If you have read my previous travel posts, I am all about travelling for less. I believe you don’t have to be rich to be able to see places and we’re fine with budget travel: staying at basic accommodations, use public transport, simple meals and fly with budget airlines. However, there are times when a life celebrations call for a little bit of luxury, those out of this world experiences you must enjoy even for once in your lifetime.
This year, 2016 my parents are married for FORTY years and that day too, on my father’s 67th birthday. Now these folks, my parents…they have been raising six kids tirelessly and still continue to dote on their grandchildren. Oh and if I remember, they didn’t go for a honeymoon trip, either! I do think they deserve a much needed break and a taste of luxury so I took them to The Bellevue Bohol Resort in Panglao island!
Mama and Papa has not traveled much within their own country for pleasure, together. They are not used to traveling for pleasure (duh, who has the time and resources when you are raising six kids!) and are anxious with what comes with travel, in July in the Philippines when it’s rainy season, especially if it involves getting on a boat overnight, hopping to another island.
Can you imagine how much I prayed they’d say yes?
The Bellevue Bohol Resort is in Panglao island, located southwest of Bohol and east of Cebu. Just 15km from Tagbilaran, it works just fine as a base for exploring the rest of Bohol. We traveled from our hometown of Cagayan de Oro City aboard Trans Asia ship going to Tagbilaran, the capital city of Bohol. The ship left at 7 pm from Cagayan de Oro and we arrived at 4:30 am in Tagbilaran the following day. Sounds like a long trip? Nah, you can barely feel it since you’ll probably be sleeping through the whole 9+ hours sea journey.
Related post: Travel guide to Bohol island.
The resort is located at the opposite side of the already popular (read: sometimes noisy, chaotic and crowded) Alona Beach strip where night life is reportedly exciting. But this staycation was for my parents who are in their 60’s who never cared for night life even in their 20’s so the location of Bellevue Bohol Resort at a more secluded part of Panglao island meant more quiet time with family and more privacy.
When we arrived at the resort, we could smell the sea once we stepped out of the van that picked us up from Tagbilaran port earlier. The reception area is not a typical hotel reception, it’s open air from the entrance…
The reception staff who greeted us when we arrived guided us to the elevator immediately. But wait, we are yet to check in, right? Yes – but you can do the check in process from the room! I love hotel/resort features like this. We just arrived at 4:30 am from an overnight boat journey and the bed wasn’t really comfortable so it’s a big plus to go straight to the room and fall face flat on the bed.
First things first, we were upgraded to the Presidential Suite! Now, there are more than 150 rooms in the whole resort but only ONE Presidential Suite. My jaw dropped to the floor. I am so happy for all of us! And it wasn’t only my jaw that I had to pick up from the floor when we entered our newly assigned massive room! My parents too, and the kids and my brother, all of us! (Click on each photo to enlarge)
The Presidential Suite is so well and functionally designed that anyone walking in or staying would think: I want my house to be designed like this! The interiors even have my favorite color of orange and teal (the colors of my blog!).
The Presidential Suite features two bedrooms with their own balconies and living areas. Furthermore, it has its own fully-functional kitchen and granite-topped bar. You can always request for cutlery set, pots and pans, if required. It’s perfect for families or group of friends. It was perfect for us: my parents in the main room with a king sized bed (they are still in shock with their luxurious room, bathroom and balcony) and me, the kids and my brother on the other room.
When we’re done with the check in process, it was sunrise and we all had to rush outside. We didn’t want to miss this view!
What’s a resort life without checking out the beach? The beach front had powdery soft, white sand which is regularly maintained and cleaned. There are several chair lounges with umbrellas.
The water wasn’t too deep though and you can only swim through the shallow part as there are lots of sea grass at the deeper part. I know some won’t mind.
If you’re not into swimming, there are several water activities available like paddle boarding, kayaking and so much more. You just have to ask the diving center. Panglao island has several smaller island within its vicinity and the resort offers day trips to those island (Virgin island, Balicasag island or Pamilacan island) for dolphin watching! The motorized boats leave as early as 5 am.
We need to talk about this pool. I think I’ll never run out words to describe it. It’s easy so say this has been the best pool I’ve been to so far. The infinity pool style stretches out the view to the sprawling open sea. The depths are 2 feet, 4 feet and 12 feet. The 2 feet is for the kids and it’s very big, look!
The water is temperature controlled too so it was easy to convince my parents to dip in. I tell you, they are not pool people. But here, they swam till they were sore! My mama loved to just sit by the pool with the kids in the morning. Oh such precious moments.
We loved swimming in the late afternoon, when we’re promised the island’s glorious sunsets.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT BELLEVUE BOHOL RESORT (and why you should stay here!)
As if it’s not obvious how we loved everything about the resort from what I’ve written above, I’m not done yet. The food was excellent. The buffet breakfast is extensive with traditional Filipino, Asian as well as international food and the selection they have are satisfying. Thumbs up to the taste too!
* Lamian, the restaurant name means “tasty or delicious” in Visayan dialect and for sure they lived up to the name. The restaurant serves guests all day. We had buffet breakfast and lunch and though a bit pricey but it’s not everyday we get to celebrate something special and my parents’ smiles made it worth it. They’re very simple people who’s not into buffets but they loved the food at Lamian. It’s not a “just because” buffet. The quality of food is something else – thanks to locally sourced ingredients and chefs who take the renowned southern taste of food to the next level. My father who rarely eat pork loved the humba, an authentic Bisaya dish of stewed pork with sweet and tangy taste.
Other amenities in the resort include is the Game Room that is open until 8 pm. There’s a soft play area for kids, air hockey, Foosball, table tennis tables and an arcade basketball shooting machine FREE for all guests. There are also computers, PS3 setups complete with competitive games. They also have some books, DVD’s and even board games you can borrow.
Ah, the grandeur that is Bellevue Bohol. It was a great time in paradise. I could understand why so many families were there and staying for a stretch of days to a week. It’s a wonderful resort to stay with the kids (more about that in the next post). The only bad thing about it is that you would be sad when you leave.
Here, it’s not just the sea, sand and sun (and the infinity pool! and the food!), the truly warm hospitality natural to Boholanons (natives of Bohol) really shines through and made our experience much more special. Thank you, Bellevue Bohol Resort team for taking care of us. We will never forget our short but very relaxing and memorable stay at your property. Thank you for the surprise complimentary cake for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary AND another one for my father’s 67th birthday.
Though I believe that it’s not required to splurge on important life celebrations (even my wedding was ultra simple), my parents deserve this little luxurious break. I am truly grateful for these two people who stood through thick and thin, in good times and mostly during bad times for me and my five other siblings. Where would we be without them?
Happy 40th wedding anniversary, mama and papa. I am happy to see you happy like this. I love you!
We were guests at The Bellevue Bohol Resort, however, there is no obligation to write a favourable review, all thoughts and opinions are mine.