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The Other Side of Boracay

By JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN

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With its long stretch of fine white sand, clear blue ocean waters, and a majestic view of the sunset, small wonder Boracay Island is among the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is also recognized as one of the best all over the world, with Condé Nast Traveler’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards naming Boracay as the Best Island in Asia.

Its coast is always packed with tourists basking in the sun as they enjoy swimming in its sea water. When the bright blue sky slowly turns to yellow orange, which means the sun is about to set, Boracay’s coast becomes even more crowded. People hurry with excitement to watch the skies turn light violet with pinkish specks as the sun slowly fades into the horizon.

It can be too crowded, yes. But the Boracay keeps its happy vibe. According to data from the Malay Municipal Tourism Office, the beautiful paradise has already attracted more than 600,000 visitors just for the first quarter of 2019. The continuous influx of tourists is accompanied by a booming hospitality industry.

Welcome to Belmont Hotel Boracay
To showcase the other side of the island, property developer Megaworld Corp. has acquired 150 hectares of land and developed it into Boracay Newcoast. Recently, the real estate giant formally opened its second hotel in the area, Belmont Hotel Boracay.

Strategically located within the sloping area, Belmont Hotel Boracay is a 442-room hotel that flaunts a view that overlooks the eastern beach of the island. It offers guests a variety of room choices, ranging from 27 square meters to 52 square meters, from deluxe twin or queen to executive suites and premier deluxe.

“Belmont brand offers an exclusive nature experience in the paradise island of Boracay, as it allows guests to see the island’s panoramic natural scenery from one building to another—from the vast sea to the lush mountains and hills of the island and other nearby islands,” says Raymundo Melendrez, managing director for Luxury Global Hotels and Leisure, Inc., the company operating Belmont Hotels under the Megaworld Hotels Group.

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Just a five-minute walk from the hotel, visitors can already reach the private resort. Unlike Boracay’s other stations that can be crowded, this beach offers guests solitude. It offers the same, familiar beauty of Boracay but with a bit more peace and quiet.

Only in Newcoast
From the beach, guests can see the beautiful rock formation locals call Keyhole. It’s a huge rock formation covered with luscious trees but with a hole in it, hence the name. On that same spot is Boracay Newcoast’s pontoon where guests are dropped off from Caticlan to be welcomed by nature’s exquisite beauty the moment they step on the island.

Every vacation is not complete without mouth-watering food. To make its guests’ stay enjoyable, the hotel’s Belmont Café is always ready to serve fresh, delicious gastronomic choices. Located at the ground level of the establishment, the restaurant features cuisine of Asian and Mediterranean flavors. The café also supports local farmers in Aklan and other nearby provinces, using local farm produce to make sure its food stays fresh and sustainable.

“Most of the vegetables that we get are from local farmers around the region,” Alan Mathay, Belmont Café and Savoy Hotel Boracay executive chef tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We also make sure that our seafood comes from the region itself to support local fishermen. We also source our chickens from local producers. We partnered with suppliers that are from the area and we only purchase from them.”

Belmont Café’s best picks include its Roasted Lamb Leg, Slow Cooked Prime Ribeye, and Soba Salad with Grilled Salmon. Its desserts are also to die for, with a delectably sinful take on halo-halo, leche plan, and Mochamisu.

Easily accessible
Even though Newcoast is on the other side of Boracay, it is not far from the town proper. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to its guests going to Station 2, where Boracay favorites can be found such as the famous calamansi muffin, and Jonah’s fruit shake. They can also enjoy watching artists doing live art as they paint on souvenir shirts, immortalizing the island’s majestic sunset view.

Without the traffic due to unfinished road rehabilitation, it would only take 15 to 20 minutes going to the town proper. Going back to Belmont Hotel, tourists can hire an e-trike for only P300.

But the best part of Boracay Newcoast can only be experienced if guests have the patience to wake up early in the morning, at around 5 a.m. to catch the scenic sunrise. If the main station flaunts its sunsets, Newcoast offers a romantic, peaceful vibe as the sun slowly peeks from the horizon. It’s a promise of hope that signifies a new adventure, giving you a warm embrace for an exciting day ahead.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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