When I arrived to Boracay I was positively surprised how gorgeous, well developed but still genuine the island was. My first impression was “beautiful like the Maldives but with more soul and pulse”.
I was looking for serenity and beautiful nature, a place to recharge my batteries, and found it in the northern part of the island, at Diniwid beach. When I arrived to Diniview Villas I checked in with a refreshing mango juice in my hand while my bags were transported to my house, the Tree Villa. Hidden between mango and papaya trees I immediately felt comfortable in my new home.
Decorated with one hundred fresh flowers, a fridge filled with food, fresh fruit and wine and the most stunning view I could ever imagine made this one of the best places I have ever visited. I travel a lot, more than 150 hotel nights per year speaks for itself.
Normally I just leave my bags and head out to town when I arrive somewhere new, but here I got stuck in my house for hours, I could not imagine finding a more beautiful place on the island. The open master bathroom, the completely open upper floor with the huge terrace, big sliding glass walls and that incredible view….hands down the most beautiful place I have enjoyed a holiday. I was lucky enough to meet the owner Julia Lervik, a Swedish woman already living on Boracay for many years. Coming from an artist family in Stockholm, it is quite clear that she appreciates beauty and excellent design, which of course shows in the design of each of the seven villas.
So far so good, all the luxury and beauty I was looking for was right there, but how about the future? Boracay is getting more and more popular and new hotels and resorts are looking for ground to build bigger and better places.
When I met Julia she told me about what she and Dinivew Villas do for the environment on the island, among other things, saving the giant fruit bats.
Every evening after sunset thousands of huge fruit bats fly from Boracay from the main land to feed. The first time I saw it was from my terrace with a glass of rosé wine in my hand, the view of the sunset was amazing and the number of bats spectacular.
The Inquirer.net explains more:
Bats play a key role in the regeneration of trees and in preserving the fast-dwindling forest cover, according to the Boracay-based Friends of the Flying Foxes (FFF), a group of volunteers working for their conservation.
Over their flight route, they disperse seeds (they actually drop these while flying and eating), according to FFF president Julia Lervik. The seeds account for ar
ound 95 percent of forest regrowth on cleared land, according to the group.
Flying Foxes hang on tall trees in lowland forests and live in a colony. From their “roosting” sites, they go to the Aklan mainland at night to feed on fruits from forest trees and return early in the morning to sleep.
Watching thousands of flying bats during sunset has become one of Boracay’s attractions. But the island’s fast-paced and often unregulated development, and the influx of tourists and settlers have taken their toll on the creatures.
THESE fruit bats are called Flying Foxes because they resemble miniature dogs.
The bat population has plunged by 86 percent from 15,000 in 1988 to 2,000 in 2005, according to the latest count of the FFF and other conservation groups. The sharp decline has been blamed on habitat loss, human disturbance of the bats’ roosting area and hunting.
Since it was formed in 2002, the FFF has been campaigning for the preservation of the bats’ habitat and eliminating disturbances. It is composed of Boracay residents, wildlife specialists and conservationists, expatriates and tourists.
The group conducts research and education on bats and their habitat.
If I ever go back to Boracay I will for sure book another stay here. The short walk to the small quiet beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, butterflies and geckos. Apparently there is a small monkey living on the property too… Diniview villas is t
he perfect accommodation for anyone looking for comfortable luxury.
To read more about the Diniview villas or to book a stay there, check out www.diniviewboracay.com
Before flying back to Europe I wanted to stay a few days at the famous White Beach. It is known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but also one of the most developed ones. I took a local transportation called e-truck to get there. A fun ride through the small villages on the island. The last stretch we did by foot in soft white sand, since my next accommodation was situated right on the famous beach.
Villa Camilla was exactly what I was looking for here. A new, beautiful and classy boutique hotel on the southern and calmer stretch of the beach. Surrounded by small bars, restaurants and music but without being as busy as the other parts of the beach.
Again, I was surprised by the hospitality and luxury! The
small hotel is situated right on the beach. You literally step out from the lobby straight on the soft white sand, you cant get closer to your morning swim than this!
The rooms are gorgeous with all amenities you can think of. Be sure to book one with a balcony facing the beach to get the most beautiful view and first class seat for the sunset.
I had a chat with Svea van Emmerik, management assistent at Villa Caemilla, when I arrived and she explained what they do for Boracay. The hotel s a big sponsor and ambassador for the free daycare center Babies of Boracay, www.babiesofboracay.com The small organisation is completely dependent on volunteer work and donations to give free meals and education to children aged between six months and six years old. When you walk next to the luxury hotels on Boracay it is hard to imagine that a charity daycare center is needed, but many kids in the local villages lack nutrition and basic education. When the super typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines in 2013 the demand grew even bigger. Read more on their website www.babiesofboracay.com
I love luxury and luxury travel, and if I know that the locals gets a fair share of the money I am spending the whole experience feels so much better. When it comes to preserve the nature around us and helping the next generation grow up there can never be enough work done.
If you are looking for a beautiful hotel right on the beach Villa Caemilla is an excellent choice,
everything you need is within walking distance and the service is top class. I hope I get a chance to come back!
JUNE 24, 2016