An Enchanting Beach Resort Experience

Bohol Travel Blog

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Amarela's Front
Months before our planned trip to Panglao island in the province of Bohol, I found myself immersed into the web seeking for the "ideal" resort to book.

After having bookmarked a lot of Bohol and travel-related sites I started calling some of my "candidates" to check for available accommodations.  I was already mind set to get a resort in the Bolod Beach area after hearing that it had the best shoreline in Panglao island. Unfortunately the two resorts, Bohol Beach Club and Dumaluan (the only ones I was able to dig up in the area) were both fully booked in my preferred travel dates.  With my flight already booked it seemed that I had to settle for the resorts along Alona Beach .
Resort Entrance
.. not that they weren't good, it's just that my preference was really to book in the Bolod area.

Fortunately, I had bought a Bohol map and saw that there was one more resort close to the Bolod beach ... Amarela.

I made a list of questions then proceeded to call the resort to make my inquiries.  Luckily, they still had available rooms for our group of 14 and I was delighted to hear that this resort was walking distance to Bohol Beach Club and Dumaluan.  Without any hesitation, I made my reservation.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS CONFIRMED

The moment we were picked up at the Tagbilaran Airport by Amarela's staff I immediately felt that I had seemed to make the right choice with my booking.  Their Van was clean and well maintained, and their staff (one driver and a helper) who both were very well-dressed in their uniforms, were very polite and accommodating.
Receiving / Waiting Area
  Aside from the standard welcome greeting, they even excited us with tales of what Bohol had to offer for us, first-timers.

After a short 20-minute travel from the airport, we arrived at the resort complex.  And the moment I step foot into the lobby, I was in awe with the beauty and the detail of the place. Even the good pictures and reviews couldn't do justice to what I had seen.

Just past the lobby is the resort's dining hall.  A majestic view of the sea is one of the first things you will notice from there, then when you shift your view a little lower you can see the beautifully landscaped garden and their infinity pool (which has lukewarm water).

The rooms are located in another wing just beside the dining hall;  To get there, you'll cross a short "bridge" again beautifully detailed with hanging plants.
Bridge leading to rooms
  Amarela has different room offerings and we got to stay in three different rooms (all fully airconditioned) : the Superior Twin (their standard room with two single beds), the Deluxe Twin (one double bed and one single) and the Deluxe Double (two double beds, the most spacious of the three).  All our rooms had a small veranda that is overlooking the pool/garden and the sea.  Each room has its own bathroom, wardrobe cabinet, a personal safe and a cable tv with a DVD player.  The rooms are also stocked with fresh bottled water everyday and spa-like peppermint soap and shampoo. I must also mention that the rooms (including the bathrooms) are maintained very clean and fresh smelling.  I must say though I've stayed in resorts with bigger rooms and villa type accommodations, I was still very much pleased with our rooms in the Amarela.
Pathway to Pool & Beach
 

The food served in this resort is okay. Serving portions are just right and the kitchen does its job well to make sure that all the dishes are served quick. Although their menu presents a variety that covers all bases (meat, veggies and seafood), a large group that eats all their meals there for 4 days could easily wipe out the entire menu selection and would have to go for repeats at some point (which we really didn't mind since we already knew what we wanted to have again). But the resort's dining staff was sensitive enough to notice that we were taking more time to pick a meal that we haven't tried yet; so they offered to prepare dishes that weren't found on their menu! How's that for good service?

SO WHAT ABOUT THE BEACH?

Bohol is reputed by so many to have beautiful white-sand beaches that can rival, or to some, even beat the beaches of Boracay.
Amarela's pool
  I did mention earlier that I was already mind set to get a resort in the Bolod Beach area after hearing that it had the best shoreline in Panglao island.  However, one thing bothered me : although Amarela (located in Libaong) shares the same stretch of shore with Bolod, it's beach was reputed to be not as good as the rest in the area, and there weren't any pictures of the beachfront and the shoreline in online travel reviews.  I approached Amarela's front desk staff to ask about their beach and they told me that their part of the beach had seagrass in some parts, but there were still portions that were swimmable.  Now based on online comments and what I had been told by their staff, things didn't seem to be favorable ... I just had to find out for myself.

So when I took the downward pathway to the beach (again, beautifully landscaped) and reached the end of the stairway, I was given a little preview of Bohol's shoreline and its waters which were shining light green.
Poolside garden
  Upon reaching the shore, I couldn't contain my smile to what I had seen : trees with hammocks, recliners lined along the shady portions of shore and a wide, wide space of white sand and beautiful waters with VERY FEW people ... okay I guess it's be safe to say it, it's like I had the whole beach to myself!  Now only two doubts had to be cleared : were there too much seagrass in the waters, and was the resort really walking distance to Bohol Beach Club and Dumaluan?

Let's clear the second doubt first : yes, Amarela is walking distance to Bohol Beach Club ... a 15-minute leisurely walk along the shoreline.  Regarding my first doubt, I'll share my opinions by making a comparison on the beach areas of Amarela (Libaong) and BBC (Bolod). 

The Bolod Beach area has  wide seagrass-free waters, and this is their big plus compared to the other beach areas but based on my experience, I liked the beach area in Libaong better than Bolod (BBC's and Dumaluan's area).
Deluxe Double Room
  Although there are portions that have seagrass (which is really not a problem, if you were to ask me) there are areas in the beach that are also really wide and seagrass-free ... and the sand (especially in the Amarela area, and to the resort's left) is powdery.  There are a few stones in some parts, but since the sand is white and the water so clean and clear, (as in clear like being in a huge swimming pool) they'd be easy to avoid ...but once the water gets above the ankles in that area, you have really fine, clean sand.  In fact, we spent more time swimming in Amarela's beach than in BBC's.

So, In a Nutshell?

If any of you fancy a quiet, romantic place to unwind, I'd highly recommend Amarela.  The resort is really beautiful, (I took over 700 pics in our Bohol trip and used around over 300 shots in the Amarela complex just taking pics around the resort.
Bathroom
Their service is outstanding and its beach area is in my opinion, the best for swimming and playing in the sand.


For the benefit of those still picking accommodations and beach areas:

Alona Beach - approximately 800+ meters shoreline, not too fine sand, with some stones ... but still nice.  If you're into the boracay-like atmosphere and like resorts that are clustered close to each other with most of them having dining setups and grilling/barbecue areas along the shoreline ... this is the area for you.  Most cheaper resorts are found in here or at least in close proximity to the Alona beach area.

Bolod & Libaong Beach - approximately 3.
Deluxe Double Room
5+ km stretch of shoreline.  BBC and Dumaluan (which are right beside each other) have a really wide seagrass-free swimming area (you'll know because that portion of the water shines light green when the sun is high, and the portions with seagrass are darker in color).  Sand is really fine in most parts, but there are still parts with stones (especially in the shallow parts near the shore around ankle deep).

The Libaong area has more seagrass, but if you'll walk toward Amarela, and a little past it, you'll find a portion of the beach that is wide without any seagrass ... with really fine sand and clean, clear water.  

In my opinion, the Bolod & Libaong beach stretch is better than Alona's.  Plus, there is no congestion of boats in your swimming area.
Recliners by Amarela's Shore
The only problem if you're booked in this part of Panglao is the food ... you'll be limited to eating in your resort, unlike in Alona where you have countless choices for dining.

Why do I need to mention this? It's because Panglao Island is really huge ... you'd have to take transportation (by boat or land) to visit it's different beaches and there are around 6 major ones (if I remember right).
ted332 says:
place looks pretty neat and very nice. i wonder if it's pricey... :)
Posted on: Jun 21, 2010
roxy_prexy says:
sooooo nice.... :) hope to go there! :)
Posted on: May 27, 2009
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Amarelas Front
Amarela's Front
Resort Entrance
Resort Entrance
Receiving / Waiting Area
Receiving / Waiting Area
Bridge leading to rooms
Bridge leading to rooms
Pathway to Pool & Beach
Pathway to Pool & Beach
Amarelas pool
Amarela's pool
Poolside garden
Poolside garden
Deluxe Double Room
Deluxe Double Room
Bathroom
Bathroom
Deluxe Double Room
Deluxe Double Room
Recliners by Amarelas Shore
Recliners by Amarela's Shore
Relaxing place!
Relaxing place!
Amarelas beach area (right side)
Amarela's beach area (right side)
Amarelas beach area (left side)
Amarela's beach area (left side)
Roofdeck Veranda
Roofdeck Veranda
Checking out the shore...
Checking out the shore...
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photo by: ted332