Panglao | Where to Stay
This place was a different kind of experience. We are used to hotel or resort type of service when we travel with our small family so this was a unique experience for us. I don't even know how the place is categorized - villa, vacation rental, resort? Whatever it is, it was definitely one of the best choices we made in Bohol and this blog lays out all the reasons why we chose to book this resort and why we thought our choice was worth it.
1) They have generously-sized villas each with its own pool. They have three of these pool villas and you can choose one depending on how big your party is. We were a party of 4 so we originally chose the biggest one (Calamansi Villa) but a few days before our arrival, the villa encountered electricity problems due to the non-stop rain. Christine (the owner) took the liberty of transferring us to the smaller pool villas so my husband and I had our own villa (Villa Gumamela) and my mom and grandmom had theirs (Villa Lubi-lubi). It was just right next to each other, and the entrance to our villa was less than 10 steps away from theirs. We got 2 villas for the price of one due to an unfortunate event or should I say fortunately for us? :)
Please excuse the photo of the Calamansi Villa below. It was being repaired during our visit and it was obviously not prepped for guests. I just had to take a peek to see the villa that we were supposed to stay in with their permission of course :)
2) These villas have their own kitchen where you can cook and prepare your own food. It's a bit time-consuming to do it this way but saves you bucks if you need to be frugal. Plus they don't charge you any corkage fee for food you bring in.
This kitchen area also a dining area and a small sala. Villa Lubi-Lubi has a bigger table which can accommodate up to 4 people. We used this as our common area so we can always dine together with our family. Villa Gumamela's dining table can only accommodate 2 pax.
They don't have a restaurant so if you don't like to cook your own food anymore, you can order take-out from any of the restaurants nearby that cater to Halamanan Residences. The resort has put together all the menus of these nearby restaurants in a folder and you have it handy in your villa when you need it.
3) The villas are covered in greeneries and it was a sight to behold. The photos on their social media and their website show that expectation is definitely the reality. It is very calming and relaxing and you have a huge area to do earthing, meditation and yoga. And this can be very beneficial especially if you're working from home long-term. During our stay, there were two other guests who have been there for several months now working from home and I totally understand why. If I maybe had a chance to work from "home" anywhere long term, this is most likely where I'll be staying.
4) Speaking of working remotely, the next question is do they have good internet connection? Internet is spot on in Halamanan Residences! I had numerous video calls during the evenings of my stay and the internet connection was just flawless. You don't have to worry about the speed being intermittent because you won't be sharing this with anybody else in the resort. Each villa has its own router and WiFi so you are able to maximize on your bandwidth.
5) Halamanan Residences is secluded and there are only a few villas available so you can expect the place to be quiet as there won't be a lot of people around. During our stay, it felt like we were the only ones in the resort. We would take a dip in our villas' smaller pools which felt cooler, and then we would transfer to the common bigger pool which was a bit warmer since it's more exposed to sunlight.
The only downside is that the place was rather difficult to find. There is a small signage on the main road but we almost missed it. I guess it's best to just have them pick you up from the airport instead of driving yourselves there which is what we did.
The inner road going to the resort is also unpaved. Not the resort's fault definitely so hopefully the regional/provincial government will allocate a portion of their budget to the LGU to get these smaller roads fixed. Tourism being the main livelihood in Panglao, it will be beneficial for them to make it easier for tourists to get to their resorts in these areas.
6) Since the place is big, there are a lot of lounging and working areas both in your private space and in the common areas. In your villa:
If you're tired of staying in your villas, you can also stay by the bigger common pool.
7) The owner and the staff had a very personalized service. Anne, the resort manager who I bugged almost everyday with my never-ending questions, even arranged the car rental that we needed. Although the car rental didn't go as well as we had expected, it was the gesture that mattered most. Communication was never a problem - a chatroom will be created with the owner and the resort manager so you can send them a message anytime before or during your stay. Christine, the owner, also checked in on us personally several times to ensure that we got everything we need. The rest of the staff Miriam, Shanti and Aileen were also very friendly and hospitable and was always there to assist whenever needed.
8) The breakfast was generous! We had coffee AND orange juice everyday. It's not just one or the other, you get to have both! We were given several breakfast choices the night before. You can choose from Filipino breakfast (ham, bacon or corned beef), continental (with croissant and chocolate roll) or American breakfast. Fruits in the photo below, by the way, are ours and not part of Halamanan Residences' breakfast menu. :)
9) If you want a bigger pool, they have one in the common area near the reception. You won't miss it as you'll pass by it if you're staying in the pool villas. This common pool also has a shallower part which is more suitable for kids. They also have cute flamingo pool floaters which kids and kids-at-heart (like us) can enjoy.
10) The rooms feel premium and were very comfortable and spacious. It was modern but kept a tropical touch. I particularly loved their 4-post beds and the separate outdoor showers, which for some reason, I was not able to take a photo of.
If you have any questions, you may contact Halamanan Residences via the following:
Address: Tawala, Purok 7, Panglao Island, BoholMobile: +63 917 120 5644
OTHER USEFUL LINKS
- 8 Places to Visit During Countryside Tour
- Bohol Day Trip Travel Guide from Cebu
- Budget Hotels/Inns in Tagbilaran City
- Luxury and Premium Resorts in Panglao
- Review of Bohol Bee Farm Resort
- Review of Mithi Resort and Spa
- Review of South Palms Resort
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