When I first walked into Henann Garden Resort, I really did not know what to expect. After landing in Boracay and taking a hotel-owned shuttle bus and boat to the hotel, through the streets where all the locals lived in run down houses and seeing too many stray dogs, I wondered how a five-star hotel could be here. But there it was. We entered the reception area and it was filled with gorgeous decor and the friendliest staff who provided us with a refreshing drink upon entry. The bell boys made sure our luggage was next to us at all times and took them up to our rooms once we were all checked in.
We arrived just as it was getting dark and walking through the largest pool area I have ever seen was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my tripod so most of these images are from their website. But let me tell you, these photos don't do the place justice.
We were shown to our room and along the corridor, just to our left, was a huge culture shock. There was just a massive rubbish dump - piles upon piles of garbage. But before you turn this hotel away, just don't. You can't smell a scent of the garbage - not even a little. It just showed me how different it was here than back home where this sort of dumping is heavily illegal. Soon, you forget about it as your days in Boracay become filled with exploring, eat and having one of the best experiences of your life.
I think the one thing you can't look past during your stay here is the amazing service that is provided to you. Just call for anything you need (like power adapter converters or an iron and ironing board) and they will be with you in a matter of minutes. If you want to go for a swim in the pool or beach, just ask one of the staff in the huts and they will provide you with a beach towel, which you just need to return before the end of your stay. If you just want a new beach towel because yours is slightly damp from your swim, just ask (they usually offer it before you even ask). I could go on for hours on how great their service is, but I think you get the message.
So here are the main reasons (other than service) why I loved my stay here at Henann Garden Resort:
The Henann Garden Resort is located in Station 2 of Boracay Island. This means that it is in the centre of everything and it is easy to walk to all the main attractions from here. And it's right next to Shakey's - a must-try!
There is so much pool that you aren't the least bit crowded by other visitors. There are also little huts with two beach chairs inside where you can just lie down and relax within your own space. They also provide you with small inflatables to play with upon request.
III. Private Beach Access
There is a passage straight from the hotel onto the beach which is guarded by security at all times. There is also an allocated space just out of the exit for Garden patrons to sun bathe or take a dip in the ocean. This area is also guarded so you don't have to worry so much about your belongings being stolen while you're frolicking in the water. They identify you using your hotel-owned beach towel, so make sure to bring that with you.
IV. Ease of transportation
From Catican Airport, we were taken to Henann's own hub by the port where we waited for the boat to arrive to take us to the island. We were given bottled water and a hand towel to freshen up. A Henann-owned boat escorted us to the island where we were taken on another Henann shuttle bus to the hotel. Due to the consistency of everything being owned by the hotel and all the staff being hotel employees, what could've been a very confusing transfer was made so simple. And I didn't have to touch my luggage at all.
A piece of advice: just tip everyone who helps you. They work hard and deserve it.