We stayed at Amarela from March 13 to 16, 2013. The resort is even more beautiful in person than in photos. There are flowers everywhere and the grounds are immaculately maintained. The room was very clean and a decent size, with a nice washroom. We could even access the free wifi from our room because it was in the main building. They have tons of DVDs that you can borrow to watch in your room. There is even an observation deck on the roof, from where you can see the stars at night. The art exhibit room was really cool too - it was nice to look at the paintings and learn about the history of the area.
One small issue with our room was that they had just stuck two twin beds together and only provided two twin size duvets. I guess we could have asked for a queen size duvet but it never really came to mind...!
The restaurant is reasonably priced for very good food and big portions. The free breakfast was fantastic, I really liked their crumpets!
Very nice private beach area, which is very well maintained, and they have kayaks for the guests to use. Snorkeling is possible of the beach, but it is easier to get out at high tide. Low tide exposes a few rocks and sea grasses, in which spiky sea urchins live so you have to watch your step. We snorkeled off the kayak and saw a few fish, urchins and starfish.
The staff was very friendly and arranged a Bohol tour and dolphin watching / snorkeling tour for us. Both tours were private and reasonably priced. The dolphin watching was awesome, after the rush was done (we were the last boat out there so all the dolphins were around us at the end). There must have been about 30 boats gathered to look at the dolphins, which is a bit crazy. The snorkeling at Balicasag island was a bit of a disaster, but still ok. They force you to snorkel in their "sanctuary" (and pay 150 pesos each for a "guide" who is completely useless except for paddling you out there), which is packed with people who step on the corals so it is a bit ruined. The coral cliff off the shelf looks nice but you would need scuba gear to check it out.
The resort was really great though. Everything worked properly. Airport transfers were on time and efficient.
- 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