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“Beautiful but need some esthetic work”

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Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 50 Hotels in Panglao Island
Reviewed May 8, 2009

The entrance to the hotel is very impressive but the driveway definitely needs work - it should at least be paved, for a hotel that charges USD$500++ per stay this is the least they can do ! The hotel opened on March 2008 (I was told), the owners have A LOT to do with regards to the overall esthetic of the hotel. Until this is done, I really cannot see how the hotel owners can justify charging USD $500++ per room.

Internet: Wireless is free in the restaurant area but not from your room.

Room: Clean, spacious, outdoor bathroom - amazing; had a few issues with ants but the staff did a great job getting rid of it.

Restaurant: OK. The staff (apparently by management order) were not allowed to recommend any restaurants outside of the hotel. What's up with that !? If this is the case, I recommend that they add more local dishes to the menu, very poor and limited choices.

Good point: The service was EXCELLENT ! The staff were very friendly, efficient, and polite. A definite 5 star service quality.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Trini-on-the-go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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286 - 292 of 324 reviews

Reviewed April 20, 2009

Villa was very spacious and luxurious but not ostentatious at all. The outdoor bathroom was amazing. Two sinks, a separate shower and toilet, and another "natural" shower beyond the whirlpool.

Food was excellent! We booked during the Travel Expo event and got a really good deal! Free meals the whole trip! My husband and I were spoiled for choice. The breads they served were really delicious and made fresh at the resort. One night we had a steak dinner at the beach, with romantic candle lights and torch lights. Another night we ate poolside.

Too bad the spa wasn't finished yet when we were there. We had a body massage and a welcome foot massage in our villa.

Since the place was huge, we hardly ran into the other guests at the resort. Would highly recommend this for newly-married's and other couples.

A little bit disappointed about the beach though. Come to think of it, I don't think I even tried it. But we were more than happy with the whirlpool and infinity pool so.... no biggie.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gingerpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2009

There are far more beautifully secluded beach resorts in other tropical places than Eskaya that are more affordable. Eskaya is too pricey for its location. Opt for Kauai, Hawaii instead. There are far more luxurious and affordable resorts there.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank john97864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2008

We spent a beautiful weekend at the Eskaya on Panglao Island, in Bohol. From the moment we arrived, we felt the 5-star treatment immediately. We were greeted by the staff and presented with cold towels scented with lemongrass, as well as garlands of white flowers, and a refreshing drink of coconut juice. We were fortunate enough to get upgraded to a villa with its own pool in the back. The room was spacious and well appointed, with airconditioning, flat screen tv & minibar. The outdoor bathroom was very nice, with a jacuzzi, and two showers (an outdoor bamboo shower and a modern one with hot water).
The staff was so attentive. Each time we would step out into the sunshine, someone would bring out an umbrella for us. On the beach, they noticed we were having a hard time walking on the soft sand so they got us aqua socks. They set up dinner for us on the beach, complete with torch lights and live singers. They packed breakfast for us on our dolphin watching tour and even brought tables and chairs so we could dine comfortably on a remote island.
This attention to detail made our stay a truly enjoyable one. As Filipinos, we are very proud that a local resort can provide truly world-class service. While this service does not come cheaply, we were happy that our high expectations for this premium pricing were more than adequately met by the service and facilities of the resort.
Our only complaint was that the beach was full of sea grass but the staff said that this is typical during the low season and should disappear during the high season of November to February. The outdoor bathroom also attracts a lot of insects so make sure you don't leave tubes open near the sink.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Lourdes A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2008

Our stay in Bohol is such an unforgetable one! Although we stay there just for a short time it's been a great experience. Thanks to Mr. Richard Lim for the opportunity and for the warm welcome of his staff. My kids had a great time and we enjoyed every minute of our stay in one of your Balai. Your amenities are superb and the services are excellent. I highly recommend this resort to others most especially the honeymooners! Again my sincere thanks to everyone. Hope to see you soon!

Sonny, Evelyn, Sarah & Sandra Villaluz
lynne_villaluz@yahoo.com

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank lynnevillaluz25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2008

1. Resort design: Four stars; exclusive, “close to nature” (“Mom, put ‘close to nature’!”).

The resort design is Filipino at its best. The 15 balais are all detached, so guest activities remain private. Landscaping is lush and tasteful, with lots of trees and plants and pebbles. There is a hanging bridge as shortcut to the only restaurant on the resort. Its planks are a bit too far apart for my taste, but 7y0 Daughter traversed it without incident, albeit gingerly.

The large infinity swimming pool was in a restful blue hue; it was bordered not by tiles but gracefully in wood. Swallows (poetically called “sayaw” by locals) occasionally took a sip of the cool blue waters of the pool, even when we were swimming.

Some 15-20 steps away from the pool was the beach. We had to make careful steps on each one. The beach is not wide enough for serious beachcombers. It did have powdery creamy sand, and the waters were usually clear enough for kayakers (yup, like us!) to see the sea grass. (Bare feet not recommended.) Starfishes were already visible a few yards from the shore, so the beach is very healthy. Strong winds made the water a bit murky, though. Kayaks, a pedal-boat (with enough seats for a family of 5) and a jet ski were available for guests. There were clean life-vests for us all, although the children’s sized one was still a little too big for 7yo daughter.

Wish list:
- Access for the handicapped. Even those nurturing arthritic knees (as I do) would find the steps towards the beach a bit of a challenge.
- Lounging areas. The resort could also use another area for lounging, like a clubhouse.
- More activities. Although the nice people of the resort set up our day tour, they could have other types of activities ready, like island-hopping or sailing.
- Star-gazing treats such as telescope, binoculars or a map of the constellations would have been great. We brought our own binoculars, but everyone wanted to use it at the same time because the stars were really twinkling. (“Mom, who is Orion?”)

Note: The resort is only about 70% done; hopefully, the spa center and other villas will be completed by summer’s time.

2. “Amazing balai”: Four and a half stars.

Daughter called it thus; she did not want to leave our room! We stayed at a spacious sea-view balai with its own infinity swimming pool. (According to the brochure, lot area for our balai was at 250sqm, floor area at 90sqm.) The balai is deceptively rustic; it had modern amenities. Designer Mańosa made good use of indigenous materials like cogon (for the roof), bamboo (fence and throughout) and rattan (chairs). The floor of the balai was in wide planks of rich wood. The lamps were topped with capiz, giving off warm light for the room.

Oh, the balai’s pool! Words cannot give it justice, and that is no understatement. Our infinity pool was only about 5m long x 1.5m wide, 4ft deep, but it was more than enough for family fun. Husband and Daughter spent many minutes jumping into the pool. It was also enclosed by gorgeous wood planks. The sundeck had 2 daybeds, 2 lounge chairs, and a dining table with 4 dining chairs. Our room had a king-sized bed; we requested a single one for Daughter. For the turndown service, the bed was enveloped in a pretty mosquito net. (We stretched it to cover daughter’s bed.) There were modern amenities, like the iPod dock, the LCD TV, VCR (we had no time to use it) and the split-type aircon unit with its own remote control. And inside, a serious-looking bug zapper with blue light kept the mosquitoes out of the room.

The bathroom, with its own whirlpool tub, rain shower and 2 sinks, was vast … and open. Open to nature. Privacy was ensured by a bamboo fence and creative use of foliage. At night, a (small) group of seemingly benign insects, like crickets and spiders, would converge on the bathroom ceiling. (This prompted panicked calls to housekeeping. Ugh. At night, the mosquito coils placed charmingly inside a katol casing deterred only some of the insects.) It is important to note that daughter with serious allergy to insect bites was NOT bitten. Not once.

Wish list: Please address the insect situation! Although the insects at the balai were harmless, it made this paranoid mom on edge. Maybe another pretty kulambo to cover the open bathroom concept at night?

3. Service: Five stars

In general, the staff was composed of friendly, effective personnel. We were met at the airport by 2 gentlemen who handed us (without fanfare, though) cold water bottles and cold face towels. The senior one pointed out some of the town’s points of interest, and answered our questions promptly if not lengthily (“Nag-tra-traffic ho ba dito, o ganito lang?” “Ganito lang.”). At the resort, the resort manager and the restaurant manager personally greeted us (a very nice touch) and then zipped us away to our balai in a club car. There were welcome watermelon juices for us all.

Our attempts at room service were attended to efficiently. Restaurant crew was generally accommodating throughout our stay, but could be better. Daughter’s request for fried chicken, an item not on the menu, was first received vaguely, although they later acceded. (Given the limited number of guests, and the fact that chicken adobo was on the menu, fried chicken did not seem too much of an imposition!) Waiters remembered our orders when it was time to place them on the table. Daughter pointed out that they were nice to push her chair for seating.

Pool and beach crewmembers were generally pleasant, although they were not ready with “basic” things unless requested (like setting up shade umbrellas, or handing out beach towels). I did find it odd that waiters would ask, “Ma’m, do you want to order something from the menu?” every time we lounged by the pool. It seemed too strong a suggestion, and in stark contrast to the free pandan water and fruit slices of Discovery Shores in Boracay.

Housekeeping crew seemed very effective; when we asked for extra towels and sheets for the day beds in the sun deck, they pleasantly acceded. When this panicked mom almost threw a fit at the ants in our balai and asked for our (standard) home remedy of talcum powder (none were to be had at the resort), they came up with one bottle (probably a personal one).

The masseuses for our massage (“pandabal”) seemed competent, if too silent. I think they could have asked if the pressure was okay and so on, because I really did not know what to expect.

We were given a very personal send-off by the resort manager, the restaurant manager, a facilities guy, and the head of the driver pool. They were all lined up by the reception area to bid us goodbye. Daughter said, “They are so kind! And so nice!”

Notable were some people: For example, the restaurant manager Rhonel, who made it a point to ask detailed questions about our stay, who knew us by name (including Daughter), and who came through for all requests coursed through him (even if not related to cuisine). He set up dinner on the beach with a carefully tended bonfire (roofs were made of cogon after all) and torches, for which Daughter was so charmed. (Other guests had dinner al fresco by the infinity pool.)

Another was beach boy Michael, who ran for our towels and life vests whenever he saw us gingerly making our way to the beach and the kayaks. He really gave us service beyond the call of duty. When I panicked by the rocks with my untameable kayak, he ran to the rocks to assist (Husband was first, of course, on the scene. He pushed me to the right direction.) Later, when our family of 3 bravely decided to kayak to nearby Bohol Beach Club, we were surprised to see him following us at a respectful distance in his own kayak. He seemed to take pleasure when our daughter used the oars, too. (“Wow, ang galing na ng baby!”).

4. Standard cuisine: Four stars

There was only 1 restaurant on the resort, as is the case with boutique-types of resorts. The restaurant was housed in a magnificent (I kid you not!) nipa hut structure. Most of it was open and airy; one room could be enclosed fully in glass and with aircon. The thatched roof kept out the blazing sun’s rays remarkably well.

That the choices were limited, although grilled seafood was on the menu for lunch and dinner, was expected; however, we heard of similar boutique resorts (starts with an “A”) on the island that was more accommodating with requests. The children’s menu could be more comprehensive, as they offered only 2 dishes. Set breakfast options were standard and could be expanded for more fun items.

The food that was served came in large portions (often can be shared by 2 adults), and was very tasty. They were very generous with their bread. Service at the restaurant (and room service) was quick.


5. In sum: 4 and a half stars

Husband and Daughter would go back in heartbeat. They both rate it 5 stars. It was a fun stay, and the resort lent itself to both restful retreat and active lifestyle types of vacations. (Husband’s back muscles were strained from all that rowing, and Daughter slept as soon as her head hit the pillows. The balai pool was such a treat for her.) For me, I think it can still vastly improve (given the exorbitant prices!) for either type of vacations. I could not fully relax perhaps because of the insects, and I was also seeking other activities inside the resort. It might be fun to go back once the resort is fully completed.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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7  Thank AndreaBCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2008

My husband and I went with some friends in November and we loved it!

We got three villas with outdoor whirlpools and everyone loved their rooms. I was literally jumping with joy when I saw the outdoor whirlpool in our backyard - it looked exactly like the pictures...there was even a bamboo shower.

We have nothing but praises for the staff. Everyone - the people on the van that picked us up from the airport, the waiters, the cleaning ladies, the manager - made us feel welcome and patiently answered our questions.

We used the infinity pool both during the day and night - they really put candles around the pool in the evening as shown in their brochures. It looked so beautiful and romantic. You can float on the pool, enjoy the silence, and look at the stars in the sky.

The only drawback is the food selection. Pretty pricey and I was disappointed by the "western" cuisine selections - I expected more for the price they were charging. I highly recommend the grilled stuff because the prices for those dishes are more reasonable and they're pretty good. We had a la carte grilled food cooked on the beach one evening - complete with bonfire - this was just great! Breakfast was included in our package and we were happy with their breakfast selections.

Just don't expect too much from the beach - we expected a stretch of pristine white beach... it wasn't

Enjoy the resort itself and the amenities - you probably won't even look for the beach. We will definitely be back and the next time, we're getting the room with its own infinity pool...

P.S. Highly recommend this to couples for romantic getaways and honeymoons...

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank a2tee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Barangay Tawala | Barangay Tawala, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Bohol Province > Panglao Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Panglao Island
#6 Spa Hotel in Panglao Island
#6 Luxury Hotel in Panglao Island
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Panglao Island
Price Range: $205 - $724 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Eskaya Beach Resort And Spa
Eskaya Beach Hotel Panglao Island
Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa Bohol Province/Panglao Island

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