Can you already feel the white sand between your toes? How about the kiss of the sun on your bare shoulders? Yes, don't blink now because summer is just several weeks away. And what is summer synonymous with? That's right --- BORACAY.
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It has been called a paradise by several travel magazines, websites, and blogs. With its five-kilometer pristine white beach, Boracay is easily one of the most charming beaches in the world. But before you book that flight, remember that a toned body is not all you need to have a memorable Boracay getaway. You also need a list, not just of things to bring, but also of questions to ask when you check in at a hotel.
In Boracay, there is no shortage of hotels and this summer, every hotel will try to lure you with promos and exclusive discounts. But aside from the rates, you must have a list of questions as a guide to a luxurious Boracay accommodation.
Is there a view?
What is Boracay without a view? Guess you are already imagining how your "view from the hotel" post should look like. Most hotels are beachfront while some more exclusive ones are nestled in the high points of the island. Either way, ask whether your hotel has a view deck or your room has a scenic view of the beach or the famous Boracay sunset.
Do you have shuttle service?
Most hotels offer shuttle service from the Caticlan or Aklan airport. Ask if you can have this service for free as most hotels do. You should also ask if you can use the shuttle when you go around the island or drive to town.
Is there free wi-fi?
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Ask if the hotel has a wi-fi connection and then ask if it is for free. These days, customers do not only request but expect major establishments such as hotels to have wi-fi. While you're at it, you should also include in your questions to ask upon check-in if your service provider has good coverage on the island.
Is breakfast free? Is it buffet?
Some accommodations offer a free breakfast for at least two guests. It's part of the rate. Remember to ask what time breakfast starts and what time it ends in case you plan to party all night. If you chose an accommodation without breakfast, inquire if breakfast is served buffet or ala carte style just so you can adjust your budget. Find out also what time their restaurant opens and closes. For couples, ask if they can serve a romantic dinner by the beach.
What can we do at your hotel?
Of course, you plan on spending most of your days at the beach. But it pays to know if your hotel has a lot of amenities, too. Find out if they have an infinity pool, kiddie pool (if you have kids with you), or a Jacuzzi. If you're lucky, some hotels have a sports bar for evening cocktails and a videoke room to channel the inner diva in you. Because what's a Pinoy vacation without videoke, right? Island hopping, horseback riding, zip line, and golf are some of the land activities offered by these hotel-resorts and maybe some of the privileges you can ask your hotel of choice, too.
Do you have spa services?
Go all out on this relaxing trip with a spa treatment or massage. Ask if your hotel has a spa room or offers room service. Nothing beats the scent of fragrant oils and the touch of a soft hand after all-day beach activities and all-night partying.
Visa or Mastercard?
Let's face it, some of us go to Boracay with nothing but credit cards to get us through. Yes, it is convenient but it is not always available. If you are a couple on a honeymoon for example, wouldn't a let-down in the source of funds ruin Boracay romance entirely?
This is among the common mistakes couple travelers make --- relying solely on credit cards. Ask your hotel if they accept credit cards and debit cards. Find out also if there is an ATM near the hotel.
Which water sport should we try?
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There are a lot of water activities in Boracay. Whether on the beach or along the string of hotels, expect someone to come to you and offer you everything from jetski to paragliding. Expect to haggle. To save you energy, ask your hotel if they have concierge services for water sports and activities. Ask if they have packages exclusive to guests. This can save you time, energy, and possibly money.
Is there a boat ride?
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There are several islands near and around Boracay. So make sure that you add in your list of questions to ask at hotel check in whether the hotel can arrange boat rides to and from these islands.
How near is the hotel to Puka beach?
Puka beach is a rising star. Boracay guests should not leave the island without side-tripping in this preserved white sand paradise. The water is clearer and it definitely feels more private. Ask how long it will take from your hotel to Puka beach and if they can arrange for your group to get there. It helps to know that Alta Vista de Boracay offers exclusive access to Puka.
How about the kids?
Never assume that your kids also want a tan. Boracay is not very kid-friendly. They are not allowed to try most of the water activities. So in case you have kids with you, ask your hotel if they have a playroom. Your kids need a space of their own. This will also give you more time to relax by the beach.
Start your Boracay vacation right with the best hotel accommodation. Nothing spoils a getaway like a late pick up from the airport, rude people offering beach activities, slow wi-fi, and well, kids with horrible tantrums. Before you book a hotel, ask the right questions. Make sure they have everything you need. Find a hotel that feels like home, only much luxurious.