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Hotel is located on the northern side of Panglao Island. There is an airport on the island but as arriving from Cebu, the only way I was able to get here was via the ferry from Cebu- which takes about 2 hours. This arrives in Tagbilaran which is on the island of Bohol, however Panglao is only a short bridge away from it. To get to hotel from Ferry port, it takes 15-20 minutes drive in which the hotel offer a free pick up/drop off service, so long you let them know your arrival time- a representative meets you there.. The resort itself is in a very quiet spot on the island near to Panglao famous ‘Hindangan Cave”- a cave where you can swim. The hotel though also has its own swimming cave, just smaller.
To get some night life and energy outside of the hotel, there is Alona beach in which is on other side of island about 15 minutes drive away. Other major close by attractions are on Bohol island and include Chocolate hills (2 hours drive) and also the Tarsier Sanctuary (1 hour drive) – both of which very interesting places to visit. I hired a motorcycle which was doable to visit both within a 5 hour time frame.
The deluxe room comes in a large wooden cottage which has 3 other rooms attached. Mine was upstairs and offered a lovely heavily wooden balcony with glass table top and wooden chairs (very organic lodge style) & a relaxing spot to enjoy a drink or smoke in the evening and listen to the sound of nature –very quiet relaxing resort and feels like you’re in a jungle on top of a cliff by the sea.
The room itself was very spacious and included a very large king size bed but believe two beds were connected. The bedding is ok but pillow are very polyester filling etc. One side offers a bed side table with lamp and a crackly telephone plus alarm clock.
There is a large rocking chair in true Phillapino spirit (means good luck to have in local culture).
A wooden large cabinet faces the bed and includes a large TV- that a quick view offered mainly US channels but also Japanese- there is no guide so not entirely sure what is offered but it worked well.
There is a fridge below which includes some very limited mini bar items, a few beer cans and soft drinks etc.
The room also has a wooden desk with mirror and kettle with some teas sachets and coffee – this is where they present two bottle waters and a basket of fruit and local peanut snacks upon arrivals- plus the delicious welcoming drink and cold towel at reception.
In addition much needed mosquito plug is offered on the desk.
There is a single a/c unit but it is quite loud though you get use to it- it does cool the room down sufficiently and offers a remote to control. Plugs overall are limited but it is a nature resort.
The adjoining bathroom has wooden shutters to separate from room. It is very spacious offering a shower cubicle and a very small bath. Shower worked well. The toilet offers a simple bidet not quite washlet but I expect its is offered to prevent guests using tissues as toilet got blocked and told paper is suppose to go in bin next to it (though no sign signifies this). Full hotel branded amenities that include shower gel, body lotion and shampoo. Dental kits & combs as well. The bathroom is also where the open wardrobe is offered that had hangers and some female esq shoes, not really flip flops for the male. There is also a small safe in which is quite dated with key and combination- not sure what the benefit of this is as you need combination to use key anyway.
Overall the room is pleasant for a couple or single traveller. Spacious but simple 3 star standard functionality- however it was clean and spacious. The sort of hut building itself and outside balcony area makes it feel like a game reserve lodge etc.
The hotel offers free WIFI but only by the lobby or pool area. It worked ok but does drop occasionally. There is no WIFI in any of the rooms or cottages, which actually was quite welcoming to just get away from technology and absorb the beautiful nature. The resort is quite vast in space and so golf carts travel passengers from room to lobby and other areas.
Catering options include one restaurant placed over the main swimming pool area & so offers a sensational view of the sea and pools. This is also where you get your room service & bar drinks. Food quality is quite pricey for local standards but in general the BBQ pork belly was delicious- I missed breakfast due to tour so cannot comment on that.
Leisure facilities include 3 variations of swimming facilities. The major pool is just down from the lobby but is split into 3 pools next to each other- there is little difference between them, just some are deeper, smaller than others,- one includes a walk up stool by a bar (though it is just a seating area- there is no actual bar etc that I noticed. In addition there are Jacuzzi pools within- with one that offers a small waterfall which was very cooling place to drink your pina colada. This pools offers exceptional view of the sea below. There are also showers, toilets & sun loungers around. WIFI is offered in this area. This pool is more for leisure purposes and relaxing than laps.
The other pool is a large square pool that is more suitable for work out swimming doing laps etc. This is offered other end of resort next to spa and gym. The gym has modern equipment and is staffed which overlooks the work out pool. Behind this is a spa- which is in a nice building, offering massages from Japan, Africa, India and Philippines- quite pricey but was of good professional standard. There is also a sauna and steam room in the SPA complex.
There is a unique swimming option offered at this hotel which is first I have come across, an underground cave with supposed healing mineral water- it is cold but is very interesting- bring googles to look at the underwater landscape but don’t swim too much into the dark area as that is where bats are heard. To use that facility you must be accompanied by staff so any length of time in there felt limited though staff are happy to take pictures and did not feel rushed but its not a place to chill for say an hour. However, it is an exciting facility and fun to swim and see the landscape from down below- they have underground lights so the texture is nicely lit up. There is also a much smaller cave located next to the square swimming pool by the spa, however it does not look inviting to dip into and is too small like a paddling pool size.
Other leisure facilities include a kids play area, a games rooms with pool tables etc, a souvenir shop of local crafts and t-shirts but also with some bathroom & snack items. In addition but at a renting charge are the following: Tennis courts, kayaks, snorkelling, and tours. There is a beach located down some steps which is right under the cliff, some sun loungers are located but not many- however there is a guard there on duty and I believe the beach is private. Across from beach but easily walkable due to low sea level is a man made island. It quite interesting to go but not much on it- it seemed it might have been a venue of some sort historically as toilets are located on it and some palm trees. Steps in the sea on the 4 sides. It is very easy to get to even for children as the sea level is barely 2-3 feet.
In addition the hotel also hires DVD players, KTV & some other items I noticed in the guide for the ideal in room experience.
Staff at reception are very helpful and accommodating with my requests regarding directions and check-in/out overall was smooth with warm service- I explained I needed a double bed as have issues falling out of single beds- they quickly amended this and joined the beds. They also were able to pre-book my ferry ticket back to Cebu.
The other staff, house keeping, bellman/golf cart drivers were very upbeat and friendly. Overall very friendly but there is an essence of needing to tip- which was of no issue (they did not ask but you felt the vibe). The bar staff don’t get tipped as you pay for the service charge already in check, they are generally not that proactive enough at the pool as you have to find them to say request drinks. However the staff do offer a degree of premium level of Pilipino hospitality.
Overall what stands out at Panglao Nature resort is how nature it is, I saw a 2 foot long lizard run across the road plus the sounds of the jungle and sea at night made this true nature spot and great to take in the relaxing environment. The room itself could be modernised and more functional which is more like a 3 star hotel but the resort facilities were exceptional especially the cave and better than some 5 stars I have stayed at. It was a very relaxing place to stay and one night just seemed too limited. I give it 5 stars based on the location, facilities and kind staff being the strengths and cannot be faulted but the room could easily be improved. It’s a unique spot romantic, natural and pure relaxation.
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