Los Angeles Times Travel Editor, Catharine Hamm, has trashed a travel destination – Boracay in the Philippines – which has been listed for yonks by just about any travel gold list, best of the best, World’s Top Ten lists, etc or by anybody that’s anybody, as the world’s best beach. Hamm gives it a good “hamm”ering – and a pummelling–then rubs a liberal dose of salt into the bloodied wound just for good measure.
Basically Hamm couldn’t wait to get out of there. So is she just touchy? bitchy? A fussy traveler? A spoilt travel editor who’s seen so many gorgeous luxury destinations she’s jaded? Or is this just one lone travel editor giving a rarely seen dose of truth in travel?
Hamm starts out by asking,
“Can a million and a half people be wrong? That’s how
many vacationers are expected to visit Boracay Island this year.
“Can Travel & Leisure be wrong? That’s the magazine that crowned Boracay the best island in the world.
“Can TripAdvisor be wrong? That’s the website that dubbed Boracay a Travelers’ Choice 2013 Winner.
“After my visit … to this island 250 miles southeast of Manila, I decided that, yes, they could be wrong. Or misguided. Or I could be”.
What Hamm didn’t find was the “hoped-for piece of paradise” that would shoot to the top of her favorite sun and sand destinations.
“If Boracay had been a first date,” she bites, “there wouldn’t have been a second. We just weren’t right for each other. I should have known that almost from the minute I arrived at the hotel.
Hamm goes on to say she stayed at a hotel that Travel & Leisure had voted the fourth best hotel in the world. “Never the optimist, I felt certain — although I don’t know why — I’d find my peeps and my place in the sun”.
But no, sadly that was not to be.
“No number of spa treatments was going to change my impression of Boracay, a place for partyers or rich people, of which I am neither.
“This wasn’t a love match — not for me. Maybe 30 years ago when Boracay and I were less overdeveloped.
We said our goodbyes and headed back to Manila, where the smog and traffic and heat and humidity welcomed us with open, sweaty arms. It was good to be back.
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Some of the material quoted in this piece is Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times