Flavors of Andalusia

AndalusiaCredits:  Papers by Scrapmuss Designs, Page Frocks and Pri Rocha Designs; Stitch and label by Crystal Wilkerson; The Boyfriend Alpha by Carina Gardiner

Seductive, vivacious, relaxed, stunning, delectable… This is Andalusia in my eyes. It is the quintessential Spain where bullfighting, flamenco, sherry and ruined castles first originated, an autonomous region where the cuisine is all about simple pleasures in an unhurried way, a region of contrast: ancient cities and beautiful countryside, wind-swept, sandy beaches and remote mountain ranges, Christianity and Islamic as manifested in its culture and architecture…

Stay tuned for flavors of Andalusia and its way of life.


Pampered Weekend

Welcome drinks, cold towel, nicely scented waiting room and a private speedboat to get you to the island… I could get use to this.

I need no convincing, a no brainer actually.  I willingly took on the job, more like insisted and that my friends, was how I found myself back in Boracay after a long spell.  The task was to do an ocular of high-end resorts for an event.  Admittedly, I can only take so much of the party scenes the island is known for so getting pampered all the way in a quiet, secluded resort is a welcome treat, truth to tell.

But no matter what they say, good or bad, I love Boracay for what it is then and now.  I’ve always loved it from when it was still a backpacker’s haven with simple cottage resorts sans air-conditioning and basic restaurants that will cook what you brought.

Today it is a party beach, a place to be seen no doubt but the beauty undeniably remains, talcum fine sand on some stretch and the food – so diverse, it has become a foodie’s paradise…

Every Filipino’s pride and from accolades earned through the years, Boracay has  become a sought after destination in the Philippines.  It is not awarded 2nd best beach in the world 2 years in a row for nothing.  And for being among the top destination to go in 2009 in New York Times, it deserves a revisit now and then, this time away from the crowd… well not quite.

We still managed a walk downtown, had our lemonade and lemon pie at Lemoni Café and dined at Aria on our last night there.

I can’t stay away from good food and with no time to explore new places, tried and tested favorites are the go-to.

Shangri-la Boracay Resort and Spa

Shangri-la Boracay Resort and Spa is tucked away in a lush hillside within an eco-reserve.  Sprawling grounds and secluded beaches is indulgence to the utmost.

From the time we took the speedboat to the resort till the time they drove us to our next resort, the pampering just kept coming.  Getting around their sprawling grounds could be tiring and they made sure there were carts to get us where we want to go.

Our room was luxurious and the best thing about it is this divine of a veranda with view so spectacular.

I tried to sit out and read but the view manages to distract each time.

If the sand and the sea is not your thing, then the pool might entice you to take a dip.  The sunset makes it even special.

We however watched the sun set over a few drinks at the lobby lounge.

A seafood dinner followed at the Sirena.  One of Shangri-la’s restaurant perched on top of a hill.  It has tables indoor but if it is not too hot, the best tables are found outside overlooking a spectacular view of the private beach.

The service is like no other… just call and  a cart arrives to bring you anywhere you want to go around the 12-hectare sprawling grounds.

The entire complex from the lobby as you enter to the 219 guest rooms and private villas has “luxurious” written all over it.

Asya Premier Suites

If Shangri-la spells luxurious, tranquility succinctly describes Asya Premier Suites at the opposite end of the island.

The lobby, so much simpler than Shangri-la exudes a sense of calm and homey comfort.

With only 20 spacious Moorish designed suites with a separate bath and shower that can awe,

the resort is luxurious in a relaxed way.

Our veranda affords a panoramic view of the ocean and lounging around the outdoor sitting area, enjoying the view is my idea of recharging.

Located at the end of station 3, the resort boasts of a private beachfront, promising solitude from the rest of White Beach.

If you’ve had it with city life and budget is not an issue, indulge and book a weekend in either of the 2 resorts on opposite ends.  Both promises peace and quiet with a lot of pampering on the side.