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.
- 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