MARCH 27, 2009 (STAR) Nature reserve goes luxurious: Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa is the first international deluxe resort on Boracay island. The resort is dramatically situated on a hillside in a flourishing nature reserve located on the northern part of the island, a 10-minute drive from the colorful markets and bustle of popular White Beach. MANILA, Philippines - Boracay is adding another adjective to its long list of rave reviews by travelers: unparalleled luxury.

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa opens the first international deluxe resort on the island. The resort is dramatically situated on a hillside in a flourishing nature reserve located on the northern part of the island, a 10-minute drive from the colorful markets and bustle of popular White Beach.

Boracay with its powder-soft sand and crystal waters is regularly named among the world’s best by publications ranging from National Geographic to the BMW Tropical Beach Handbook.

Shangri-La’s luxurious first-class facilities and conveniences go beyond the resort and extend to the journey to the island. Shangri-La has refined what used to be a tedious series of air, land and water transfers to an unrivaled experience of comfort and exclusivity.

Boracay is a 45-minute flight south of Manila, with a 30-minute land-and-sea transfer between Caticlan Airport and the resort. For Shangri-La guests, upon their landing at the Caticlan Airport, they are received by a hotel representative and escorted to the van and brought directly to a private lounge where refreshments and other amenities await. At the exclusive jetty port area, they are whisked off by Shangri-La’s speedboat for a 15-minute cruise to the resort, so guests no longer have to wait at the port area and take a communal boat ride at the public pier.

Marrying luxury and comfort with a reverence for nature, the 12-hectare resort has 219 rooms, including 36 villas and suites; comprehensive leisure facilities; 350 meters of secluded beachfront; and a thriving ecosystem of diverse, even rare, flora and fauna.

Deluxe rooms measure 60 sq.m., all with balconies and commanding seaviews. Villas are butler-serviced retreats with a minimum 108 sq.m. and private plunge pools, whirlpools or pergolas for al fresco dining. Eleven treetop villas have fabulous views of the sea, the sunset and private Jacuzzi on the second level.

The architect of the resort is Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG) and the interior design was created by LTW Design Works. The accommodations are designed with modern sensibilities expressed in indigenous materials, from the abaca weave rugs to the accent lighting made of local capiz shells. There is so much of the culture of the Philippines that was incorporated into both the exterior and interior design of the resort.

The resort’s varied dining options include Rima, an intimate fine-dining restaurant on a hilltop offering sweeping views of the ocean and forest, and serving authentic northern Italian cuisine beneath the stars; seafood restaurant Sirena, which offers fresh favorites from a cliff top overlooking the sea; and Solana Sunset Bar, the hub of activity after dark where guests can lounge in cabanas and mingle over cocktails to the DJ’s hypnotic beats.

Guests looking to soothe their travel-weary senses will find their sanctuary at Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La. The nearly 6,000-square-meter spa village will be located on a rocky peninsula overlooking a private bay, with eight garden villas, couple’s suites and VIP suite. A 12-meter lap pool will be set within the landscaped garden. Chi features treatments based on ancient Chinese and Himalayan healing philosophies as well as ingredients and practices with local origins.

The resort is situated within a peaceful nature reserve with 75 species of plants on the ravines, cliffs and seashore. Hiking enthusiasts will be able to explore the lush terrain or join guided nature walks to observe local wildlife including 36 recorded species of birds and six species of bats in their natural habitat. Guests will witness the flight of fruit bats from their roosting ground to the other side of the island, an experience unique to Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa. Hundreds of bats take to the sky against the setting sun every afternoon at 5:30.

The resort’s recreational facilities also include a health club, one of the country’s largest free-form swimming pools, a marine center, a water sports pavilion and two outdoor tennis courts. An Entertainment Zone for adults and children offers everything from the latest video games to state-of-the-art karaoke systems in private rooms.

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa also has a 400-sq.m. ballroom and an additional 200 sq.m. of meeting space. An outdoor, ocean-front wedding pavilion can accommodate 50 persons for weddings and special events.

For more information or reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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