Sunday, May 16, 2010

Seair InFlight feature: Zuzuni - Charm in a Little Package

When in Boracay, enjoy the quiet and good food at the four-room Zuzuni resort.
 
LOCATION.  Zuzuni is located along the stretch of White Beach of Station 1 in Barangay Balabag, Boracay. It is a five-minute walk from D’Mall and a few minutes away from the popular bars and tourist hangouts of Station 1.

FIRST IMPRESSION. A rather charming three-storey boutique hotel facing White Beach. With just four rooms, it’s an antithesis to the big resort mentality of bigger is better. It’s refreshing to stay in a place where the staff know you by name and where you don’t have to share living space with hundreds of other guests. The look of the hotel is tasteful in a minimalist way. The restaurant design is striking – a red wall lined with ornate mirrors and a long, padded seat that wraps around the wall.  There is no pool but who cares when the beach is right in front of you.

ROOMS. There are two beachfront suites and two deluxe rooms with no two rooms looking alike. I was booked in deluxe room four, one of the two deluxe rooms, tucked at the back of the hotel. The window opens to the wall of the neighboring structure, hidden by roman shades; though the queen-size bed on top of an elevated platform is spacious. If you want separate beds, book deluxe room three, which has a bigger window that opens to a view of the inland neighbors. But if you prefer a view of the White Beach sunset, opt for the beachfront suites. Both have a balcony with outdoor seating, a nice spot to people-watch while nursing a drink. All rooms use hypoallergenic sheets, and locally sourced organic soap and quality toiletries.
FOOD. The restaurant on the ground floor serves Mediterranean and fusion cuisine. Not a lot of places in Boracay serves breakfast very early but Zuzuni does and offers Filipino carbo-loaded favorite Pinoy breakfast of tapa or cured beef and egg, the very filling full stack (trio of pancakes served with butter and maple syrup), or the healthful fruits and muesli along with a cup or two of Lavazza coffee. The lunch and dinner fare are excellent as well, with the Lamb Keftedes (lamb meatballs), Vegetarian Pizza (fresh veggies and cheeses on pita) among the highly recommended dishes.  Never miss the Mati Chocolate Sin or dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream medley for dessert. The service is quick and efficient, the staff attentive without being intrusive.
WE LIKE. The relatively quieter location; the rooms that are well-insulated from the din outside – so even when the Friday and weekend parties go full blast, you are still undisturbed – and its premium amenities; and having a good in-house restaurant with a wide-range menu that comes handy when you just feel like lounging around.

VERDICT. Zuzuni appeals to tourists who put a premium on comfort and privacy. It’s ideal for people who want a balance between savoring the party vibe of Boracay and getting some quiet time when the mood calls for it. The real amenities of the island – anything from taking a dip to diving, parasailing to banana boating – can be found out there on the beach so all the hotel guest has to do is to step out into the sun and sands.  

INFO: Visit www.zuzuni.net; call +6336/ 288 4477; email zuzuniboracay@gmail.com; visit www.zuzuniboracay@net to book. Rates per room per night with breakfast for two start at P3,200 for deluxe room 4, P3,600 for deluxe room 3, and P5,400 for the beachfront suite, and increases during high and peak seasons respectively. (low season is from June to September; high season is from October to May; while peak season dates are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Holy Week.)

This review feature has been published in Seair InFlight Magazine, May 2010 Issue • Words and images by Oggie Ramos, art direction by Jocas A. See
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