First impression. Lugar Bonito is a white-washed, four-storey building along Boracay’s main road on the tail end of station 1. Lugar Bonito, said the owner Chiqui Llige, means “pretty place” in Spanish, and I realized how fitting the name is as soon as I walked into the open lobby. With its white walls, patterned tiles, and accents in various shades of blue, the lobby is reminiscent of quaint seaside houses in Greece. The Mediterranean theme is carried over to all the six rooms that occupy the second and third storeys of the building. Each room is decorated uniquely so that no two rooms look identical. The decor is charmingly mismatched — different prints and textures are mixed together, made even more interesting with the addition of quirky accessories, such as a sun-shaped mirror, or a vintage lantern. The result is a homey, lived-in look.
The hallways and stairwells are quite narrow, but they contribute to the homey look. It’s a bit of a climb through four flights of stairs to get to the top floor — there are no elevators — but the roofdeck overlooking the bright blue Boracay sea is the perfect place to catch the island’s famous sunset.
Check- in. Quick.
Room. Everything really does get personal at Lugar Bonito, where even the rooms have names. Mine in particular was called Kallias, a Greek name meaning “beauty”. It is one of two 11-sqm superior rooms in the building, which can fit up to three people. Other room types include a nine-sqm standard room, good for up to two people, and a 16sqm family room, good for up to five people. The room itself is not very spacious, with a queen-size bed occupying most of the space, and a daybed for a third guest filling the space beside the door.
In my room, everything is white, save for two colored throw pillows, the wrought iron chandelier, and some wooden accent. Far from being boring, however, the décor instead plays on textures, with an exquisitely carved headboard, crocheted pillowcases, and an ornate wall-hanging. The bed was firm and comfortable. The en-suite bathroom, decorated in the same Mediterranean theme, is basic, brighten up by colorful patterned tiles.
Food. My room came with a complimentary continental breakfast, which was served in-room instead of at the roofdeck because it was raining. It’s served in a woven basket. While the bread is just your run-of-the-mill toast, the coffee, served hot in a French press, was delicious. The hotel has no in-house restaurant, but being on the busier end of station 1, there are many establishments nearby where guests can grab a bite. Andok’s right next door serves affordable roast chicken meals for those on a budget. For something more upmarket, there’s also Aplaya Boracay, less than 10 minutes away on foot. The beachfront restaurant serves pizza, pasta, and a great bruschetta.
Activties. Lugar Bonito is only about a minute away from White Beach, where certified tour guides offer packages for water activities such as island-hopping, snorkeling, or parasailing. Then of course, there is also the option to just lay down on a beach blanket in the sand and catch a tan. The famous tourist spot, Willy’s Rock, is just a five-minute walk away from the hotel as well, and D’Mall, the island’s commercial center, is about a ten-minute walk away. The hotel also offers 24-hour in-room massages by one of the island’s spas, The Sandy Lane.
Service. The staff were pleasant and considerate.
I like. The hotel’s charm and homey feel. People don’t normally like small rooms, but at Lugar Bonito, it feels just about right.
Not so keen. The shower head was positioned quite high and was tricky to adjust, making showers a bit challenging for not-so-tall people. Water pressure could’ve been better too. Also, the Wi-Fi gets really spotty on the higher floors.
Verdict. Recommended. The hotel is also very private since it only has a few rooms, so it’s a place that would work for couples.
The published room rates based on high season are P5,000 (US$111) for the standard room for two, P6,000 for the superior room for three, and P8,000 and family room for up to four.
For inquiries and reservations call +6336 288 1247, +63998 995 3669 or +63917 327 3970, visit Lugar Bonito.
Read about Archipelago's review on Diniview Villa Resort, also in Boracay.
Read Boracay Island in a capsule for a comprehensive guide on the best places to stay and what to see and do around the island.
Originally published in InFlight Traveller December to January 2015. Updated June 2016