With Boracay becoming the Bali of the Philippines, it’s time for you to try visiting another island in the country that isn’t teeming with tourists. Enter Bohol, an island located in the Central Visayas region. It’s the 10th largest island in the Philippines, and you can find a variety of things to visit and do here, from serene beaches to the exciting jungle. The resorts in Bohol are mostly located on Panglao Island, southwest of Tagbilaran the capital city, accessible via a bridge.
If you’re looking beyond lazing on a chaise lounge by the beach on this island getaway, you’re in luck. There’s plenty to do in Bohol that doesn’t involve the beach, although it is an island. Venture beyond Panglao Island and visit the iconic Chocolate Hills that Bohol is known for. These adorable mass of low, symmetrical hills are quite a sight to behold. During the dry season, they all turn brown, earning themselves the name “Chocolate Hills”. Come the rainy season and the grass becomes a lush shade of green again.
Other than the Chocolate Hills, there are many other nature-related activities you can get into while in Bohol. Get on an organised cruise down Loboc River and enjoy a lunch buffet spread, take in the historical sights around Tagbilaran city, visit the Cambuyo rice terraces, and have an adrenaline-pumping time at Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park. A must-do at the ecotourism park is to get on the zip line, which will bring you not only through the jungle but also the river, and then a view of the Chocolate Hills. Panglao Island itself is already known for its amazing diving spots, as well as other water activities including kayaking and snorkelling.
Have we sold you on visiting Bohol? Go ahead and book these resorts in Bohol right now:
This gorgeous resort has a breathtaking view of the Bohol sea and Siquijor Island, all while being within walking distance to Alona Beach. While there are 98 rooms for you to choose from, may we suggest taking the pool villa so you can have a seamless room-to-beach experience? Quite literally, the villa overlooks the beach and you can head out there from your balcony. The pool villa is also mostly made out of glass, which heightens your closeness with nature.
Within the resort as well are three dining outlets, two infinity swimming pools, a spa, a gym, and an in-house PADI dive centre. It’s an excellent tranquil beach resort surrounded by natural elements.
This resort has been described as a “luxury, hideaway, clifftop resort”. Truly, it is an idyllic resort that marries both contemporary styles with a laid-back, barefoot beach resort luxury. Pick from a range of deluxe rooms or a larger Oceana suite perfect for families. Within the resort are five restaurants and bars, a gym, three swimming pools including a dive pool perfect for student divers, and a game room. You won’t need to leave the resort if you don’t want to, as they have practically everything there.
Boasting amazing views of the sunset, Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect island getaway for lovebirds. This romantic boutique resort is named after the indigenous people of Bohol, yet it prides itself on its touches of modern luxury. The architecture features some traditional Filipino aspects, such as the single-detached thatched villas using native materials like bamboo, cogon, and wood. The grounds of Eskaya vary — there’s a gradually descending cliff, a flat land, a ravine, caves, and most importantly, a gorgeous view of the ocean. The resort also has its own private area on the beach, all 600-metres of pristine white sand. As for the accommodation, most of the villas boast its own private pool. Otherwise, the public infinity pool is equally as delightful.
Say what you want, but you can’t call Henann Resort small — especially since it’s the largest resort in Panglao Island at 6.5 hectares. This sprawling resort has 400 rooms, three swimming pools, a beach club, five restaurants and bars, and Bohol’s largest convention centre that can fit up to 1,000 people if you’re planning a grand occasion. If you want to splurge, we recommend booking the pool villa with its own private veranda and plunge pool. The interior has also been designed with Filipino-inspired pieces and earth-toned hues for a relaxed feel.
South Palms Resort Panglao claims to have its resort in a quiet part of the island, which means you won’t be bumping into other tourists while heading out to sunbathe by the beach. It’s just as well, because South Palms has the longest stretch of private beach in Panglao — you definitely won’t be bumping into too many people here. Its rooms are simple and tasteful with earthy and cream hues, which is equal parts relaxing and not too overwhelming. Like most other resorts in Bohol, South Palms also has an infinity pool for your many social media opportunities. Be sure to take time to dine in the in-house farm-to-table restaurant.
While most resorts in Bohol are beachfront, Donatela Hotel prides itself on being situated in a lush botanical garden. In fact, it was built with nature in mind, with the villas designed to blend organically into the garden and giving its guests natural privacy. Despite being within the sanctuary of greenery, the beach is never too far away — five minutes, to be exact. Hence, guests can experience the best of both worlds. Another notable part of the resort is Paprika, a fine dining restaurant within the grounds perched on the cliff side, boasting amazing views. There’s also an in-house zoo and a horse stable.