The Bellevue Resort, Bohol, Philippines

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The Bellevue Resort Bohol, Panglao Island

Our family went to Bohol province in the Philippines last June to celebrate the birthday of my father-in-law.  During the four days that we were there, we stayed at The Bellevue Resort Bohol, in Panglao Island.  We did many wonderful things and that short holiday turned out to be a grand celebration of summer and of family.  And when I say family, I refer to 18 adults and 3 kids.  That’s us four plus my husband’s family and my family.

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Photo credit to my sister Mahalia

In my last post, I shared our adventures in the sea – how we swam with sea turtles and went dolphin-watching in Bohol.  Let me share with you now a little about Panglao Island and what I think about our accommodation during that holiday.

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Panglao Island

Panglao is the beach capital of Bohol and is connected to the main island by two bridges.  It’s  steadily gaining popularity and in the recent years, many resorts have emerged to cater to its increasing number of visitors.  Apart from white sandy beaches, the reefs surrounding Panglao and its smaller, neighbouring islands are unspoilt and teeming with wildlife, which make them attractive to divers.  Most of the resorts, restaurants and sea activities are in Alona Beach.  There, you can find a wide range of accommodations from budget to the more luxurious ones like the new Hennan Resort Alona Beach.    Generally, it is still cheaper to go to Panglao than to Boracay or Mactan Cebu, so take advantage of this before Panglao gets crowded and expensive.04

Our Accommodation

We stayed at one of the more upscale resorts in Panglao, The Bellevue Resort Bohol.  It is located on the tranquil shores of Doljo Beach, which is on the other side of the island and away from the more popular, more established Alona Beach.  If you are going for exclusivity, Bellevue would be a good choice.05

The moment we got off the car, we were immediately greeted by the warm smiles of the hotel staff who welcomed us with a souvenir necklace each.  Upon entering the lobby, we were offered cold drinks, which for me is always a sign of great hospitality and a pleasant stay.

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At the resort lobby with my parents and siblings

We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Room which had a balcony and two queen beds.  The room was clean and adequate.  The space was comfortable for a family of two adults and two kids.  I wasn’t disappointed at all.

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Deluxe Ocean View Room

The hotel service from the reception all the way to the restaurants was great, and the kitchen crew was willing to accommodate Joaquin’s peanut and fish restrictions.

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Lolo’s birthday dinner at Marea Al Fresco Dining restaurant

It has two restaurants and a bar.  The dishes in both restaurants were good.  There was one night, though, that we had to go to Alona Beach to look for other options.  During the time of our visit, there was a free shuttle service from the resort to Alona in the evenings.

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Al Fresco buffet set-up at Lamian restaurant
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The famous Filipino dessert, Halo-halo (shaved ice with fruits, jelly, corn and sometimes ice cream on top like this one) served at Marea Al Fresco Dining
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With my sister, just like the old times

The resort has spa services, gym and a play centre. But its best feature is the outdoor infinity swimming pool which we frequented during our stay.  We wished it was bigger though as it tends to be crowded in the afternoon.

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Infinity pool
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Mahalia, my sister and co-photographer, and our youngest nephew

The resort organises activities for kids and adults.  One of them was a Zumba workout which was held in the pool at sunset. 14

Speaking of sunset, do catch it from the poolside.

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Photo credit to my sister, Mahalia, for this nice shot

Or from the floating platform at the beach…16

The Beach

Okay, the thing about the beach in the resort, at least in June when we visited, is that you could only swim there for a few hours and unfortunately, these hours were during mid-day when the sun is high and you wouldn’t want your kids outside.

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Beach at midday. Photo credit to Mahalia for lending me this picture

Low tide occurs early in the morning and after 3pm, and so you would not be able to swim at the beach anymore. What you can do, though, is observe the teeny tiny white crabs and the hundreds of small whitish-grey sea stars crawling on the sand.

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The cousins looking for crabs

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You can also walk to the floating platform where you can observe bigger and more colourful sea stars and crabs. 25

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There were quite a lot of sea urchins and it was difficult to see them among the seaweeds, so do take care when swimming there.

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Sea urchins scattered here

But I like the floating platform a lot.  It gives guests things to do and brings them up-close to the many sea creatures that thrive in the area.

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My husband and my kids

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What Do I Think About Bellevue?

The resort is clean, well maintained, not too big, and pretty.  You can definitely have a relaxing time at the resort and a good sleep on their comfortable beds.

Will we stay at Bellevue when we go back to Bohol next time?  I will most likely try another resort in Alona Beach first and see if their beach is better.

But would we go back to Bellevue ever?  Of course. I think we could, although not for the beach.  But that’s okay because I know for sure that we will not stay at the beach all the time.  After all, in Bohol, the best things are out in the sea

Here’s a video of our stay in Bellevue and our land tour.  Enjoy watching!

Also, check out our video swimming with sea turtles and dolphin-watching!  Turn up the volume!

In Case You’re Wondering How to Get to Panglao Island

From Manila, we took Air Asia to Tagbilaran City, where the airport in Bohol is located.  Tagbilaran is one of the major cities in the Philippines and so there were many other domestic flights available.  The flight is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

At Tagbilaran airport, there are taxis that you can hire to drive you to Panglao Island.  The ride is about 30 to 40 minutes. You can pre-arrange with your resort for a pickup especially if you’re an international tourist and it’s your first time in the country.   In our case, my sister-in-law’s travel agency, Travelmojo Co., helped us book our resort and she arranged our transfers as well.   Her company is a highly professional travel agency and I assure you that they can make your planning for a holiday in the Philippines so much easier.  (website: www.travelmojo.co)

Another option to get to Bohol is from Cebu City, and from there take a two-hour fast craft ferry to Tagbilaran (www.supercat.com.ph).  This option is more appealing for tourists who want to by-pass Manila and whose main purpose of visiting the Philippines is to enjoy its beaches.  Like Bohol, Cebu has several beaches to offer.  Take for example Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu, which is a beach, snorkelling and diving destination.  Check out our holiday in Shangri-la Mactan here.

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