Personal review from Vanessa Liwanag’s stay at Villa Caemilla Luxury Boutique Hotel in Boracay Island, Philippines.
Feeling at Home – Villa Caemilla, Boracay
Having lived in Europe for the longest time, tracing my roots coming back to Philippines had me yearning for a spot to call home. I grew up in the busy city of Manila, with lingering dreams of owning my own piece of paradise away from the city noise, on the beach with powdered white sands and swaying coconut trees hovering over.
Fast forward to August of this year and I found myself on the plane from Paris going back to the country of my origin. Time and time again, the island of Boracay seemed to be always on my list to visit other than the obligatory stay in Manila. This island has been close to my heart and coming to Villa Caemilla Luxury Boutique Hotel was something that I looked forward to discover.
We arrived on the airport of Kalibo on a beautiful Monday. A team called My Boracay Guide came and picked us up and transported us from van-to-boat-to-minivan until we reached the famed shores of the island of Boracay – a total of 4 hours from the airport including the exclusive boat transfer. With a private concierge assisting us along the little trails leading to the resort, we finally reached Villa Caemilla. Owned by Dr. Harry C. Van Caem, the luxury boutique hotel was a welcome oasis on a 4-kilometer stretch of powdered white sand, named as White Beach, at the very tip of Station 3.
General Manager Wesley Van de Voort welcomed and introduced us to the lovely staff. Our room was just a couple of feet away from the beach front, a pleasant treat for us who wanted to have easy access to the sea and wade through the turquoise blue waters in an instant. Fine cotton linen and an array of luxurious pillows created the first delightful impressions upon entering our room, with local fruits and flowers laid out on the dining table in the center of a vast living room.
The Fine Dining – Villa Caemilla, Boracay
The hotel’s restaurant was well-situated just in front of the beach, giving us a magnificent view of the relaxing sunset that accompanied us as we sipped our fresh tropical cocktail drinks. As we commenced with dinner, the chef recommended us to try their latest special serving, a symphony of prawns, crabs, and clams sautéed in special local herbs and spices. It was a glorious cornucopia of the freshest seafood caught straight from the bounty of the ocean that surrounded the island. We continued to linger over dessert as we planned our itinerary for the next couple of days.
The morning sun felt good on our skin as we took our breakfast on the beach front with rays of sunlight streaming through the bamboo stilts surrounding us. It was a delight to have a big breakfast, served the Filipino way with savory garlic rice, sweet-marinated beef locally called as tapa, sunny side up eggs and fresh tomato and lettuce salad on the side to start a hectic day ahead. Much to our surprise, we were also informed that breakfast was served all day, and thus we noted to grab a serving of their famous mango pancakes later in the day with some good coffee.
The Island Experience – Villa Caemilla, Boracay
Villa Caemilla offered us a ride in one of their eco-friendly electric minivans for a day tour. As Boracay is a small island, it took only half a day for the whole road trip that included a stop-over on top of a hill, afternoon picnic on Puka Beach, well- known for the white puka shells that washed on the shores, and colorful shopping along Station 1 and 2 where the malls called D’Mall and Talipapa were located. A lot of other exhilarating activities can be done on Boracay. For the wild-at-heart explorers there is cliff-jumping at Ariel’s Point, and for water-sports lovers there is parasailing, island hopping on a local paraw boat, and wind surfing on the beach of Bulabog on the eastern part of the island.
The Friendships – Villa Caemilla, Boracay
As nightfall arrived, we found ourselves back in the lobby, speaking with Reception Manager Grace who shared to us inspiring stories of life on the island. We felt we were in the very corners of our home, as we mingled with the other staff of the resort who were around us, like a band of brothers and sisters in a big house filled with so much good food and music. A nice walk on the beach front towards the other side had us pass by all the famous clubs and bars that Boracay has been known for in party circles locally and internationally. Though the lure of all-night clubbing was there, we were more attached to the idea of lounging back at the nicely laid out beach bar of Villa Caemilla, with cool cocktails in hand and good live music, courtesy of the wonderful guitar man who sang every night to the delight of all the guests staying at the resort.
If there was something that I wanted to take back with me as we left Villa Caemilla Luxury Boutique Hotel, it was the light and positive energy that the staff and GM Wesley Van De Voort had passed on. The service we received was genuinely excellent, a rare treat that a few top luxury resorts can really offer. It is the warmth of the people of Villa Caemilla Luxury Boutique Hotel that brought true luxury to us during our stay. And from this, we knew we found our home away from home and that we would be coming back soon.
LuxeInACity highly recommends a stay at Villa Caemilla Luxury Boutique Hotel in Boracay Island, Philippines.
Visit www.villacaemilla.com to plan your luxury stay.
Photos courtesy of Villa Caemilla, Bertrand Caille and Vanessa Liwanag