The Lind: Your Own Personal Luxury

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The wind brushes over my warm skin, and I’m swept away by the gentle rhythmic lapping of waves. No matter where it might be, the beach seems to carry a singular air, its own unhurried pace that influences the upwelling of activity, from the scurrying of beachcombers to the listless swaying of hammocks. My anxieties wash away with each deepening breath, with every crash and roll heard in the distance.

As time stretches to a simmering point, I almost drift off again, lying there on the beachfront sunbed. But I’m stirred out of my reverie by someone calling my name. My companions beckon me to join them for lunch at Tartine, the Beach Level restaurant. Another day, another taste of seaside bliss harbored here at The Lind.

The Lind Boracay is the flagship property of Philippine-born enterprise, The Lind Hotels. This December, they debut their brand of lifestyle hospitality with a contemporary establishment designed to evoke the steady composure of coastal elegance while swaddling guests in first-rate service.

Found at the end of Station 1, The Lind is a glorious feat of sophistication nestled in its own massive nook away but not detached from Boracay’s pulsing core—a refuge from the throng of island vacationers, and a covetable reprieve from Manila’s metropolitan congestion. But it isn’t a mere escape. The Lind, which identifies itself as a boutique “lifestyle hotel,” adapts to each visitor’s individuality, acting as an intuitive extension of the modern globetrotter’s sensibility. Theirs is a tailored hospitality that impels guests from restless wandering to accustomed leisure.

According to General Manager Pierre Henrichs, they aim to make The Lind experience as bespoke as possible, including fundamentals, such as chauffeuring guests (from airport arrival to island departure) as well as more nuanced details like how you take your coffee or what snacks and sodas to stock in your mini-bar. This dedicated approach to service ensures visitors take away indelible moments and have a Boracay experience worth revisiting. Along the winding drive to The Lind, a lush hillscape welcomes guests with numerous flowering palms and the varying leaves of assorted bromeliads and ferns—some broad, sharp, or spade-like, others frilled, fanned, in feathery bursts. Upon arriving at the reception area, you might first notice the capiz shell front desk, or the distinctive uniforms by celebrated designer Francis Libiran—put together with a playful Tropico-Oriental flair, or perhaps the flourishing vertical garden of succulents hanging above the large bay windows—blushing jade plants and stonecrop clusters sprouting between Echeveria rosettes.

Outside, one can survey the hotel’s entirety. Undulating glass panel balconies that make up the building’s façade echo the movement of the sea as sunlight filters through palm fronds and white trellises, rays bouncing off the pool surface to cast glistening shapes and shadows below. The effect is mesmerizing, transforming  The Lind into a natural augmentation of its surroundings, neither artificial nor pastiche. Separate areas even come accompanied by unique playlists, perfectly crowning the ambiance with placid beach house favorites and Balearic beats that wouldn’t be amiss in island destinations such as Mallorca or Ibiza.

From the rippled marbling on the staircases to the curving slopes of wooden walls, The Lind’s design is evocative of its origin and coastal environment. Stark contours and forms, like zigzagged carpets, whooshing streaks, hexagon motifs and birdcage cabanas, mesh with a palette derived from beach colors—bronzed and tanned veneers, sandy hues, seafoam green, bright aqua. The furniture pieces, all products manufactured in Cebu, hold sturdy and uncomplicated. A summery mood adorns the place with graphic textiles, mottled accessories and framed artwork. The Lind’s rooms and suites span all four stories, categorized by the spectrum of views they offer—Beach, Garden and Sea.

Though long-term plans will have the in-house bar serving its exceptionally crafted signature cocktails around the clock to the general public, for this month’s grand launch, The Lind will focus on treating its initial guests to an intimately special holiday celebration: an exclusive barbecue bash out on the Lobby Level deck, where the island’s first authentic infinity pool can be found.

Infinity, as the area is aptly dubbed, also serves as the choicest venue for whiling away the daylight hours, enjoying the sun and the view, observing kitesurfers skid across and somersault over the waves, or watching flocks of birds zip overhead among towering coconut trees. And if your skin hasn’t pruned enough, I highly recommend transferring to the jacuzzi, at the center of The Lind’s sprawling set of Beach Level swimming pools, for some evening relaxation. Their hourly shuttle departs the Lobby Level to bring guests from the hotel to D’Mall, Boracay’s epicenter. The last van leaves at midnight, so late-night partygoers will have to take the traditional route back: tricycle.

Because of our very short stay, it is impossible for us to fully exhaust all of The Lind’s marvelous offerings, much less the full extent of the island. Between trying out the numerous food and drink selections, exploiting the different swimming pools, and simply walking along the polvoronsoft shores of Station 1, I barely have time  to roam the island or buy souvenirs and pasalubong. But of course I do take advantage of The Spa’s pampering services during our last afternoon, a combination deep tissue massage by the infinity pool, with Boracay’s beautiful sunset as a backdrop.

As we are checking out, the friendly smiles and polite goodbyes from the staff remind me of something the General Manager mentioned the day before. “Hospitality is something Filipinos have in their genes—in their blood.” It’s the people, Mr. Henrichs revealed, that are his favorite, most cherished feature of The Lind—the ones that truly bring its essence to life.

Indeed, just walk around, and notice the courteous greetings from the front office staff, housekeeping, or the security and maintenance personnel at every other corner. Or strike up a conversation with the bartenders. Meet guests, share stories of travel, and discover there’s a lot more to island life than sun, sand, surf and sea salt.

The atmosphere at The Lind is that warm and cozy. It brings together the best characteristics of luxury travel and beachside retreats with the creature comforts we hold most dear and the fondness of personal service. The most regrettable part about it is, eventually, we have to return home.

The idea of ordering

With Boracay’s ample smattering of various restaurants offering a sea of appetizing choices—whether it’s chori burgers, isaw and calamansi muffins, or dampa-style fresh catch grilling, or exquisite Spanish, Indian, Greek, or Korean cuisine—meals could definitely occupy a large chunk of exploring the island. But even the most discriminating foodie would be delighted just to stay in and sample The Lind’s fine range of in-house options.

Tartine

The Lind’s main all-day indoor dining venue, located at the Beach Level, serves an intercontinental array of dishes and traditional favorites along with the restaurant’s eponymous open-face sandwiches and other delectable fare. With a triannual rotating menu, expect the season’s best variations on tuna Niçoise or Southeast Asian papaya salad, vividly healthy spring rolls, Balinese duck betutu, fish n’ chips, satay skewers, striploins, and native Filipino mainstays like regional takes on crispy pata, kare-kare, or a refined Ilonggo recipe for binakol soup—made with chicken, cucumber, chili and coconut broth. For dessert, try a rich chocolate cake with berries or the simple yet sumptuous vanilla (mantecado) ice cream drizzled with honey. Tartine is accessible via The Lind’s beachfront and is open to walk-ins.

Crust

Chiseled into the building’s rocky base, with enormous industrial ceiling fans, assorted table settings, cozy seats, and a pallet wall on one end featuring illuminated jellyfish illustrations and decked with hanging sofas, Crust is the Beach Level’s open-air café, its slate floors leading out onto the sandy, breezy beachfront. Here the key player is their specially built wood-burning stone oven. Try the kitchen’s in-house pizza doughs with countless sauces and toppings, or freshly baked breads, rolls, and baguettes.Pastas, seafood, sandwiches (from burgers to bahn mi), and all sorts of laidback grub are available. Crust is also open to walk-ins and offers a takeaway counter.

Chef’s Table

This exclusive service, perhaps the most sophisticated choice, is available upon request—be it for a hearty lunch, degustation menu, festive evening, formal event, or an intimate dinner—typically at Tartine, but conceivably wherever the mood suits the guest.

The ultimate in gastronomic indulgence, the Chef (or a featured visiting chef) prepares a menu tailored to your preference, assembled from seasonal ingredients and the day’s market offerings. From oven-fresh ciabatta dribbling with buttery garlic, ripe garden salad, and bisque, to entrées of surf n’ turf, porterhouse steak, grilled pink salmon and zucchini linguine, pork loin, roast chicken, casseroles, or risotto, all of which can be presented with handpicked pairings. It is a considerate interaction between diner and chef, and a culinary experience not to miss.

+36

Named for Boracay island’s area code, +36 is the Lobby Level’s salon-inspired lounge with tables and chairs extending onto the wooded porch that connects the uncovered walkway towards the infinity pool. A product of Executive Chef Florian Eberhardt’s competent Mediterranean knowhow, +36’s menu of hot and cold tapas is expertly prepared. From different ceviches and dips to sliced ham, cheese platters and white bean or cold fish salads; from sizzling gambas, squid, mushrooms al ajillo and chorizo, to potato and leek chowder and assorted pincho—the selection is meant to complement the bar’s juices, iced teas and signature drinks.

Infinity

Supplementary to +36, Infinity is the designated cocktail area appropriately situated by the breathtaking pool view. Bar snacks and aperitivos from +36 can be appreciated while basking in the sun or under the stars, with an icy beverage in hand, wading in the temperate water, or steeped in casual conversation. Mixed by head bartenders Peter Luma-ad and Felix dela Cruz, best-sellers include The Lind’s signature Chili Gin Tonic, Blue Danube—a twist on Long Island Iced Tea, and the sweet piña colada-blended Boracay Punch.

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