asia · philippines · travel

The Lifesaver That Is Mövenpick Boracay

** This is a looooong-overdue post, from my journal entry from almost exactly a year ago, when we first brought my then 9-month old son to the Philippines. Hopefully, when a COVID-19 vaccine is available and things clear up for travel again, we can come back and create memories in Mövenpick once more.

Here I was in Boracay, one of my happiest places on the entire Earth, and I was downright miserable. Things were awry starting from when we got to the island. The supposedly “premium” transfer airport-to-hotel service we book was so awfully coordinated, that a DIY would have gone much smoother. The hotel I booked was also nothing like I expected. Is there nothing worse than being greeted by cockroaches in the bathroom for 3 days straight? My morale was dangerously spiraling down to zero. I definitely needed a break from this vacation.

Enter Mövenpick to the rescue. After my husband (sanely) talked me out of wasting money by rebooking another hotel, we decided to find a compromise and “splurged” on a day pass on one of the fanciest hotels in Boracay. At 2k pesos with 1.6k pesos consumable, I actually found the day pass rates downright reasonable for a hotel of this caliber, for the refuge and facilities they offered.

I am one of those persons who would NEVER book a fancy hotel like this, unless they slashed prices to be at par with at most a 3-star hotel. I was mostly curious about their private beach, something that a cheapskate backpacker like me always missed out on my previous trips to Boracay. Although the exclusive beach was rockier than the more well-known powdery sand strip of beach in Stations 1-3, just getting to swim without having to maneuver through hoards of people and boats already took my worries away.

There were plenty of sunbeds, so day visitors like us didn’t have to worry about having a place to park and rest. Spending the day in Mövenpick felt more like an island getaway I’ve envisioned, rather than a visit to one of the world’s most notoriously overcrowded tourist traps.

Chilling out in the Kids’ Club playroom

Maybe it’s because I’m a new mom, but now I have SOOO much more appreciation for family-friendly resorts. Mövenpick just gave us so much value. When it started to drizzle a bit, visiting the Kids’ Club playroom was a smart idea, and the very friendly coordinators did not hesitate to show our son all the fascinating toys he could get his chubby little fingers on.

What about the food? Surely, the prices must be outrageous in this resort, right?! I actually found that the fare was not especially pricier than what was offered by the restaurants in Station 2. We surprisingly ate well using the restaurant vouchers that came with the day pass, even with drinks! Our collective 3.2k peso vouchers got us through lunch (pizza, coffee and calamansi juice), merienda (coffee and cookies), and a very filling dinner (sinigang and kare-kare, with beer). In the afternoons, the resort cafe offers a Chocolate Hour with a free buffet of chocolate treats, which was a good way to satisfy the munchies.

Talk about complete customer delight — while we waited at the reception to register, they gave us complimentary string bracelets. Matching family bracelets for the win!

So, maybe the day pass is worth it, but staying overnight is definitely out of the common backpacker’s league, right? This I just had to check. Mövenpick’s check-in rates are actually very reasonable, compared to their immediate neighbors, Crimson and Shangri-La. So if you’re feeling a little fancy, but don’t want to just burn through your hard-earned money, then a stay at Mövenpick is a worthy treat.

On this whirlwind of a trip, I learned a lot of lessons — and one of them is definitely to check in at Mövenpick the next time we’re in Boracay!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.