By Jen Freeman
Following the much-publicized reopening of the island in October of last year, the “New Boracay” has certainly delivered some much-anticipated surprises to both new arrivals and returning guests alike. Alongside numerous infrastructure improvements, some truly world-class establishments have now opened their doors to the sun-seeking public, with one of the most notable of these being Citic Hotel.
The epitome of style, class and luxury, this premiere four-star hotel is raising the standard of Boracay accommodations to a whole new level, in the face of an increasingly competitive and demanding market.
The sleek, modern architecture of Citic almost belies that fact that it is in Boracay, amidst the throng of nondescript resorts, guest houses and hostels, but also serves to inform you that you are in for a simply outstanding vacation.
The warmest of welcomes awaits you from the moment you touch base at Citic Hotel, where smiling, ever professional and friendly staff greet arriving guests with a refreshing fruity beverage as you check in, and luggage porters accompany you to your room.
Citic Hotel encompasses 339 spacious, stylishly designed rooms and suites, with attention to the finer details evident throughout, from the state-of-the-art key card system, high speed WiFi access and built-in 50 inch smart LED TVs, to the polished and luxurious bathroom facilities and mini bar - all present as standard in every room.
Premiere deluxe rooms, in particular, have an en suite with separate bathtub, and direct access to the pools and outdoor terrace area on request, while the Premier Suites, at 55sqm, have scenic pool and ocean views and a comfortable living area with ample space for extra guests or for simply relaxing.
The amenities at Citic may tempt some visitors not to leave to leave the grounds at all, with three swimming pools located in the 700 sqm. central garden and courtyard area, reclining jacuzzi tubs, and a pool side cocktail and snack bar, all for the exclusive use of in-house guests, an afternoon spent lazing on the terrace, cocktail in hand, is an enticing prospect.
Families will be in their element in this environment, with a shallow swimming pool specifically designed for children, trained lifeguards on hand to ensure their safety at all times, and a babysitting service on offer, should couples desire a meal or an evening out without the little ones in tow.
The hotel also boasts a convention center for parties, events and receptions, a fully equipped conference suite, for those who may be mixing business with pleasure, and soon to open, a fitness center and spa.
Perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to a luxury hotel is the food, and the attention to detail as evidenced throughout this establishment translates seamlessly to its superb dining facilities
The food and beverage team, led by internationally acclaimed executive chef Dave Beekmans, have designed and executed a varied and enticing menu to suit every taste and palate, with a good selection of both Asian and Western specialties on offer, as well as vegetarian options, children’s meals and mouthwatering desserts. Foodies will be delighted by dishes such as kinilaw of tanigue with coconut cream and mango, seafood risotto with a lobster reduction and the sumptuous Belgian chocolate mousse.
At the main restaurant, the day begins at 6 a.m with a generous breakfast buffet spread, including international favorites such as bacon and pancakes served alongside traditional pinoy comfort foods, fruit and freshly baked breads. Throughout the day, hungry diners can order from the à la carte menu, and a sumptuous dinner buffet completes the scene for evening meals.
Alternatively, a veritable feast for the senses is offered at The Grill, with only the finest fresh local seafood and prime cuts of meat prepared by the hotel’s expertly trained chefs – the very essence of a laid-back, island dining experience.
And at both the lobby lounge and the pool side bar, guests can order cocktails, juices and tasty light snacks to satisfy their cravings throughout the day.
Situated at Sinagpa Hills, this well-appointed hotel is just three minutes’ walk to the stunning White Beach in the Station 1 area – arguably the finest stretch of sand the island has to offer, with crystal clear, shallow water, ideal for swimming.
With the hotel’s facilities reserved solely for in-house guests, privacy and tranquility are guaranteed - away from the hustle and bustle of the main white beach, yet still only footsteps from the action and entertainment.
There is a wealth of activities within easy reach, such as scuba diving, yacht cruising, stand up paddle boarding and parasailing, along with popular attractions such as Diniwid Beach, Willy’s Rock, Mount Luho and Puka Beach.
A leisurely stroll will take you to the vibrant main nightlife hub, with bars, clubs and numerous restaurants to choose from. The hotel also offers a complimentary air conditioned shuttle van service to the central part of the island.
With the perfect combination of warmth, luxury and world-class service, make Citic Hotel your island sanctuary and home-from-home, on your next visit to Boracay.