Panglao Bohol: Not Our Last Resort

flip flops on the sand
Feel the fine sand and leave the flip flops behind.

When we decided to have a holiday, there was no question but to go to Panglao Bohol. The island offers just what we wanted – blue sea meets white sand beaches. We have visited Bohol quite a few times in the past but mostly on the sightseeing route – Chocolate Hills, Loboc river cruise, Bohol Bee Farm, man-made forest, and tarsier conservation area to name a few. On this trip, though, our primary goal was to relax, soak up the sun, and just be in the water. So our itinerary was a no-brainer – BEACH.

Beach essentials
Beach essentials

We went island-hopping in Mactan but we also wanted to go somewhere where there is fine, white sand. We had Bantayan, Moalboal and Boracay in mind. But we chose Bohol since the short ferry ride from our hometown Cebu was more convenient for us.

Panglao Bohol has beatiful white sand beaches
Panglao Bohol has beautiful, fine, white sand beaches.

When you’re in the Philippines, you will never run out of beautiful beaches. White sand or not, you can go wherever you want to enjoy the pristine waters of the Philippine sea. Thousands of tourists come here all year round to delight in this natural wonder. We lived in an island thus we’re no strangers to the beach ourselves.

When hubby came home from Ireland for a short holiday from work, one of the things he really wanted to do most was to go to the beach. There were beaches in the Emerald Isle, and he has been into several of them, but it doesn’t compare to the ones here in the Philippines, especially that even in summer, the waters coming from the Atlantic are always icy.

Bellevue Resort -When You Want Luxury and Peace

Bellevue Hotel view from front
Blue skies and white sand bars highlight Bellevue Resorts architecture.

It wasn’t hard for us to decide which resort to stay at out of the several to choose from. I have been curious to check out the Bellevue Resort ever since they started its operation and I’ve read a lot of good reviews about them. We booked a two-night stay at Bellevue Hotel for a standard room. One advantage of booking in the off-peak season is that the hotel might offer to upgrade your room. Yes, ours got upgraded to an ocean view room at check in. We were there in November, by the way. Bellevue is situated on the other side of Panglao Bohol, it is quiet and peaceful. When you go for a holiday to relax, this is just the perfect place for you.

Sand sculpture saying Bellevue Resort
Sand sculpture with Bellevue Resort's name to welcome guests.

When we got to Tagbilaran port, the hotel’s shuttle service collected us, handy since it was midday and extremely hot. The hotel staff welcomed us with warm smiles on our arrival. They even gave us necklaces made from shells found in the island. Checking in was a breeze and while waiting, we had complimentary drinks, just what we needed to cool down.

Luxurious Accommodation and Dining in Bellevue Resort​

Queen size bed semi-ocean view room Bellevue Hotel
A queen size bed enough for us. The room is warm and cosy. The best part is the view to the beach.

We had a great view of the pool and beach area. The room was tidy and spacious. The resort has all the amenities we needed, especially coffee and tea. The hubby hasn’t been in Ireland for long but he already has a huge fascination with tea. The staff was friendly and very accommodating, several times they asked us if we needed anything.

Satisfaction for our bellies

The resort also offers various activities which the whole family can enjoy. We tried their kayak, stand-up paddle, and our daughter enjoyed the kids playroom. We had dinner at Marea Al Fresco on our first night and the food was surprisingly savory. The ambience was lovely as diners were serenaded by the band, who are all employees of the hotel, and the restaurant is facing the shore. Breakfast buffet at Lamian World Cuisine was the perfect way to kickstart a beautiful day. We asked for slices of lemon and hot water to drink, our daily early morning routine before breakfast, and they were happy to provide us that.

Our check out was hassle free and we felt like celebrities when a luxury SUV pulled in front of us and gave us a spin to our next hotel. We left beaming with smiles from ear to ear.
fun things we all enjoyed

Hennan Resort - A Gem in the White Sand Bars of Panglao Bohol

Henann Resort pool
Come and just take a dip.

Henann Resort prides itself as the biggest luxury resort in the island sitting on the white sand shores of the famed Alona Beach. The resort also boasts of having the most number of swimming pools in the island, a total of three large crystalline pools with each one having its own bar for a more unique and pampered experience.

Henann Resort pool
This area is just a stone's throw away from the shore. The infinity pool is facing the serene waters of Alona Beach.

One of the heated pools in Henann Resort is this one located near the shore. Palm trees surround the area to give a more tropical feel. Jacuzzi spots are scattered everywhere when you want to relax your tired muscles.

Salsa variety breakfast buffet
My favorite station in the breakfast buffet, different kinds of salsa to add flavor to your meal.

Henann Resort’s all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet was a gastronomic feast. Alas, we came in just in time when throngs of guests would pour in, there was a long queue and it took awhile for us to find a table. Yet, we still had our fill for that morning. They had a varied selection of breakfast food to satisfy the palates of guests of different nationalities.

Alona Beach - The Pride of Panglao Bohol

It has been years since the last time we were in Panglao and we were really surprised how Alona Beach transformed into somewhat like Boracay. Restaurants offering various cuisines, henna tattoo stalls, and makeshift massage beds all lined up along the beachfront. Night life is even more alive with dancing, karaoke and drinking. And like Boracay, a lot of foreigners flock the island. We noticed several groups of Europeans and Koreans.

Gyros Platter Hera Greek Taverna Alona Beach
Gyros Platter in Hera Greek Taverna.
Pizza bread in Buzz Cafe
This pizza bread in Buzzz Café tastes as good as it looks.

We love food. Despite our shock to see how much Alona Beach has changed over the years, we were ecstatic with all the food choices available. We had Greek food (photo in left). Buzzz Café by Bohol Bee Farm – a local restaurant – serves up delicious meals with a unique twist. Their ingredients include edible flowers grown in their farm. While you’re in their restaurant, have a scoop of their organic ice cream. There’s also the famous Filipino street food, barbecue, all over.

Wall painting of a variety of dips
A painting spotted at Buzzz Café depicts the whole island vibe - different cultures in harmony.

Indeed, it was a wonderful holiday in Panglao Bohol. It surely satisfied our longing for the beach. It was 2007 when we last visited the island so quite a lot has changed, Alona Beach particularly. Tourism has really boomed in Panglao, and while this brought a lot of good effects, we cannot discount the bad as well. The area has become crowded, and along with it come the wastes. While it’s good that the locals can benefit from the boost in their tourism, maintaining Panglao Bohol’s cleanliness and unspoiled beauty should remain its utmost priority.