Nine months of renovation has rejuvenated the Bohol Beach Club
WRITTEN BY MERIAM OTARRA
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BOHOL BEACH CLUB
Officially the first resort in Panglao Island, Bohol Beach Club opened 20 years ago with 24 basic, non-air conditioned rooms made of native materials such as bamboo, cogon grass, and sawali or woven split bamboo mats.
In 2000, the resort expanded, adding 140 rooms to cater to a larger market that ranged from budget travelers to more discerning clients. Over a decade later, in response to the management’s observation that tourists are becoming more discerning when it comes to the amenities they expect from beach resorts, the Bohol Beach Club closed its doors for a nine-month luxe-oriented renovation.
And so just before 2013 ended, the resort’s doors reopened with the new slogan, “Bohol’s first is now Bohol’s newest,” welcoming new and returning guests to their 88 newly renovated rooms (80 De Luxe rooms and eight Beachview Suites). While the resort’s sprawl has been reduced to create a more intimate feel, guests still do not feel crowded with its 250-meter stretch of white sand beach, spacious playgrounds, several hammocks along the coast, and two large restaurants that can accommodate up to a hundred guests each.
A GORGEOUS RENOVATION
Having stayed here in 2011, I could see that the resort spared no expense in creating a sanctuary of calm and beauty. The new design of the Bohol Beach Club’s rooms hits all the right notes in striking that delicate balance between modern and Filipiniana, mixing sophisticated furnishings with local handicrafts—and it does all that without the pretentiousness that has spoiled other beach resorts.
All its rooms are strategically located to give guests a breathtaking view of the beachfront. In the morning, the first rays of sunrise reveal a beautiful panorama of the Bohol Sea to guests, and at night, the blue neon lights of the 25-meter swimming pool take center stage and invite guests to take a nighttime dip.
The real showstopper, however, is the new menu featuring Filipino and international cuisines, thoughtfully created by the Food and Beverage crew. Start your morning with a choice of either a Filipino or Western breakfast, and end your night with Bohol’s grilled favorites, dipped in the Bul-anon “mother-in-law sauce:” a mix of soy sauce, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and pepper.
Here’s a tip: if you’re still up for scrumptious dessert, ask them for Peanut Kisses Ice Cream! (You won’t find it on the menu, but trust me, it’s available.)
On weekends, the resort offers a lunch buffet for all guests, who needn’t worry about overindulging as the extra calories can be burned off by jogging along the huge, green spaces of the resort, or playing Wii games in the Game Room, or with a few laps in the swimming pool.
A Bohol getaway is incomplete without a tour of the island. All popular and non-conventional tours can be booked through the resort’s concierge. As the resort owns a private bangka, boat trips to Balicasag Island for dolphin watching or snorkeling are easy to book.
On top of the long list of water sport activities and island trips the resort offers, you can also go swimming with the whale sharks because now, you don’t have fly all the way to Cebu to see the butanding! From the resort itself, Bohol Beach Club can felt in the welcoming and genuine smiles of the staff.
As new hotels and developments rise on Panglao Island (almost a hundred resorts and hotels are in operation as of March 2014!), tourists have been given more options for accommodation. But with its stellar reputation over the last two decades alone, there seems to be no need to look any further than the Bohol Beach Club.
Bohol first-timers can savor, through the Bohol Beach Club, the best of what this exotic island in the Visayas can offer. And for returning visitors like myself, perhaps the best part is in reliving the adventure of discovering what Bohol has to offer. The Bohol Beach Club reminds you of why Panglao Island is popular in the first place—crystal blue waters, white sand, and almost perfect weather throughout the year.
Bohol Beach Club is located at Bo. Bolod, Island of Panglao, Bohol. For bookings and reservations phone (+63 38) 502 9222 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>. For more information, visit boholbeachclub.com.ph.