My Boracay Mandarin Proposal - One of my Favorite Hotels in the Philippines!

The relative quietness and seclusion of Boracay's romantic Station 1 have always been a tempting consideration every time I think about which hotel to book when I have the luxury of time to go back. There's almost always a picture of Boracay depicted through that long stretch of white sand, which looks so different from where the people really are and have access to in this island. The price to that much revered less populated part is a long walk back and forth, in the dark if at night, the higher cost of staying and the cost of having to go all the way to Station 2 or 3 if you want a taste of normal Boracay life like going to D-Mall or food-tripping on your own or finding cheap food or doing sports activities or the alluring nightlife.

The price of not being in Station 1, however, is luxury, the peace and some alone time away from all the hullabaloo in Boracay. For me, the final choice all depends really on why you're in Boracay in the first place, how much time you have in your hands left and who you're with. I boarded a plane determined to make the next 30 hours one of the most memorable and sharable trips of my life to culminate my first full year as a travel blogger. Let's talk about taking control in your life. This you could do too, even if you're a gal!

1. I specifically arranged for a flight to Caticlan. I didn't want to take more time riding the bus or a tattered van from Kalibo. The airport has shockingly been upgraded.

Things were really looking good. The end of November weather was very cooperative with the plan.

2. Check-in was at the Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel so there was private van to fetch us at the airport, a larger and separate waiting area and jump-off point like Discovery Shores and Shangri-La Boracay,

porters carrying the luggage as part of the service, a private Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel boat to the island,

a private van to drop-off point near the hotel and a welcome drink. Smooth was the word.

3. Then I saw the spacious room, the very big four-post canopy bed and the view from the balcony. I was thrilled with the Premier Sea View. It looked exactly as it was shown in the website's virtual tour. The plan could work. How can such Luxury exist in Station 2? I said I'm going to do exactly what I'm going to do if I'm in Station 1.

The heart towels were perfectly done and the messages on the bed. Boracay Mandarin can make these little notecards for you on special occasions or groups (if arranged) by the way. This one says, "The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles." - Sandy Archibald. Welcome to Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel. Lunch will be served at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano at noon.

4. Time for an Italian lunch first for the hungry birds.

I like things simple so I requested for this amazing buko shake, same for the next day actually haha.

These are my recommendations for Don Vito Ristorante Italiano: the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (P330),

wood-fired brick oven Giardinera Pizza (P330, 11", my favorite even if it's vegetarian),

wood-fired brick oven Islander's Pizza (P330, 11", drizzle some green Tabasco to your pizza hehe)

and Linguine-Carbonara (P320).

Who can resist this platter of fruit?

I was told that the Don Vito kitchen staff likes to carve for fun when we commented that the dish looked so nice and we didn't want to destroy it. I hope they do some of this for the dinner surprise too. I took my time deciding if I was going to have Ferrero (bestseller, other bestseller Pistacio was out of stock), Mint, Cappuccino or Mascorpone Gelato for dessert.

Don Vito is one of the 2011 Philippine's Best Restaurants by the Asia Tatler by the way. Don Vito is listed in My Favorite Guiltless Foodie Picks in Boracay post. It is the perfect affordable but chic date place for me morning, afternoon and night in Boracay. You'll see why in a while.

5. The Boracay Mandarin staff are so sneaky and I love it! The card said "Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest." - Colleen Wainwright. They managed to put this in the room at the perfect time and moment.

Probably while we were enjoying that leaning tower of Mascorpone Gelato (P100).

I didn't want to hurry and rush so I seriously and purposefully watched Samantha Brown's travels in TLC.

Seldom can you convince somebody to just stay in the room like royalty and relax until the next surprise instead of going out (because you came all the way to Boracay to do what?!). I had no plans of deviating from or postponing the plan.

Samantha was also equally enjoying her taste of the good life, only I was in paradise living my dream and she was in exotic New Orleans. I laughed when at the TV commercial, it flashed "Now's the Time Why Wait", "What is Time For" and "Make Time for the Best Time of Your Life". Game on!

6. Ain't no better time to be doing all of these spur of the moment things than when Christmas is in the air. Hehehe.

We head over to the Mandarin Spa where I got the Mango Butter Body Scrub (P2000, 1 hour 15 minutes) to make my skin irresistibly smooth and super soft.

My masseuse scrubbed my body with almonds, I took a warm shower after. She layered my body with mango butter using a soft painter's brush. It smelled so sweet and felt so good but I had to take a shower again. I thought that was it but there was lotion and a brief massage that followed. Talk about a whole body pampering package. I looked out the window and it was almost time. Were these like the paraw that Jeff and I thoroughly enjoyed in our last Boracay escapade?

There were surely many many more paraw memories we can make after this trip. For now, it was not in the itinerary.

7. I checked in to see if the Ambassador Suite was ready. You can pay for this room and have the dinner date set up for the occasion by the way.

They converted this sala into a dining area for us, FYI (this is what it looks like in the morning and normally).

The evening air outside was very romantic and there was a small jacuzzi too and the Boracay nightscene below to add to the private moment. The question popped out of my head when everybody was in,

"What do you think?"

This was not the Boracay that I know it to be. It was possible to have this and more extraordinary experiences like this. I knew it was true the moment I became a travel blogger. On a micro and super detailed level, I never knew it would come as this. It was possible to convert this place to this uber romantic setting for any occasion with the help of the Boracay Mandarin staff. It was possible to enjoy yourself in your room without having to give in to what other people say that you came all the way here to stay inside the hotel premises. Maybe this was the charm of Station 1. And I was happily at Station 2 in this moment, in my beach dress, glowing with delight.

8. So here's my proposal, try for at least a night or two to stay in Boracay Mandarin and ask for the help of their staff to make your stay memorable especially if you're up to surprising somebody or doing it for a party or you just want some alone luxury time. Maybe you'd like to stay at their Penthouse (I know I do!), curl under the canopy bed,

soak in the bathtub

with UK's Archive bubbles that are replenished every day

and listen to the big seashells while in your attic room. Almost all of the staff are Ilonggo by the way and like my last Iloilo trip, I just fell in love with the warmth of the people, especially the Don Vito staff and the invisible Housekeeping staff.

Well, even if you don't get to talk to them, their warmness will show in your food and the way the hotel and its amenities are maintained.

I especially loved the dinner (also available at Don Vito) they prepared for us in this room, the rich and chunky Boracay Island Harvest Chowder (P100),

the cheesy Rock Oyster Supremo that I asked "one more please" again and again (P250),

the ensaymada that's freshly baked every day (and given freely to their customers)

and the coconut-filled Jumbo Prawns Neptune (P450) that I never had before.

9. At 9 p.m., there was a show over at the Bucos Bar and Grill featuring fire dancers,

a band and cocktails!

Here's where we reconnect to the rest of the island and our peers and new friends.

I let my bare feet sink into the cold sand beneath my chair to cool me down. I retired by 11 p.m., ready for my king-sized bed.

10. There was nobody to force me to wake up and open the curtains. I could sleep in until the complimentary buffet breakfast was over actually but I didn't let the chance pass. The breakfast buffets in Boracay that I've tried were not as good. There was a wide selection here of salad,

fresh bread,

cheese, bacon,

oatmeal, pasta, eggs, embutido, pansit, corned beef, ensaymada and crispy fish

They change the main breakfast items every day for their guests.

I couldn't get enough of the Morisqueta Fried Rice and the Potato/Pommes Au Gratin though. In short, ti-ni-ra ko siya talaga and I wouldn't have stopped if there was no lunch coming up in the next 2 hours!

11. I swam and hang out in the pool for a while, this I've been attempting to do the night before since it closes at 10:30 p.m. because there was no sun at night. I was super happy when I saw that half of the pool was always shaded at any time of the day due to the way the rooms were built around it.

Plus, it was 4 feet all the way! No more walking out to the beach haha.

I was a little shy to go out in my bikini with every thing we ate for this trip. Well, not really. I was just being private and quiet and myself. Haha. I was really enchanted with this place.

12. I enjoyed the exercise up to my room with the very accessible stairs on my side of the hotel, next to the pool so I showered, packed and freshened for the afternoon flight. And finally, our Don Vito lunch was served by the poolside. These dishes are my super favorites in Don Vito! I was super thrilled with the Mozarella Cheese Sticks (P180).

It comes with a salad and it's a meal in itself!

This Il Wahoo Lemon dish (P295) has tanigue that come with an overly sinful and yummy melted butter. I could finish the whole plate actually ahaha.

The 30 hours was almost up and I was ready to go. It was mid-afternoon when I saw the water glisten from a distance.

Cheers to another extraordinary Boracay trip! There's always something to look forward to here every time I come back. Some may say I didn't go out and enjoy the Boracay sand so much, what's the point of going to Boracay and that it's just a hotel stay but I say there's only one Boracay Mandarin in the world and guess where it is.

This one was all about Boracay Luxury within my reach and up to my Guiltless Getaways standards. No regrets.

Book at Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel here or through Agoda =) They have a Manila office by the way. They deserve a Like in Facebook in my opinion.

This is my sixth contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival. Eileen Campos (of The Super Tourists) is currently compiling other Pinoy bloggers' favorite rooms and accommodations from all over the Philippines this month.

My first ever contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival was a 3D2N and 4D3N itinerary to El Nido, Palawan. Click here for other 3D2N Suggestions for destinations all over the Philippines.

My second contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival was an 11D10N itinerary to Seoul, Korea under the compilation of Leap of Faith: When Traveling Changed My Life stories from Travel Bloggers all over the Philippines

My third contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival was a dream itinerary to Barcelona and my pledge to turn it into reality. Click here for other ultimate dream destinations and travel wish lists from other Pinoy travel bloggers.

My fourth contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival was about a walking tour of Intramuros, compiled under Philippine walking tours.

My fifth contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival was about things I've graduated from since travel blogging. Click here for the compiled Pinoy bloggers' travel graduation list.

Click here to know more about the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival and the past Blog Carnival topics and link compilation: