Articles

Related Countries : Philippines
Related Experiences : Golf

27 April 2010 | by Yasmin D. Arquiza

Golfers Paradise Found Again... and Again

It’s not often that you wake up in Boracay to the sound of chirping birds. But whether you’re a party crawler greeting the noonday sun or an early riser, those feathered creatures are sure to be there when you step on the balcony of your room at Fairways and Bluewater, the only golf course in the tropical island located off the northwest corner of the island of Panay.

“We offer a more laidback atmosphere—the serenity of an island setting,” says Ike Guanio, the resort’s chief operating officer. If the silence gets too much, guests can hop on the resort shuttle, which goes to bustling D’Mall every 30 minutes.

Originally envisioned as an exclusive retreat for golfers when it started in the 1990s, Fairways and Bluewater has opened its doors to a more diverse clientele. Last year, the resort and country club began full-scale hotel operations, making the leisure enclave accessible to non-golfers.

To do this, the company repackaged the 126- property as a condotel site. This means buyers can own units, condominium-style, but these are centrally managed as hotels. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority has designated the golf resort as a tourism estate, allowing foreigners to own titles to the units. Most of the 220 units have been sold, and Guanio expects to have up to 500 rooms in the property by the year’s end.

One of these investment opportunities is Balaihara Villatel, a cluster of nine buildings offering airy views of the greens. A massive tree welcomes guests at the entrance to the compound, and lush foliage are spread out beneath the balconies. All the modern conveniences are found in the spacious rooms, but what tickled my creative instincts were the imprints of shells, starfish and other marine creatures on the floor outside.

A long the road to the clubhouse, a series of villas with classic names offer first-class comfort to owners and guests. Collectively known as Villas on the 9th—Maria, Margarita, Sofia, and Ysabel—the buildings all face, what else, but the 9th hole of the golf course. There are studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units complete with living and dining areas. Locally handcrafted furniture provide an ethnic yet classy touch to the interiors, and owners can also put their own knickknacks in their units. In the distance, the blue sea beckons, but these rooms with a view would make you reluctant to leave their confines.

Of course, the main draw for visitors is still the 18-hole golf course, which gives players an expansive view of wooded landscapes and rugged seascapes. Share holders have exclusive use of seven members’ villas, and can also take part in the holiday exchange program of Interval International to five-star destinations all over the world.

“We minimized clearing and preserved the old ficus trees,” Guanio says, adding that the golf course was designed to skirt the fig trees. The resort spruced up the place with 10,000 more endemic trees and ornamental plants, making it a major source of flowers for spa owners. A private 14-km pipeline from mainland Caticlan supplies water to the golf resort, which also has its own sewage treatment plant.

This article was provided by Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay Magazine.Mabuhay Magazine is published by Eastgate Publishing Corporation (email:info@eastgatepublishing.com;website: http://www.eastgatepublishing.com).



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