Ever since I discovered Boracay, I’ve been coming back to it quite excessively. There’s something—actually, a lot of things—about the island that constantly calls me: the vibrant food scene; the stunning beaches; the parties; and the fact that I can go from crowded to isolated in a matter of minutes. It has something for everyone—you just have to know where to look.
photo credit: @iameleimath
Three weeks ago, I flew back to my favorite island in the Philippines along with a number of blogger friends for Best of the Coast PH—an especially-curated tour of the island’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, and scenic spots. Together with Pinas Muna, Manila Eat Up, and our guest videographer Elei Tatad (@iameleimath on Instagram), I rediscovered Boracay and I got reminded just exactly why I love this place so much! For two days, we explored the finest of Boracay in terms of hospitality, leisure, and of course, cuisine.
photo credit: @iameleimath
We flew directly to Caticlan via Cebu Pacific, our official airline partner for Best of the CoastPH – Boracay. The flight went pretty smoothly—in fact, I was hoping to catch some sleep because I went to the airport straight out of work but before I even dozed off, we were already landing in Aklan! It was a good thing I didn’t have to rush to NAIA because I had checked myself in via the Cebu Pacific mobile app. I’m sure you are all planning your summer trips too so I highly suggest that you download the app (it’s easier to use than the mobile web version).
Upon landing in Caticlan, we were welcomed by COAST Boracay staff—and a private coaster which would take us to the port. We were taken to the Fairways and Bluewater port, where COAST’s private speedboat awaited. It took us around 5 minutes only to get to the island, and after a short drive, we arrived at COAST, our home for 2 days.
Where else to say for Best of the Coast but in the best hotel in Boracay as of writing; COAST is ranked number 1 in Trip Advisor, and having experienced the resort myself, it was sooooo easy to understand why! From the well-thought-out decors that scream perfection (and “Instagram me!”) to a signature branding that says “we-are-cool-but-not-too-cool-to-be-annoying”, everything about this 71-room boutique resort points to a perfect vacation. The whole vibe is Miami-inspired, but there are so many Filipino elements from artwork to furniture. Striking pieces pop out of the dominantly white walls. I’m willing to bargain anything for the interior designer to overhaul my room!
We stayed at a Premier Room, which has a brown, white, and turquoise color scheme. A welcome message was displayed on the TV when we arrived, and on the bed, complimentary hand spray, cologne, and eco bag—plus a bottle of wine, fruits, and cheese! I love the fact that all rooms are lined up along the pool, so you always get that relaxing view. The cocktails are so good, and the breakfast—unique and a must-try even if you’re not checked in here!
Service was amazing. We were spoiled from the moment we landed on the airport to the time we checked out. Everyone was just so friendly, warm, quick, polite, and attentive—the only problem I had with the staff was that they made it extra hard to say goodbye to COAST. As you know, the resort is a Raintree concept, and indeed, if you have been eating at their restaurants in Manila, you would immediately recognize the same brand of service. Truly tatak-Raintree.
Our food crawl was off to an awesome start, thanks to the lovely ambience and exquisite food of Los Indios Bravos. Hidden away from the crazy White Beach crowd, this restaurant is situated in Bulabog—a short walk off the main highway. They serve local craft beers and international food in a relaxed and casual setting: sit in one of the leather booths or wooden benches, or opt for the high stools at the bar and ask the server’s help in choosing which beer is perfect for you.
I would say that everything on tap is worth trying; if you love light or sweet beers, go for the wheat beers or pale pales, but if you like it bitter then ask for their IPAs. Los Indios carries a lot of familiar local brands like Joe’s Brew, Crazy Carabao (one of my favorites), Craftpoint, Pivo Praha, and Nipa Brew. As for pulutan, go for the delicious Vegetable Samosa, Bitterballen (Dutch-style croquettes), Oysters Rockefeller, Sausage and Mash, or the Fresh Seafood Platter (Fruits de Mer) filled with the most luscious fresh oysters, poached mussels, poached prawns, smoked salmon, seared tuna, and ceviche in shooters (this one is soooo fucking good). If you’re truly hungry, then share a 20 oz. Cowboy Steak, but if you want to enjoy a single dish on your own, try the Veal Cheeks or the Lamb Shank Risotto—both are superb! Finish off with an Apple Pie a la Mode.
With full tummies, we trooped to another part of the island, about 15 minutes from Bulabog. It’s worth the trip because this place has one of the best sunset views in Boracay. That’s right—we went to Solana at Shangri-La Boracay, and spent the afternoon lounging lazily in one of their elevated beachside cabanas. Not only did we get a beautiful view of the resort’s beachfront in one side, we also had an amazing sunset vantage point, complete with rocks and foliage to add more drama to our sunset photos. If you’re looking for an intimate, romantic, and cozy spot to welcome the night alongside rounds of well-made cocktails, Solana is the place to be.
For dinner, we headed back to the hotel and sampled a variety of specialties from Cha Cha’s, COAST Boracay’s all-day dining restaurant. It’s hard not to fall in love with Cha Cha’s! The interiors are cheery, the staff are friendly, and the food is amazing. I especially loved their Cold Spicy Salmon and Tuna Poke Bowl, filled with fresh tuna and salmon, avocado, sesame seaweed, cucumber, salmon caviar, and Japanese pickles. I also enjoyed the Winner Winner Fried Chicken (a Providore signature), Cold Seafood Platter, and Cha Cha’s Mixed Plate Grill composed of pork belly, chicken satay, and butterflied shrimps. For drinks, get the Super Mango Shake made of fresh mangoes, coconut cream, condensed milk, whipped cream, and mango jelly.
The next day, we kept things light for breakfast so we could make room for a Spanish feast at Dos Mestizos. One of the oldest and most popular restaurants in the island, Dos Mestizos is truly a dining destination. We sampled a selection of their tapas (jamon serrano, gambas al ajillo, salpicao de vaca, bacalao, croquetas), their signature Paella Negra, as well as their tasty Cochinillo (you need to order 1 day in advance)! Don’t forget to try their (rather potent) sangria, check out their extensive wine collection from their bodega, and take home some baked goods, cured meats, and cheeses from their deli.
We love dining a view, and if you do too, Nami Resort in Diniwid Beach is undeniably a good choice for some sightseeing. Located several floors up (and accessible via a special elevator), the restaurant offers breathtaking panoramas of Boracay. Make sure you book a table by the railing for that calming sea view. Come for the view but stay for the food—try their refreshing Caprese Salad, Mesclun and Watermelon Salad, Mushroom Tarts, Pan-Seared Salmon, Mixed Seafood Platter, Breaded Dijon Porkchop, and Signature Seabass. Although there’s no sunset view here, the endless blues are sure to give you that much-needed tropical escape.
If you love burgers, then trust me on this—you HAVE to try Steampunk Burgers in D’Mall (also known as Bite Club). I am not really a burger person—my friends can attest to that—but theirs are so good, I found myself unable to resist. They make everything in-house, from the patties to the buns. A good way to start would be to share (or hoard!) the gigantic 1-pound Triple X Burger—it comes with a really tasty patty and a choice of toppings as well (I love the Cajun and the blue cheese). We loved the Chori Burger too! Aside from burgers, they also serve superb sandwiches (try the shrimp roll) and milkshakes. Their Churros are the best—way better than the ones sold in Manila. Can someone please relocate me there?
All these restaurants were incredible, but each of us who participated in Best of the Coast surely had his own favorite. For me, it has to be Los Indios Bravos. Craft beers, near-faultless food—what more could I ask for?
The tour was tiring but it was great to rediscover Boracay through its best hotels and restaurants. The best part was that everything was just a few steps away from the beach, and so we—and anyone visiting the island for that matter—can jump quickly from indulging in a delicious meal to enjoying natural beauty. Til the next Best of the Coast—now where in the Philippines should we do this next?
Station 2 Beach Front, Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island
Los Indios Bravos
Road 1-A, Bulabog, Boracay Island
Solana, Shangri-La Boracay
Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island
Cha Cha’s Beach Café
G/F, COAST Boracay, Station 2 Beach Front, Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island
Remedios street, Sitio Manggayad, Sunset Road, Boracay Island
Diniwid Beach, Boracay Island
D'Mall Plaza, Station 2, Boracay Island
Watch out for the official Best of the Coast Boracay video, coming out really soon!
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