Saturday, October 9, 2010

WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL


Bohol has a large number of hotels, resorts, and other facilities for tourists. Most of these are concentrated in Tagbilaran and around Alona Beach, with a few more scattered around the island. To help you make your choice we have listed most hotels here, with some short personal comments. We often get requests for the cheapest resorts or places to stay. This, however, is an question we will answer, as it makes little sense. I think it is better to go for the best value for money, within your budget, and considering your wishes. There are expensive hotels that are worth every centavo and cheap hotels that offer great value for money, but you can also find really bad places in every price-range. The purpose of this site is to help you find a place that matches your budget and expectations. As a general rule, if you want to stay directly on the beach, you pay
much more, and could easily find a much more pleasant place a few hundred meters from the beach. When you select one of the larger, secluded resorts, you will pay considerably more than with most smaller resorts, especially if alternative locations are nearby (such as on Alona Beach).

Anda

Anda, a peaceful municipality on a peninsula with the same name at the north-east of Bohol, about 100 kilometers from Tagbilaran (2 hours by bus), is so-far mostly unaffected by tourism, but this is likely to change once more people discover its wonderful beaches, and the attractive environment of the peninsula. So far, only a few resorts have opened their doors to visitors, but a few more are in development.
Bituon Beach Resort Contact Person: Markus Hohmann Address: Basdio, 6310 Guindulman, Bohol, Philippines Email: Bituon@wtal.de Website: http://www.bituon.com/
Bituon Beach Resort, under German and Filipino management is located on top of some very nice cliffs in Basdio, Guindulman. It consists of a number of nicely maintained bungalows in native style with a terrific sight across the Bohol Sea. The bungalows are provided with basic facilities, and are clean and spacious. They lack an aircon, but, given the normally cool breeze that blows from the see, you won't miss it. The restaurant serves excellent food, but is not a-la carte, although they will adjust to special dietary wishes, and is one of the few places in Bohol able to prepare a good vegetarian meal. Bituon Beach Resorts has its own complete diving facilities. The resort also has its own tiny patch of beach at the feet of the cliffs. A concrete stair will lead you to a very small beach, from which the resort's dive-boats leads you to a number of dive-sites along the coast of the Anda peninsula.
This resort caters mostly to German speaking scuba divers who arrive here on fully pre-arranged tours. The rate starts at EUR 34 per person (not per bungalow) per night, including all meals. Given the location on top of high cliffs, the place is less suitable for small children. Cocowhite-Beach Resort, also in Basdio, but Swiss owned, opened its door on 4 May 2002. It has a small private beach, and includes all facilities for diving, including courses. The resort also is mainly oriented to German speaking guests on fully arranged tours. Cocowhite Beach resort has its own patch of beach underneath some nice cliffs. Rates are in the order of USD 30 per person per night, including all meals.
Dapdap Beach Resort Contact Person: Grace Tinio Lim Address: Candabong, Anda, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 528 2011 +63 38 528 2011 +63 38 528 2011 +63 38 528 2011 +63 38 528 2011 Email: info@boholdapdapresort.com Website: http://www.boholdapdapresort.com/
Dapdap Beach Resort, in Candabong, Anda, lies at the western end of Anda's stretch of wonderful beaches. Under Filipino management, this resort offers aircon rooms up to PHP 1500, and family rooms for PHP 600. Simple nipa huts can be had for PHP 400. It also offers shelters for picnics. Flower-Beach Resort, in Virgen, Anda, provides airconditioned guestrooms in duplex houses. Build in traditional materials, but designed to western comfort standards. The resort has its own diving facilities, with access to some of the better, but less visited diving spots near Anda.

Balicasag Island

Balicasag island is a small island south of Panglao island and belongs to the municipality of Panglao. It is the home to a small barangay with the same name, two light-houses (an old, American build one, and a modern one build with British aid), and one resort. Around the island are some of the best diving spots in the Philippines. A world-class overhanging wall, going from about 7 to more than 60 meters deep, and some wonderful coral reefs that are worth the trip alone. Balicasag Island Dive Resort has a number of okay cottages straight on the beach at the southern side of the island, and its own restaurant. The restaurant suffers somewhat from the fact that it has no competition on the island what-so-ever.

Cabilao Island

Cabilao Island is an island to the west of Bohol, part of the municipality of Loon. Unlike the nearby islands of Sandingan and Pangangan it is not connected with the main land of Bohol, so you'll need to go there by boat, which is possible from Barangay Mocpoc in Loon. On the island are three resorts, and some of the best diving locations of the Philippines. The dive-site north-west of Cabilao Island is a favorite spot for shark enthusiasts, as hammerhead sharks can be seen here regularly. On the island itself, birds are protected, which means that you can see more of these feathered friends than you are used to on the main-land.
Polaris Beach and Dive Resort Contact Person: Franz and Maria Baumann Address: Pantudlan, Cabilao Island, 6327 Loon, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 505 4118 +63 38 505 4118 +63 38 505 4118 +63 38 505 4118 Phone: +63 918 903 7187 Email: info@polaris-dive.com Website: http://www.polaris-dive.com/
Probably the best value for money is Polaris Beach and Dive Resort, run by the German-Filipino couple Franz and and Maria Baumann. Franz is one of the few German resort owners who speaks fluent Cebuano, and is also active to build up the
Polaris Dive Center and Resort
Polaris Dive Center and Resort
local community and preserve the islands natural beauty. They offer nice air-conditioned rooms with hot shower at about USD 32 per night. Considering that everything has to be brought from the mainland by boat, this is a fair deal. On their resort, that lies directly near the beach, they have a nice swimming-pool and restaurant. La Estrella Beach Resort, located directly at the sea, has a number of neat luxury bungalows in native style, a restaurant and a bar. The resorts is close to the Sea Explorers diving school, which has its own compressor, boats, and equipment to offer diving trips and (PADI) dive courses. The smaller bungalows are 10.40 euros (PHP 600) and 13.50 euros (PHP 800) per night, and can house two persons; the larger bungalows are 20 euros (PHP 1200) per night, but can house four guests. If you come here for diving, they have some interesting package deals, such as 1 week stay and 12 dives for 389 euros (PHP 24,500).
La Estrella Beach Resort Contact Person: Estrella Zagorski Address: Cabilao Island, 6327 Loon, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 505 4114 Phone: +63 38 505 4151 Fax: SMS +63 918 904 4859 Email: info@laestrella.ph Website: http://www.laestrella.ph/
The third resort on Cabilao is Cabilao Beach Club on the North-Eastern side of the island, close to the barangay Cambaquiz. Run under German-Swiss management. This resort, in operation since January 2004 and has four bungalows with all facilities, and a restaurant plus bar.
Cabilao Beach Club Contact Person: Henry Firlay Address: Cambaquiz, 6327 Loon, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 917 4545 897 Phone: +49 341 21 24 341 Email: cabilao@skyinet.net Website: http://www.cabilao.com/

Carmen

Carmen is a municipality in the interior of the Bohol. It is the home of the world-famous Chocolate Hills, an amazing geological curiosity that can only be found on Bohol. The Chocolate Hills, which only turn to their characteristic brown color that gives them their name at the end of the summer, consist of nearly two thousand highly regularly shaped hills, between 30 to 50 meters above a mainly flat land. It will take most people some time to accept that these hills are not man-made. If you would like to stay in the Chocolate Hills overnight, you have very little choice. The only facility is the Government run Chocolate Hills Resort. A couple of years ago, they started to extend and renovate the place, but, since funds have run out, work on this is suspended, and you'll have to deal with the mess of a half-completed resort. The rooms are somewhat run-down, but if you stay here, you'll be rewarded with a very nice sunrise over these eerie hills partly covered by fog the next morning. The same place can also be used as a base for exploring the Sikatuna National Park, not far away from here.

Panglao Island

Panglao Island lies just opposite Tagbilaran city, and is connected with Bohol with two bridges. It consists of two municipalities, Dauis in the north and Panglao in the south. The island is easy to reach and has a number of wonderful white beaches, which means that on this island most of Bohol's hotels and resorts can be found. The larger part of these are concentrated around Alona Beach, a very nice stretch of white sand at the South-Eastern end of the island, but numerous are also spread along other parts of the island. If you arrive on Bohol without any reservation, it is probably best to go to Alona beach, and walk along a few of the hotels to find one that suits you and has place available. If you do so, don't forget to have a look at the places not directly at the beach, as they often have much better rooms to offer for less money. If you arrive late and plan to stay for a longer time, find an acceptable place for the night, and look for a good location the next morning - often the bungalows or nipa huts somewhat away from the beach can be rented for weekly or monthly rates, which are much cheaper than staying straight on the beach. Dumaluan Beach, also on the eastern side of the island houses some of the more expensive resorts of the island, and along the other beaches are also a number of resorts, all listed here below.
Alona Kew Address: Alona Beach, Tawala, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 502 9042 Phone: +63 38 502 9027 Fax: +63 38 502 9029 Email: info@alonakew.com Website: http://www.alonakew.com/
Alona Kew White Beach Straight on the middle of Alona beach offers standard rooms starting from about PHP 1500.
Alona Palm Beach Resort Contact Person: Angie & Marcel Brunner Address: Alona Beach, Tawala, 6340 Panglao, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 502 91 41 Fax: +63 38 502 91 42 Email: info@alonapalmbeach.com Website: http://www.alonapalmbeach.com/
Alona Palm Beach Resort, under Swiss management, is the most luxurious resort on Alona Beach itself. Opened in 2001, this resort is spaciously arranged in a nicely landscaped garden, directly bordering Alona Beach, but with care to keep some distance from the beach -- a good example of a nicely planned resort
Alona Palm Beach Resort
Alona Palm Beach Resort
development. It consists of 12 luxurious villas, each good for two guest, and a main building with restaurant and facilities. The big swimming pool, which appears to join with the sea is nicely lay-out. Prices here are from 90 to 120 US dollars (4800-6500 Pesos) per night, depending on the season.
Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa Contact Person: Phoebe B. Lim Address: Tawala, Panglao, Bohol Phone: +63 38 502 9516 Email: reservations@eskayabeach.com Website: http://www.eskayabeach.com/
Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa, is a recently (2007) opened resort in the top luxury class with corresponding prices. It provides neatly designed cottages, some with private swimming pool, which blends local architecture with modern facilities. This resort is located directly at the beach, on a 16 hectares area. Alona Tropical Resort, Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9024, Fax: +63 38 411 2244 Alonaville Beach Resort, Alona Beach The Ananyana Beach Resort is a lovely designed resort in traditional Balinese style. Rooms here start at about USD 140. Aquatica Beach Resort, Alona Beach Banana Land, Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9068 Beach Rock Cafe & Lodge, Alona Beach, Tel. & Fax: +63 38 502 9034 Blue Sky-Sea Resort Bolod Bohol Beach Club is one of the older and best-known resorts in Bohol, on its own stretch of beach a little north of Alona Beach.
Bohol Bee Farm Contact Person: Vicky Wallace Address: Dao, Dauis, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 502 2288 Phone: +63 917 304 1491 Email: vickywallace@boholbeefarm.com Website: http://www.boholbeefarm.com/
The Bohol Bee Farm is a very cozy and relaxing place on Panglao island. Owner and Chef Vicky Wallace prepares delicious meals from organically-grown vegetables on her farm--from squash muffins, vegetable lasagna to her specially-brewed coffee from roasted corn and wild berries. She rents her chalet-styled home to guests who want to enjoy the peace and serenity of having the entire farm to themselves... Bohol Island Dive Resort Alona Beach, Tel. & Fax: +63 38 502 9005 Bohol Plaza is build against Dayo Hill in Dauis on Panglao Island. It is the large building you can easily see from Tagbilaran City. This resort has a great view of Tagbilaran City and the sea. Bohol Sea Resort Danao
Flower Garden Resort Contact Person: Erwin & Hampi Dürig Address: Tawala, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 502 9012 Email: fgr@flowergarden-resort.com Website: http://www.flowergarden-resort.com/
Flower Garden Resort, run by two Swiss, Erwin and Hampi, who take turns in managing this nice little friendly resort. This place consists of three neatly designed houses and a duplex bungalow in a peaceful garden about 150 meters from the beach, just behind Alona Palm Beach Resort. The places include a fully equipped kitchen, so that you can do your own cooking -- very practical if you have special dietary wishes or want to save money if you are a long-term traveler. One of the houses is in use by the management, and the others are often rented out to long-term visitors, so if you want to stay here, it is advisable to make reservations. Prices per night are 22 euros for the houses, and 18 euros for the duplex; reduced rates are available on a weekly or monthly base. Oasis Resort Alona Beach, Tel. & Fax: +63 38 502 9083 Panglao Island Nature Resort Bingag, Tel. +63 38 411 2599, Fax: +63 38 411 5866 Peter's House, Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9056, Fax: +63 38 502 9107 Playa Blanca, Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9015 Rene's Place, Alona Beach, Tel. +63 38 502 9149
Sun Apartelle Corporation Contact Person: Irena and Boris Heberer Address: Tawala, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines Phone: +63 38 502 90 63 Fax: +63 38 502 90 64 Email: info@sunapartelle.com Website: http://www.sunapartelle.com/
Sun Apartelle, run by the friendly German couple Irena and Boris Heberer, offers very neatly designed and well maintained apartments in a wonderful garden about 200 meters from Alona beach. All apartments are fully equipped with air conditioning, a large bed, bathroom, and kitchen imported from Germany, which means you can do your own cooking as you do at home - but you don't have to, as they also have an excellent restaurant. The apartments are located in the garden, to which much care has been given. Some huge trees provide ample shade, and in the garden are a few cozy corners where you can retreat if you do not wish to stay in your room. You'll especially love the swimming pool here, which lies about three meters below the garden in a natural depression, connected to some caves. Both Irena and Boris are divers, and have made most of the wonderful underwater photographs available on this site (and on their own site are many more, certainly worth a visit!). The apartments cost about EUR 55 per night.

Loboc

Loboc, a friendly town on the Loboc River, and home of the world-famous Loboc Children's Choir, is a friendly place, mostly visited for its ancient church, and a river cruise on one of the floating restaurants.
Nuts Huts Contact Person: Walter Laureys, Rita Laureys, Chris Schaerlaecken Address: Gotozon, 6316 Loboc Phone: +63 920 846 1559 (cell) Email: walterken@hotmail.com Website: http://www.nutshuts.com/
A little north of Loboc town, you will find Nuts Huts, one of the more unconventional resorts in Bohol. Located on the river side, you can stay here in nicely furniced nipa huts in a relaxed atmosphere.

Pamilacan Island

Pamilacan island is a small island half-way between Alona beach and the municipality of Baclayon, of which it is a part. On the island is a small barangay with a church - its cross is said to have washed ashore - and an old triangular Spanish watchtower in a rather dipilated state. Eighty percent of the island is surrounded by a nice white beach, the remainder of the coast line is rocky. On the island is just one small resort, run by a local Filipino, who has constructed a number of small nipa huts almost on the beach. It lacks all except the most basic facilities, but is very peaceful -- without cars, motorbikes or jeepneys, the only sound you'll hear is that of the local poultry, and some fishermen with load motor-bankas. Including all meals, staying here will cost you 300 pesos per person. The owner will cook fish caught by the local fishermen. If you arrive here un-announced, you may wish to bring some food for yourself, as there is no shop on the island. This place was recently re-named Pueblo de Pamilacan.
Pueblo de Pamilacan Contact Person: William F. Soriano Address: Pamilacan Island, Baclayon, Bohol Phone: +63 2 714 3541 Phone: +63 927 796 7759 Email: william.soriano@goldenabc.com
To get there, you'll have to ask some of the inhabitants of Pamilacan to bring you there in a banka. They can be found on the pier of Baclayon, a 15 minute ride from Tagbilaran city.

Tagbilaran City

Tagbilaran City, the capital and main port of Bohol houses the main shops (including the department stores Bohol Quality and Plaza Marcela), banks with ATMs, money changers, and several attractions, such as the Bohol Museum and a few cinemas. However, unless you're here on business, during the fiesta or Sandugo festival, or arrive late or have to depart early in the next morning, there is little reason to stay here, as nicer places to stay can be found on Panglao. Still, the city has a good number of hotels and a few resorts. Bohol Tropics Resort Club is one of the best known places on Bohol. Home to many official and semi-official functions, such as miss elections, it is the first place most Boholano's will point visitors too. Located a little to the west of Tagbilaran, directly at the coast, you can escape much of the hectic here. Graham Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3510, Fax: +63 38 411 3019 Casa Juana Lodging House, Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3331 Coralandia Resort, Graham Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3445 Chriscent Ville Pension House, Gallares Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4029, Fax: +63 38 411 4028 Gie Garden Hotel, M.H. del Pilar Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3182 Hotel La Roca Graham Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3797, Fax. +63 38 411 3009 Island Leisure Inn, Ilaw International Center, Bool, Tel. +63 38 411 2482 LTS Lodge, Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3310 Meridian Hotel, Martig-a Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3060, Fax: +63 38 235 5793 The Metro Centre Hotel is the islands business hotel. In the heart of Tagbilaran City, this hotel is one of the better places to stay if you want to stay right in the middle of the city. At walking distance from the Bohol Quality Mall, with it's many shops, food-plaza, restaurants, and cinemas. Nisa Travelers Inn, Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3731 Taver's Pension, Remolador Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4896, Fax: +63 38 411 4790 The East Coast Tourist Inn, Miguel Parras Street, Cellphone +63 916 416 1793 Villa Camilla, Maria Clara Street, Tel. +63 38 411 4966 Villa Alzhun Tourist Inn V.P. Inting Street, Tel. +63 38 411 3893, Fax: +63 38 411 4143 Wregent Plaza Hotel, Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, Tel. +63 38 411 3144

Tubigon

Tubigon, a friendly little town on the west coast of Bohol, is about 45 minutes by V-hire, or 90 minutes by bus from Tagbilaran City. It is also the place where boats from Cebu arrive. A fast boat gets you to Cebu in 45 minutes from here, and a slow boat cost about 60 pesos, so both the fastest and cheapest way to Bohol lead you through Tubigon. From here, you can also catch a direct V-hire to Carmen, for the famous Chocolate Hills. If pass through this place, don't forget to visit the church, which has some wonderful murals. Apart from staying with locals, the only place you can stay here for the night is Ligayas Pension House, which has rooms starting at PHP 500 / USD 9 per night (email: ligayas@tubigon.com). The Inanuran Beach Resort, which used on an island nearby, closed in 2001.

Valencia

Villa Tarcela Contact Person: Alicia Andersson Address: Valencia, Bohol Phone: +63 38 532 0182 Phone: +63 921 282 4794 Email: alicia@itpedagogen.com Website: http://www.villatarcela.com/
Valencia, a nice town on the south-eastern coast of Bohol is about 40 kilometres from Tagbilaran. The Villa Tarcela Resort here makes it into an excellent base to explore the inland and eastern parts of the island. This resort is not far from Badiang springs, and from it you can reach the Chocolate hills through a winding road that goes through one of Bohol's lesser known attractions: the rice terasses near Bilar town.
Rooms here start at PHP 1495. All full air-con. The site further has its own private swimming pool, and can assist with tours through the country side.
Jeroen Hellingman

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