I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published December 16th 2015
Fairways @Boracay Philippines The dream holiday
How about treating yourself to a well-earned dream holiday? Overseas?
Most of us have spent time daydreaming about being in paradise; where the sand is blindingly white and the azure coloured water is warm, with undulating evergreen hills as far your eyes can see.
Imagine lying under swaying palm trees, with golden amber on your hand. You can take a nap whenever you feel like it, then show off those bronze bodies that shimmer under the kiss of the sun while watching the sunset over the horizon.
Spend your time being pampered with massages, playing golf, horseback riding, or being adventurous and riding a zip line . At the end of the day, head back to your luxurious accommodation. Take a nap, re-charge your battery so to speak, and when night falls, head to town and party all night.
Sounds inviting, but you may also think that all of the above will cost a fortune. Well, at this luxury location it's surprisingly very affordable. The rates start at $120 a night which includes breakfast. Yes, dear readers, affordable luxury without compromising quality.
Set in approximately 150 hectares, it's a 45 minute flight from the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Its a 15 to 20 minutes boat ride from the domestic airport at Catiklan to the island of Boracay and a further 10 minutes by land and you have reached Fairways. You may think that it's a lot of travelling. Please read on.
Fairways is a world class resort boasting a centrepiece 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course.This enviable facility is the brainchild of golf champion Graham Marsh and has proudly hosted international tournaments.
The impressive 6600-yard facility comes fully equipped with pro shop and reservations, locker room facilities, club rentals, tee houses and beverage cart.
The resort does not just cater for professionals but also to those who wish to improve their game. You can seek the assistance of well-experienced caddies and golf professionals.
The entrance to the resort is guarded by armed security guards. Although it can be confronting, rest assured that it's for guest protection. Immaculately attired, these imposing security personnel are very friendly and polite. Nobody can get in and out without being noticed.
The lobby over-looking the golf course is huge. The high ceiling combined with simple but comfortable lounges gave us a forthcoming vision that this holiday would be immensely enjoyable. The staff who greeted us in their well-pressed uniforms oozed charm and elegance.
•Wi-Fi Internet access
•Mini-bar and refrigerator
•Coffee and tea
•Private toilet and bath
The facilities are next to perfection.
The resort offers the following;
• 6 food and beverage outlets
• 18-hole golf course designed by Graham Marsh
• Clubhouse, souvenir shop, spa
• Meeting rooms, ballroom, convention hall
• Banquet and events services
• 3 private beach coves, beach and pool umbrellas
• Infinity pools, jacuzzi, gym
• Activities and water sports – zipline, ATV, buggy cars, horseback riding, cable car, jet skiing, banana boating
• Complimentary shuttle service (Resort-D'Mall-Resort) scheduled from 9 am to 10 pm (every hour)
• Housekeeping and room services
• Laundry and pressing services
• 24-hour shuttle within the vicinity of the resort
• 24-hour security, parking
• Wi-Fi Internet access (with surcharge)
• Airport transfer (with charge)
I have never before experienced a resort where first-rate amenities are perfectly partnered with highly skilled staff.
Their presentation, politeness, and assistance with a genuine smile was very consistent. I didn't just like a princess, but a queen instead.
The resort staff absolutely exceeded the expectation of even the fussiest client, including myself.
Another question that you might ask is, How does a mega resort like Fairways comply with environmental standards?
Fairways & Bluewater has an environmental management system in place. The resort has an Environmental Compliance Certificate and submits a Compliance Monitoring Report every six months to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.
It has also implemented proper segregation for bio-degradable and non-biodegrable waste.
Busted lamps and used oil are collected and stored in drums, defective batteries and broken appliances are also collected and properly stored.
The resort has a number of e-Jeeps which are electronic or battery operated.
Some areas of the resort are powered by solar lights and all villas and the hotel use LED bulbs.
The resort also conducts regular beach and street cleaning.
In 2012, 10,000 trees of various kinds were planted in the golf course area, and a further 5,000 were also planted in 2013.
In early 2014, 3,000 different species of plants and trees and a further 6,000 was placed on the ground during the last quarter of 2014.
When Typhoon Yolanda hit Boracay, trees surgeries were conducted. To avoid uprooting and heavy damage, tree trimmings are regularly perform in preparation for any upcoming typhoon.
I had the opportunity to meet Chris A Leaning who is the Food and Beverages Director and Miss Daisy Aguilar who is the Guest Services Assistant Manager.
The enigmatic Chris is very proud to say that the resort has invested in an Investment on People program. IOP ensures that the resort is well staffed with the best staff in the business. In my opinion, the implemented program has proven to be effective.
As an example:
We woke up quite late for breakfast one morning and I was upset that the staff had already cleared up and there was no food left. I asked why they had cleared the table so early but by the time we sat down, Louie had arrived with a couple of plates laden with food.
So, if you.are you ready for another adventure, pack your bags, and a book to read on a lazy afternoon. Take your camera or video to capture those unforgettable moments, as well as your sunnies, sunblock, and shorts to display those amazing pins. Bee ready to "Re-Define your Lifestyle"
How to get there:
A majority of airlines have flights to Manila, (the capital of the Philippines)
Costs vary depending on the time of the year. I was in the Philippines in October 2015 and paid approximately $500 return, flying with Cebu Pacific.
Australian citizens don't need a visa if you're staying for under 21 days. Nonetheless, a visa is easily accessible if you decide to stay further.
From Manila you can either take a domestic flight to Catiklan which takes approximately 45 minutes. Or to Kalibo which will at least an hour to get to Caticlan.Then a further 2 hours (ask questions) to Catiklan
From Caticlan, a boat ride to the island should only take 10 minutes. The resort is 15 minutes away either by a cab which we hired for P350 ($10) or P150 for a tricycle.
($5 - current exchange of P34=$1)
And you're there.
This article is merely a guide, so please do a lot of research and have amazing fun.