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Why the name Red Coconut?

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“That’s also a question I’ve asked myself,” says Isagani Laluna, Red Coconut Beach Hotel’s Senior Vice President, when asked about the history behind their resort’s name.

“Perhaps because it’s catchy,” he says, asking the owners why such name, but even they don’t know the answer. All that they know, they saw a red coconut on the site where the hotel now lies.

Although deprived of a concrete explanation of its origin, one thing is certain though: like what its name suggests, the hotel is a rare breed in Boracay. Its mere façade is a ray of sunshine– a landmark in itself evocative of Vegas.

It’s not one to be stopped at for beauty or for the design savvy; it’s the charm that makes the hotel a commanding presence.

“We’ve got a really good location,” says Michael Schnitzius, the resort’s manager. “Even tourists who pass by would be ‘oh, let’s go there, let’s take pictures.’

Domineering as it seems, the façade is but a mere sunbeam to what truly shines within the hotel: its staff and their smile-powered service.

“What makes us different? We treat our guests like family, and we get a lot of returning guests because of this. We remember the names of our valued guests. People have returned just to see our staff, just to see them again like visiting a family,” shares Schnitzius. Laluna couldn’t agree more, adding that it’s their resort’s ambiance and cleanliness that contributes to their collective charm.

Apart from excellent service, Red Coconut is said to serve the “best” crepes, mango shakes, pizza, hamburgers, seafood and sizzlers on the island, says its manager.

Every so often, Schnitzius makes sure to update their intercontinental menu to keep their guests and diners happy. The first thing he usually does is to listen to his guests and then get rid of the non-saleable items and add what is popular.

“Sweet and sour pork and chicken, hamburgers, all those things that I knew that would be best sellers. I also have been known to take the bestsellers from other restaurants and bring them to our menu,” he confides. Recently, novelties, such as ostrich, have been added to the carte du jour.

Laluna adds that they also get mostly good feedback for their amenities such as beachfront swimming pool, bar, pickup/drop off station, room and wake up service, coffee shop, conference room and 50 rooms composed of a suite, deluxe, executive, premier, family, presidential, and superior types.

Only the suites have Jacuzzis and bathtubs and most rooms, except superior, have verandas or balconies that open to a spectacular view of sunset, the beach and the pool. Fire escapes and 100% attendance of visitors are also present to give everyone a feeling of security. Overall, the hotel can accommodate around 150 guests.

“Tourists from around the world – Australians, Americans, Moroccans, Russians, South Africans, Chileans, Spanish, Norwegian – come to the Philippines because they love the Filipinos,” enthuses Schnitzius. “They want to experience the culture and the hospitality of the Filipino people.”

“How kind, how hospitable. Everybody. It’s your culture. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that this is my new home,” he declares. “I love it when we have a house full of Filipino guests. Unlike other hotels that imbibe the Western vibe, Red Coconut tries to keep up with the native Filipino theme.”

“We’ve got a lot of new hotels here that are very boxy and even Mediterranean style but this is not the Mediterranean. This is Boracay which is located in the Philippines, right? So we try to keep in the native tradition. Even the cement we use, we make them look like coconut trees. That’s why people come here. They can feel and see the things that they hoped for from whatever place they came from. Here, they want to experience Boracay.”

Indeed, the next time you go to Boracay and be in need of red carpet treatment, consider asking yourself…

“Why not Red Coconut?”

Red Coconut article published on the pilot issue of Area Magazine 2008