Boracay has every form of accommodation under the sun, including dive hotels (White Beach) and kitesurfer hotels (Bulabog Beach). Backpackers are well served by an increasing number of hostels, many congregating in the area between the pond by D'Mall and Bulabog Beach. New hotels are mushrooming everywhere, but especially on the northern end of the island – this can feel isolating. Whether that's good or bad depends on taste.

Angol (South of Station 3)

You can still find good-value rooms in Angol, where some say the spirit of the 'Old Boracay' survives. There are really no drawbacks to staying down here; it's an easy, pleasant walk to central White Beach.

Central White Beach (Stations 1–3)

If you stay here you are committed to being in the thick of things. The trappings of Boracay's success are everywhere: resorts, restaurants, bars, beach vendors, touts, masseuses, souvenir shops, transvestites and petty thieves. That said, most resorts are set well back from the beach, so you can still get a decent night's sleep.

You'll pay a slight premium for staying on this stretch, but there's a complex of budget resorts around Tans Guesthouse, roughly behind Summer Place, that pack in the local tourists. Overseas visitors usually prefer Angol.

North of Station 1

Any promotional photo of Boracay you've seen was probably taken at this heavenly stretch of White Beach. At low tide the expanse of white sand seems infinite, and the sunset paraw action – a Boracay trademark – is particularly intense. As are the prices. The further north you go, the lower the density of the resorts.

Diniwid Beach

Continue north from White Beach along the narrow concrete path that hugs the point, and you get to peaceful and quiet Diniwid Beach. It's a beautiful spot, highlighted by a strip of the softest white sand you'll find anywhere and an extraordinary collection of hillside bungalows perched over the sea. There's development happening on the access road to Diniwid, which leads up to City Mall and then to Newcoast.

Bulabog Beach

Across Boracay's narrow middle from White Beach – just a 10-minute walk from D'Mall, the pedestrian arcade at White Beach's midpoint – is water-sports haven Bulabog Beach, with its laid-back, mellow community vibe. The water here isn't as clean, as some of Boracay's sewage is released offshore. However, a large number of outstanding new accommodation options have opened here in recent years. Rates rise during the December–March kitesurfing season. During low season a charming bangka fleet beaches itself.

Newcoast

More than 5000 rooms are coming online at this massive development, including the Savoy Hotel, a Marriott Courtyard and a Hilton, at the northern end of the island. Condos, themed to other parts of the world, will be part of this new minicity which will make up 12% of the island and have access to its own private beach. Shops and restaurants will follow. There's already a City Mall (9am to 9pm), the island's first indoor mall, which opened nearby in 2017.