Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Amarela Beach Resort: Bohol

I’ve heard of Amarela from a lot of my friends and peers in the industry. Having been opened in 2006, it is one of the most established boutique resorts family built and run in Bohol. The 25-room charming Filipino designed escape is tucked away in lush foliage of bright pink bouganvillas and verdant bushes and hanging gardens.




I immediately felt at home as soon as I entered the reception lobby. I noticed the striking Filipino design that seems to also draw inspiration from the Mediterranean. There were several antique furniture scattered in corners that blended effortlessly with the wooden design accents reclaimed from old houses. 



After signing some documents, we were led upstairs in the main building to our  room. We passed through a delightful library that had lots of shelves full of DVDs and books. The Filipino furniture that occupied the library was so inviting.



Amarela had only 3 types of accommodation, the basic and small Superior rooms; the more breathable Deluxe rooms and the Specialty rooms, which are the best and most spacious rooms in the resort. We booked the Antiquera Room, which was one of the Specialty rooms in the resort. 



I was expecting a suite of sorts, but what we got was actually an ordinary looking room. Though the design of the room was synergistic with the rest of the resort, I wasn’t blown away with it. It was functional though and comfortable nonetheless (though the bed was a little firm). The bath was also small, though it had a jacuzzi tub.



Even though I was a bit dissatisfied with our room, we kept our hopes high for a relaxing experience, which was what we needed. We wanted peace amidst a tranquil setting. Fortunately, we woke up with bright sunshine beaming through our window, signaling a perfect day ahead of us. 


I ordered my usual breakfast fare of bacon and scrambled eggs. The servings were fit for a king, so I managed to store up a lot of energy. The resort buildings lie on a slope, so you get fabulous views of the sea from its topmost floors which was where the restaurant was located.


We descended to the highly photogenic pool area. We were so tempted to just sleep on the loungers by the pool, but the sound of the beach was already calling. So we rushed further downwards to the beachfront of the resort. 




The sun was high and the wind was cool. The tide was low, so we really couldn’t swim deep. We decided to pass the time under the sun to get a tan. 




Afterwards, we moved up back to the pool where we had some morning snacks and drinks. I swam in the cool waters and continued to appreciate the very well maintained gardens that surrounded the pool area. We were to check out at 1PM, so I still managed to see the other rooms and the art gallery on the top floor of the other building. The Art Gallery was a surprise, and the collection of works by Bohol artists was very interesting. It was a nice treat to see this in a resort. 


We checked out with ease in Amarela and was escorted to the van that took us all the way to the airport (30 minute drive). I was looking back at my experience with Amarela and concluded that it was short lived. I wished I could have stayed longer, like a night more, because it did its purpose of a relaxing escape.


Amarela was always described to me as a charming place to stay in Bohol, and it seems that it gets a lot of repeat guests. I guess their attentive and friendly staff adds to their guests’ satisfaction. Amarela is not a lavish destination. It offers Filipino inspired barefoot luxury, amidst a most restful backdrop of both land and sea.


***

Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol
+63 38 502 9497

Ambience: 3.5
Rooms: 2.5
Service: 3.5
Facilities: 2
Dining: 3.5
Over-all Experience: 3
IE Score: 3 (Good)




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