The heavenly island of Boracay is the #1 tourist destination in all of the Philippines, with Filipinos, foreign tourists, and travelers flocking to the island in the Visayan Region of the country. While Boracay is certainly not the idyllic scene it used to be with spotless, pillowy white sand beaches and a small-island vibe, it’s still a damn fun and enjoyable place to go for a long weekend. But because it’s so popular with people throwing around their vacation money like wildfire, prices have definitely gone up – especially for hotels.
That’s why I love staying at the Royal Park Resort every time I’m visiting the island of Boracay.
The Royal Park Hotel in Boracay Review
There are still a variety of price ranges for visitors to Boracay, ranging from family-style shared rooms, dorms, and hostels inland to private luxury resorts. But one thing that’s for certain is that beachfront property and views are at a premium, so hotels right on Boracay’s gorgeous White Beach (a 7 km strip of white sand that ranges from nice to magnificent as you go) are usually the most expensive.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when a friend – a local tour guide who’s lived his whole life here – suggested that I try Royal Park.
The oceanside strip of bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels all along White Beach are segmented into Station 3, Station 2, and Station 1 as you go north. The Royal Park Resort sits right on the beach in an ideal location right where Station 1 starts. So it’s an easy walk to the central point of D Mall (Boracay’s outdoor shopping complex), near the iconic Willy’s Rock, nightlife destinations, the row of restaurants on the beach, and more. When you leave the hotel and walk left, you’ll have modern conveniences like Starbucks, but to the right, the beach opens up much bigger, is much less crowded, and populated more by dive shops and higher-end resorts.
The other awesome feature about Royal Park’s location is that it’s the only hotel I know of in all of Boracay that’s sand-to-street. What that means is you can enter Royal Park on the interior street out of their back door for pick up, drop off, or just getting a trike to another part of town, but the open-air lobby and front of the hotel sits right on the beach. So white sand is literally to the first step of the hotel!
The view in front of the hotel is a grove of palm trees, a cute little beach bar, white sand with plenty of chairs to lounge in, and then the ocean.
Usually, a review of hotels focuses on the room, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Royal Park’s rooms are ridiculously spacious, especially for densely-packed Boracay. The have great aircons that make it icy cold, comfortable, firm beds, and TV, etc. The rooms are nice and very practical, without being luxurious.
The hotel is perfectly safe, and its staff are fantastic, friendly, and well-trained, with the maintenance and cleaning people doing a commendable job keeping it spotless.
The one downside to the hotel is that the breakfast is not good. Seriously, it’s almost inedible, and even the brewed coffee is bad. But that’s also consistent with more local island fare and cuisine, and you’ll find the same at a lot of hotels. But when I book a room, I make sure the price does not include breakfast and I can just scoot out to one of many restaurants nearby.
Like most of Boracay, the wi-fi can be shakey, too, but it almost always works to some degree in the lobby. But they recently expanded the wi-fi to the rooms on the second and third floors,
All of this for about $50 USD or so right in the heart of paradise, as Boracay was named the #3 island in the world by CondeNaste traveler for 2016. Not too shabby!