You’ve seen us talk about Boracay a number of times on our platform. From when it was named 2017’s Best Island in the World, to its six-month closure, and to when it finally reopened towards the end of 2018. Now it’s been a few months and it’s time to let you in on our experience getting to know the new and improved Boracay, and the notable changes we found very refreshing—and, well, different—on the island. Let’s dive right in.
This was obviously one of the main goals for the island’s rehabilitation project in 2018. You can really see the renewed spirit of Boracay through its more polished surroundings. The beaches are discernibly cleaner, trees are healthy and sands still as white as before. No more beach beds, all-you-can-eat buffet offerings and outdoor massages available by the shores to prevent litter.
This was obviously one of the main goals for the island’s closure. You can really see the renewed spirit of Boracay through its more polished surroundings. The beaches are discernibly cleaner, trees are healthy and sands still as white as before. No more all-you-can-eat buffet offerings and outdoor massages available by the shores to prevent litter.
It’s important to note, however, that whilst there have been many visible improvements already, six months was simply not enough recovery time for the island; and this is evident in some areas, like the road constructions that are still taking place (as of writing). It’s a work in progress, alright—and we must do our part and be responsible nomads as our beloved paradise continues to regain its original form.
Strict rules to follow
The stricter the rules, the more inconvenient it will be, right? But bros, this small inconvenience is ~nothing~ compared to the positive effect following these new rules will have on the environment.
Entry to the island
As a tourist, you will now need a voucher for a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited hotel to be granted entry to Boracay. This is to be able to monitor the number of visitors flocking the island.
No to single-use plastic
It was announced last year that Boracay would officially ban single-use plastics everywhere. No more plastic straws, bags and even toothbrushes can be used and offered to visitors—instead, businesses are required to provide eco-friendly items like metal/paper straws, mesh laundry bags and the like. I was personally impressed to have not seen a single plastic straw in all of the restaurants and cafés I visited during our trip.
No drinking and smoking by the beach
This is for very obvious reasons. Boracay is known for its white-sand beaches and clear waters—the only way this can be maintained is for everyone living and visiting the island to stop doing anything that would cause harm to it.
A gastronomic experience
Part of the Boracay experience is eating (and drinking) like there’s no tomorrow… and luckily that’s (still) available on almost every corner of the island. Trust that Team CVMN will recommend only the best of the best—here’s a few of our favorites:
Epic Beach Club
A must-visit spot in Boracay, the famous Epic restaurant and club has been serving delectable Epicurean beach cuisine for the past eight years, making it one of the top faves of frequent visitors. Our recommendations include the Epic Burger, Epic Salad and their Baby Back Ribs.
Impeccable service, mouthwatering island grubs and happy-hour promos all while overlooking the beach… your stay on the island is not complete without a dining experience at Epic. And you will keep coming back for sure!
If you didn’t know already, Epic is a nightclub too—throwing the hottest and most iconic beach parties on the island for the last decade. They’ve recently revamped the club as shown in their latest travel film:
Authentic Filipino boodle fight spread, Lambshank Caldereta and Beef Ribs Adobo—plus their über refreshing fruit shakes—are some of the delicious offerings Ka-on is known for.
Located inside The Tides Hotel Boracay, this restaurant offers progressive Filipino cuisines curated by legendary chef, Fernando Aracama. Pinoy food with a twist? Count us in.
If you’re the type of traveler that loves to try out different cuisines, then Boracay is perfect for you because this island’s got it all. Filipino, Italian, Korean, and yes—you will find Indian restaurants spread out in this beach paradise too. On our last night on the island, we were lucky to have tried Masala Moe’s, an authentic Indian restaurant located at the City Mall Annex.
Owned by Moe Chulani, who fell in love with Boracay and refers to it as his second home, Masala Moe’s offers Indian heritage food using the recipes of his beloved grandmother from decades ago. Moe recalls that the idea of putting up a restaurant came about when he would have his friends over and enjoy an Indian feast at his house—they suggested that the island needed a place that offered authentic Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, and so Masala Moe’s was born.
CVMN favorites: Lamb Masala (it’s a mix of 22 different spices—everything’s made from raw spices put together), any dish with curry (19 different spices), their veggie samosas, Biryani Rice and of course, the Tandoori Chicken. Don’t to forget to indulge while drinking their Indian tea as well. Satisfy your authentic Indian food cravings while getting a lot of bang for your back by visiting Masala Moe’s located at the City Mall Annex.
The six-month closure was a great opportunity for hotels and resorts to revamp and upgrade the look of their amenities and rooms to ensure even better experience and improved services for guests… making it a thrilling reopening for the island.
The Tides Hotel Boracay
Our hotel for this trip, The Tides Hotel Boracay, sure did make use of the rehabilitation period to give their property a facelift. We will talk about our amazing stay at this three-star hotel in a separate story very soon. In the meantime, watch the travel film above to see The Tides Hotel Boracay’s suites and amenities.
To book your stay at The Tides Hotel Boracay, head over to www.tidesboracay.com or contact their reservations hotline +63917 542 8328.
Planning to visit this year? What are you most excited to do in Boracay? Discuss in the comments below.