Sunday, June 27, 2010

Because sometimes we just want a little peace and quiet...and lots of luxury
BY ALEX PASTOR

Boracay, for all its fame and beauty, has been transformed into a truly noisy party place over the past several years. It is no longer the place to go to when one is in need of some real, honest-to-goodness peace and quiet.
There was a time when this once-island paradise was a beautiful beach to go to and little else, far removed from the smog, the pollution and the daily stresses of urban living.
It was the place to go to for unadulterated rest and relaxation. While definitely rustic at the time, as there were only a few resorts lining the beachfront, the island nonetheless made up for the lack of creature comforts with its breathtaking natural beauty. Now, all that may have been forever lost on the altar of progress and modernity.
Or so I thought.
Recently, I was invited to discover and experience Asya Premier Suites, the newest resort cocooned at the far end of Station 3, perfectly tucked away from the noise and chaos of Stations 1 and 2. I know, I know, people tend to think of Station 3 as the only station on the island that somehow—and, incredibly enough, much to people’s dismay—is the only area left underdeveloped. Thankfully, that reality is already changing.
With the leadership and foresight of Choy Cojuangco and his company, the people behind the beautifully designed and just-opened Asya Premier Suites, it is fast becoming the place to go to for the ultimate in quality rest and relaxation. Moreover, it is said to be the only true first-class resort hotel of its kind on Station 3, although I would wager that the distinction would hold even if Stations 1 and 2 were thrown into the mix.
“We really wanted to come up with a resort that is a long way off from the party madness of Stations 1 and 2. That is the main reason we came up with Asya Premier Suites—to offer people a more peaceful and relaxing alternative. Of course, it’s a lot of fun to party, but sometimes we also need the stillness of silence to relax and recharge us. And since Asya is at the farthest end of Station 3, however loud the party music of Station 2 gets, it will still not break the quiet in our resort. It really feels like Boracay of long ago,” said Choy, president of Asya Premier Suites.
From the moment I arrived at Caticlan Airport, it was first-class all the way. I was picked up by a brand-new van to be brought to the pier where I assumed a banca was waiting. On my previous trips to Boracay, I was brought to the beach via a motorized banca and the boat ride typically took 30 to 45 minutes. This time, though, I rode on a spanking-new speed boat and reached my destination in about 10 to 15 minutes flat. Now, that’s what I call fast! I was then dropped off at Asya Premier Suites’ own private cove, complete with nipa huts where one can have an absolutely clandestine time, away from the prying eyes of the public.
Just a short distance from the cove was the lobby of Asya Premier Suites, and one word to describe the entrance is “stunning”. The lobby was designed in such a way that it would face the vast expanse of the beach. To reach the resort’s other facilities from the lobby, there are two ways guests can choose from. The first one is via the easy-to-traverse staircase that brings you from the lobby to the beach. The other one is by golf cart. What makes Asya Premier Suites even more picturesque is that it follows the natural architecture of the land. Currently, there are 20 large villas in the 2-hectare area that the resort is occupying, all strategically facing the beach.
The villa that I stayed in is unbelievably huge. Upon entering, there is a king-sized bed facing a wide veranda overlooking the beach, making each waking day absolutely something to look forward to. Just imagine, waking up to such a fantastic view every morning! Besides that, the bathroom is likewise very spacious and beautifully designed. There is a bathtub right smack in the middle with a pocket garden just behind it. The shower, I must say, is my favorite area in the bathroom, as it is completely open and gives you a feeling of unabashed luxury. The long sink with long mirror, which can be found on the right side, is equally impressive. The toiletries offered by the resort to guests are also first-class. From the shampoo and conditioner, to the soap and body lotion, the famed French brand L’Occitane is the only brand of choice.
The other luxuries of the resort include a nanny and butler service, a 500-square-meter pool, a deli and café by the poolside, a fine-dining restaurant called Palay, a function room, a wine room, a fitness center, in-room wellness services, Wi-Fi Internet service, a business center, as well as in-room check-in and check-out services.
Right in the middle of the resort is a gorgeous pool made of live Araan stones. It seems like, for this resort hotel at least, everything is designed to maximize and use the beach as the perfect backdrop in all of its facilities and amenities as everything is facing the beach.
“Asya Premier Suites is the only luxury resort on the whole island that has 20 separate villas that have a panoramic view of the famed beach of Boracay. Sixteen of these villas are categorized as Premier Suites, while the remaining four are Presidential Suites. Although our facilities and amenities are first class in every respect, our pricing, on the other hand, is very reasonable. We want both our local and foreign guests to experience the ultimate in luxury without literally burning a huge hole in their wallets. Our suites are approximately 110 square meters each with an ante room, a king-sized bed and a huge bathroom. The Presidential Suite, besides having all of the amenities found in a Premier Suite, also has its very own wading pool,” said Sabrina Salvador, events manager of Asya Premier Suites.
The resort’s food offering is also something worth mentioning as its in-house chef has successfully and deliciously mastered the art of Filipino fusion cuisine.
Asya Premier is finally paving the way for the ultimate alternative of peace and utmost quiet in the party place that is Boracay. It is in sitio Cagban, baranggay Manoc Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

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