11 Jul2007

disc1

Mrs. MM and The Kid wrote the following post on Discovery Shores… When we decided to go to Boracay, the first question that popped into our minds was where do we stay stay? We heard many things about Discovery Shores in Boracay. As part of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World,” it was supposedly “THE place to stay” in the quietest and best part of the beach in “Station 1.” Such glowing recommendations couldn’t be ignored, and since Marketman couldn’t join us for another day, the Kid and I booked one night at Discovery Shores.

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From the time we were met at the Caticlan Airport to our arrival at the hotel, the staff was nothing but attentive. We were given cold towels (refreshing!) and drinks in the disc4airconditioned boat that ferried us to the island. We were met at the hotel by a Guest Relations Officer and she gave us a quick tour of the property as she led us to our room. We did notice though that the whole place looked a bit “cement-y,” nothing some trees and shrubs couldn’t fix. The hotel, it turns out, was not totally finished. We saw construction workers and painters on our way to the room. Pounding sounds during the day were more than annoying.

Our room was spectacular. With the flat screen tv, iPod dock, the rain shower in the bathroom, and the great bed that invites disc5guests to lie in it forever, I felt like I could just stay in the room with a good book (I am not really a beach person since I don’t like the feeling of sand stuck in between my toes, ick). The Kid and I each got a complimentary welcome foot massage, which was nice. The Kid especially liked the cookies that were given in the room, but the jar was not re-filled, you had to do it yourself. :)

One thing we noticed immediately though, and we don’t understand how the masseuse and guest relations officer missed them, were two huge flies (bangaws) on the bed. disc7Two black dots against a white duvet were just too obvious to ignore. When everyone left we tried to swat them and they were quickly joined by two other flies. To make a long story short, we did kill the four flies, laid them in a line in front of the bed for housekeeping to take away when they came to run down the bed, and they didn’t! We had to point it out to them!

We didn’t know, nor were we told that Discovery Shores was not 100% finished. disc8We only found out when we arrived. The Kid was a bit put out by the construction workers walking around without shirts with their big bellies hanging out (you know the kind!) when they traipsed in front of our room to the storage area in the back. Plus, during lunch one day, we were extremely put off by the paint that was being applied to the water feature right beside our table. Our pizza didn’t have the delicious aroma of cheese and tomatoes, rather we were getting headaches from the pungent chemical smell of paint that was being applied to the pool beside the restaurant.

Discovery Shores restaurant had a pretty limited menu. Service was not too bad, I suspect because the hotel was not full. The Kid had a mango shake which she found too watery. Pizza was not memorable. Portions were a bit on the small side for the prices they charge. The food was nothing to write home about. Presumably they are still working out the kinks in the kitchen.

All in all, Discovery Shores did have some nice touches. Cold towels when you come out from the pool and swimming in the sea, free flowing pandan iced tea and water as you sit and lounge in the beach, free wi-fi in open areas, and shuttle service to and from areas in Stations 2 and 3. They had daily afternoon activities for children. The Kid joined the sand castle making activity one day, but passed on the puppet making the next. The big modern white buildings would be clever in some settings, stick out like a sore thumb in other opinions. Sitting on a lot right next door to Friday’s with thatched roof huts, it is definitely noticeable.

The issue at hand is really one of value. At close to US$300++ a night for our room at most times of the year, and US$400++ for a one bedroom suite (we saw these and they were very nice), disc3you EXPECT a lot. (Marketman’s comment — I went back to see the hotel the day I arrived and my view is that it is like a W Hotel wannabee in a beach setting… it will work for some folks who think they are all slick and chi-chi, but it won’t work for others. If you don’t mind the outrageous prices, it’s worth a try. Don’t believe more than a smidgen written up about this hotel; they must have had a serious PR budget… see it and try it for yourselves before you believe anything anyone else says about it. I am wary of any place that receives such rave reviews before it is even finished being constructed; that probably means most of the folks talking positively about it probably didn’t have to pay for their stay…) Mrs. MM and The Kid would stay in Discovery Shores again if we went back to Boracay, but until they worked out their F&B kinks, they would almost certainly eat elsewhere (maybe Fridays next door).

 

COMMENTS:

  1. SimplePleasures says:

    If its your first time in boracay you should have stayed in Regency Hotel. my dad said is so big and beautiful he’s not a ceach person too! Its expensive but according to my uncle and dad its worth every penny

    Jul 11, 2007 | 1:22 pm

     
  2. wysgal says:

    Looks gorgeous when I paid them a visit … and my entire family is actually booked to stay there over the New Year. We’ll see how things are humming along by then!

    Jul 11, 2007 | 2:41 pm

     
  3. Bianca says:

    Wow! Talk about service imbalance. I’ve read in different reviews that Nami resort is a good place to stay. And also, Mandala Spas. I would probably try Discovery Shores after a year or two. Great pictures though.

    Jul 11, 2007 | 5:20 pm

     
  4. Jade186 says:

    We stayed in a family owned and run thatched hut way back in 1994, when posh resorts like this were still quite unheard of. Boracay had a more rustic, simple feel to it.
    I noticed that most Filipinos prefer modern lodgings, whereas most foreigners from Western Europe/Canada/Aus would opt for the more rural-type, back to nature set-up.
    This hotel does look very nice, and I agree with what you mentioned that it could work for those “who think they’re all slick and chi chi…” and perhaps into conspicuous consumption spending. But then, why not?

    BTW, be careful when using the term “Guest Relations Officer (GRO)”. In the Philippines, GRO is a euphemism for prostitute.

    And, thanks MM for removing the frog photo on the first page!

    Jul 11, 2007 | 5:49 pm

     
  5. corrine says:

    I’m Filipino but I like to stay in huts without aircon. I love sea breeze.

    Jul 11, 2007 | 6:06 pm

     
  6. Candygirl says:

    When my friend and her husband went to Boracay, I asked them to check out Discovery Shores and they were not impressed too. Discovery Suites Ortigas’ food is so-so so I supposed it would be more than that. However, I’ve heard some good reviews of its Tagaytay branch.

    Jul 11, 2007 | 7:03 pm

     
  7. Maria Clara says:

    For the price you paid, I expect a flawless place! US$300 is a big chunk of money to me regardless which side of the equator you are spending it.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 12:03 am

     
  8. Ted says:

    For $300 i would expect the luxury and service of a 5 star hotel, like Wynn or Belagio. They should not be opened if they are still doing finishing touches on their premises.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 12:27 am

     
  9. Maddie says:

    Ummm, no thanks! If I want some 5-star peace and solitude, I wouldn’t go to Boracay anyway. Their place in Tagaytay is too pricey as well, for Tagaytay!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 3:59 am

     
  10. Kongkong622 says:

    Speaking of their place in Tagaytay, I had a very bad experience with them over the Christmas holidays. I booked a suite around a month in advance and when we got there on the appointed date they told us that my booking number was for Discovery Ortigas!! To make matters worse, they didn’t reverse the charges on my credit card, which they promised to do, until I badgered them after receiving my bill and seeing that they had still charged me for a stay which I didn’t sign for!! Grabe talaga!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 8:50 am

     
  11. Anne says:

    I stayed in Discovery Shores a couple of months back. And I really loved the place. The staff was so attentive and the room was spectacular. As you said, you just want to lie on the bed forever. The staff was really attentive, they keep on folding my clothes whenever i leave them on the beach and they even have a handy lens cleaner in their pockets to clean your shades. The food was so-so, but I already expected that. Besides, who’d want to eat in a expensive hotel when there are so many cheaper but really good restaurants around.
    As for the cement-y feel of the place, I just put it down to the place being new and isn’t finish yet. I really didn’t see a lot of construction workers and those that I saw were inside the rooms they were finishing and all were wearing their shirts. But they should at least lower their prices while they haven’t finished construction yet.
    Did they give you your welcome drink? the one with mint and basil ( i think). I love that drink. It was so refreshing.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 10:02 am

     
  12. cgutierrez says:

    You people are so shallow. Why stay in a hotel that’s 300USD/night then complain of “bangaw” in the room. Considering how many people in the P.I. have NOTHING. Some sleep on the streets…Common, instead of these bellyaching and where you shopped, where you went, where/what you ate, etc. Why not put your money where your mouth is.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 10:14 am

     
  13. Mandy says:

    for the $300 you spent per night and other expenses, you could’ve gone to amanpulo! their local resident package is $1550 now. quite reasonable as this includes breakfast and lunch already. food’s really good and servings are huge.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 11:30 am

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Mandy, you are right, at that price there are other places to consider. cgutierrez, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, as am I and Mrs. MM. We are reviewing a hotel we stayed in, and yes one can be constructively critical if it is a hotel that charges a fair amount. If the content of this site bothers you so much, then simply don’t read it and spend your free time reading about other things of interest to you, or spend it out on the street helping everyone there and feeling self-righteous about it. As for putting my money where my mouth is, charity wise, I suspect I have done so far more than you may have, and thus feel just as comfortable with my luxuries as I do with anything else. If you earned your income honestly, there is no shame in enjoying it. If you have read many of the posts on this site, you would understand that there is a balance to everything… and out of curiousity, you may want to delve into my fish pan post in the archives for those first time commenters that come out with comments blaring on elitism, bigotry, etc., etc., anne, I am glad you liked Discovery Shores and I think a lot of the issues are just related to a new start-up, hopefully they will iron out the creases in the months ahead. Kongkong, that confused booking sounds like a pain in the rear. I have heard good things about the food at Discovery Tagaytay, however. Maddie, you are reading my mind as far as my conclusions on Boracay as a destination. Ted and Maria Clara, yup, expectations are high at those rates…

    Jul 12, 2007 | 11:44 am

     
  15. cc says:

    I’ve never been to Boracay, though would like to on my next trip to the PI. How does one get there? I hear that to reach the island you take some “mini” ferry; better than a “bangka” from the looks of the pictures MRS. M provided. How long of a ride is it in the aircon bangka? Is the water rough? How large is the island? How many hotels are there? Does it offer an array of restaurants – and what are they? What else is there to do? Anything similarity to the town of Princeville in Kawai, HI?

    Jul 12, 2007 | 12:28 pm

     
  16. Risa says:

    An observation: The fishpan will never die! Hahahaha. Trust that a judgmental comment will follow the words “You people…”

    Jul 12, 2007 | 12:53 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    cc, Boracay is now the largest beach destination in the Philippines. One takes a short jet jet/prop plane ride from Manila to Caticlan (40 minutes or so), then a 10 minute boat ride across to the island. Tons of different hotels, tons of restaurants on offer. It is overrun with people and tourists, but it does have some of the most spectacular white sand beaches in the world… risa, yes, I do wonder if we are people, what the commenter considers himself/herself to be…

    Jul 12, 2007 | 12:56 pm

     
  18. acidboy says:

    I stayed in Discovery Shores too a while back. Food was blah, of course. But then, for a non-beach person like me, with a small kid in tow, and other family members to take care of, this would still be my choice of abode- until Shangri-la opens that is. MM and family left out the other details that made our stay a delight (despite the food)- the towels, ice cold water and sorbet on the beach; the fruit plate in your room; the sense of being pampered and waited on; the pool if you have had enough of sea water; the complimentary ride to anywhere you want in the island; the free wifi; the distance from the ‘noisy’ part of town…. worth the premium they charge in my opinion.

    Maybe not worth it for “cgutierrez” who probably scoffs at the idea of enjoying life and the fruits of your labor. Must’ve studied in North Korea or Cuba or somewhere like that.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 2:03 pm

     
  19. CecileJ says:

    Personally, if i paid USD300 for my room, I would raise H-LL if I found a bangaw sharing my bed!…But since I didn’t and i probably couldn’t afford to anyway, I didn’t post a comment when I first read the post. Kaya lang, I just had to put in my 2 cents worth after reading the later comments.

    Ako, when I find a post that I cannot relate to, i just don’t make a comment. Live and let live! Why inflict your anger on others? Judge not lest you yourself be judged…and plonked on the head with a fish pan!!!! Hehe!

    Magmahalan nalang tayo and be happy for the good fortune of others!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 3:54 pm

     
  20. CecileJ says:

    Oh, and Mrs MM and The Kid, thank you for sharing your experience. Hope the comments won’t deter you for making future contributions to this site!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 3:59 pm

     
  21. Cupcakediva says:

    Fish pan all over again?!

    Acidboy: No need for an insult especially when your not directly concerned.

    Cgutierrez: People want to get what they paid for. Yun lang yun! Im sure Marketman is not being arrogant or whatsoever.

    Peace and love!

    Jul 12, 2007 | 4:18 pm

     
  22. lee says:

    Marketman, your magnet works.

    Jul 12, 2007 | 4:42 pm

     
  23. Didi says:

    Bangaw huh?! That’s such a turn off!!

    Where is this exactly located? The last time I went to Boracay was 2002 – I this where Boracay Terraces used to be at?

    Jul 12, 2007 | 5:07 pm

     
  24. teny says:

    It would have been $200 a night if there was no bangaw. Its hard to catch them let alone 3 more. :) The $100 was used to pay those who caught them

    Jul 13, 2007 | 11:05 am

     
  25. Anne says:

    didi, its at station 1. Just beside Friday’s.

    Jul 13, 2007 | 2:16 pm

     
  26. acidboy says:

    cupcakediva,

    when “cguiterrez” starts with “you people” I am assuming that he/she/it is pertaining not only to MM and his family but also to the folks here who patronize the website. Besides, her post is open for reactions as much as any one here, me and you included. I reacted to her post like any democracy-loving person would, and I certainly do not think my comment was an insult- perhaps a joke, but not an insult.

    peace and love to you too.

    Jul 13, 2007 | 2:55 pm

     
  27. Adolfo S. Suzara says:

    A colleague and I hosted a couple from the US in Discovery Shores about two weeks ago for some business and tourism.

    We did experience all the positives mentioned in the previous posts plus the extra service of setting up a large umbrella for us when we decided to take lunch as close to the beach as possible.

    Gone also were the negatives such as the presence of workmen in the amenities areas and big flies in the rooms.

    I think the architecture of Discovery Shores and the airconditioned boat served as a differentiator from the typical tropical huts and native boats. I for one prefer not to perspire on the way to or from the resort.

    The quality of our stay could be summed up in the words of our visitors who, by the way, descended from royalty as “service fit for a king”.

    Aug 7, 2007 | 7:50 pm

     
  28. Ayzi says:

    Yeah I wanna know the recipe for the welcome drink. i think it’s mint and lime. i had 2 lol

    Nov 12, 2008 | 7:39 pm

     
 

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