Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Tides: charming and cutesy

With the multitude of hotels in Boracay, it would be close to impossible to try every single one of them. For our short weekend getaway, we tried The Tides for the first time. Nestled within Boracay's D' Mall, the hotel has been around for quite some time already. Overall it was a nice experience for us. Let me start with the hotel itself and its facilities; I'll save our room for another post.

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Our "Tides" experience started with a minor glitch. Despite me reconfirming my booking the day before, there was no one to welcome us at the Caticlan airport. An airport staff was kind enough to ask us where we were booked so she radioed the Tides staff who was already preparing to leave. Based on the list he was given, he was only expecting two arrivals. Apparently, there was some inefficiency with their reservations team and/or maybe their front desk.

But everything went on smoothly until we reached the hotel. He was a one-man show, by the way. He was there at the airport, rode with us in the van to the Caticlan jetty port, carried our luggage, took care of our boat tickets, terminal and environmental fees, rode with us on the boat to Boracay, then drove us from the jetty port to The Tides. Yes, he was also the driver. What a multitasker he was!

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It was an open-air lobby at The Tides. As expected, our room wasn't ready yet because standard check-in time is 2PM and we were already there before 8AM. But the lady at the reception was such a slowpoke. She just told us to sit first without even telling us what to expect, or until what time we should wait, or suggest what we could do in the meantime. I had to ask her before we decided to have breakfast and later proceeded with swimming and beach-bumming. But if it's any consolation, I loved their lemon and ginger concoction of a welcome drink. I wanted more.

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The lobby opens up to a courtyard surrounded by blinding white with black accents. The buildings's architecture is pretty straightforward, just basic, clean lines.

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A couple of bridges connect the two buildings on the third and fourth floors. The hotel has some touches of quirk all around. Certain phrases like "What happens at the tides..." and "If these walls could talk..." are randomly painted on walls, along corridors, and even ceilings. This huge one below (taken with a foggy lens) greets you just as you're about to reach the third floor. Nice touches, I must say.

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The fourth floor is actually a roof deck where their restaurant (Ka-on) sits, along with an outdoor bar (Solstice), and a small pool area. Their buffet breakfast, by the way, is pretty decent. Just don't look for fancy food choices you might expect from a five-star hotel. But personally, their choices are better than Patio Pacific's.

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I love the atmosphere here. Overlooking a backdrop of Boracay's elevation on one end and the beach on another is refreshing. Never mind some rusty tin roofs in sight. Focus on what's beautiful.

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Though small, the pool is a welcome sight.

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There's also a gift shop at the lobby. And after swimming or bumming on the beach, there's a faucet right before entering the lobby where the guard will point you so you could wash your feet and not scatter sand inside the hotel premises, which are adequately kept clean by the housekeeping staff.

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Save for the minor bumps upon our arrival, I still like the hotel and won't bother to book another stay even when there's still lots of hotels to try out in Boracay. Next up I'll show you our room at The Tides.

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