At Home in Bluewater Panglao


The cozy honeymoon villa

It is so ordinary to be greeted by the resort's staff...to be welcomed with cold towels and refreshing drinks upon arrival, but it is very rare to feel instantly at home in a place that is not your own. This is why, in my own opinion, Bluewater Resorts earned a special spot in my heart.

I have been in all three Bluewater Resorts properties countless times--Maribago, Sumilon, and Panglao--and in all of my stays, one thing is consistent: the heartfelt Filipino hospitality is always at the core of their service--from arrival to check-in to dining to resort activities and everything in between. Service is never too intrusive but always on call.

In this travelogue I share my wonderful experience at Bluewater Panglao...a year after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake crashed majority of the province of Bohol.

Arrival
We reached Tagbilaran airport at around 7:00 am, and by that time, Bluewater Panglao's airport representative was already waiting for us at the arrival area. Never in my entire life did I experience delays in Bluewater Panglao's airport transfers. They are always punctual! Plus, the airport representatives and the van drivers were all-smiles when they welcomed us.

The 30-minute drive from the airport was smooth and scenic. We were very comfortable with the spacious and clean van the resort had sent to pick us up. The driver was also gracious enough to bring us to a supermarket along the way as we had to buy some stuff for the duration of our stay.

The resort's resident manager, Edison Navas, welcomed us personally at the reception area. Again, just like any other resorts, we were handed our refreshing lemongrass drinks and cold towels. There's some kind of positive energy in there. All the staff have the warmest, contagious smiles on their faces. Something heartwarming and very Filipino.


Our group with Bluewater Panglao's Edison Navas and his marketing and sales team
Checking-in
While it was not yet time for standard check-in, the reception allowed us to go to our villa as soon as we completed all the data sheets they needed. We were also given a brief orientation of the resort and the many things we can do during our stay. Shiela from the front desk discussed which activities are complimentary (non-motorized water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling) as well those that are charged on a per use basis. I believe this briefing is very important for you to plan your itinerary properly.

There is also a tours desk where you can inquire about out-of-the-resort tours and packages, a library where you can borrow books, and a boutique where you can buy souvenirs.

Boutique and library

The Honeymoon Villa
Unlike my previous stays in Bluewater Panglao when we would usually stay at a premiere deluxe room, we stayed at a honeymoon villa this time around. The 142 sqm villa radiates a romantic vibe, perfect for couples, and in our case, for four girl friends and a toddler.

What makes being in a villa different from being in a premiere deluxe room, you ask?

In a villa, space is not a question. You can move freely and comfortably even if you have tons of luggage with you. You are also guaranteed utmost privacy as villas are secluded with their own gates and are nestled far away from the premiere deluxe rooms. You can enjoy a dip in your own private dipping pool or cocktails in the confines of the villa's verdant lanai. Just stare at the greenery right in front of you and you are sure to get revitalized!

Ayee enjoying the floating bed

The private dipping pool
The bathroom is bathed in natural light and is spacious, too. Complete with a rainshower and a bath tub, you can catch your favorite television series while having a warm bath or a refreshing shower. In our case, the toddler enjoyed his Disney shows while playing bubbles in the tub.

Spacious and well-lit bathroom
The sun peeks through the glass roof




The villa looks out to a scenic lanai
And, at the honeymoon villa, you are sure to have your favorite Illy espresso or latte anytime of the day. And yes, it's part of the deal.

Illy espresso machine

Your very own closet complete with a digital safe, a weighing scale, and beach slippers
Bluewater Panglao has two kinds of villas: the honeymoon villa where we were billeted and the family pool villa which is bigger in floor area and has two bedrooms perfect for a family on a holiday.

The family pool villa

Toni enjoying an afternoon on a hammock
Things to do in Bluewater Panglao

Have a rejuvenating hilot massage at the Amuma Spa.

If you'll recall my previous posts way, way back, raving about how heavenly good the hilot massage at a cliffside in Bluewater Sumilon was, well, you can also have it here in Bluewater Panglao--this time, by the beach. The strokes are different from the usual Swedish massage as it incorporates traditional Filipino methods of kneading and relaxing tired muscles. They have well-trained masseuse that are on call. I suggest you do this in the afternoon while waiting for the sunset or at night after a long day out.

A deep slumber awaits at Amuma Spa
Go kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, diving, and snorkeling

Those who are up for some water activities can check out the resort's dive shop where you can book fun dives around Panglao (Balicasag, Cabilao, Pamilacan, and many more), or borrow snorkeling gears, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards. The beach at Bluewater Panglao itself features scenic underwater.


Beach-bumming

Kayaking

The dive shop concessionaire

Dive rates


Dining
Food is never a problem in Bluewater Panglao as its lone restaurant Aplaya serves a variety of Filipino and international cuisine from breakfast to dinner. Again, the staff here are commendable for their efficient and friendly service. 



Delightful soft bread

My ultimate favorite adobo rice

Seafood tempura

Chicken hinalang
From time to time, the resort hosts themed dinner buffets with cultural shows. When we were there, it was "Barrio Fiesta" so the buffet spread was teeming with Filipino favorites like sinigang na salmon, lechon kawali (to die for!), a variety of Pinoy ensaladas, skewers, turon, ube, seafood kare-kare and a lot more. Be prepared to eat A LOT.

Ensalada
Lechon Kawali
Banana-langka turon
Seafood kare-kare
If buffet is not your thing, you can always order a la carte, or better yet, request the restaurant to set up your lunch or dinner at your villa. This was what we did on our last night. A la carte dishes are priced from Php 200 and up and servings are big enough that some can actually be shared.

Lechon Kawali a la carte

Carbonara for kids
The breakfast buffet may not be expansive, but the old-time favorites are there: danggit, dried pusit, dilis, corned beef, tocino, bacon, congee, fresh fruits, cereals, noodles, and a lot more. Main courses are cooked on the spot so you are assured of their freshness.

Fresh fruits

Crisp bacon

Dried seafood 

Main courses

My first plate

Dried seafood platter

Puto at sikwate (sticky rice and rich chocolate)
Overall, our stay at Bluewater Panglao was, like my previous stays, a blast. My friends who are all first-timers couldn't agree more. In fact, they are planning to check out Bluewater Sumilon soon!!!

Kudos to all the staff at Bluewater Panglao...you are indeed the resort's most valuable treasure. You made each stay at Bluewater Panglao worth remembering. Indeed, the resort is a home away from home, and the service--truly heartfelt and very Filipino.


Before checking out

Goodbye Bluewater Panglao, 'til next time!!!

Comments

  1. Bluewater Resorts is my favorite! I couldn't agree more with their hospitality, it's superb! :)

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