TOURISTS, be they local or foreign, who have not been to the island of Boracay since it reopened in October last year are in for a pleasant treat with the vast improvements made in the place, enhanced by new establishments catering to the more serene vibe the area now exudes.
One such place is Feliz Hotel Boracay, an 80-room boutique hotel located at the heart of Station 2 and whose thrust is to give guests a “happy stay,” taking cue from the word feliz, “happy” in Spanish, anchored on upscale amenities and quality service with the iconic island as backdrop.
Officially opened in July this year, Feliz Hotel Boracay, part of the FJE Group of Companies and managed by Enderun Hotels, boasts of laid-back Latin American energy combined with the tropical charms of the Philippines.
Hotel officials said they were scheduled to open in 2018 but because of the six-month closure of the island — from April 26 to Oct. 26 last year — as ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to rehabilitate the island and allow it to “heal,” Feliz’ opening was moved to a later date.
But they said it was a deferment they put into good use as they made sure that Feliz Hotel Boracay was up to the standards it was envisioned to have and in line with the programs of island authorities moving forward.
“We are really excited about Feliz Hotel Boracay. It is truly a great addition to the new Boracay island experience where it offers the perfect balance between fun and relaxation. We aim to redefine the travel experience through topnotch amenities and impeccable service with the iconic Boracay as its backdrop,” said Feliz Hotel Boracay General Manager Jun Delos Santos as he described what the new hotel is angling to offer.
He noted that the hotel is strategically located in the middle of the island scene at the D’Mall District in Station 2, just a few steps from the beach and close to a variety of entertainment, shopping, and dining options, allowing guests to have a myriad of activities to check out and experience.
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
Feliz Hotel Boracay is touted as one of the more upscale properties in the area.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a spacious plaza in front of the hotel, whose fountain has become a landmark in Station 2 and a go-to place for photos for locals and tourists alike.
Entering the hotel is an experience as one has to pass through 18-foot doors — the tallest in the country (still to be verified) staff said — that lead to the lobby.
Once inside, the Latin American inspiration is very much evident in the interior design of the lobby and hallways leading to the rooms in all floors.
Feliz Hotel Boracay has six room categories, namely, Premier King, Deluxe King, Deluxe Double, Premier Double, Suite, and Feliz Suite, ranging from 27- to 46-square meter studios to 52- to 72-square meter suites.
Officials said all the rooms were designed to provide a calm and luxurious sanctuary for guests looking for total relaxation and rest.
The rooms have spacious bathrooms with some having bath tubs depending on the type of room; couches, TV sets, closets, and tables and chairs for those who want to squeeze in some work while on vacation. Air-conditioning provides ample cooling which can easily be adjusted, while the hotel’s internet connection is strong.
Sustainability is something the hotel is also mindful of, thus in lieu of complimentary water in plastic bottles, every room it has refillable glass bottles. A digital tablet where pertinent hotel local numbers and menu, among others, can be found is provided instead of a printed menu of services.
Other hotel amenities include rooftop swimming pools for kids and adults, a fitness center and recreation area, as well as services like in-room spa treatments.
Feliz Hotel Boracay has two in-house restaurants — La Plaza and Buenavista.
La Plaza is an all-day dining place where one can enjoy the finest meat, seafood, and produce, while Buenavista is a rooftop bar that offers a majestic view of the island.
Cuisine in both restaurants is overseen by Executive Chef Onie Castillo, who sharpened his chops in various restaurants and resorts both here and abroad.
Mr. Castillo said that the hotel makes sure to use the freshest and authentic ingredients for their dishes.
At La Plaza, the cuisine is mostly Latin American, highlighted by a selection of its signature paella, which the executive chef said uses authentic arroz bomba.
Another must-try item at La Plaza, which takes its name from the hotel plaza outside, is the churros which have a light texture and partner well with the chocolate and caramel dips that go with it.
Mr. Castillo added that at La Plaza, they can also adjust to the preference of the diners.
Buenavista, meanwhile, serves dishes like pizzas, sandwiches, and pastas as well as classic and original cocktails.
“Feliz Hotel Boracay is the ideal hotel for island adventures as the hotel offers a unique blend of convenience and modern sophistication,” Mr. Delos Santos reiterated.
“We also take pride in our team of dedicated professionals grounded in thoughtful and genuine service to make you feel at home, all done with the brightest smiles in Boracay,” he added.
To know more about Feliz Hotel Boracay accommodations, reservations, and facilities, visit www.felizhotelboracay.com. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo