Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why Chalet Y

Because we could not find a better deal, that’s why!

But it was such a discovery I have started referring many friends to this cute little luxury on the beach. Not that there were literally no other choices. There were a lot – even if this was Ati-atihan season. But the combination for the kind of accommodation, location and price that we were looking for was already hard to come by since we booked quite late. And we said we must get a good one to compensate for the double decks in Kalibo hehe!

Let’s describe Chalet Y…

Its half a whole big house that looks wooden from a distance but actually is all concrete when you see it up close. Half? Yes half, because the other half is Chalet Tirol! Nope, this is not even a duplex house. It probably was one grand big vacation home in the past that the owners thought of dividing into two so they could rent out portions of it at most times since they don’t live on the island and not always around anyway. The owners of Chalet Y and Chalet Tirol come from one respectable family in the metropolis and they are not at war hehe! They just 'chunked' the house for practical reasons.

But let’s do Chalet Y. There are only 3 rooms! Yes, two regular rooms upstairs and the suite room (that we got) on ground floor, at the back of the kitchen. But hold your horses and carabaos, the suite (take it from the word) is no ordinary run of the mill residential big room. It can compare with any luxurious suite of any resort on the island in terms of make, materials and amenities.

Yeah its behind the kitchen, but you have the living room and the dining areas if you want a view of the beach and the sea out on the front yard. That is if you don’t wanna hang around the porch! Oh yes, the living and dining areas are made like that of a real house. No frills but luxuriously well appointed – glass tables, imported utensils, the works. There is just a little corner for the few paper works that might be needed from time to time plus somewhere for the telefax machine to perch on. Otherwise, you can close your eyes and imagine you were really home!

The two rooms upstairs? Well, those are the regular rooms – usually good for 4 people. And you don’t even have to go downstairs for the living room as there is also a verandah up there. Nice breezy vantage to perch on and laze around any time of day. Both were occupied during our stay so we did not get to peep at those rooms, though judging from our suite, those rooms would never have been any less. The occupants told us they liked it – yep, we got friends with them as there were just a few of us in the house. We were just like a little big family in the whole Chalet!

Unanimously though, we think the ‘main differentiator’ why we liked Chalet Y is its resident staff or crew howsoever they should be called.

There were constantly 3 ladies in the house to attend to whatever we needed. I think there were 4 of them during one time. And there are two men who seem to be “external affairs” – I mean for errands like buying this and that or haggling a trike or dive tour for us and so on. These folks are obviously trained to do what they now do, but the personal touch was like no other. They try hard and fast to memorize your first name, they ask if you might need anything. They suggest things – everything you expect from a househelp. Only diff is that they know how to run the house a la “housekeeping” of the nearby expensive resorts – without of course the mechanical and distant stance.

Here’s an example: at about 3PM of our second day, while we kept darting to/from the water and the chalet’s very own sunning lounges, the motherly manang came to ask if we wanted camote-cue, banana-cue or any particular snack. We almost chorused saying “meron”? She said one of the boys can easily buy those from the market and they can whip it up that quickly at the kitchen! All that was needed were a few coins for the camote and banana! Next question that came was “where would you like to have your merienda, inside the house, at the porch, in the garden or out here”! Wohoaa!

So you think that was it? Not quite! As we savored our banana-cue and/or camote-cue that even came in sticks, we could see that manang was still busy frying the rest of them over at the kitchen. Then came the younger girl with a pitcher from the fridge announcing that since there was still “sukli” the boy also bought a ripe melon that she concocted into a fine thirst-quencher! Winner! Our new friends, the Malaysian and the European from upstairs just loved everything! Well, the couple who were occupants of the other upstairs room was out on a diving trip accompanied by one of the male staff. AND manang also saved a stick for each of them.

Here is one more… “sir what would you like for breakfast tomorrow?” and I answered that with fried rice, corned beef, scrambled egg, She said okay and continued that coffee will be brewing at the coffee maker but asked if I might need anything else like hot chocolate or juice. I said hot-choc, she said thank you and ended with this… “yung t-shirt na naiwan nyo sa beach naka-hanger na po sa loob ng bathroom, yun sandals nyo po nasa pinto na rin ng room”! Whaaah! And I was sure I was not home. I was in Boracay! Oh, in the morning, my scrambled eggs had tomatoes, onions, leeks, etc., just the way they do it at home!

It was/is really easy to fall in love with Chalet Y. Oh, and by the way, that is pronounced as two words “sha-lay” and the letter “Y”, in case you get confused since their web address is hehe


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