When we visited the Philippines a few weeks ago, we knew that we were prioritizing a few things above all else. First, we wanted easy access to the beach. Second, we wanted to have enough space for our family to really enjoy a relaxing vacation – albeit a short one over Memorial Day Weekend. Last, but certainly not least, we wanted to be able to be able to do things on our timeline and get away from the bigger crowds. That’s how we chose our stay in Boracay, Philippines. While it had never been on my radar before, it should definitely be on yours!
Our Stay in Boracay, Philippines
When you think of the Philippines, you probably think of Manila, or maybe even Cebu. Not too many westerners (that we know of, at least) have heard of Boracay, a petite island in the central Philippines. Hailed for its beaches and resorts, it’s a quintessential beach-goer’s paradise. The east coast is known for its watersports, while the west coast is known for its white sand and long stretches of beaches.
With just three days to play in the Philippines, we wanted to find a spot, hunker down, and just enjoy. Naturally, the incoming typhoon, Betty, had to throw a little bit of a wrench in some of our plans, but not enough to deter us from our travels, thankfully!
Why We Chose Our AirBnb in Boracay
Boracay has no shortage of places to stay. Though a small island with under 40k inhabitants, tourism is arguably one of its largest industries. Like many places in the Philippines though, it’s an island marked with extremes. You’ll travel through those to pass to the pristine beaches that travelers frequent.
As per our usual now, we chose to stay in an AirBnb (much like we did during our Vietnam vacation). We opted to veer away from the popular and eponymous White Beach and, instead, booked a little spot on Diniwid Beach, known more for its locals and off-the-beaten-path and tranquil vibe. Located high on a hill – seriously, very high…about 250 steps above the beach – we stayed at Casa Gabriel in Tropicana Ocean Villas above Diniwid Beach, our three-story villa overlooked the ocean in style.
What We Loved About Diniwid Beach, Boracay
While Gabriel House (our villa) wasn’t our favorite AirBnB we’ve ever stayed in, we loved how centrally-located it was to everything we really wanted to do in Boracay. Typhoon Betty knocked out most of our adventure plans because of rough seas and intense winds, but we still spent the better half of three full days either playing on Diniwid Beach, swimming in the warm water, or just relaxing. Our AirBnB also had air conditioning in two of the three bedrooms, which was a must for us because it is humid there. The AC in the bedrooms was such a gift on hot nights!
When the wind kicked up the last day to the point that it was painful sitting on the beach because of blowing sand, we actually went to the Microtel in Boracay and purchased hourly access to their pool. They’d put up a wind block, so we could all enjoy the water without the added sandblasting due to the typhoon. Diniwid Beach actually has plenty of amenities nearby, as well, making it a perfect little getaway where you can actually get away from the bulk of the tourism and crowds.
Best Places to Stay in Boracay
While we obviously favor our AirBnB style of traveling, there are plenty of other options for travelers, as well. Boracay has a little bit of everything. Here are some of the best places to stay for every budget in Boracay:
For the Luxury Traveler:
For the Traditional Traveler:
And, if you’re a budget traveler just hoping to make it to paradise and find a place to lay your head, there are plenty of hostels, book-by-the-day hotels, and more. Basically, Boracay is a mix of all worlds, which makes it the perfect eclectic paradise for all.