Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nami: Mansion On Boracay Hill

AH, yes, 2005 was a particularly memorable year for me.

It was the very first time I've been to Boracay when I was part of a team from two lifestyle sub-sections in the Manila Bulletin that did an extensive shoot in the island. But because I still had a day job at a bank back then, I couldn't join everyone on our scheduled Friday flight and had to fly there on my own the next day.

Even though my Air Philippines flight touched down in Iloilo and I had to take a long bus trip all the way to Caticlan, I managed to find my way to the island. It was an unforgettable weekend in more ways than one because I found myself assigned to reviewing not just one, but three resorts where I stayed in two of them (Fairways & Bluewater and Nami) for one night each and hung around the other (Boracay Regency) the rest of the time.

More resorts has since mushroomed since then. People are talking about Discovery Suites and The Tides as two of the better places to stay among the newer resorts. I love staying at The Tides but my affection for the old-fashioned charm of Nami still lingers.

Here's a revised version of what I wrote about Boracay's unique landmark for the About Weddings section of the Manila Bulletin back then.


IN an island teeming with resorts, Nami is quite literally at the top of the heap. A perched and elevated architecture located in the rather secluded Diniwid Beach along the more tranquil Boat Station 1, Nami is a throwback to what Boracay originally was to those who discovered its natural beauty long before progress inevitably took it over—a virgin island paradise that also doubles as an ideal getaway to anyone who wants to take a respite from the fast and furious pace of the big city.

Is it a mansion on a hill or a castle in the clouds? Well, for soon-to-weds who are looking to spend their very special day in a very special place, Nami Beach Resort in Boracay is the closest that they’ll ever get to experiencing either one of the above fantasy structures. It’s the perfect wedding venue for those yearning for a more intimate and yes, unforgettable exchange of vows. Weddings can and have in fact been held at Nami’s spacious dock area and even at the whole Diniwid beach front itself.

Because of its secluded location and therefore far from the usually madding crowd of the favorite island getaway, Nami also provides a private atmosphere that is very much conducive to romance—the only resort that provides a panoramic view of the picturesque island. Seen more intimately while taking a bubble bath from the jacuzzi located at the balcony of either the Suite or Family rooms, the magnificent view is simply breathtaking.

As its name suggests, the origins of Nami are obviously Japanese, as the term “nami” means “wave” which is also part of the word “tsunami,” with the word “tsu” meaning “harbor.” Nami’s present look and feel is what its Managing Director Cheese Ledesma would describe as “Contemporary Filipino implemented in a pretty modern way.” You’ll see a lot of the bamboo-adorned doors and furniture while other native and luxurious touches like the individually hand-sculpted washbowls, classic Hunter electric fans (in addition to the regular airconditioning), Hansgrohe bathroom fixtures and Ivan Acuña’s abstract expressionist paintings are also nicely in place. With a quirky construction lift that takes guests to its reception area and nearby restaurant, Nami’s old-fashioned charm is nicely tempered by its adherence to the latest technology.

“It’s more edgy than your typical resort,” Cheese quips. “I have a sister who’s based in New York and she says Nami has this Soho, New York boutique look except for the fact that it’s located on a beach.”

Soon-to-weds on a tight budget may still opt for the less expensive Standard Beach View room and they can still treat themselves to the 180 degree ocean view that the Nami Bar & Restaurant offers where even non-guests are welcome to dine. Because there are only 15 available rooms, the butler system of service that it employs is nothing short of excellent.

And if you haven’t dined at Nami, then you haven’t really eaten in Boracay at all. Honeymoon or no honeymoon, dining at Nami is just as unforgettable as actually staying there.

You don’t have to take our word for it. You’ll believe us when you taste Nami’s Tenderloin Salpicao or the Champagne Brunch that Cheese highly recommends or even the resort’s exclusive Mushroom Tarts, a must-have puff pastry baked with mozzarella, goat cheese, shitake mushrooms and caramelized onions. These tarts will rock your world! Actually, any dish at Nami is ideal for your wedding reception and should certainly be one of the major reasons why your guests won’t regret traveling all this way to be part of your big day.

As for other amenities, there’s a business center that provides internet access for guests who want to send a quick email or two and for those rainy nights when you can’t get out, guests can actually borrow and watch movies on DVD for free. For those who want to be part of the more lively action at the more “populated” part of the island at Boat Station 2. While Nami is located near the equally popular Mandala Spa, it now offers its own in-house spa services.

If you’ve never been to Nami, then you’ve never really been to Boracay at all. It is truly what the island is all about. Say your “I do’s” here and chances are, every moment spent here is something that you’ll always love and cherish for the rest of your life. And if you’re already hitched, you can still “I do” to the wonderful food and just about everything else this place has to offer.

Nami Resort is located in Diniwid Beach, Boracay Island. For more information and for reservations, please visit their official website at

Here's a view of the island from one of the rooms outside the jacuzzi-equipped balcony:

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