she was just out of college and knows nothing about Spa Service standard.
(4) the rain forest shower head was broken and water splashed out 360 degree. So if you don't want to wet your hair, you get wet anyway.
Complained to the Spa manager Mavis Muni, and she told me that she is in the midst of changing supplier?? Why doesn't she at least go and get some decent shampoo & conditioner, and body wash from the supermarket? Afterall, I paid an arm and leg (4x the normal rate outside the hotel) for the massage I ordered. So asked for a discount for the sub-level service, and was granted.
(5) It's also very strange that no massager staff come to work even when the Spa is supposed to be open by 11 pm. When I arrived, Dominique tried to re-schedule for 2 pm as she told me that's when the massagers come to work. I refused and then she got me one in 30 min. I have never seen any massager coming to work NOT in accordance with Spa opening time. It's like the restaurant is opened but he Chef will not be back until after lunch. So what's the point of opening for business when key staff aren't back?
Fortunately, the massager Annie was really good with the firm grip and flowing movements to ease any muscle pain.

Went back for another massage the next day due to bad weather, but this time Annie was not available (gone to team building was the excuse). I told Dominique to get me a massager with same experience and technique as Annie and I will do a 1 hour first. If I liked the massager, then I will extend to another hour. After waiting for 30 min, she got me one who didn't seem to know any massage techniques except for rubbing oil. Stopped her after 5 min and requested a change. Waited for another 30 min. During the waiting I often went to the reception to look for service (there is no phone to call reception) and no one was there despite there was no other guest except me.

The second one was noted to be very inexperienced and learned that she was only 20 years old. I asked for the Spa Manager again but I was told she also went to "team building" - which I believe is just an excuse for no show. Anyway I tried to teach this 2nd massager a bit on how to massage the muscles the way I wanted and she tried to accommodate. So despite she is not ideal, I let her do one hour instead of walking out immediately. However, she doesn't keep time and there is no clock in the room. After a while, I asked her to stop as I felt the time was a bit long for an hour and she told me it was OK.

However, when I checked out, Dominique was no where to be seen and a girl Dona over charged me for 2 hours and using normal rate despite it's still the same lousy amenities they provided yesterday. Apparantly, Dominique did not communicate with her that I was just ordering 1 hour first and I had to give authorization for the massager to continue to for another hour. I requested Dona to get the Spa Manager on the phone or the Hotel Manager or anyone with authority running the hotel - ie someone with authority and can reason out so that I could make my complaint. Dona then finally found someone to get authorization for adjustment for the poor service. However, Dona's attitude was the worse I have seen working in any hotel besides her stupidity.

I guess the unpleasant experience was due to NO Manager running the hotel which resulted in the staff doing a half-hearted job, providing bad service and come to work at any time they like. So that explains why there were no Guest except me in the Spa for the 2 days I was there. If Annie the Massager wasn't good, I wouldn't even have gone back the next day. But apparantly with no business, this hotel will send the best staff on training rather than to have them serve guests.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank SleepingBeauty8000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Discovery_Leisure_Co, Manager at Discovery Shores Boracay, responded to this review, 21 October 2013
Dear SleepingBeauty8000,

On behalf of the management of Discovery Shores Boracay and Terra Wellness Spa, I would like to extend my sincere apologies for all the inconveniences that you mentioned in this post. You are very right to call our attention to it. I We have conducted an investigation regarding the concerns you raised about our Front Desk and Spa associates and will re-train the team about our service standards.

As for the issues you have raised concerning the spa. I am now working closely with Terra Wellness management to ensure that these are rectified immediately including working on getting new shampoo, conditioner, bath wash amenities as well as the availability of bath robes and slippers.

Once again, we are very sorry for not being able to fulfil our promise of a pleasurable experience. Please know that this is more of an exception, rather than the rule for Discovery Shores Boracay. It is my wish that this will not permanently mar your impression of our team and our service at Discovery Shores Boracay which is known for maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction.


Yours sincerely,


Seng Teodoro
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 11 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed at discovery for 1 week in October 2013 with our 2 children. I have never seen service like this before, the staff are great! From the moment we arrived we were greeted with foot massages, and 2 complementary cocktails. They also have child minding services available too. The complementry bus to town and surrounding areas was very handy. Nothing was too much trouble, the staff knew what you wanted/needed and were quick to provide. Would difinitely stay again. Thank you discovery shores for our memorable experience. See you at some point in the future!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2013

We booked a 2 bedroom suite for 4D 3N for 5 of us. Staff was helpful and courteous. We were given a room on the 1st floor and requested for a higher level for a better view of the ocean. They moved us to 2nd level but after sometime, we found the air conditioning in one of the rooms not working and asked for them to service it. We were later informed that they required few hours to repair the air con and suggested that we moved back to level 1 which we eventually did. The staff are really helpful with moving our stuff up and down and re-arranging the extra bed without showing any unhappiness for the trouble given to them. Service is good overall, complimentary desserts and bottled waters in room everyday. Rooms are clean and spacious.Had dinner at Indigo Restaurant and certain dishes are only average, would recommend to explore restaurants at D'Mall which is good and cheap. Hotel Breakfast is good with selections of breads, hot dishes and juices.
Hotel provide free shuttle till 11 pm which is really convenient. Only setback is the electricity which was cutoff for 10 mins or so around 5.30-6 am in the morning for 2 days and was rather disruptive! Try to book sea activities from outside vendors which charge cheaper than the resort. Overall, will still recommend to stay here for great service, location and nice beaches just right in front.

Room Tip: Request for 2nd level with unblock Ocean view for 2 bedroom suites. Try not to have a room near comm...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Superwalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2013

A stay in discovery shores is always lovely. the service is impeccable. i have heard some stories about bad service in this resort but luckily, i have not experienced them. The food is not amazing, but was ok for the times when we did not feel like venturing out to station 2 for some food. We had the beautiful boracay beach in front of us, the rooms were clean and big, there was transport provided to wherever we wanted, it was very nice. Even the weather cooperated with us. It would rain at night but that is typically what happens during habagat or rainy season anyway. The weather was perfect- the sun was out but the wind also showed up so it wasn't exhaustingly hot when we were lounging around by the pool or the beach.

i saw a lot of new hotels, and i am sure there are many that may equal the rooms/pools and other facilities of discovery but the service, the most important, may be hard to copy. Except maybe for shangri-la.

Room Tip: rooms on the ground floor or near the beach and/or pool.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ant0inetteL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Stayed here for 5 days. Everyone was courteous. What amazing service. Felt like royalty. Had a welcome banner hanging in our junior suite. Complimentary foot wash and massage when we arrived. Had snacks to welcome us in our room. Food was awesome. Turon, a local snack was not on the menu and our server had someone go to the market to get ingredients. I was so impressed he went out of his way to have this available.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kat3foood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Discovery Shores Boracay

Property: Discovery Shores Boracay
Address: Station 1 Balabag, Aklan Province 5608, Philippines
Phone Number:
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Panay Island > Aklan Province > Boracay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Boracay
#4 Spa Hotel in Boracay
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Boracay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Discovery Shores Boracay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discovery Shores Boracay, a sprawling beachfront property located on the unspoilt shores of Boracay Island in the Philippines, is the first luxury resort built in this majestic region. Apart from its spacious 87 all suite guestrooms and the highly-acclaimed Terra Wellness Spa overlooking the beach, Discovery Shores' facilities include the Sands Restaurant, Indigo Restaurant, Platitos, Sandbar beach bar, Sandbox kiddie lounge, a swimming pool, recreation room, an events hall and a gym. Discovery Shores is one of five properties of The Discovery Leisure Company's portfolio of distinctive hotels and resorts, and is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lifestyle Collection. The resort embodies the hallmark of the Discovery brand: personalized and innovative service dispensed round-the-clock. Guests are guaranteed an unsurpassed level of quality, service and luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Discovery Shores Boracay Hotel Boracay
Discovery Shores Hotel Boracay
Boracay Discovery Shores Hotel

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