If you visit the island of Boracay – the #1 tourist destination in the Philippines and voted one of the best islands in the world – you’ll be enamored by the white sand beaches, easygoing vibe, and vibrant nightlife. Unfortunately, you’ll also encounter vendors, throngs of tourists everywhere you turn, and a beach that’s becoming more trampled and trashed every year.
That’s why you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Spider House when you visit Boracay, a best-kept secret that’s adequately secluded to 99% of the tourists away.
The Spider House Hotel & Restaurant
To get to Spider House, you’ll also have to earn it. Of course, you can just hop on a motorcycle taxi or trike on the main road that will take you close, but the best way to get there is just to take a long walk up the beach. At the end of Station 1 (the beach is divided into stations), you’ll come to a point where the beach seems to end.
But that’s just the beginning, as from there you need to traverse inhospitable rocks, winding paths that seem to disappear, narrow ledges, and deserted stretches of beach to come to Spider House. You won’t even know you’re there then, as there are no big neon signs and you’ll actually have to walk through the deck of another resort to get there.
Spider House is a resto-bar/hotel complex literally built into the rock face of the cliffs that descend to the sea.
What’s become a world-famous secret spot on one of the most famous islands in the world used to be the “house” for a European family, after they bought the structure back in 1989. They lived there several months a year for three decades, and one of their boys was even born there!
But in 2011, they decided to open it up to the public as a cool restaurant/bar and hotel. I haven’t stayed at the rooms but they are every bit spartan, unique, and cool to wake up in that gravity-defying location. But anyone can enjoy the Spider House experience just by walking in (and under and around the caves that snake through, serving as the entrance).
Most people come in the afternoon for the sunset, when it’s a celebration of everything right about Boracay, with great food (try the mango-avocado salad) that’s just a bit overpriced (justified considering how hard it is to get all of the food and supplies there!) and plenty of beer and drinks. From the main deck that serves as the restaurant, you can sit by the ledge and observe the sea below and a great view of Boracay’s White Sand Beach, and even jump into the ocean from a platform, then climb right back up on their wooden ladder.
I recommend making the trek a little bit earlier in the afternoon because prime-location tables fill up quickly well before sunset. However, the less-crowded mornings are one of my favorite times to visit Spider House, and you can spend virtually all day there reading or watching a movie on rainy days.
Also, bring sunscreen and a hat on the way, and putting your valuables in a waterproof bag is probably a good idea.
Don’t worry about staying well after dark, as you can navigate the same path back to the beach with the help of hanging lights that the locals have rigged, although a good flashlight wouldn’t hurt. Or, you can arrange a trike to meet you not too far away from Diniwid Beach to take you back on the main road.
You gotta love Boracay, but as it gets busier and more about the partying and less about nature, Spider House is a perfect getaway.