Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bohol 2016: Bohol Divers Resort

Staying overnight at Panglao Island has been in our itinerary even before we went to Bohol.  Our little boy loves the water so much, and I can now attest that we as a family are beach lovers na nga.

However, booking an accommodation at Panglao took a backseat for me since we were so busy with work.  We initially wanted to stay at Alona Swiss Resort, but when we saw the Panglao Island map, it is located quite far from the beach shore.  We have to let go of that plan and search for a resort close to the beach.

A colleague suggested Bohol Divers Resort.  I searched online for reviews and found good ones but were dated some 4-5 years ago.  I didn’t mind the dates of the reviews so I booked Bohol Divers Resort for 2 nights at, where I got the lowest rate.

We booked the Cella room, which has 2 double beds, a bathroom, air-conditioning unit, and breakfast for 2 costing us Php5600 for 2 nights.

Our room viewed from the outside.

When we arrived at Bohol Divers Resort, around three in the afternoon, we were quite confused.  Bohol Divers Resort is a very big hotel with lots of room accommodation BUT with few guests (I wasn’t able to see anyone other than us, actually).   

Checking in was a breeze, because there were no other guest.  We traveled as a family of 4 (Papa Leo, Mama Nerisa, Ate Espie, and Neo).  We were asked to pay Php700 for extra pax per night.  

Let me give you an honest review of Bohol Divers Resort.

Room – 2 out of 5.  The Cella Room, which we booked, is very spacious. says it has 18sqm floor area. It has 2 double beds, cabinet, small television, air-conditioning unit, water dispenser, spacious bathroom, small dining area, and a veranda with table.  I will be honest, I wasn’t too pleased with the room, and I am very easy to please.  The 2 double beds have old thin foams, 1 pillow each, and old blankets and linens.  The small television has only few channels.  The spacious bathroom luckily has hot and cold water, but has old and damaged fixtures.  The air-conditioning unit is very old and is very dirty; I don’t want to know when the last time they cleaned it.  There were even no toiletries inside the room, and we have to ask for the reception to give us some.  One of the good things in this room is the water dispenser, but sadly it doesn’t offer cold or hot choices, just plain water.  Oops, the lock of the doors doesn’t seem to be sturdy, so we have to make sure to put the chairs as blockage in the door when we were sleeping as an extra precaution.  

Goofing at the dining area.

Amenities – 3 out of 5.  Bohol Divers Resort might have been a very nice hotel before.  It has a very beautiful swimming pool, but we weren’t able to try it.  The rooms and the reception of Bohol Divers are far from each other.  I think there’s another hotel in between.  So you have to go down to the beach shore and go up to the reception if you needed anything.  And there is no telephone to contact reception.

The swimming pool inviting us to take a dip.

Staff – 2.5 out of 5.  Because this resort doesn’t have a lot of guests, I seldom see staffs roaming around.  The few staffs you will see won’t even offer a smile.  Even during breakfast time. L During the time we were checking in, the receptionist was even combing his/her hair while entertaining us. The only time I feel staffs are okay was when they helped us send our luggage to our room when we checked in.

Food – 4 out of 5.  With only 2 viands plus an omelet, this is one of the plainest buffet breakfasts I have ever tried.  They offer banana as dessert, 3in1 coffee, and juice as well.  This is quite bias of me, but the viands they served were Cebu chorizos and danggit – two of my favorite Cebuano foods, so I am happy with the breakfast they offered.

Sea view during breakfast.

Location – 3.5 out of 5.  Bohol Divers Resort is located at the farthest end of Alona Beach.  The location is very ideal for us because we don’t want a crowded shore or beach.  But if you’re someone who loves a crowd, this might not be the place for you.  What saddens me on the location of Bohol Divers is that it’s located at the far side, with few guests, very lonely ambience with no visible security too L

Value for Money – 2.5 out of 5. For Php2800 a night (+Php700 for extra pax), I think Bohol Divers Resort’s room rates is not very competitive with the other hotels at Alona Beach.  For the rate they’re charging their costumers, I think this hotel needs an overhaul.

Overall, Bohol Divers Resort seems to be a very popular resort some 5 years ago.  With the competition they have right now at Alona Beach, they can try to refurbish their rooms and services to better attract tourists to stay at their hotel.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bohol 2016: Panglao Island

Panglao is an island in Bohol province known for its Boracay-like powdery sands.  It has a lot of beach shores and one of them is Alona Beach.  We decided to stay at Bohol Divers Resort, a beach front accommodation at Alona Beach.   

There are a lot of beach front hotel accommodations in Panglao that you can choose from.  But in case you cannot get one, don’t worry because Panglao is just like Boracay where you can walk for a few meters and you’re already at the beach.  The only down side of Alona Beach at Panglao is that the beach is crowded with so much boats.  These boats shuttle tourists to different island hopping locations.

Good morning, Panglao! 

A lot local boatmen are offering island hopping services.  We begged off because they gave an approximate of 45 mins boat ride going to an island to watch dolphins, and you have to wait for the dolphins (sometimes they appear, sometimes they don’t), another 30 mins to another island, and we don’t think Neo would be able to endure the boat ride. So we just content ourselves in exploring the beach.

Wandering feet.
Even the pigeons love the powdery sands.

The beach shore is clean.  The locals are friendly.  Food is everywhere.  You will not worry about food because by night time, there are a lot of restaurants offering seafood paluto.  Choose your seafood and they will cook it the way you want it served – grilled, with sauce, steamed, or whatever you want.

The cute little boy with the cute little lobster. 
We had dinner by the beach shore.

We stayed for one and a half day at Alona Beach, Panglao Island.  We just ate, rest, walk the beach shores, swim, and relax.  Don’t forget to drop by Panglao Island once you decide to tour Bohol province. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bohol 2016: The Itinerary

March has always been our time to travel.  It’s the start of the summer and its Neo’s Mama and Papa’s anniversary month.  We need to celebrate.  And we do it by traveling to create memories. 

Sometime last June 2015, Cebu Pacific had an online sale and we grabbed cheap airfare tickets to Tagbilaran.  Since we were so busy due to work, planning our Bohol getaway took a back seat.  It was only early March that we were able to book our hotel and tours.

Someone’s traveling again.

Our itinerary was 4 days/3 nights stay.  And it goes something like this:

1st Day:  After lunch travel from Manila to Tagbilaran.  We arrived at Tagbilaran airport around 3PM.  We then walked 100meters and reached Marcelina’s Guesthouse.  We booked it for our last stay in Bohol.  After which, we hailed a tricycle that brought us to Panglao.  We haggled and were offered Php200 for almost an hour ride to Panglao. 

Some websites says tricycle drivers asked for Php500 from Tagbilaran to Panglao.  So how did we get a lower rate? (1) We walked 100 meters away from the airport and (2) my mom is a Cebuana and I can converse well in the Cebuano dialect which is the same dialect they use in Bohol.  And pronto!  They think we are locals! J  We offered Php50 additional tip to the driver though.

Upon arrival at Panglao, we checked in at our Panglao resort, Bohol Divers Resort.  After dropping our things at the room assigned to us, we changed our clothes and explored Alona Beach, Panglao Island.  We were offered a lot of times to try Island Hopping.  We begged off after knowing that the boat ride will take some 1hour to an island.  Neo will not be able to endure that long.  We spend our afternoon just savoring the view of Panglao.

Aw…the beach…

2nd Day: Our second day was solely devoted to the beach.  We swam the whole morning and walked back and forth Alona Beach the whole afternoon.  It was such a wonderful relaxing day.

3rd Day: Our third day was dedicated in touring the city.  I searched about this and found some blogs suggesting a do-it-yourself commute to save money.  May I counter-suggest that you don’t do this and use the van-for-hires that offer city tours?  It may cost more but will save you a lot of time.   

In one day we were able to go tour (1) Bohol Bee Farm, (2) Hinagdanan Cave, (3) Dauis Church, (4) Blood Compact [old site], (5) Baclayon Church, (6) Bohol Wildlife Park, (7) Blood Compact [real site], (8) Loboc River tour and lunch, (9) Tarsier Conservatory, (10) Habitat Bohol, (11) Chocolate Hills, (12) took some photos of The ShipHaus, (13) Bilar Manmade Forest, and lastly (14) Bamboo Hanging Bridge.  This van-for-hire fetched us from Panglao, toured us the whole day, and brought us to Tagbilaran.  Very convenient and very sulit!

It was only 6PM when we were brought to Marcelina’s Guesthouse.  We then opted to go to the mall/market area.  Toured quite a bit, ate dinner, and then went back to the guesthouse to rest.

4th Day:  It’s an early flight back to Manila for us.  But since we were billeted some 100meters away from the airport, there is no need to rush and wake up too early.  Bye, bye Bohol!  We had a great time!

That sums up our Bohol 2016 itinerary.  Hope it helps you when you plan to go to Bohol! J

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