My husband likes to tell people that we used to frequent Boracay at least three times a year. This was a time long ago, BEFORE the children were born. We’d book a relatively
cheap affordable hotel, pack light (sometimes fitting our things into one bag for both of us) and spend the whole day (and practically half the night) on the beach. Essentially all we needed was a bed and a clean bathroom. I had my Lysol anyway, I knew I could disinfect every inch of whatever room to my liking. I was that… “easy”.
Now when we go with the kids, my husband can’t believe his ears and eyes. Our bags have multiplied from one check-in luggage, to three suitcases, and three pieces of hand carry. And before we get to this “trimmed down” state of affairs, there’s a lot of negotiating on my part as to why we need “all of that”. Needless to say he’s mastered the art of Sherpa-ing, with the way he single-handedly carries our things (while I carry my handbag and the girls). I’m sure you all know, when traveling with toddlers, the amount of baggage you bring is inversely proportional to their size. In fact it multiplies exponentially.
And so do the costs for everything else! The flights are for four instead of two. And when we choose a place to stay, suddenly I’m not so “easy” anymore. My previous criteria for an okay, acceptable hotel has just gone out the window into another land, far far away from the beautiful shores of Boracay. As a mom I have a dozen and one more concerns that need to be addressed.
I won’t bore you with the details of what this new criteria is for a hotel choice, but I will tell you why I would totally pay for a stay in Discovery Shores Boracay over and over again (at the very least when we travel with kids).
Impeccable service. The word “spoiled” comes to mind… in a good way. I feel that as a guest paying for this luxury, I should be able to ask for (practically) anything — for all members of the family.
And I have actually. There have been many moments that I needed the most random things at the most inappropriate times. Like a measuring tape while having breakfast. Or headache medicines in the middle of the night. We’ve never been made to wait long; there’s a staff member that readily runs to get you what you need… stat!
Last year when we went for Sam’s 4th birthday with OCMom’s family, we were booked in one of their lofts that had a very open stair rail and top ledge. Little kids could fall through, particularly our little kids. Instead of making us transfer rooms, they built rails and a make-shift door to block the bottom part of the stairs so that the kids wouldn’t be able to access it so easily. They gave us a most convenient solution without any fuss.
The ambiance of the room makes me forget that I need to use Lysol on it sometimes. And I’ve seen their staff clean our quarters occasionally (yes, I do that). It’s fairly satisfactory and I don’t worry (too much) about disinfection. Maybe it’s just perception, but whatever it is, works in their favor.
You see it all in the small details, and it adds up. I really feels they think of everything you’d possibly need from the time that you catch sight of your placard at the airport, until the time after you check back in for your return flight home. And if they don’t think of it, they’ll still make it happen. That is great service.
Genuine care and concern. During last year’s trip, the girls made friends with some of the staff members at the resort. The staff members are naturally friendly and chat up a lot of the guests, so I didn’t think much of it… until we came back again this year and they remembered the girls as much as the girls remembered them. As much as they care for your things, they also help keep an eye on the children and treat them like very important people too.
One morning when we came down for breakfast, Sam said she wanted a table near the beach. The ones we generally sit in to get this view were already taken at the time, and so I proceeded to convince Sam we’d be ok in the inner parts of the cafe. I was gently interrupted by a staff member who showed me that they had actually moved another table close to the beach and set it up so that Sam could get her wish.
The safety and security on the beach. Usually when we head out to the beach front and sea shore, we leave our valuables in a cabana or a lawn chair, a distance away from the actual shoreline where the kids like to play. The problem then is when it’s left unattended as Boracay has many vendors and passersby that could snatch this up for you. At the same time, it’s stressful because you can’t just let your kids run back and forth when so many people can get between your line of sight (and reach). At Discovery Shores however, I don’t feel that stress (as much).
They’ve put security at the perimeter of the beach and prohibit vendors from coming too close to the chairs. The beach front also doesn’t feel as crowded and as populated, it feels safer to let the kids roam a small distance on their own. Plus there are extra pairs of eyes, with staff members stationed on the beach front to flatten the sand, bring you refreshments and snacks and take care of your things. We feel less worried about our valuables and can actually enjoy heading into the water as a family.
There’s no where else you need to be but there. When the kids came along, I hardly left the hotel and its beachfront. In fact there were trips when I didn’t get to venture out at all! Between all the bathroom runs, to the application of sunblock and naptime and bedtime, I never really had time to get anywhere far. That’s why I felt that the resort we’d book should be one where I was comfortable spending all of my time in.
Another thing that Discovery Shores has is its activity for children. The last trip we made was a rainy one, so Sam and Jamie couldn’t get on the beach as much as they wanted. It’s a good thing Discovery had a cookie-making activity as that kept her busy and distracted enough for part of the afternoon.
The other nice thing about Discovery is the unlimited access to food. The kids love the snow cones by the pool as well as the various snacks they put out every day. As a mom, that’s another thing I worry about; ensuring my kids have clean snacks in between their meals. At least I know that they won’t get that hungry that fast. And maybe that’s why I also don’t feel the urge to leave this hotel very often. We have enough to do, and enough to eat right here.
It’s true what they say about not wanting to stay anywhere else once you’ve had a taste of the “Discovery Shores experience”. They must have a pretty good track record as I’ve never heard of a complaint about a stay in Discovery Shores, ever. That’s pretty impressive.
For us it used to be an aspiration. Now when we go, it’s a “requirement”. 😉 I choose to divert savings towards a reservation here if I have to. It’s really one of the better places to stay on in the island, ESPECIALLY when you have children in tow.