In October 09, one week after the major Philippines typhoon, we arrived on Panglao Island, having booked 6 nights at Linaw Resort followed by 3 nights at BBC.
The BBC booking was for us like an extravaganza, a pricey treat at the end of our holiday: we booked what the website showed to be the best room of the whole massive resort, away from the crowded pool areas, right on the beach, 1st row of bungalows (touching walls BTW, not detached): at double the price of our amazing accommodation at Linaw, that had to be good.
Oh... My... God! What a disappointment! Yes, the site is beautiful (the gardens and the beach itself - not the sea). But that's it, that's what you pay for: double price for everything compared to Linaw, for not even half the quality of service, accommodation and food.
We entered our room and how sad it was! Just like a dingy motel room, I got so depressed in just 5 seconds of being in there. Dark, so basic, ugly decor, bathroom in serious need of TLC, all so depressing. The sliding windows (tainted, i.e. dark room) lead us to... no, not the beach, a tiny outdoor space of like 1 meter by 2, with an ugly 1 meter high wall between us and the beach. We decided to give it a chance and ventured outside.
Nice beach, nice gardens, again. We went to the restaurant and honestly, I couldn't drool on any single dish on the menu: sandwiches, fries, more bread stuff, some pasta and rice. You are on a tiny island like paradise, and they can't offer you a decent meal of nicely prepared fresh fish with veggies and a tang of spicy home made sauce? They do not offer either any fresh juices: all sugary industrial stuff from a carton, unbelievable! We decided to stay on the beach that 1st afternoon and to try the evening buffet. The staff was nice that evening (not sighing like at lunchtime) but no hot dish was that good. It was a bit gross, you know, when you cook hot food for like up to 800 people, you don't get quality. Heavy cheesy pasta, or rice gone dry, etc. Nothing great. We went to bed hoping to have a better feeling in the morning. Slept OK and went for all-you-can-eat hot and cold breakfast buffet. Well, I didn't eat much (and I love eating) because again, the food had been cooked at like 7am and staying there kept warm i.e. the freshness and taste were bad and some things had gone tough and dry. They woudl not replenish empty trays either so really, a poor start of the day!
So disappointing. After that I didn't see this resort as a treat at all, but as a punishment. We called Linaw at lunchtime asking if they had any room available as we missed Quality (of everything) so much! They were fully booked for the next few days so, unfortunately, we were stuck there, on for a very average experience at a very high price. Such a let down.
I would not recommend this place, unless you don't care about being served unappetising food, don't care about the room and not bothered by an average level of service.
If you have kids and are renting a room near the swimming pools, this is cheaper and I guess your kids will have fun in the pools. For couples wanting paradise, indulgence and a quality romantic experience, do not go there.
For couples, highly recommend Linaw for the peaceful and relaxing experience: It is a tiny and pretty cozy resort, rather isolated and quiet, with amazing staff, amazing FRESH food, good moderate music for ambiance each evening, large and clean bright rooms with en-suite, endless sea views and big balconies. The beach is small and nothing special but it didn't matter too much to us, the view was nice and the pool area was lovely too. We had booked Linaw as our first resort because we liked the pictures, the small intimate size of the resort (6 rooms at the time - now 12 I believe, still small) and the good price. It did not disappoint. The great food and the great staff really made it for us. Small resort means better service and smiling staff.
Each experience is different, luck might or might not be on your side. I have here described our experience and wished I had not booked and paid a fortune for those 3 days at BBC. It was the let down of our Philippines holiday, and right at the end, so even more of a shame. For the very first time, I have to say that the reviews on tripadvisor did not warn us at all about what to expect; maybe most reviews were from groups or families who did not care about quality but more about entertainment, choice of pools, and had booked the cheap rooms by the pools rather than away and on the beach.
I guess my review will be helpful for couples, maybe not for other parties.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.