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The five ultra-luxe beach resorts you can stay in for only Php 20,000

Despite having a warm climate year round, there’s still something about summer that prompts all those tropical getaways. The arrival of May marks the midpoint of the season, making it the perfect time to plan for a vacation. Zee Lifestyle notes down the most luxurious beachside destinations. The best part? All of these will cost you only Php 20,000 when you subscribe to Zee Lifestyle and avail of The Ultimate Travel Deals.

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SHANGRI-LA’S MACTAN RESORT & SPA

Punta Engaño Road, Mactan Island
Cebu, Philippines | website

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa

Fine white sand and clear waters leading to a thriving marine sanctuary. Delectable culinary experiences that will make you come back for more. World-class luxury hospitality with that distinct Cebuano quality. This is Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa in the historic resort city of Lapu-Lapu, Mactan Island.

WHAT WE LIKE: Access to the club room with breakfast and cocktails. Still Cebu’s best luxury resort as voted by numerous travel websites and publications.

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DEAL: Two nights stay at an Ocean Wing Club Room (regular rate: Php 15,725 per night, plus taxes). Avail now!

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BLUEWATER SUMILON ISLAND RESORT

Sumilon Island, Oslob
Cebu, Philippines | website

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort (Photography by Mike Jo: Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, February 2014)

An ever-shifting sandbar that will always make each visit different. A picturesque view of Cebu from the cool waters of the infinity pool. Your most glamorous camping trip just yet. This is Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, the only property in the beautiful island of Sumilon, Oslob.

WHAT WE LIKE: Glamping in style! The resort is the only structure in this small island, with easy access to the whale sharks site in Oslob

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DEAL: Two nights stay in a premiere deluxe room with breakfast and one dinner (regular rate: Php 13,115 per night). Avail now! 

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BE GRAND HOTEL BOHOL

Panglao Island
Bohol, Philippines | website

An aerial shot of the Be Grand Bohol showcases the sprawling seven-hectare property. (Photography by Marguerite Lhuillier/Nellie Egle: Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, March 2016)

Be Grand Resort Bohol (Photography by Marguerite Lhuillier/Nellie Egle: Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, March 2016)

A stunning blend of a garden oasis and an impeccable beachfront. Beautiful panoramic views of Panglao Island at sunset. Exclusivity, with luxury villas having their own access to a private lagoon-type swimming pool. This is the new Be Grand Resort Bohol in Central Visayas’ most promising tropical destination, Panglao Island.

WHAT WE LIKE: The small details: Shanghai Tang toiletries, coffee maker with coffee pods, boxed chocolates as part of the turn-down service

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DEAL: Two nights stay for two at the Oceana Suite with breakfast (regular rate: Php 14,000 per night plus taxes). Avail now!

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DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY

Station 1, Boracay Island
Aklan, Philippines | website

Discovery Shores Boracay

Discovery Shores Boracay

Frozen treats served straight to you while you bask in the summer sun. Decadent accommodations that compete with the delightful stretch of sand. The Boracay experience, made much more luxurious. This is Discovery Shores Boracay in the island’s best spot, Station 1.

WHAT WE LIKE: Located right where the action is in Boracay’s Station 1. The resort pampers its lucky guests with frozen treats throughout the day.

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DEAL: Two nights stay for two at a Junior Suite with breakfast for two (regular rate: Php 13,500 per night plus taxes). Avail now!

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HUMA ISLAND RESORT & SPA

Busuanga Island
Palawan, Philippines | website

Huma Island Resort & Spa

Indulgent villas rising over royal blue sparkling waters on stilts, delightfully reminiscent of a Maldivian getaway. Inspired culinary selections that are the best on this side of the country. Well-appointed bedrooms that would make it hard for anyone to leave. This is Huma Island Resort & Spa in the unspoiled tropical paradise of Busuanga Island, Palawan.

WHAT WE LIKE: Utter privacy! If your idea of bliss is a Maldivian resort, look no further. For extra perk, take the seaplane that glides right at the doorstep!

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL DEAL: One night stay at a Water Villa (regular rate: US $930 per night). Avail now!

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The Ultimate Travel Deals are exclusive to Zee Lifestyle subscribers, and are available from April 1 to November 30, 2016 only, except on Holy Week and special holidays. Limited rooms are available, so subscribe now and book your next escapade by calling us at 6332. 234 2636 or e-mailing info@res210.servconfig.com.

Travel

This is How the M.I.C.E. Alliance Initiative will Lift Boracay to New Heights

Leveling up Boracay in more ways than one

by Ryan Daniel R. Dablo

Saying the name “Boracay” instantly casts a spell, taking the listener to a daydream of immaculate, pale beaches, swaying palm trees, the music of breaking waves, and the vacation of a lifetime. The tropical island Eden is storied and renowned – a difficult enchantment to lift from any wayward tourist’s mind. But what if we were to tell you that Boracay is so much more? Can you build upon perfection? Yes, and this, ladies and gentlemen, is how. 

One is never too far away from the beach! BNCC is only a stone’s throw away from the Boracay Newcoast Beach front.

Boracay Newcoast Convention Center (BNCC), located at the heart of Boracay Newcoast will soon host the biggest conventions, exhibitions and other large-scale events in the island starting second quarter of 2022.

After the difficulties of the past few years, the stage is finally set for a massive Boracay reboot. The creative gears turn once more, and this time they will catapult our favorite beach capital to new heights. The cornerstone of this renaissance is the M.I.C.E. Alliance initiative, short for meetings, incentives, conferences and conventions, and events and exhibitions. The establishment of the Boracay M.I.C.E. Alliance will allow focused efforts in creating sustainable and eco-sensitive tourism development projects while synergizing with stakeholders to create long-term solutions and opportunities for all partners. The alliance is set to drive awareness, readiness, and expansion of product offerings that will be crucial in making the island competitive with other M.I.C.E. destinations. Working closely with the Department of Tourism Region VI and the Tourism Promotions Board, the alliance is primed to provide support to the areas that are involved in this major undertaking.

Cleofe Albiso, Boracay M.I.C.E Alliance Chairperson

BNCC enjoys state-of-the-art facilities and can accommodate about a thousand guests depending on set-up and conduct multiple events at a time.

No one is more emphatic than M.I.C.E. Alliance chairperson Cleofe Albiso in describing how the different sectors of Boracay are pivoting from tourism to tourism plus. In brief, Boracay is challenging its own boundaries to become not just the pre-eminent tourist destination but also a corporate and business mecca. Turns out, if a venue is grand enough to host a wedding, wouldn’t it be just as grand to host a white-collar conference? Sky’s the limit for possibilities like this. At this moment, the island is abuzz with networking and making connections, training and empowering the hospitality services, polishing the infrastructure, revving up the transportation facilities, and all-around gearing up to go toe-to-toe with other M.I.C.E. hubs and be worthy of the tagline, “the best place for M.I.C.E. in a tropical paradise.” All hands are on deck and – after the extended global hiatus thanks to the pandemic – everyone is ready, nay, eager to meet and greet the guests. And, of course, we would be remiss not to point out that Boracay is more than halfway through completing such a tall order. The island is as well-oiled a machine as it could be, boasting 294 DOT-accredited hotels and resort, a staggering 4,500 seating capacity for meetings and conventions, and 12,400 room keys available in the island. Talk about volume! Plus, Boracay is already postcard-perfect, the very stuff that vacation dreams are made of. Why not turn the dial up to eleven and let it become a compass point for more than a summer getaway? This is the logical next step in realizing its vision of being not just a place to be, but the place to be.

Savoy Hotel Boracay like Belmont Hotel, and the soon to open Chancellor Hotel is also walking distance away from BNCC making it an ideal spot for both business and leisure trips.

So, yes, by all means think of the idyllic strolls on the beach, the luxurious caress of the ocean as you free-dive, the sheer delight of sand and surf while island-hopping, the adrenaline rush of aquasports, parasailing, cycling, or driving an ATV up Boracay’s foothills, the psychedelic glow of fire-dancing and party lights at night, the breathtaking sunsets, the larger-than-life adventures, or the hundred other ways it can lavish or reinvigorate your soul. Think of all of that, and then some. Because Boracay has its eyes on something greater: it is poised to become the premier starting point and last stop for tourism, entertainment, corporate gatherings, exhibits, and any other event the imagination can dream of. 

Paradise Garden’s Mabuhay Convention Center can fit 850 guests at a time.

For corporate set-ups, a 60 person function room is also available at the Isla Function Room of Paradise Garden.

Think of your company meeting. Now, think of your company meeting and the fun that’ll ensue right after. Picture that in the most scenic of vacation spots. Tempted already? Who wouldn’t be? You’re already in paradise. With business here and leisure literally just a stone’s throw away – heaven on earth, wouldn’t you say? 

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Travel

For Our Next Travel Destination, We Dream About Koh Samui in Thailand

Impressive views of the Gulf of Thailand welcome you at the Arrival Sala

Silent Sanctuaries

Mayenne Carmona discovers the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui is a quiet oasis to recharge and rejuvenate…

What does one expect from a Four Seasons Resort? Everything! Firstly, it will definitely be ranked no less than a five-star hotel or resort. Most importantly, it would not fall short of all your expectations: excellent cuisine, topnotch comfort at your fingertips in a well-appointed villa, courteous staff who offer impeccable service, and every other detail you could possibly need—down to the last cotton bud. After all, a Four Seasons Resort is always designed by a top-rated architectural team and interior designers.

The moment I stepped into the Four Seasons Resort at Koh Samui, I felt all my cares washed away by the soft waves of the bluest sea. The fresh air cleared my sinuses in no time, and the gentle breeze was a much needed caress to a tired mind and body. It was truly paradise regained for me and my friends. We were a motley group of career-oriented people who needed a much-awaited break from work, and this was the perfect choice for us.

Each Villa has a butler to cater to the guests’ every whim. The afternoon we arrived, we requested a sunset dinner by the beach, and much like a genie, our butler whipped up a romantically set candlelit dinner for six. A five-course delicious Thai dinner was prepared by their well-trained chef.

Our days were spent languishing by the beach, having daily massages, attending yoga classes, doing water sports and enjoying every bite of Thai cuisine. Golf carts transported us wherever we wanted to go within the resort. This vacation brought all my senses to another realm, and restored a weary soul to perfection. 

Four Seasons Koh Samui, I look forward to seeing you again!

Koh Samui is the third largest island of Thailand in the scenic Gulf of Siam. It is a 45 minute flight from Bangkok. Sandy beaches, coral reefs, coconut trees and abundant tourist resources make it a popular holiday destination.

For more information on Four Seasons Resort, visit their website at https://www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui/

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s March 2016 Travel Issue, “Silent Sanctuaries” written by our columnist Mayenne Carmona for La Vie En Rose on pages 32-33.)

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Travel

Get Lost in this Not-so-distant Island Safari Paradise

LOST IN PARADISE

Tao Philippines Crusoe-style deserted island camp paradise is perfect for those who understand the luxury of simplicity and disconnection.

by Melo E. Esguerra photography by Scott Sporleder

Just when you think Palawan is fast becoming a second Boracay, where congestion of concrete buildings and human bodies have begun to define the island experience more than the pristine beaches of white powdery sand, the Lostboys of Tao Philippines came up with a new island project that guarantees an escape to paradise. They call the island Camp Ngey Ngey.

The Lostboys have taken over the abandoned resort of Manguengey in Busuanga, a remote island in Palawan. They have kept the ruins from the typhoon and built their signature bamboo Tuka huts around the main beach of the island, which serves as the camp area. Just a short walk away you’ll find jungle trails that lead to three other wild beaches, preserved reefs and windswept cliffs encompassed by crystal blue waters. And on certain days, when the winds are strong, one side of the island becomes a good site for surfing.

 


Eddie Brock, one of the founders of Tao Philippines, explains how this concept of an island safari came about. “When we took over Manguengey Resort, we were stuck with the idea of how to run it. We do not know how to cater to resort guests, the individual choices and needs, and menus,” he admits. “Tao’s expertise is to show travelers something new, something more raw and adventurous. We decided that we will not worry about things we don’t understand, and stick to what we do best. One of the best aspects of a Tao trip is creating an atmosphere of connecting with other travelers, disconnected from digital clot—without the worry of planning, wallets and keeping a status. Five days out in the remoteness with the islanders in control leads to a positive attitude: guards down, inhibition is off and open to meet new friends.”

The camp is accessible through the three day/two night boat safari from Coron, with beach and reef stops en route the camp and back. Guests will be joining other travelers, staying in individual Tuka huts dotted along the beach. There are lounges, a dining and kitchen area, and open hang-out places. Currently, the big mansion from the old resort is being restored into a villa that can accommodate a family or group of friends.

The island can be reserved for big events like weddings, parties and other meaningful gatherings.

In the island, there is no room service, no menus, no WiFi. You will arrive as strangers, you will eat together, swim together, laugh together, drink together, and get to know each other offline. Become part of the magic of Tao, and see what happens!

For more information on how the trip to Camp Ngey Ngey works, log on to www.taophilippines.com

 

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s June 2017 Men’s Issue, “Lost in Paradise” on pages 110-113.)

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