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“Comfortable But Expensive”

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Alona Vida Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 96 Panglao Island B&B and Inns
Vancouver, B.C.
Level Contributor
142 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 409 helpful votes
“Comfortable But Expensive”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We stayed at the Alona Vida Beach Resort for 5-nights in late February (P3400/$86). The airport taxi (P500) drops you at the bottom of the hill where you first see the ocean. There is a sandy walkway to the left that parallels the beach in front of the hotels and restaurants (you carry your bags for 150 m). The hotel is on a long, narrow lot that stretches back from the beach. You walk into the hotel on a concrete path that separates the bar/restaurant on the left and the dive shop on the right. The reception is behind the bar, followed by two 2-story buildings (4-rooms each), the pool and a third new building at the back.

Our second floor room was expansive, with a king bed, two marble-top bamboo end tables, a long marble-top desk with drawers for extra storage and a large clothes storage area in the entryway. The rooms have a tiny TV, AC and ceiling fan, safe and refrigerator; bottled water and shampoo are provided daily. There is a full length balcony with a large table and two chairs and a clothes drying rack (the humidity makes drying clothes difficult). Our room was near the pool and, while we could hear music from the bar at night, it was not loud or intrusive and did not keep us awake.

The pool is kidney-shaped and deep (1-2 m), but is shaded by the trees and buildings for most of the day and can be quite chilly. There are only 6-loungers for the pool and beach, inadequate for a 14-room hotel. The WiFi is not strong enough to reach the room, but is available in the bar. Bar drinks are relatively expensive, but use of the foosball table is free. The hotel restaurant is similarly expensive, so we dined elsewhere: for breakfast, try Trudie’s Place for an American breakfast at P160 (half the hotel price); the Lost Horizon is great for a mid-day snack, and is one of the few places where coconuts are less than P120; and for dinner, by far the most popular option is the Alona Secret Dream at the top of the hill, where two excellent entrees and drinks cost P600. Another option is Isis Thai Restaurant at the end of the beach, where the entrees (P200) are big enough for two.

Alona Beach is a short (>1 km), narrow stretch of white sand that extends perhaps 10 m into the water before turning to weeds. A line of floats 30-40 m offshore defines the boundary of the on-shore boat channel and the tour/dive boat mooring area beyond – not a great swimming beach (there is a definite focus on diving here). Restaurants, bars and hotels line the strip and extend up the road out of town. Most have happy hours – our favourite was a place called the Bird Watcher where the beers were cold (P35) and meat skewers were available from the grill next door.

Most services are on the hill leading out of town. There are convenience stores to restock your refrigerator (P35 beer, P110 rum, P35 water), ATM machines and currency exchanges (you get a better rate at the Manila airport) and a small office at the bottom of the hill that sells ongoing ferry tickets to Camiguin, Cebu or Siquijor and ground transport to Jagna (P1700; 1.5 hr).

We went on 3-tours arranged with vendors on the beach: Balicasag Island snorkeling (excellent wall) and dolphin watching (P600/person); a Bohol tour that included the Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, butterfly farm, bamboo bridge, church and the blood compact site (P2000/van); and a tour to Oslab on Cebu to swim with the whale sharks (P2000/person). All were worthwhile, but check around and ask questions about what is actually provided to avoid getting ripped off.

We had a very pleasant stay at a comfortable hotel. While we recommend it, it is expensive and may not deliver the best value. Shop around because there seem to be cheaper options that look just as comfortable.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank ndser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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English first
Waterloo, Belgium
Level Contributor
49 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

My wife and myself stayed there for the 3rd time, in march 2013.
Alona beach is a white sandy beach on the south of Panglao Island ( Bohol ). There is no car, just a sandy path along the beach, to go to the hotels.When you come to Alona Vida , the van will drop you 200 yards from the hotel.
The hotel has 12 rooms, with all you need, TV,fridge, aircon and safe; size is ok, even large in the 4 new rooms.
The staff is very good and will try to satisfy all your questions and needs.
ok, it can be a little bit noisy in the evenings; but this is not an issue for us.
But, clearly, the mail reason to stay there is diving. Sea Explorers dive center is very efficient and located just 5 yards from the restaurant.
Dives are very good, especially if you take the boattrip (around 30 min ) to Balicasag ( paradise of the turtles ) or Doljo, where the reefs are wonderful and healthy.

Room Tip: the 4 new superior rooms are larger and far from the noise of the bar restaurant.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank patrick v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We recently stayed at this small hotel and truly enjoyed our stay. The hotel is situated on the beach and each night we ate at either the hotel or one of the other local hotel restaurants. The tables are set up on the beach and we fresh seafood is available nightly (at reasonable cost). The room reminded me of Gilligans Island, simple but perfect for the setting. Bed was comfortable and room was clean and well sized. We had many enjoyable drinks on our balcony. The pool was small but perfect for a swim (if the beach does not suit). We both had beach massages, perfect before a romantic evening cocktail. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone would wants a real beach holiday.....

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Trevor G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beveren
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Located at the beachfront this resort is only accessible by sea or beach, walking along many shops and restaurants. There is a nice, white sandy and clean beach, shallow water perfect for swimming, also for kids.
The resort has a dozen rooms and small pool in the back, only used for diving introductions and training i suppose. It has a large bar at the beachfront which can be noisy late at night, aswell as many bars nextdoor which play all different music! So make sure you ask for a room away from it if you want to sleep early.
The rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable and have a veranda with chairs and rack for drying clothes. Bathroom is small, so wet after showering...
Restaurant serves good quality of food, although the service itself is slow due to the waitresses who need some training.
The Sea Explorer diving center is the best in the neighborhood, good service, great diving due to the experienced dive guides (thanks to Alvin and Pamping and Erico) and management by Felix.
After all one of the better places at Alona beach...

Room Tip: If you want to sleep early, ask for a room in the back/upstairs, away from the beachfront.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank frogfish99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Castle
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012

I stayed at the Alona Vida as part of a dive package with "Sea Explorers". I was quite impressed with the facility The rooms are a perfect size for me as a a solo traveler. The rooms were clean And spacious. I was right next to the dive shop so there was some noise at night but it really wasn't bad at all. Most nights they closed at Midnight. Only Friday & Saturday were they open later. It really wasn't a problem. I found the food in the restaurant to be outstanding. Really good breakfast and great prawns on the grill at night, not to mention fabulous tuna sashimi. All the wait staff was good especially "En-En" & "Arlen". I enjoyed being at the "end" of the strip as it was a bit more quiet. They beach was very lovely & clean. It's association with the "Sea Explorers" Dive center made it all the much better for me. This was my first time diving with them, but it will not be my last. I would highly recommend Alona Vida for it's unpretentious, reasonably priced and very clean.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MJF0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
90 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

small but clean no-frills room in a rather compact resort. the location is good as you can access the beach front and also a wide range of restaurants and services nearby. pool is minimal and there were constructions ongoing though they were rather careful to contain the area and respect the noise however resort density expected to increase exponentially
service on average for a filipino resort so you will have to do a thorough follow up - booked month in advance and also requested a airport transfer only to arrive at the airport and no one was there.

Room Tip: confirm your airport transfer a few days before departure to avoid frustrations or probably better s...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Joana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hongkong
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Our family of three stayed here in August. The room was clean, a bit small for an extra bed, but as we did not spend much time in the room, it was OK. The room was cleaned every day and we had fresh towels and bed linen. The bathroom was not very clean and there a bad odour from the drain, but it disappeared after our first shower. Management should consider a small floor mat in the bathroom to help keep it dry.
After reading the reviews on TA, I was a bit concerned about the noise from the bar, which though very noisy, did not disturb us.
The food and service at the restaurant was not very good, so we ate most of our meals at other restaurants. Management should spend some time and effort on training their staff. The people who cleaned the rooms were very good and their service were prompt and cordial.
Other than the restaurant, we found Alona Vida good. They were kind enough to let us stay on when we had to cancel our sea safari with Sea Explorers (will be reviewing this seperately)because of the effects of a typhoon.
I would return to Alona Vida as it's unpretentious, not very expensive, and reasonably clean. The dive shop (Sea Explorers is very good) and fail to understand its poor ranking on TA.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the "staff bar" and the beach and on the first floor.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sableHongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alona Vida Beach Resort

Property: Alona Vida Beach Resort
Address: Alona Vida Beach Resort Alona Beach | Tawala, 6340, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Panglao Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 96 B&Bs / Inns in Panglao Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Alona Vida Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Alona Vida Beach Hotel Panglao Island
Alona Vida Beach Resort Bohol Province/Panglao Island

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