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 â€œSmall Luxury Hotels of the World,â€ it was supposedly â€œTHE place to stayâ€ in the quietest and best part of the beach in â€œStation 1.â€ Such glowing recommendations couldnâ€™t be ignored, and since Marketman couldnâ€™t join us for another day, the Kid and I booked one night at Discovery Shores.
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 airconditioned 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 â€œcement-y,â€ nothing some trees and shrubs couldnâ€™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 guests 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 donâ€™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 donâ€™t understand how the masseuse and guest relations officer missed them, were two huge flies (bangaws) on the bed. Two 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 didnâ€™t! We had to point it out to them!
We didnâ€™t know, nor were we told that Discovery Shores was not 100% finished. We 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 didnâ€™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), you 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).