Fine wine, great food, good company. These ingredients for unabashed revelry come together in Reservations in Paradise, a three-day epicurean affair organised by Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort & Spa on the eponymous island in the Philippines.
The bi-annual event was launched to introduce gourmands to the resort’s renowned cuisine and the beauty of its idyllic setting. Guests include C-suite executives and business owners from around the region, all of whom come for the same thing: a vacation with good food, and a chance to meet new people.
“We like food and wine and meeting new people,” said an architect from Manila who declined to be named. It was his third time at the event, and he had brought friends along. “It’s a good break from the city, and we’ve made some new friends,” he added.
For the fourth edition last November, the resort upped the ante by bringing in 2Cellos, a pair of young Croatian virtuoso cellists named Luka Sulic and Stjepa Hauser, who performed upbeat renditions of classical and film music, pop and rock.
The main attraction, however, remains the elaborate food and wine pairings. On the first night, guests dined on the beach and sipped wines by Italian company Marchesi Antinori. Wild pigeon was paired with a Badia a Passignano Riserva 2009, while the mellow Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 was selected to complement the chargrilled wagyu tenderloin with duck liver and sesame sauce.
Surprises are also a mainstay here. The resort sprung an informal dinner on guests at one of the villas on the last night, paired with glasses of wine by French wine producer Maison Paul Jaboulet Aine. The grand finale was a rare Hermitage La Chapelle 2004, with its body of red fruit-jam notes, spice and a long finish.
And in between all the wining, dining and mingling, there was time to chill with massages at the resort’s renowned Chi Spa, or go sailing with trained instructors. Appetites need to be worked up, after all.
The next Reservations in Paradise will be from March 13 to 15. For enquiries or bookings, send an e-mail to