Family Hotel Review: Amorita Resort, Bohol, The Philippines
We have stayed in Bohol twice now (at three different places) and Amorita Resort on Panglao Island stands out as the all-around winner for us.
Best For: A value-for-money luxury hotel; kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Philippa Langrish
Why You’ll Love It
We have stayed in Bohol twice now (at three different places) and Amorita on Panglao Island stands out as the all-around winner for us. We visited the island in March with my husband, two children Maya (4 years), Gillan (8 months), my brother in law Alex (18 years), his girlfriend Annie (18 years), Alex’s Mum and my Father in-law. The resort’s location is unbeatable – ticking all boxes for our patchwork entourage.
We came to Bohol with a list of things we definitely wanted to experience – a visit to the Tarsier Sanctuary, a visit to Chap adventure park (Chocolate Hills), Diving with the Whale Sharks at Oslob, and diving with the turtles off Balicasag Island. Amorita made all of these excursions effortless to organise.
Swimming with the Whale Sharks was a highlight for all of us. Our daughter Maya has been obsessed with Whales since she was a 1-year-old. So, donning a life vest she clambered onto the dive boat with us to take the 2-hour journey out to Oslob. When it was time to jump into the sea off the main boat and clamber into a little fishing boat which would take us to the Whale Sharks Maya was without a doubt petrified. Using her little swear word “Ohh Bumpers” continuously she eventually jumped in and swam happily out with me to experience this awesome encounter. The Whale Sharks eat only plankton and are the size of buses. They are the biggest fish in the sea and the memory of swimming with them will stay with us forever. (See video – in video tab above – to join me under the sea!)
Amorita is perched on a little hill at the end of the Alona beach with wonderful views overlooking the sea and little steps down to the beach. There are two swimming pools both overlooking the ocean and two restaurants. We ate at the resort most days as the food was delicious, but if we felt like a change there were plenty of restaurants on the beach to choose from. The resort meanders through shady palms and foliage with two main buildings dividing the space. This was great for Maya as she could zoom around freely without feeling hemmed in.
The top restaurant is brand new having just opened in December 2014, along with the new East Wing which boasts ultra, contemporary design whilst retaining its comfort. Our whole family met here most nights to edit our underwater footage, sip cocktails, take an early evening swim, banter and choose from the mouth-watering menu.
We also loved the complimentary kayaks, which we took out on an almost daily basis. Kayaking around the cove at sunrise was simply beautiful. Maya also got the opportunity to try some kayak surfing as she befriended two local children who taught her how to catch a wave. I must say my heart melted a little bit watching these three little sprites giggling uncontrollably as they took turns pushing the kayak back and forth, jumping off the nose and falling into the shallow surf. No need for a common language, just the shared joy of playing in the surf.
Looking for more ideas on things to do with kids in Bohol? Take a look at our top suggestions here.
Why The Kids Will Love It
Amorita is a very family orientated resort. Every day there is a chalk board at reception listing the weekly kids’ activities. There is everything from smoothie making and origami lessons, to painting and film screenings. There is also a reasonable baby-sitting service and kid-friendly swimming pool.
The resort provided everything we needed for the baby – cot, steriliser, miniature baby bath products, a baby bath and talcum powder. Gillan was very content with his lovely nightly bubble baths which gently washed the sand off after a busy day.
The swimming pools are shallow and lined with little fountains which amused baby Gillan no end. The restaurant is next to the pool so once the kids have finished exhausting themselves swimming they are just crawling distance from a dining table.
Maya and Gillan were in their element with so much to see and do. One of the reasons we chose Bohol for our whole family is simply that; there is tonnes to do both inland and on the beach. Maya loved seeing the little Tarsiers while baby Gillan spent hours under a shady palm on the beach inspecting the sand through his little chubby fingers. Once the day’s activities were over the resort’s staff left little bed time notes for Maya and Gillan wishing them a good night sleep and leaving milk and cookies in the room. These little touches made our stay really special and made us feel very welcome indeed.
Alona Beach is a typical South East Asian beach with masseurs, nightly bbq’s and locals and tourists alike enjoying the sunsets. There is little hassle as it remains currently unspoilt, which makes for a friendly atmosphere when travelling with young kids.
Amorita is divided into two main areas, the East and West Wing.
There are 98 rooms in total. They comprise of 20 deluxe, 8 garden villas, 6 ocean villas and 2 sky suites. Sixty-two rooms are in the East Wing, which include two-bedroom and family suites.
The East Wing was completed in December 2014 and has been designed beautifully. I would advise requesting this wing over the older West Wing.
The rooms in the older West Wing are fairly spacious with French windows out onto a little courtyard. The decor is simple but fresh and bright. The superior East Wing boldly steers towards sleek interior design, with polished concrete floors and ceilings, an open-plan dressing room, blonde wooden hatched furniture, and low rise sofas. The pallet is neutral charcoal greys, white and beige with contemporary feature lighting.
The 2 bedroom suites have fold out and day beds. The extra bed policy is 2,000php per person per night. The suites can accommodate up to 6 people.
Best Rooms For Families: The two bedroom suites in the East Wing are ideal for a family as they have two bathrooms and interconnecting rooms.
The menu at Amorita is fairly good and probably one of the best on Alona beach itself. However there is no kids menu or half size meals which was a little frustrating. Luckily for us baby Gillan eats everything from coconut and malunggay soup to chicken, rice and noodles, so there was a good amount of sharing plates between us.
The restaurant is beautifully located overlooking the sea and surrounded by shady lawns. It is open on all sides to allow for a cooling breeze. The food is a fusion of international and Filipino, including Kinilaw (Filipino Sushi), Delicious White Marlin, Adobo, Spaghetti Meatballs, Chicken Inasal, and Pizzas.
The breakfast buffet is delicious, with fresh made omelettes, streaky bacon, pancakes, longanisa, hash browns and all the cereals and juices typical for a buffet – yum!
For Kids: There is no dedicated kids menu or half-size meals on offer, which may prove a bit of a challenge for fussy eaters.
Activities for Parents
Scuba diving, scuba Courses, snorkelling, kayaking, excursions to the Chocolate Hills, swimming with Whale sharks and spa services.
The resort also offers guided packages such as kayaking tours, bike tours, countryside and snorkelling tours.
The scuba diving here is excellent; we particularly loved diving at Balicasag Island as it is a haven for turtles.
We also visited Chap Adventure Park (Chocolate Hills Adventure Park) as it is a great place to see the Chocolate Hills, but there is also loads of activities there for the kids including a bike zip line, butterfly sanctuary, serpentarium, parcours, and the “Go Ape” tree challenge. There is also a nature hike and the food at the restaurant is plentiful and really good.
Activities for Kids
In addition to the activities mentioned above, the resort organising daily activities for kids from 4pm such as origami, shake making, painting and film screenings. There will also be a dedicated kids club opening soon.
There is also table football and table tennis as well as swimming in the pool and the sea.
A/C, babysitting, common rooms, handful of baby cots available, doctor on call, nearest clinic is 15 minutes away, the nearest hospital is a 40 minute drive, extra beds allowed, inter-connecting rooms, dedicated kids’ club opening soon, laundry, pushchair-friendly, spa, two swimming pools, travel desk, WiFi.
Environmental measures and social responsibility: The resort has solar water heaters, led lights, and a zero waste project.
Rates vary considerably according to room type, extra bed requests and date of travel. Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
The best time to visit the Philippines is between December and February in the cooler months. The wet season is from June onwards. Be careful travelling in the months from September to December as this is when the typhoon season is. Temperatures range from 27 – 40+. Avoid travelling in the busy holy weeks of Easter and Christmas.
Location & Travel:
Bohol is located in the southern Visayas, just one hour by plane from Manila. The airport is called Tagbilaran.
For international travel fly to Manila and take an internal flight to Tagbilaran.
Join me under the sea as we dive with whale sharks and turtles!
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Contact The HotelFor more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
Reviewed by: Philippa Langrish
Philippines Editor, globetotting.com
1. Try the signature cocktail Amorita Sour, followed by a meal of White Marlin. It’s delicious!
2. Go diving on Balicasag Island where you are sure to see a turtle
3. Go swimming with the Whale Sharks, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!
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