Condé Nast Johansens released Tuesday, Nov. 9, winners of their excellence awards in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Oceana. The Philippines’ Discovery Shores Boracay (DSB) won the Best Dining Experience category.
This is the second Condé Nast award DSB has won in a month.
In October, Condé Nast Traveler released the results of their 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards, which included Discovery Shores among the Top 25 Resorts in Asia.
Condé Nast Johansens described DSB as “beach perfection and total guest satisfaction on exotic Boracay island.”
The first award, from international market-leading travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler, had more than 20,000 readers from around the world voting.
“The 2021 list reflects the places that travelers yearned for the most and the ways in which the tourism industry has slowly begun to reopen,” Condé Nast Traveler said.
The 99-room Discovery Shores has consistently received international awards through the years. DSB general manager Erwin Lopez says, “As a Filipino company, we are proud to once again bring honor to our country for our ‘Service That’s All Heart’ and our genuine care for our guests. Our passion for what we do has kept our spirits alive so we are truly delighted to have been given this special accolade.”
Discovery Resorts brand has properties in Boracay, Palawan and soon Siargao. (For DSB’s special offers, click here.) DSB’s sister property, Discovery Suites Ortigas, was likewise recognized as one of the Top 30 Hotels in Asia by Condé Nast Traveler.
Service from the heart
Located at Station 1 in Boracay, DSB pioneered luxury on White Beach—and a brand of service that makes you feel like you’re home (if you had a fancy home with a stunning beach!).
I’ve stayed at Discovery Shores many times through the years but mostly only for the weekend and once for New Year—except last August when I booked over a week’s stay just before Manila and Boracay locked down.
While two other hotels cancelled my bookings during the lockdown because they would close, DSB stayed open and honored my booking, only closing for the rest of the lockdown when I left.
Three days before the lockdown, Boracay Tourism stopped issuing QR codes, airlines were cancelling and consolidating flights, tourists were scrambling to fly back to Manila because NAIA was shutting down (as did Boracay’s airport).
It was a strange time to be in Boracay. And it was super amazing too.
When you’re the only guest in a big resort, you get to know the staff and their stories. I felt like I was among friends, among family members even. I would have my breakfast at the beachfront Sands restaurant alone and have a chat with them. Or I would be in the pool and talking to them while they tended the gardens.
I got to know Gen, who was part of the original Discovery Shores team when they opened in 2007; Rome, who led the operations of the hotel through typhoon Ursula in 2019, the island shutdown in 2018 and the pandemic lockdowns; Kuya Pabs, who would stand on the beach looking out for me while I was swimming because the waves were high and the winds strong; Ann from reception, who still wore her high heels even though I was the only guest around, and would bring desserts to my room in the evenings; Kay, who made great cappuccino in the mornings; and Philip, who was always asking if I wanted one more drink.
It’s now November but when I’d see a DSB van on the Main Road, any one of its drivers would inevitably lower the window and wave at me. Or when I would go there to have a meal with friends, they’d still have a little chat with me by my table.
Service is really what makes DSB a remarkable Filipino brand. It has stunning facilities and amazing sunsets at its location sure, but it’s the people that make you come back for another stay.
DSB calls them “chief joy officers” and not just the front of the house staff—but everyone, including housekeeping, transportation, security.
After being with the DSB staff—the only people I saw (except for three local friends) for almost two weeks—I really couldn’t think of a more apt description than chief joy officers.