By Tricia Isabel Morete
Located 211.1 nautical miles from Metro Manila, there’s a surfeit of reasons why Boracay island remains one of the Philippines’ blockbuster holiday destinations. With the year-round tropical weather, sunsets that turn the sky into a stunning cacophony of colors, and white powdery beaches that are cool to touch even on the hottest summer day, the island paradise is the perfect escape for city dwellers looking for the sweetest escape from the metro.
In an island where there is an utter excess of hotels vying for travelers’ attention, the newly opened Crimson Resort & Spa is shaping up to be the luxury traveler’s residence of choice.
Cozily sandwiched by Naked Rock and Tala Rock in the corner of Punta Bunga beach’s Station Zero, the beachfront lifestyle resort’s posh, eclectic aesthetic pushes the envelope of design. The hotel brims with eye candy, but instead of being too overwhelming—or, worse, crossing the line from tasteful to tacky—different design elements are cleverly and cohesively put together.
Every corner of the sprawling resort presents a visual treat designed to spark conversation: from the sculptural three-story chandelier greeting guests the moment they enter the lobby, to the elegant and contemporary interiors dotted with delightful décor paying homage to Filipino culture. Injecting fun and liveliness to the luxe ambiance are trendy furniture, eye-catching paintings, and splashes of colors and patterns — a design direction evident even in Crimson’s food and beverage concepts. Varicolored pots and pans on the buffet station and eye-catching vases, funky cutlery, and lighting fixtures spruce up the first meal of the day at Saffron Cafe; while sea-themed knick-knacks and detail-laden ceramics delight diners and drinkers at Azure Beach Club and the Pool Bar.
For couples looking to make Crimson Resort & Spa their destination wedding venue, nowhere is it as spectacular to tie the knot than by the beach or the Events Pavilion, with its outdoor water features that seem to extend to the horizon, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors affording a 360-view of the resort and the stunning sunsets Boracay is known for.
Already the perfect backdrop for both an intimate wedding or a lively celebration, Roland Manuel and Matthew Filart of Teddy Manuel Flowers & Events Boracay opted for a rustic team with a touch of luxe. They enhance the pavilion with a “ring of love”, crafted out of driftwood and adorned with fresh tropical flowers, under which the guests may enter the venue after enjoying sunset cocktails.
Manuel’s team enriches the beachfront scenery with clusters of lush greens and gorgeous blooms—king and pincushion proteases, birds of paradise and heliconias, coral amaryllises and bromeliads, and Phalaenopsis and mokara orchids straight from Flossom Flower Philippines—while keeping to a color palette of vibrant pinks and oranges, and touches of blues and greens, to make the floral arrangements more cohesive.
The tropical temperaments extend to the seven-tiered fondant cake by Naked Patisserie, with its hand-painted birds of paradise and lush tropical greenery in the background; and all the way to the striking invitation, menu, and stationery crafted by The Naked Patisserie, all tucked amidst an array of rattan charger plates, freshly pressed linens, and different-colored abaca fans that serve as VIP table markers. Making the atmosphere cozy and even more inviting is a canopy from which a chandelier crafted out of bamboo baskets are hung and lush floral garlands are draped. Tying together the entire look are more wooden elements, such as the wood cutouts and acrylic by High Caliber Trading, and wooden cross-back chairs by Bella Banquets.
With the revered culinary team of Crimson Resort & Spa at the helm of the wedding menu, the celebration extends to the rest of the senses. The team is headed by the well-traveled Executive Chef Nickolai Stoyanov, whose culinary dreams have taken him to different cities in the United States to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou in China, Medan in Indonesia, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, before finally making his way to Filipino shore in Manila, and Boracay.
Says Chef Stoyanov, “In September 2007, I moved to China to open JW Marriott Beijing Hotel and Ritz Carlton Beijing Hotel as an Executive Sous Chef. That developed in me a love for Asia and its cuisines—Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, and other cuisines became my passion up to now. Traveling, studying, tasting, and cooking has been my motivations for many years.”
Chef Stoyanov’s exposure to cuisines around the globe is evident not only in the direction of the hotel’s F&B concepts, but in the special wedding menu that showcases his team’s creativity.
The fork-tender Tuna Poke with Avocado is as much a delight for the eyes as it is for the palate—a colorful gathering of fresh harvest greens, plump cherry tomatoes, buttery avocado, and velvety tuna drizzled with a trio of sauces and dressing. The thick and tangy smoked tomato cream soup is comforting — a good state to be in before one partakes of the Chef’s main dish, the heady Tournedo Rossini, a French entrée comprising Black Angus, served with a side of crostini, asparagus, edamame, and cherry tomatoes…and topped with a hot slice of fresh whole foie gras, briefly fried at the last minute. Capping off this hearty and satisfying gourmet meal is the sweetest of endings—the meringue-based Pavlova, a dessert that not only nods off to the chef’s Russian roots but his team’s prowess in creative reinvention. The timeless dessert, with bite-sized red velvet topping the meringue, is given a modern spin as they are ensconced in a globular structure made of luscious white chocolate and circled in delectable strawberry syrup—it is simply too eye-catching and instagrammable you almost don’t want to demolish it.
Clearly, a penchant for good design (and good taste) is evident across Crimson Resort & Spa—making all the ingredients of an incredibly memorable beginning of a couple’s journey together available in one stunning venue.
Photography Erron Ocampo
Event Styling Roland Manuel and Matthew Filart of Teddy Manuel Flowers and Events
Cake by The Naked Patisserie
Stationery by The Write Impression
Venue and Food Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay
Special thanks to Mr. Laurent Bourgeois, and Jennifer Rivera of Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay