My first time in Boracay unfortunately coincided with the onset of the monsoon season.
During that rainy weekend, I did not see the island’s world-famous sunset. We were greeted instead with overcast skies and howling winds.
But I still enjoyed my maiden stay there because I was in the company of like-minded friends. It may have also helped that we stayed at Zuzuni Boracay, a charming boutique hotel located at a spot at Station 1 that is not too far away from the conveniences and affordable restaurant options at Station 2.
Room with THE view
Since Zuzuni Boracay’s Loft rooms were still occupied when we arrived, we were inadvertently upgraded to a Premiere Beachfront accommodation.
I now consider that a blessing in disguise as our swankier accommodation was more spacious. Most of all, it had a balcony that provided spectacular 24/7 ocean views. It is a very Boracay cliche, but I could stare at this all day long.
Downstairs is La Cocina, a Spanish-themed restaurant which served freshly made churros and the paella of my dreams. This is also where Zuzuni’s guests take their complimentary breakfasts.
Station hopping at White Beach
It actually did not rain all the time during our Boracay trip. The sun was thankfully up at least during the first half of the day. It was during this window that I finally understood why tourists from all over the world flock to the island, adjudged as among the world’s best by various international travel magazines.
It took me in my early 30s to realize that there’s just nothing like Boracay’s blinding white shores. At White Beach for instance, the fine white sand felt pillowy soft on our feet.
We then decided to just walk barefoot from Zuzuni all the way to the less crowded beach at Diniwid. We made stops along the way to take photos of Boracay’s famous grotto and to sample the milkshakes at Jonah’s.
In the afternoon, we walked the opposite direction. Back then the goal was to take a late lunch at the D’Talipapa at Station 3. But since the popular seafood market was still inundated from the afternoon rains, we opted for the next restaurant we could find at Station 2.
These long and leisurely walks was for me, the best decision we made that weekend. Aside from the unplanned exercise, it allowed me to appreciate Boracay sans the glorious sunset by the shore. It’s still easy to fall in love with the island even in this uncooperative weather.
Boracay’s party atmosphere began to kick in as we negotiated our way through the evening crowds. We arrived at Zuzuni just in time for our sumptuous dinner at La Cocina.
None of us were in the mood (or still had energy left after all the walking that is) to join the pub crawl that evening. We just watched the fire dancers performing nearby and the seemingly endless throngs of tourists walking below us. I must have dozed off in a few minutes after that.
Needless to say that a stay at Zuzuni is not dirt-cheap. But for a Station 1 beachfront property and one that has only 14 well-kept rooms, it’s not obscenely expensive either.
That being said, this boutique hotel indeed offers a luxury that is quite affordable. It appeals especially to discerning travelers who are willing to shell out a few pesos more, if only to make their Boracay vacation extra memorable.
Update: In Zuzuni’s Official Facebook Page, the hotel expressed their support to the Philippine government’s rehabilitation efforts in Boracay. They are also working to improve their facilities and service during the island’s closure.
Zuzuni Boutique Hotel
Boat Station 1, White Beach,
Boracay Island, Malay Aklan
Tel: +63 908 862-0031, +63 908 893-9841, +63 9173249051 or +63 36 288 4477
Disclosure: The blogger would like to thank Zuzuni Boutique Hotel for the complimentary stay. Even so, he maintains full editorial control of this hotel review.