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“A Wonderful Get-away”

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Discovery Shores Boracay
Ranked #5 of 146 Hotels in Boracay
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Get-away”
Reviewed 30 December 2008

For two years in a row, my partner and I stayed here for 5 days for a much-needed vacation. For its secluded privacy, modern facilities, and service with a smile, Discovery Shores is quite hard to beat.

Being picked up from the Caticlan airport in an air-conditioned van and transported to Boracay in a fast motorboat made it quick to get to and enjoy the resort. They also provided a shuttle anytime we wanted to try out different restaurants and visit other parts of the island. The convenience of having wifi access and international newspapers allowed us to be away yet still connected to what's going on around the world. Also available are a fairly decent selection of dvds when we wanted to watch movies on the flat screen and an iPod dock for our music.

Certainly not to be missed were the resort's delicious breakfast buffets, happy hour drinks, volleyball games on the beach, sunset walks, the ambient sound of waves, and quiet solitude in the evenings. Since construction was (finally?) over, it was great to see more and more plants and trees slowly maturing so that ecology/nature could soften the concrete structure. Its modern aesthetics could be mixed with green life and other natural colors for a more pleasing and environmentally-conscious effect.

It is, ultimately, the staff and the small thoughtful things they've done that make this resort stand out from other properties in the island. Last year, when my partner became ill, the staff regularly asked of his condition and offered local remedies and for a physician to take a look at him. This year, as we've become friends with one of the staff members, we asked him to set up a seafood dinner at a local market/eatery. For a few hundred pesos, we had one of the best meals in our life!

Through the front desk, we were able to book reservations at other restaurants, set up tours and activities, and confirm our next itinerary to a different part of the country. The cleaning/room service and the beach/pool staff are probably the hardest working crews that we've seen, and their smiles don't fade. They were quite meticulous and beyond attendant to our needs (juice, water, snacks, towels, cleaning our sunglasses, etc.).

We are concerned, however, about a few things which - left unattended - could sully Discovery Shores' reputation.

(1) Better Communication and Professionalism: Since we were traveling from the United States and Canada, we used email to inquire about and reserve our accommodations. The slow and inadequate response to our email correspondence left a lot to be desired. We asked very specific questions, but received general or no answers to them. In addition, since we were paying by cash, we specifically told the staff to not charge our credit card when we arrived. When we checked out, we found out that our card had been charged. One of the front desk managers assured us that we would be credited back. Thank goodness, we asked for an official letter confirming their error. When we came back home and followed up with our credit card company, the amount was not credited. We had to send their letter as proof, and eventually received a credit - about two months later. Two lessons learned here: repeat and remind staff of specific requests; and document transactions and errors, just in case.

(2) Signs of Age and Cost-Saving Already?: We noticed that the colors on the pool/beach towels were dramatically fading (certainly from sun bleaching and repeated washing). The robes, bath towels, and bedsheets were becoming flimsy. There were chips and cracks on the floor of our bedroom suite. Our in-room evening snacks/meriendas were not as varied and exquisite as last year's. We missed the mint water/drink that was also readily available in the past. While such conditions may be expected at older and average-priced properties, they were quite unacceptable for a one-year old, luxury resort like Discovery Shores.

(3) Indoor Activities for Rainy Days and a Fire Drill?: Last year we were blessed with terrific weather, even though we came during the Habagat/stormy season (which is the only time we can get away for an extended vacation during our North American summer months). However, we weren't as fortunate this year. We had rain and high tides during our first 2.5 days. It would have been great for the resort to come up with various indoor activities/events to entertain guests during this period since we couldn't really enjoy the beach or go to other places. Plus, as luck would have it, we had a fire drill during our 4th day of stay. It would have been helpful for guests to have this information posted in the Discovery Shores website so that we know when to avoid such interruption and also for guests to be informed a few days ahead of time. We were staying for 5 days, so advanced notice was possible.

In sum, Discovery Shores is a wonderful place for a relaxing retreat. While they certainly need to fine-tune their communication and professionalism and to vigilantly maintain a high standard for their facilities and services, overall they have a dedicated staff who go out of their way to ensure a terrific stay.

  • Liked — privacy, terrific staff/service, modern/new facility
  • Disliked — better communication and professionalism
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Roland Sintos C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2008

It's rare to come across anything in life where you can't think of a single criticism. Discovery Shores is one of those.

Everything about the hotel -- the location, the decor, the food, the rooms and -- especially -- the service are spectacular. In fact, just about as close to perfect as its possible to get.

We stayed for a few nights down the beach at Two Seasons, which cost a similar amount, and there was just no comparison. Discovery Shores has everything down to a fine art, and is often so overwhelmingly good it feels like a dream. Pinch yourself, because it's real and it's there and it has to be experienced to be believed.

It's definitely not the cheapest place in Boracay, by a long way. The restaurant in particular is expensive by local standards, but you have the whole string of restaurants down the beach within 5 minutes walk. It's fair to say staying at this hotel is a bit of a splurge, but it's REALLY worth it.

You should be aware that it is a fairly large hotel, so the pool can get crowded with kids when the hotel is busy, and things like the beachfront lounger chairs can all be occupied. Best to try and find this hotel (and in fact Boracay in general) at a quieter time of the year as it can be manic by all accounts in high season.

  • Liked — Everything -- wonderful
  • Disliked — Noisy next door building site
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Jarred_Cinman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2008

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Discovery Shores. We loved almost everything about it! My boyfriend and I spent a week here for a romantic getaway and had an amazing time. Boracay itself is beautiful, and we were fortunate enough to visit during a time of year when it wasn't overrun with tourists.

Even from the airport, we received excellent customer service the entire time. Our room was simple but elegant, with modern bathrooms and well-designed cabinets. Everything was decorated very simply but elegant. The staff would leave little Filipino pastries and cookies with the turndown services - nice touch! Noise was a problem the first night - there was a family next door and we heard lots of crying, running up and down the stairs, and slamming of doors. Fortunately that was only the first night and they left the following day.

The hotel location is prime. The grounds are very quiet and serene. The setup of the waterfall is amazing and picturesque. I cannot emphasize enough how white and soft the sand is at Station 1. The beach is so beautiful, and it's only a 15-20 minute walk or 5-minute tricycle ride down to D'Mall. The restaurant food was quite good, but I must say the restaurant service was spotty. They could be very slow at times, and once they seated us and forgot to take our order. We were waiting there a good 15 minutes and then finally reminded the waiter that we still needed to place our order. Nonetheless, this didn't spoil our stay. Everyone was very pleasant and I think some of the misunderstandings during our trip were due to the language barrier. The bartenders were very pleasant and friendly. Get the coconut shake if you don't feel like walking down to Jonah's. Finally, please treat yourself to the massage services there. Their spa is rated one of the best.

I absolutely loved this hotel and would definitely stay here again. It will leave you with a wonderful Boracay experience.

  • Liked — The location, privacy, setup of the hotel, waterfall, security, everything!
  • Disliked — Restaurant staff was a bit slo- moving
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Wayfarer35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taiwan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2008

We just stayed from Nov 5 to Nov 9th at Discovery Shores Boracay and I have to really commend the staff for a great visit. They were on the whole very attentive to our requests and very friendly. The weather was not so great during our trip, but the pleasant stay and Mandala Spa made it nonetheless a memorable first trip for us to the Philippines.

We stayed in a junior suite with a great view of the room, and the room was very spacious with all the amenities you would expect from a 5 star hotel. I've been to the Carribean, Thailand, and Bali - I have to say that Boracay is by far the best beach as well as the best tropical surroundings I've experienced out of the three. Water sports are available in abundance at fair prices (you should bargain for sure) and I highly recommend the sailing boats trip during your stay. Kiteboarding looks like a lot of fun if you can learn it during your stay!


Pros:

-Very friendly service staff always smiling and greeting when they see you
-Helpful service to help direct you for any activities you need to plan while you're there
-Management remembers your name every time they see you :)
-Great spa inside the resort - Mandala Spa Branch inside
-In my opinion very affordable pricing for all the food and services for a 5 star establishment
-Secluded Beach Area away from the shops and crowd for those looking for seclusion (its the best section of the beach in my opinion)


Cons: (Not particularly the resort's fault)

-Power outages were happening 2-3 times / day but Discovery Shores has backup power to come back on right away
-Main entrance is not well designed and takes a short trek to get to the front check in desk - Same goes for when you have to leave the resort
-Food at the restaurants can only be described as mediocre at best except for perhaps the steaks - but the pricing is fair for what you get
-Lack of a fitness room - but this seems to be the common theme for most of the 5 star hotels
-Very strict check out time of 12pm - I found this to be an island wide ordeal as well, and can't really understand why 1pm is a big problem considering they usually don't allow for check in till 2pm usually

Couple of notes for the first time travellers to Boracay -

Firstly, Discovery Shores does a fantastic pick up job to bring you to their hotel - its much easier than doing it yourself or through a travel agent, so that is a big help to sort through the inconvenient traveling transfers needed (make sure your plane arrives and departs from Caticlan as your only option by the way). Secondly, be prepared for very very unimpressive food offerings even at other 5 star hotels or restaurants - I believe this is an island wide issue, so it will take time to fix - the food at Discovery Shores in comparison to others is not terrible but definitely needs improvement. Thirdly, we booked through a 3rd party travel agency, and we had to change the reservation several time due to communication mix ups between them and the resort, and the most bothersome ordeal is that for reservation in Boracay, you need to give the hotel/travel agent a lot of information via fax or scan including credit card details to charge for the whole trip before you arrive - that may bother a lot of ppl including myself to give so much info to ppl you've never seen, but I will say we didn't have any problems once we arrived - if you want to be safe, book directly with the hotel instead.

Also, the whole island goes through "power outages" a couples times during the day, but at discovery shores, they have a backup so that it kicks back in right away within 2 secs. so its not an issue. Furthermore, for choices most of the restaurants, shops and "commercial" areas are in station 2 and parts of station 3, while station 1 is more of a secluded area - having said that, its only about a 15 min walk on the beach so its really a non issue

  • Liked — the location, the resort, and the staff
  • Disliked — the food and the far check in counter from the main entrance
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Mitsuisd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taipei, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2008

We just returned from the Boracay. The services in the Discovery were absolutely exceptional. Starting with the pick-up.. One step out of the Kalibor Airport, we saw the hotel staff waiting there with a "Discovery Shores" sign, then handed over cool towlers and two bracelets. The staff also took us to the local fx counter because we needed more peso. We also enjoyed cool drinks and cool towlers (again) at the front door. Then, we had our welcome foot massages. Other than that, they also provide deserts to us every night. They are just so detail-orientated with everything that made us feel absolutely great. This is definitely a place to stay in this island, not to mention the beach in front of the hotel is the finest in this island.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Neh
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank yiib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2008

Situated on "White Beach" this is by far the best looking and maintained hotel when compared to some of its rather dinget neighbours. The staff are "fantastic" and it is genuinely a "home away from home". No request was a hassle and everyone went out their way to ensure that you had everything that you needed. Friendly and helpful from housekeeping to the waiters. Rooms are nicely appointed with everything you could ask for and I am pleased that they had decent LCD and DVD players as the weather was awful being the typhoon season. As for some of things I would have liked - well a fitness centre would have been great! I know that not everyone goes on holiday to do some exercise but its just a personal preference and it would have helped when the weather wasnt sunny. Gripes - dont charge 42 pesos to the dollar at the front desk when the rate is 45 at the shops. Youd dont have to make money out of FX conversions - its a service! Just one of those little things that are a bit of an irritant. Otherwise this is true 5 star service and a fantastic hotel.

  • Liked — Spacious
  • Disliked — Stairs
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank KarlBahrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oahu, Hawaii
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2008

Hello everyone, I just want to share my experience at the Discovery Shores Boracay.

I was there on November 2007 for 5 days, 4 nights. It was my first time on the island and I wanted to treat myself to a nice getaway from my typical trip to the Philippines.

I chose the Discovery Shores after looking at their website. I know I could have stayed somewhere nice for a fraction of the price I paid for their one-bedroom suite, but I wanted to spoil myself, and I must say, I wasn't disappointed.

Once I arrived at Caticalan (the City and port area where you take the ferries to Boracay Island) myself and other guests of the DS were met by their representative. From there we were ferried to the island on their own boat instead of taking one of the local boats. The trip takes about 20-25 minutes or so? I can't remember, but I remember it being a smooth and pleasant ride.

From there you are driven to the hotel again by hotel transportation where the staff greet you and eventually take you to your room.

It's a fairly new luxury hotel, so of course the ground and rooms were very clean and everything was still new.

The room itself is absolutely beautiful. A simple room consisting of a living room area complete with couch, flat screen tv, dvd player, ipod player, table for eating, closet, mini-bar, sink, etc. It was simple, but very well kept and spotless. I found the couch very comfortable and relaxing, and the bathroom was fairly big with a nice set up. Probably the nicest hotel bathroom I've been in, haha.

The bedroom area also had a flat screen tv with dvd player and ipod player as well as a desk do do any paperwork on, and another closet with an in-room safe. Wi-fi was also provided with the room, so you could browse the net when you needed to.

There was plenty of lighting and you could also dim down the place for a more romantic setting in the room. the window shades also open up to give you a full view of whatever's outside of your room, which in my case was the other side of the hotel looking upon the other rooms and the pool/restaurant area. No beach view, but that's ok, because the hotel is right on the beach anyways.

The staff was the best I have ever dealt with. They were very willing to help and make sure my stay was a good one. I was constantly greeted with hello's and good mornings/afternoons/evenings, smiles, etc.

The girl who showed me to my room was extremely helpful in getting my vacation started in Boracay. She was a bit younger than me and we shared the same likes of the nightlife and she shared with me some of her favorite spots on the island, which was a HUGE help...otherwise I would have been lost and clueless as to where to go. She was even kind enough to have dinner with me on my last night there, which I will never forget =)

And I must say the hotel hires some of the most beautiful workers ever, haha, no joke. I'm a guy in his upper 20's so I appreciate that kind of stuff too y'know.

If you don't want to leave the hotel they have a small pool table for you to play on, a tiny library with a handful of books/magazines to take back to your room or a computer station. They also have DVDs available at the check-in counter for you to sign out on and take to your room.

Anyways, the hotel opens up to one of the nicest beaches out there. It's one of the far left hotels along White Sands Beach if you're looking towards the shore from the ocean. They have a sand bar there and a few beach chairs to relax on and enjoy the beach.

The restaurant is on the side of the hotel by the beach and I was impressed by it. They even made a hamburger seem like a fancy feast. One night they had a set up where you can pick out ingredients to a rice dish or salad and they'd prepare it there in front of you, and it turned out to be very delicious!

I'm not one to normally eat at hotel restaurants, but this one I couldn't resist. I believed I paid around P800-P900 for each of my meals.

There's no gym in the hotel, but you can get your exercise by walking up and down the extremely long stretch of white sand to visit the other resorts or bars and clubs. There are also a lot of people playing beach games if you want to ask and join in, which I found they don't mind at all.

After my stay, they arranged another boat ride out of the island which was convenient. All you have to do is tell them ahead of time when you're leaving and they'll set something up for you.

Anyways, overall if you have the money to spend at the Discovery Shores, by all means, book this hotel, it'll be worth it, but if not, there are tons of other great alternatives along White Sands.

  • Liked — Eveything...epecially the beautiful staff! haha! Also checking in because they did it for me while I was already in my room!
  • Disliked — I had to leave because I ran out of money =(
  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank dvrueda
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 Spa Hotel in Boracay
#4 Luxury 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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