The resort itself was lovely, the ambiance is very warm and welcoming. Rooms are clean and well appointed. I was charmed by the decor and atmosphere of Amarela.
Food was just okay. The sisig is very salty. Breakfast was pretty much the same the whole time we were there. I hope they add some leafy vegetables in their menu. I loved the watermelon shake. Must try!
The infinity pool was also great, and unlike the other reviewer, I do appreciate the staffs efforts to enforce a proper swim attire. I dislike the tshirt wearing thing in the pool. The lifeguard was very helpful in adjusting the pool chairs so I could better face the sun. We were also able to order some drinks while in the pool area. I saw a lady getting a massage so that's possible too.
We had a wonderful evening BBQ in the beach. The kebabs are good and it was nice to have a couple of drinks while a local band sang for us. It was a very lovely evening indeed.
CONS: I found the bathrooms quite stuffy. We would leave the bathroom exhaust on the whole night and it was still stuffy in the morning.
We arranged for an Island Hopping Tour with the resort. The tour was supposed to go from 9am-3pm. It took us an hour and a half to go to this Balicasag island. When we got there, we were told to get a snorkling guide to go snorkling with us. We didnt want to snorkle. We wanted to island hop. Maybe I should have clarified, but I thought lunch was included in the package, it wasnt. The boatman pretty much left us alone to have lunch. We ordered some seafood to grill at the restaurant. IT WAS NOT CHEAP. People kept coming up to us selling us stuff, it was annoying. AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS, it is a GIANT TOURIST TRAP. We got frustrated, we asked to be taken back to the hotel. I've already wasted money, didn't want to waste any more time.
We got back to the hotel, the resorts on both sides of Amarela had guests too and they were blasting the karaoke. So we decided to walk to a more secluded part of the beach. Away from the crowds, maybe a 5 minute walk. It was great, clear water, powdery white sands. Then we noticed our boat from this mornings failed island hoping was docked right where we were swimming. Some local kids climbed up the boat and stayed there for a while. Once they spotted us, they made their way towards us, first pretending to play in the sand some 6 feet away from us, then slowly approached us, saying "give money?". We said no. They wouldnt leave us alone, even threw sand at us when we said no. We got up, and left. They followed us for quite a bit before finally leaving us alone.
We ended up spending the rest of the day poolside, with Gangnam style blaring from the resort beside us, and a guy singing on karaoke from the other adjacent resort. Maybe we shouldn't have gone during the peak season... I do realize there are factors that the resort couldnt control, I'm just saying.
I did also notice that the staff is more attentive towards Caucasian guests. My sister ordered an omelette one morning. The Chef served everyone else, even those who arrived after we did. She followed up her omelette after 15minutes of waiting. It arrived, but her mushroom cheese omelette magically transformed to a ham and cheese omelette.
Its a lovely hotel to relax and unwind. Just go during off-peak season when there are less people in the vicinity.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amarela is a cozy yet elegant boutique resort atop a gentle slope with a stunning panoramic view of Bohol Sea and neighboring islands. Natural sandstone pathways run through native landscape, leading to the long stretch of white beach. The resort showcases local art and culture in meticulous detail - highlighting antique & traditional furniture, artifacts & handicrafts, old hardwood doors & floors, as well as an outstanding collection of sculpture & paintings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amarela Hotel Panglao Island
- Amarela Resort Bohol Province/Panglao Island
- Amarela Hotel Bohol