Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island, Aklan, 5608, Philippines

“The Shang” (it’s not just me – everyone calls it that) sits on a hill, faces the ocean and is the perfect hideaway from the chaos of Boracay. This gargantuan resort is the most expensive one in Boracay. However, once you do learn your way around, it’s easy to see why. Don’t expect the fine sands of The White Beach; it doesn’t have that. But a fantastic kids’ club with some serious slides, a lovely pool, gorgeous villas and pretty much everything else make it, by far, the best luxury family-friendly resort on the island.

Essentials:
  1. Baby cot
  2. Bottle sterilizer
  3. Bottle warmer
  4. Baby bathtub
  5. Highchair
  6. Child menu
  7. Doctor on call
  8. Interconnecting rooms
  9. Babysitting services (minimum 3 hour service; Php 700 for the first 2 hours; every additional hour is Php 350; after 10 pm an additional Php 100 for transport; maximum 2 children per babysitter).

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Family Favourites:
  1. In-room check in on request – a lifesaver when travelling with screaming kids after a long journey!
  2. Complimentary shuttle service into town to D’Mall (Station 2) from 6 am – 1 am.
  3. Adventure Zone is a rather large kid-friendly playroom with multiple long slides which kids just love! There is also a little slide and lots of play equipment for toddlers. Activities abound here and the supervised space will keep the kids busy for hours. There is no entering this zone without socks, for both parents and kids, so it’s squeaky clean. The resort is also chock-full with activities for kids! From palm fibre weaving, cookie making, learning Filipino games to guitar painting, your little ones never have a minute to spare. Either zipping around in golf buggies feeding fish or making kites and then flying them, the youngest lot is often also the busiest. All activities are complimentary for in-house guests.
  4. The Entertainment Centre is typically a hit with teens and the older lot. Arcade games, billiards, computers with internet connectivity, gaming consoles, table tennis, karaoke, foosball, board games, a café and more. Complimentary for in-house guests.
  5. How often does a breakfast buffet (an elaborate one at that) come with an ice cream bar? I rest my case.
  6. Beach front resort with a private beach – always a surefire recipe for a great family holiday. A second beach is a public one. The water is clear, blue and beautiful. The sand, however, is rubble-like with sharp pebbles, making it difficult to walk. Further, the guests seemed to outnumber the beach umbrellas, which was definitely an issue. Trying to secure service on the beach was also not easy.
  7. A number of water sports off the beach. Boat rides and yacht cruises can also be organized.
  8. The resort is surrounded by more that 20 dive sites and offers scuba diving and snorkeling sessions for both adults and children.
  9. A shaded pool area ensures that you can loll around all day long. Loungers, cabanas, hammocks and large cushions strewn on the lawns make the lolling that much easier. Fountains and shallow areas make this free form pool fun for the kids too.
  10. Family-friendly, spacious rooms. Budget permitting, the villas are gorgeous and perfect for families. Most villas come with a pool and a garden. Beach Villas give direct access to the beach.
  11. Fire dancers at sunset on the beach for kids, while parents soak it in from the safety of the adjoining bar.
  12. Seamless transfers from the airport to the resort and back – a big plus with tots in tow! Resort’s private waiting lounge comes with cold towels, refreshments and all the other trappings expected of a luxury property.

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Parent’s Perks:
  1. Butler service in villas and Seaview Suites, a handy service parents lap up rather easily.
  2. Chi, The Spa.
  3. Leave your kids in the more-than-capable hands of babysitters and waltz off to a romantic dinner to the cliff-top Sirena or Rima that sits amongst treetops.
  4. Activities organized throughout the day, keeping adults in mind include Zumba, Tai Chi, couple’s massage workshops, snorkeling safaris and more. Note: Service might not seem up to the mark, especially if you’ve just moved over from Discovery Shores Bay, the other popular resort on the island. I guess given the sheer size of the resort and the number of guests, the staff, though always happy and smiling, is hard to spot! For the price you pay at The Shang, the service is rather lack luster in comparison to Discovery Shores Bay.

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The Resort:
  • Hillside resort with a private beach on the northern end of Boracay Island.
    • From Caticlan Airport (the nearest airport to Boracay and a 35-minute flight from Manila), the hotel provides complimentary transfers to Caticlan Port. The 20-minute speedboat ride from Caticlan Port to the resort is also complimentary. Return transfers to Caticlan Airport are complimentary. Do note that for flights arriving into Caticlan Airport from 7 pm-7 am, there is a Php 1000 surcharge per room.
      • From Kalibo International Airport (KLO) it’s a 1.5-hour van ride to Caticlan Port followed by the speedboat ride to the resort. Transfers from KLO to Caticlan Port with resort van are Php 3500 per van per way. The 20-minute speedboat ride from Caticlan Port to the resort is complimentary. Return transfers to Caticlan Port are also complimentary.
  • 291 Rooms, suites & villas
  • 4 Restaurants
  • 2 Bars
  • 1 pool
  • Spa
  • Health Club

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Mandy’s Tip: For the best luxury family-friendly holiday in Boracay , split your stay between Discovery Shores Bay and Shangri-La to get a taste of both sides of the island. The Shangri-La is a gorgeous property and a perfect hideaway from the chaos of Boracay. The White Beach, where Discovery Shores sits, is stunning!

Travelling mom Natasha Tulsi contributed parts of this review

Travelling to Boracay? Check out our other fabulous family-friendly hotels here

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