Savoy is the centerpiece of Boracay Newcoast

(Scott is Lifestyle desk editor at Philippine Star, and in spare moments, fronts his band The Garceaus with wife Therese Jamora-Garceau.)

Savoy Hotel in Boracay is a sweet spot. Developed by Megaworld with 559 rooms, 20 executive suites with balconies overlooking either the hotel’s two swimming pools or the nearby golf course at Fairways and Bluewater, three minutes from Newcoast Beach on the south end of the island, and adjacent to the soon-to-be-opened Belmont Hotel (coming in June), it’s a swank link of jewelry within the jewel that is Boracay.

Savoy joy: Since reopening last October, Savoy Hotel has regained its market, and is situated among the soon-to-open Belmont Hotel and Chancellor Residences.

It’s all a part of the master-planned 150-hectare Boracay Newcoast township owned by Global Estates Resorts, Inc., a subsidiary of Megaworld. Over the next several years, expect more residences — besides the current Oceanway project — to arise, including the upcoming Chancellor apartments, along with the Belmont’s 442 rooms and a shopping causeway running between the properties, heading down to a private white sand beach that is easily accessible from Caticlan jetty port. All within a 15-minute solar shuttle ride from Station 2.

The cherry atop this concept was the Savoy Hotel, opened two years ago with an idea to provide a place within Boracay that would “keep warm bodies on the property,” according to Savoy general manager Adie Gallares, with an array of pools, spas, gyms, food choices and water sports activities. Not to mention, soon, a strip mall that looks to resemble BGC High Street, lined with upscale retail shops to the left and right, plus a Starbucks and (of course) a McDonald’s to come.

All this was leading up to Savoy’s one-year birthday celebration last April 2018 — when, two weeks later, Boracay was closed down. For six months, Savoy, as with all hotels and establishments, had to take a breather, a refresher, a second look at how to come back even better and stronger.

So Savoy did just that. They reopened last October, and now, they’re celebrating their two-year anniversary, with media and top property sellers invited to join in a poolside Havana-themed party. All is well with the world again.

All of Savoy Hotel’s rooms face either the private beach at northeast Boracay or the golf greens of nearby Fairways and Bluewater Resort.
Savoy’s lounge reflects its tagline — “Color Your Experience” — with vibrant, Instagram-friendly designs and color schemes.

We got a look inside new additions to the Savoy, including the Lila Spa (alongside their gym which offers sparring lessons) and the relaunched Vienne Café, from what was once a mere coffee and merienda stop to a more “global” dining restaurant under new executive chef Alan Mathay. “At Savoy, we have many different nationalities of guests, so we wanted to cater to everybody,” he says. It’s true: Vienne offers a dizzying array of à la carte dishes, from gambas al ajillo to hakaw and siomai; from salmon carpaccio ceviche to moules mariniére (mussels from Capiz in white wine cream sauce); try the foie gras on crackling pork pita rolls, or the US ribeye that’s served under a smoked glass dish. Or for dessert, delight in the flaming rum cake, torched right at your table. “We want to make sure the guests get an experience, not just something put in front of you,” says Mathay who’s served at Boracay’s Bluewater Resort as well as Fuego and Vikings. Rum is a key ingredient at Vienne, with its new Zabana Bar and, downstairs, the poolside Chambrey Bar offering copious Emperador brands. This was perfect for our Havana-themed party on the final night of our stay, where huge floating flamingoes and unicorns added to the beachy fun, special cocktails were served and a DJ played until late hours.

“Our tagline is ‘Color Your Experience,’” says Gallares. “We don’t want to give guests a black and white experience; we want it to be colorful and create memories that last a lifetime. The inside of the hotel is playful and vibrant, a look that millennials like.” Indeed, Savoy is positioned as a fun, “full-destination property,” says the GM. With its homegrown design concept of popping magenta, moss green, purple and aqua blue tones, it’s the kind of place where the bars and pools will extend their hours to suit freewheeling guests. That funky Savoy Hotel sign in red letters is already iconic; Gallares said Megaworld CEO Andrew Tan named it after a region of France because he loved the word (actually a type of leafy French cabbage). “It’s a homegrown brand,” Gallares explained. “That’s what we love, we build it up from scratch, with our own culture.” A second Savoy opened in Newport City last year, and the next will be in Mactan.

In addition to two long pools — one for partying, the other more for families — Savoy offers two conference rooms and three bigger activity rooms that are videoke-ready (we did a friendly/competitive scavenger hunt there one night). Another new addition is the Lila Spa, offering eight beds and in-room service. Try their Puka Hot Shell Massage; it’s pretty incredible.   

Color Your Experience: Savoy held a Havana-themed pool party with fire dancers, local musicians and a cocktails/DJ mix.


For those guests looking for a more unplugged stay in Bora, we got a sneak peek at Belmont Hotel, set to open in June. According to Marie Jehan Balbanero, Savoy Hotel Boracay’s area head of Marketing and Communications, “Our concept is ‘paradise within.’ You are in Boracay, so when you’re inside you feel the nature within. The colors are more relaxed in tone, quasi-neutral.” That’s different from the young vibe of Savoy, though guests at Belmont are free to use the party pool facilities just up the walkway. “Once everything is developed, you don’t have to go far,” says Balbanero. “You can stay here with all the restaurants and retail shops. We’re growing.” Indeed, Gallares told us the complex is growing so much, Global will be opening a 1,200-capacity MICE-ready convention center sometime next year.

Savoy area head of marketing and communications Marie Jehan Balbanero: “Our concept is ‘paradise within.’ Once everything is developed, you don’t have to go far.”
Savoy executive chef Alan Mathay serves wild dishes like flaming rum cake: “We want to make sure the guests get a unique experience, not just something put in front of you.”
Beach life: Savoy GM Adie Gallares welcomes us to the newly opened Vienne Café; in back is the new Zabana Bar with Emperador brands.

The Cebuano GM tells us Savoy was already at “full capacity” around the time of its first anniversary — then came the Boracay shutdown. For Gallares, the hardest part was having to send part of his workforce home for a while. “The challenge was telling them to go on vacation for six months. That was tough. But they’re very young, very dedicated, so they just assured me, ‘Sir, we’re coming back, we’ll be back.’”

And they did come back. And so has Savoy, in a big, big way.   

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Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast is located at Newcoast Drive, Boracay Newcoast, Brgy. Yapak, Boracay Island, 5608, Malay, Aklan. Visit or call +63 2 720-1860 for inquiries.