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“Simply PLEASANT!”
Review of Amarela Resort

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Amarela Resort
Ranked #6 of 50 Hotels in Panglao Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

Our stay in Amarela was simply PLEASANT! And this is not always easy to be said in Philippines. Here everything simply works! Your shower works, your room is cleal, your food is good, your taxi comes in time, your aircon is not noisy, your swimming pool is clean, the staff are incredibly nice, the views are pretty, tv works, dvd player works, diving center staff are very responsible, .... Simply PLEASANT!

Stayed: June 2014
4  Thank Asun R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2014

It is not a luxury resort but every detail makes you feel amazed and comfortable.

We received warm welcome and service ever from the terminal pick up in Tagbilaran and all through our stay in the resort.

The room is not big but has very easy access to the pool with only several steps away. There are complementary local snacks which is very thoughtful especially for us who traveled a long time without meal. Btw the restaurant is also very good with view of the ocean.

The overall stay was one of the great experience and very relaxing compared to Boracay. The hotel is one of the best choices on the island.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RueiLai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2014

After our Singapore vacation last April, we decided to have a local destination in May. We opted for Bohol province. Checked out reviews of the top hotel/resorts from fellow travelers at Tripadvisor. We were after a private and secluded beach resort. Amarela did have a lot, if not all, of good reviews.

We booked a 4day/3 night stay the last week of May before summer ends. Upon arrival, we immediately fell in love with the resort. The resort is more beautiful in person than the website pictures.The ambiance is unlike others we have been to. The furniture wood works, artworks, garden landscape and magnificent view of Bohol Sea welcomed us. We booked the Antiquera signature room for us couple and a Double Deluxe room for the 4 children. Both offered the sea, pool and garden views. Ample size and space too.

We rented a van on the 2nd day for the countryside tour -- Chocolate Hills, Tarsier sanctuary, Butterfly Farm, Blood Compact Monument, Mahogany man-made forest, Shiphaus and the Baclayon Church among others. But the purpose of our vacation was to just relax in the comfort of the resort and lazy island life. Amarela is perfect. The beach is available early morning as low tide sets in before 10 a.m. The natural water pool is the best to spend the rest of the day till night. There is a library with a wide collection of books and movies (dvd). There is an art exhibit showcasing paintings, relics and artifacts. Loved it.

We took all our meals at the resort from the complementary breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Nothing to rave about but not at all bad and generous servings too.

In a nutshell, it was a pleasant stay at Amarela, Surely next time it should be a longer stay. Very clean and relaxing rooms -- comfortable beds, jacuzzi, cable tv, work desk and the view of course. Reliable wi-fi access in the room and within the resort area. No worries on arrival and departure because of their efficient airport transfers. Professional demeanor by the staff everywhere whether to foreign and domestic tourists. For us, we need not go out of the resort except for the countryside tour. We were too content enjoying the beauty of Amarela. Cheers!

Room Tip: choose a room with a view of Bohol Sea
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank OlegdD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2014

We booked at Amarela for five nights on the basis of the great ratings on Trip Advisor. The hotel is very nice in many respects, and we would like to join the chorus of positive commentators. Unfortunately, our quite mixed experience prevent us from being so positive. And some appalling service oversights left us with some very negative feelings about the place.

First the good things:

The hotel provides complimentary pick-up and return from the airport or pier in Tagbilaran, which is important as the hotel itself is quite far and would be very difficult to find on your own.

The hotel is really a "boutique" style with unique decorations of fabulous antiques and art. The owners obviously take considerable pride in Bohol and effectively support and promote local culture and products (e.g., serving local chocolate drink for breakfast, selling local handicrafts in their small gift shop).

The hotel sits on a hill, with their property running all the way down to the beach. Their beach is nothing great, with combination of sand and stony areas and generally with quite a bit of seaweed and sea grass. But, it's very pleasant and the hotel has arranged hammocks and lounge chairs comfortably at the beach. The hotel offers free use of kayaks, boats, snorkels, etc. Their gardens are very tasteful and attractive.

The rooms are not particularly big or fancy, but tastefully decorated and kept very clean. Our room included a small refrigerator and water heater for coffee. We wanted an extra table placed in the bathroom of our room, and the staff was quick to provide as we requested. Unfortunately, our room had no view whatsoever. The room had a decent TV with a good selection of channels.

The hotel has a very nice library and collection of more than 2000 videos. But, if you are enjoying the other attractions of Bohol, you probably won't have much time to avail of the books or DVDs.

We enjoyed the breakfasts very much. The choices were good, the quality was excellent and the portions were big. Other meals we ate at the hotel were only so-so.

The hotel is not within walking distance of any outside restaurants, shops, or the main beach area of Alona, but the Amarela staff were very good in arranging transportation for us each day to fit our needs and the arranged transport providers were very professional and on time.

The nicest thing that happened to us during our stay was that the Amarela staff took it upon themselves, with no request from us, to clean our muddy shoes, which the three of us had all gotten completely messed up during a previous days' outing in the rain. This was a very nice and much appreciated act on the part of the staff.

Now the not-so-nice things about Amarela, including a couple of bad experiences:

The place is definitely on the pricey side of the ledger, for what you get. In paying what is by any measure very high rates for Philippines and Bohol, you would expect superb service and facilities. What you get is very nice in most respects, but definitely not superb!

As noted above, Amarela is not close to anywhere else, so you will need to incur added costs to go to any other attractions. The cheapest way to travel from Amarela to Alona beach, for example, is by tricycle which costs 150 pesos each way for the 15-20 minute trip. Not a big deal, but added cost and inconvenience.

The room we were given had a very noisy air conditioner. We asked that it be checked and serviced, but despite the staff saying they would do so, it never happened during our stay.

When we booked, we requested a room higher up with a view, but were told that none were available. Thus, we were given a room at ground level, with no view whatsoever. We politely asked that, should any better room would come available, we would like to be transferred, and we were assured by the staff that they would do so. After one or two days, we noticed that indeed some of the nicest rooms were vacated, but the staff made no effort to transfer us to the nicer rooms. Quite frustrating to walk past these empty rooms for a couple of days, knowing that we had been told the staff would transfer us, but then no action taken. [Suggestion to management would be to charge a lower rate for their less-desirable rooms; it is not satisfying to see on the internet the same price for the very attractive rooms as for the far less attractive rooms, like the one we were given.]

We had a very irritating experience the first day of our stay, when traveling into Tagbilaran City to buy medicine for our daughter who was sick. The Amarela staff kindly offered to give us a lift into the city with their staff vehicle, and they dropped us off at the main shopping mall. They were very clear in saying exactly where they would pick us up again after 30 minutes. We rushed around to buy the medicine and other items and hurried back to the designated pick-up spot. Then, we stood waiting and waiting and waiting... and waiting. After 20 or 30 minutes, the guards at the shopping mall had pity on us and gave us chairs to sit on. Then, we sat and waited.... and waited..... and waited. FINALLY, after MORE THAN ONE AND A HALF HOURS after the designated pick-up time, the van finally should up! Not the way one wants to spend an afternoon when on vacation!!

In general, the service at the hotel, although friendly, was slow and often inattentive. The depths of this disappointment came on our last evening. We were looking forward to a special dinner out in the pleasant garden. However, as a result of the appalling lack of service of the Amarela staff, our entire evening was ruined! Because the dinner area was busy, we chose to sit at a small terrace area below the main seating area. From the beginning, although the staff knew full well we were there, they acted as if we didn't exist. We had to ask for menus; we had to ask for someone to take our order; we were not given any attention. At one point, a wait staff even came to our terrace level and collected an unused chair and took it up to the other level for another group to use without even giving a comment to us. We waited patiently for our food, with no sign that it was on the way. We were never once visited by a staff member to apologize for the delay or perhaps given a bread basket or even to replenish our glasses of water. Finally, after well over an hour of waiting, and seeing others who had arrived after us being served their food, we got up and left and returned to our room! The staff - seeing us leaving - said they would quickly check on the status of our order and let us know what the problem was. Incredibly, no one from the Amarela staff came to our room at any time that evening or called our room to apologize, bring any food or otherwise try to correct the gross oversights.

The next morning, when we were to check out, the manager on duty was quite apologetic. But despite her attempts to remedy the situation, her actions, in fact, added insult to injury. She made a big deal of saying they would extend a 15% discount to us "for a future stay." This is a sorry joke, because pretty much anyone is extended at least a 10% discount simply for asking. If the hotel was sincerely sorry and disturbed by the outrageous treatment we were given, they would have found a far more serious way to express their apologies.

Generally, my family and I are quite tolerant and understanding people, and a sincere apology with a meaningful gesture of compensation for ruining what should have been a very special dinner for us (rather than offering an insultingly pitiful discount for a future visit that almost anyone can get) would have gone a long way toward making us feel better about Amarela. In the absence of such, we would be very hesitant to return - or to recommend to others.

Room Tip: Book early and try to get a room on the upper levels with a view out toward the sea.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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9  Thank Raintree_Thailand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2014

Recently stayed two nights at Amarela, recovering from our brief-busy-but-brilliant visit to Dumaguete. It was the perfect oasis: quiet, but not lonely, unique & beautiful, but not over-priced. Easy beach access, with cool, clean rooms nearby. But I was most impressed by the staff. The service was thoughtful and genuine. It seems that the staff of Amarela truly enjoy their positions - and they excel at making their guests feel welcome and well-cared for.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2014

The stay at Amarela was a wonderfully relaxing and much needed break. The Long Vacation Package made it an even more cost effective and attractive proposition. The resort itself was beautifully designed and the gardens lovely to experience. The pool was great and amenities by the beach very convenient. Having the option to utilise kayaks and snorkeling gear was fantastic and the DVD library was vast and it was great options to play board games and table tennis. The food quality was reasonably good with a fairly diverse menu. The service was excellent with staff being attentive and responsive to requests. The room itself was very nice with comfortable beds, great bathroom and fantastic balcony overlooking the beach and with great views of the sunrise and sunset. The only problem with the room from my perspective was that the air conditioning wasn't strong enough and because it couldn't be kept on while the room was unoccupied meant the room was overly warm at times.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AussieTraveller1674
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

I stayed at this hotel with my wife, father and 4 month old baby. We loved the place - the hotel is beautifully designed and with plenty of character, the common parts are filled with artwork from the Philippines - so much so that it feels like a museum. The staff were courteous and friendly, and helped us with everything we needed including a cot for the baby and a steriliser for dummies, bottles etc . The food was good but could be improved. The location is superb - you enjoy a beautiful white beach which is practically private with hammocks, palm trees and deck chairs and a security guard keeping an eye on your belongings and a wonderful pool just next to the rooms. They also arranging amazing trips around the Island from a snorkelling trip to Balicasag Island to a day trip around the Island, taking in all of the major sites at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Acmchik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amarela Resort

Address: Barangay Libaong, 6340, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Panglao Island
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Panglao Island
#5 Luxury Hotel in Panglao Island
Price Range: $114 - $314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Amarela Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 25
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

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