Discovering New Shores

"Okay, let's leave in a while," I tell my best friend, while I rummage through my bag and do a quick account of items. She then looks at our room's plush bed, sighs, and plops herself on the bed. "Wait, give me five minutes. Five," she mumbles, hugging the pillows tightly. I chuckle to myself, and give our spacious room a quick look-over, our comfy abode for two nights -- oh wait, make that three -- we extended one more night, remember?

A quick flashback of all the new memories of Boracay runs by my mind. Warm smiles, hearty breakfasts, relaxing foot washes, those little food and towel treats that awaited us at our room each afternoon... A satisfied smile grows on my face. There are times when you discover that cocooning is really much better than the nightlife that stretches around Boracay. Discovery Shores has spoiled me for good.

Discovering Smiles

Upon confirmation of our flights and accommodation, I anticipated what would be our last summer hurrah with much excitement. While Boracay has unintentionally been my go-to getaway for 2011, what with all the trips with friends and family earlier this year, I was still looking forward to visiting the island. There's always something new to look forward to every travel experience, be it a fresh perspective of a familiar place, new travel companions, or discovering a hidden gem.

Discovery Shores located in Station One is no hidden gem, but a proudly beautiful one, standing tall and bright at the more serene side of the beach. The view of the Boracay sunset in their area is magnificent -- it's wide and less crowded than the busy station 2. I give a thumbs up for their Happy Hour, where you can get some of the best lychee mojitos in the island. These I know from my past vacations, albeit never a hotel guest. So it was high time I also get to experience three nights at one of their suites. My first discovery, though, was not of their clean, spacious and welcoming accommodations. The first thing you'll discover here is their excellent customer service even before you set foot the resort. Airport transfers are made comfortable, with air conditioned vans and speedboats exclusively for Discovery Shores visitors. Some snacks, drinks, and towelettes are offered during the short boat transfer. A quick freshening up can be made with alcohol and hand sanitizers on board the vans and boats. As for going around the island? Let Discovery take care that for you -- your stay in the resort entitles you to free shuttle service (from Station 1 to Station 3) until midnight.

"Good morning, ma'am, I'll be your driver for today. Would you care for some candies?", "In behalf of our cabin crew, we wish you a pleasant stay in Discovery Shores," "Would you like to avail of the foot wash today?" -- every greeting and conversation with anyone from the crew comes with a smile, and it just feels like genuine ones. A quick survey with my travel companions proved that the most memorable moments of our weekend were about friendly hotel staff. My best friend's aunt agreed with us. She recalled one of her stays there when her daughter fell ill and had to stay inside the room. Without any request and extra charge, housekeeping knocked on their door to deliver a bottle of Tempra. See, it's the little things that count, and that will linger far longer than your actual stay.

On our first day, we decided to hang out by the pool side and take a dip. We were pleasantly surprised when we returned to our chairs that our clothes were neatly folded, beach towels were ready, all these without any request. Walking back to our room, we were met by a row of people, offering us some juice drinks, cookies, a refreshing spritz of facial mist ("it's an all natural spray with a mix of fruits, ma'am"), and my favorite -- girls who asked me if I would like them to pin a flower on my hair. Oh of course, I let them!

Junior Suite

We stayed at their standard room, the Junior Suite (average USD 250++ per night) . The spacious room can fit two or three persons, with an extra day bed that can double as the bed for the third person. Junior Suites can have one king or two queen beds; our room had two queen beds with plush pillows and beddings that tempt you to just stay inside the room forever.

Find complimentary snacks and other treats inside your suite

Start your stay with some free pastries and beverages, and have a complimentary foot wash inside your room

It's tempting to just cocoon during your entire stay in Boracay when you're booked at Discovery Shores. Just heave your tired self onto the fluffy bed, turn on some relaxing music or switch that TV to your favorite channel, and you're in the blissful, useless state of couch potatoing. But do pry yourself from the room once in a while, as you're on one of the most beautiful islands the world has to offer.

Go on Happy Hour mode from 4pm to 7pm at Platitos

Catch the sunset by the beachfront, and order some drinks while it's Happy Hour -- get a complimentary drink for every order. My top picks are their Mojito (House - P320, Premium - P395) in both Lychee and Classic, and their traditional Gin Tonic (P220). For non-alcoholic, I think the kids would enjoy a tall glass of Fruit & Sweetcorn Milkshake (P275) -- it's an absolute treat!

Catch the sunset while lounging by the beach

After our first sunset session, we headed back to our room and had another fun surprise waiting for us -- there was this cute towel elephant waiting for me on my bed! Each night, we were welcomed home by a new animal, and if we brought along some kids during the trip, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to discover this inside their rooms. Every night, too, we were left with little notes and cards with quotes, our room spic and span and smelling fresh. If we stayed another night, I wonder what animal towel will welcome us next? I already miss those towel animals...

Each morning of our stay was blessed with perfect sunny beach weather. We enjoyed our leisurely walks to the pool and beachfront, our path accompanied by beautiful scenery that we couldn't resist photo-ops. There is a wish stone near the stairway, where one can dip the brush into water and write a wish on the stone, which then lets 'the cosmic forces take it to heaven.' Upon reaching the end of the stairway, a waterfall awaits for another photo-op before you take a swim on the beach or pool.

Our daily walks had these pretty views of the resort

Daily breakfast that comes with your stay at Discovery Shores is served at Sands Restaurant, which offers contemporary island cuisine and international fare. My best friend loved the Asian noodles station, where she had noodle soup with mushrooms, while her boyfriend enjoyed the cereals station. I love your typical breakfast fare, so I had a plate full of sausage, bacon and egg and smoked bangus, paired with a glass of juice and a cup of coffee. We made a point to fill up with hearty and delicious food for our first meal of the day.

Sands Restaurant

The breakfast buffet is served from 7am to 10am

It was indeed a luxurious trip made memorable because I was with my favorite friends, we experienced the excellent hospitality, and every single day was faced with big smiles. Now that summer just bid us farewell, I have to admit I already reminisce about my vacations. It may be back to school, back to work mode for us, but there are more exciting reasons to visit Discovery Shores. For its lean season, they're offering the Great Luxurious Getaway 2011, an irresistible promotion where your 3 days and 2 nights stay will also include: roundtrip SEAir airfare, buffet breakfast, dinner at Sands, a massage treatment at Terra Wellness Spa, and all the other regular room inclusions! This offer is valid for around five months, so check your calendar for free weekends. You can directly contact Discovery Shores to provide them with preferred dates, room type and flight schedule.

Rates (PHP) are valid from June 16 to October 15, 2011.

If you're spending this coming weekend in Boracay, you can also check out their Father's Day promotion. Discovery Shores Boracay tips off their hat to all the fathers with a dinner buffet at the Sands Restaurant for P1,250++ per person. Fathers also get a chance to win a gift certificate from Terra Wellness Spa.

We deserve a little pampering every now and then to savor some of the finer things in life. So the next time Boracay is in your itinerary, make Discovery Shores your leisure destination. Discover for yourself how you can experience the island life in true comfort and in style.

For inquiries and reservations, please call Discovery Shores Boracay reservations at (6336) 288-4500 and (632) 720-8888. You can also call the Manila Sales and Reservations office at (632) 719-6692 to 6695. Advanced reservation is required for Great Luxurious Getaway 2011; rooms are subject to availability.

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