Bar scene: Philippines

On Boracay Island, choose your bars wisely

 

To avoid the big crowds along White Beach, seek out these two options.

 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">UNBEATABLE VIEW: </span> At the Solana bar on the Shangri-La property, wooden perches filled with cushions for lounging overlook Puka Shell Beach.
UNBEATABLE VIEW: At the Solana bar on the Shangri-La property, wooden perches filled with cushions for lounging overlook Puka Shell Beach.
Shangri-La Resort

Special to the Miami Herald

“There are, sadly, a lot of terrible bars in Boracay now,” my friend Chris told me, as we walked towards his favorite spot for cocktails and food — a small, al fresco joint just off the sand called Maya’s.

His point wasn’t hard to prove. Boracay’s most famous stretch of sand, White Beach, is crammed end-to-end with oversized seafood restaurants and nightclubs. One or two could have been charming, but the options are now overwhelming. Each tries to outdo the others with garish design, loud music and constant entreaties from wackily dressed waiters. The result is, you’ll need a stiff drink just to deal with the options for having a drink.

If you head to Boracay, absolutely drink and dine at the delicious, aforementioned Maya’s. Or, leave the tourist sand trap of White Beach entirely for the solitude of nearby Puka Shell Beach and the Shangri-La Resort. Their bars are an option even if you aren’t staying there.

THE SHANGRI-LA

This resort is one of the most famous Shangri-La properties on the planet. A gorgeous blend of South Pacific thatched huts and modern touches like marble and chandeliers, it’s got an island feel and extreme luxury. You don’t have to take a room to enjoy the splendor for a few hours. Call in advance and book a table at one of the seven restaurants or bars on property.

Have your first drink at Alon, a beachside bar located next to one of the largest swimming pools in the Philippines. Then wind up through the trees via wooden staircases to Solana. You and friends climb into wooden perches, filled with cushions for lounging. These treehouse tables extend out over the cliff, giving unbeatable views of pretty Puka Shell Beach below. In your personal perch, you can nibble tapas, sip fine wines, or split a pitcher of excellent, fresh-fruit sangria. 

Drink: During happy hour (5 p.m.-7 p.m.), sangria is 350 pesos per glass, roughly $7.

Details: 011-63-36 288 4988; www.shangri-la.com/boracay

MAYA’S FILIPINO & MEXICAN CUISINE

At first, there is a moment of hesitation for a menu that claims both Filipino and authentic Mexican dishes. But they nail both. If you aren’t craving alcohol, the fresh mango shakes are outstanding, and if you are in the mood for booze, their abundant juices make daiquiris and margaritas solid choices here.

The real draw of Maya’s is the location at the less-crowded end of White Beach and the decor. The restaurant, attached to a guesthouse called Jony’s Beach House, is simple and clean, raised slightly and set back from the sand. You get the beach breeze and calm atmosphere … without passing tourists kicking sand on you.

Hint: Happy hour pricing on cocktails is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Details: www.jonysbeachresortboracay.com; Station 1, Boracay Island; 011-63-36 288 6119.  

Read more Travel stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
The number of smartphone and tablet apps that allow a user to search for and bid on the lowest prices for upscale hotel rooms has dramatically increased in recent years. Using them, along with third-party booking sites like Kayak.com and the hotel's own app or website, can net travelers some surprising savings. (Cristina Sampaio/The New York Times) -- ILLUSTRATION MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE, ONLINE OR IN PRINT, BEFORE AUG. 10, 2014. -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED HOTEL APPS ADV10 BY STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED. --

    Travelwise

    Battle of the apps: last-minute deals on upscale hotels

    If last-minute hotel booking apps make you think of impetuous travelers on a budget, think again. The market for such apps and websites is becoming increasingly crowded, making it easier for those looking for upscale hotels to find eleventh-hour discounts.

  •  
The 9/11 Tribute Center, on Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan, offers an intimate look at the events of Sept. 11th, 2001, and also offers walking tours.

    New York

    9/11 Memorial, museum, draw strong interest

    Out-of-towners and locals alike have shown enormous interest in sites connected to the Sept. 11th attacks. More than 700,000 people from all 50 states and 131 countries have been to the National Sept. 11 Museum since it opened May 21. More have come from New York than any other state, but the museum also hosts so many international tourists that you can’t even identify all the languages being spoken.

  •  
Georgian wine and giant, comfy couches are standouts at Josper Organique in Tbilisi.

    Bar scene: Tbilisi, Georgia

    A night out in a lively and charming city

    The town’s tagline is “Tbilisi Loves You.” These words are scrawled in a festive font at the airport, on the sides of taxis and in graffiti on buildings. The slogan rings true, because I’ve never met a more welcoming city than the quirky capital of Georgia — the country, not the state.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK



  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category