A search for a perfect hotel in Boracay, Philippines for a multi-generation family 3-day stay led me to the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndam Boracay at Diniwid Beach. The hotel’s location with its beach front property and free shuttle to the D’Mall, the main shopping area at the White Sand Beach, fit two main criteria–easy beach access AND an easy way to get elsewhere without needing to walk.
Upon arrival, the choice of this hotel proved to be splendid indeed. Arrival at the check-in desk was a mini celebration of sorts. We were presented with moist rolled face towels to freshen up, shell necklace leis and welcome drinks that were a cross between a frothy smoothie and iced tea.
After check-in, my dad on the first floor for easy access to the rest of the hotel, and my teen son and me on the 2nd floor, we were ready to explore Microtel Inn’s offerings. The design of the hotel takes advantage of its beach front location.
The lounge with its chairs, tables and ample seating and the connected bar and restaurant are open to the outside and designed for hanging out and enjoying the view of the pool and the sea. The playground is next to the lounge and the restaurant so parents can keep a close watch of young ones. Likewise, the pool’s close proximity to the hang-out spaces creates the ability for a multi-generational family spend time together but also do separate activities.
Here, between the beach and the pool, you can settle into a hammock or a lounge chair for some R&R variety.
Because the Wi-Fi is free in the lounge and the restaurant, this is a hotel where guests gather, a bonus for meeting people from different countries. The lounge is where you’ll also find complimentary coffee 24/7 and the game mancala which is a fun way to pass the time with a teen.
Another bonus of this hotel is the restaurant, Mama’s Fish House. Mama’s Fish House operates at the hotel with its grill set up outside. Drinks come from the hotel’s bar. We ate at Mama’s Fish House the first night at one of the tables set up on the beach. There are several grilled fish options. If you can’t decide, have the waitress take you on a tour of the various dishes and then watch your choice be cooked to perfection.
The complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant is an order off the menu type that includes fresh fruit, coffee or tea and juice. There are western and traditional Philippine choices. I was pleased to see bangus (milkfish) and garlic rice, my favorite dish.
There are other restaurants close by. We headed to the Spider House for dinner one night. I highly recommend it. The Spider House also allows people who are not guests to rent snorkeling equipment to swim off this hotel’s dock.
Here’s a bit of a downside to this section of Diniwid Beach. While we were there, algae was in full force, particularly during low tide so swimming in the sea at the hotel wasn’t appealing, however this was a minor inconvenience. My son and I walked to the White Sand beach in about 15 minutes, maybe less. There’s a paved walkway that skirts the base of the cliff between the two beaches. The path goes past an alcove in the rocks where a statue of Mary gazes at the horizon.
The quietness away from the throngs of tourists that flock to White Sand Beach, the friendliness of staff and proximity of the Spider House far outweighed the algae. Also, because of the free shuttle to D’Mall, the White Sand Beach and its wealth of restaurants and shops is easily accessible if you don’t want to walk.
Planning excursions that take you elsewhere on Boracay is also easy. There is a book at the check in counter that lists tours which the staff are happy to arrange for you, however, we booked a rigger boat ride around the island that included a stop at a Puka Beach and snorkeling from a tour guide named Arnold. Arnold works Diniwid Beach hawking for the company who employs him. I ran into him on the beach about 30 minutes after we checked in.
The morning of the tour, Arnold showed up with the boat and the driver who pulled in close enough to the beach that we could wade out and climb in.
Our hotel room, by the way, was comfortable and clean. We did pay for Wi-Fi in the room for two nights. Room options include a one queen bed suite to two queen bed rooms. Pool view rooms are a higher price. Our room had a view of plants but we weren’t there to enjoy the view from our room anyway.
We booked our rooms at Hotels.com. The price worked out to about $54 for a night. From the hotel, we booked a shuttle back to the airport. You can also book through agoda.com (a great booking site for Asia) or directly at the hotel website.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein