How Dos Mestizos’ Binggoy Remedios Escapes from the Bustles of Boracay

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay Aklan

Boracay is one of the most popular beaches in the world, ranked 7th best beach in the world by Trip Advisor. But it’s become quite the party place, compared by some to Ibiza, more than the laid back pristine beach that Boracay originals first fell in love with.

So what have the originals done? The guys who moved to Boracay decades ago before techno became a music genre?

Well I don’t know about the rest but Binggoy Remedios, owner of Dos Mestizos, has managed to leave the bustles of the new Boracay without actually leaving the island: he has created his own little paradise just half an hour away, in Malay, Aklan. So he’s near the sand and the restaurants that have grown with the Boracay’s development, but still able to maintain the lifestyle of serenity and oneness with nature that he moved to Aklan for to begin with.

He calls his home Finca Verde. It started out as just his home with Niña Bustamante and daughter Chabeli but now the 1.5 hectare property has four huts that are available to guests. We were privileged to stay in this one with this gorgeous bed:

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanFinca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanI was amazed at what they had done with the property. Binggoy admits that he just “ouido’ed” building it and Niña proudly shares that the labyrinth was built by Binggoy and even the “tiles” in the toilet were rocks from the river attached to the property.

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay Aklan
The labyrinth at Finca Verde using rocks from the property’s attached river

Daugther Chabeli’s playground is pretty huge! She literally crosses a river and says hi to the cow on the adjacent property!  Finca 12Mommy Niña, meanwhile, keeps busy with their little “farm”. They grow arugula, special greens and herbs.

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanThey literally just pick from here if you want a salad or just want to jazz up your dish with tarragon or cilantro. And when they want juice? Buko doesn’t get fresher than this!

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanThey also showed us this 100 year old tree just down the road.

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanAnd in the afternoon, Niña showed us these local berries, just below the hut.

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay Aklan
My sister Goldee picking indigenous berries at Finca Verda

If you have time, visit the Motag Living Museum, where Englishwoman Louise personally gives a guided tour for a fresh perspective of our agricultural history, which we so awfully take for granted. She makes it all sound exotic and interesting – which it really is! We totally underappreciate our farms and our peoples. Louise lives right next door to Binggoy and Nina and we caught her by her hammock as we walked around the grounds.Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanFinally, at night, you can make a bonfire right here and cook smores to match a bottle of whiskey. Then look up. The stars here are so bright you almost believe you can reach them.

Finca Verde Binggoy Remedios Nina Bustamante Resort Farm Boracay AklanAn unbelievable escape!

Finca Verde
By reservation only.
Brgy. Nabaoy, Malay, Aklan
+63 998 545 7279

beachadventurer@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

A Gem of a Hotel in Little India, Singapore

One Farrer Hotel, Little India, Singapore, Agoda

one farrer hotel singapore little india

For the past nine years, I’ve been going to Singapore at least once a year. Sometimes twice. I have never stayed at the same hotel twice though because it is just such fun exploring the different options in this very vibrant city.

Last year, I got to check out two really sexy hotels in hip happening Chinatown  and another hotel in Bugis. I must admit that I did not think that Little India would be as competitive but One Farrer was impressive beyond belief. Whaddaya know – Agoda is really full of delightful surprises.

On this last trip of mine for the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards,  I was lucky to find myself in a gem of a hotel in Little India. At first I was hesitant because Little India is not too well known an area for visitors but after seeing the 8.4 rating on Agoda.com plus the photos, I was convinced that One Farrer Hotel & Spa was a hotel I needed to check out.

And I’m happy I got acquainted with this hotel.

Super accessible. My first question every time I book a hotel is accessibility. How far is it from the train station? Even if a hotel is not in the city center or where most of my activities would be, as long the train station is a block away, I’m good. This one of Farrer was perfect because One Farrer is actually a stop! There is literally a Farrer stop and exit on the MRT line.

Crazy comfortable beds. Next most important thing to me is the bed. The quality of the sheets is important. I don’t know the threadcount of these here but I could sleep in these sheets all day.

Another plus for this hotel is that they have window shades that you can “pull down” by remote. You could sleep in a click! And yet another thing I noticed with One Farrer – you don’t need to insert your key for the lights to go on. You can keep your key in your purse!

Refreshing breakfast by the pool. I am not a breakfast person. I always skip hotel breakfasts too because they are all the same: eggs, cereal, sausages – boring, boring, boring. I’d rather dash out for a kaya toast. But how can you resist breakfast in this hotel when you get to greet the day with this gorgeous pool and view of the city?

#iwokeuplikethis

The Bar. I saw signs in the elevator teasing for happy hour. Wouldn’t mind get happy in this setting!

Room with a View. It’s almost as if you were staring at a postcard! I took this photo from my room. Just with an iphone.

Impeccable service. The staff are alert, quick to act, accommodating, helpful. I needed something printed, it was brought to our door. Restaurant reservations were easy. Directions were given properly. Taxis were called immediately. I couldn’t complain.

This apple marks an entrance. Another entrance has a red apple. They’re supposed to represent good and bad, with Greek mythology references (though I thought the apple first made a cameo in the bible with Adam and Eve?). … Well, whatever the source, this hotel was the apple of my eye!

PS A few floors of the One Farrer building is home to some doctors’ clinics. So if you need to get some liposuction after all those food festivals … grab and room and recover in utter luxury after! 😉

One Farrer Hotel & Spa
1 Farrer Park Station Road, Little India, Singapore 217562
Check it out at this link in agoda.com.