I‘ve never been picky when it comes to accommodations. My only requirement is that the bathroom is clean, especially the toilet and the sink.
When my husband and I went to Boracay last November for our second anniversary celebration, I had no idea where to stay. The first time we went to Boracay, our accommodations was sponsored by Microtel Inns and Suites. But since our second visit to the island was for our own personal enjoyment, we made sure that we arranged everything on our own. In panic, we placed reservations on the first “cheap” hotel we saw.
During our third visit to the resort island last December, we cannot help but regret our rash decision. We should have stayed at The Taj Guesthouse instead.
The Taj Guesthouse is tucked away in an alley in Boat Station 2 leading to the beach—quite near to D’mall, where most of the restaurants and bars are. The walking distance is probably just the same if you stayed in one of those big (and expensive) beach-front hotels. Across it is an eatery where you can find the yummiest tomato-onion-cheese omelet, and a convenience store. Perfect for backpackers!
But the thing is, The Taj Guesthouse is unlike what you’ll expect for such an affordable Boracay accommodation (a room for 3 or 4 is about Php2,000, while one good for two is Php1,500). You’d expect at that price you’ll get a rundown room with a dingy bathroom. But surprisingly, a room at The Taj Guesthouse surpassed my expectations.
Each room has the basic amenities you’ll need in a guesthouse by the beach: toiletries, towels, air-conditioner, closet, safe, and even a television set. They don’t have internet access, though you can easily head over to D’mall if you really have to.
What makes The Taj Guesthouse stand out for me isn’t really the amenities, but the overall interior design of the place. I may not be a picky traveler, but I’ve been used to affordable but good accommodations that sometimes I begin to expect something “better” for hotels / guesthouses more expensive than the usual “backpacker” rate. Yes, that is the very same reason I was thoroughly disappointed with La Carmela de Boracay—it was about the same price as Taj’s, but the room we stayed in is not maintained and the hotel was so far from D’mall.
Native art are placed strategically in corners and walls, and the dropped ceiling of the room-for-three gave it a simple, yet classy look. The attention to interior design makes you feel that you really are getting your money’s worth.
The Taj Guesthouse is a family-run business. As of writing, there are only four available rooms for rent. However, the owners say that they are currently constructing a second floor to accommodate more guests. But, like any other star-up business, there are still some room for improvement. I suggest they hire somebody to man the reception area in shifts so there would be somebody who can accommodate customer requests 24/7, answer inquiries, and check room availability for inquiring travelers. Other than that, their service is pretty ok. The owners—and their staff—are friendly and accommodating.
Balabag, Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan, Philippines
Phone: (036) 288-4628 (+6332-2884628)
Mobile: (0920) 919-6509 (+63920-9196509
Fax: (036) 288-5695 (+6332-2885695)
SEAIR flies regularly to Boracay via Caticlan. For reservations, you can get your tickets through the SEAIR call center +632 849.0100 or log on to the SEAIR website to reserve online.