Donatela Hotel Review
(Bohol, Philippines) Panglao is one of those places in the Philippines whose most attractive feature is its seclusion and peacefulness. Panglao is a fourth class municipality that directly faces the sea. It is one of the two municipalities that make up the entire island, the other one being Dauis.
Being a fourth class municipality, Panglao’s main tourist destinations are not malls, theme parks, high rise buildings or whatnot. Rather, tourists from all over the country are drawn by Panglao’s Alona Beach, diving sites, and other natural landmarks.
About Donatela Hotel
Mingled amongst the green and refreshing environment of Panglao is Donatela Hotel (check rates and availability), which was formerly called Tarsier Botanika. The 7.5 hectare property is located facing Bohol Sea, and its exclusivity—12 luxury guest villas and four private pools, plus a high personnel-to-guest ratio—magnifies the beauty of staying here.
The luxury hotel in Bohol further sets itself apart with its active promotion of environmental friendliness with its herb and vegetable garden, solar power facilities, and low-level LED light fixtures, among others.
Getting the chance to stay in Donatela Hotel, therefore, is like a dream come true for travelers like me. When I was sent an invitation to stay in one of its luxury villas, I was so excited that I started packing my bags right away. Donatela Hotel, right in the middle of the paradise that is Panglao? Yes, please.
Donatela Hotel is a 30-minute ride to and from Tagbilaran Airport and Seaport, and is just a few minutes away from Panglao’s main attraction, Alona Beach. It directly faces the sea, so the wind is fresh, and the lush and well-kept gardens of the property gives the entire place a refreshing atmosphere.
My arrival experience was nothing short of Donatela’s world-class standards. I spotted a hotel staff holding a whiteboard with my name in the arrival area. He greeted me warmly, assisted with the luggage, and led me to the car.
The drive was smooth with little traffic. When we entered the front gate, I already felt my wanderlust senses tingling. The property is massive and is beautiful. The reception had a wooden path that led me to a villa that served as their lobby.
Everything was so well-kept and each fixture and wooden furniture was meticulously designed. The reception area further boosted the close-to-nature ambiance with the display of musical instruments, artworks, and a small bookshelf in one corner of the room.
They did a really good job designing the place. I thought about this as I drank the citrus drink I was given.
After the check-in process, I was given two pieces of wood (more like a key holder): one contained my villa number and name, and the other one contained the passcode to my room. The hotel did not use a keycard or even a key-and-lock system. Rather, they have a keypad-type of security. It was very unique, in my opinion.
The Garden Villa I was assigned to had a simple and more native looking exterior, but inside was luxury screaming in every corner. Tables were made from mahogany, walls were designed by Cebuano artists, and the glass windows were strategically designed to give a great view of the hotel’s garden and the horizon of Bohol Sea from afar. The scenery was perhaps better than all the channels that was available on the huge, flat-screen TV.
The table had some pastries and fresh fruits waiting for me, and the minibar had its own CBTL Coffee and Tea maker, which was, for a coffee lover like me, a huge plus.
My bed was also stellar. It was huge and comfortable and inviting, and it looked very homey and soft. The high wooden ceiling from above was perhaps the final touch to everything. My villa was perfect. It’s like they don’t want me to leave to room ever!!
The food service complemented my entire three-day-two-night stay here. During my first night, their turndown service served my favorite local delicacy. I had puto (rice cakes) and a cup of sikwate, Bohol’s special hot-chocolate drink. On my second night, they served Biko, a sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and caramelized muscovado sugar.
For breakfast, everything tasted so good and filling because the ingredients were freshly-sourced. I had some croissants, some scrambled eggs and bacon, and beef tapa, among many others. The dishes were so close-to-home and close-to-heart, which is perhaps one of the other reasons why I am so in love with the hotel. (more about the food on my next post)
There are three restaurants in the hotel, and they all end with an A:
Paprika. Paprika attracts guests with its wide-range menu and wide-ranging, panoramic view of the sea beyond. They offer seafood and cuisines from all parts of the world, and many love to sit in their seaside veranda.
Tropika. This poolside lounge is hip, trendy, and it is located in the hotel gardens.
Exotika. This one is actually located outside of the hotel, in Alona beach. Exotika Terrace and Grill offers a mixture of European and Asian cuisine, and yes, they offer steaks, just in case you have had enough of seafood.
Donatela Hotel Facilities
Donatela Hotel (check rates and availability) is a winner when it comes to facilities as well. Even if you go to Panglao with no itinerary, walking around the hotel property is an adventure in itself.
On one side of the place is a horse stable. They offer horseback riding as an activity. Even if you are inexperienced, they are more than willing to offer a crash course on stable management and horseback riding.
The gardens and forest of the property is not just aesthetically pleasing, either. It is actually home to different breeds of birds and monkeys. Just make sure to get some sunblock and a guide before wandering off too far!
If you are not very fond of animals, then you can be one with the plants and meditate at the Buddha Garden. This garden takes inspiration from Bali in Indonesia. Don’t miss the reclining Buddha statue (which came all the way from Thailand) and the Lotus Pond, which are the highlights of this garden.
Other facilities include the hotel’s swimming pool and poolside lounge Tropika, a fitness gym, and a spa. They also offer an island hopping tour. Then there’s The Cove, a view deck of sorts that is an amazing, front-row seat to witnessing the sunset.
As I’ve mentioned, there are many ways to enjoy Panglao without having to step out of Donatela Hotel. They literally have everything in here. Even the beach is just 5 minutes away.
The entire hotel is equipped with high-speed fiber-optic Internet. Browsing was ultra-fast, and I had no trouble doing my work from my villa.
Departure and overall review
To be honest, I did not want to leave. The idea of leaving is probably the least that I could think of that moment. Donatela Hotel (check rates and availability) was the embodiment of beauty and luxury, and I am very thankful to experience one of its villas.
The air, the food, the horses, and the very green gardens are just few of the reasons that made this place uniquely beautiful. The entire place is well-maintained, like it is a little world on its own. The staff were all very hospitable and patient, and there is absolutely no way I am not going to miss this hotel.
If you are looking for the ultimate luxurious getaway, then go straight to Donatela Hotel. No questions asked.
- Garden Villa (Double Occupancy) – Php16k – 22k
- Family Villa (Quad Occupancy) – Php22.5k – 30.5k
- Honeymoon Villa (Double Occupancy) – Php27k – 37.5k
- Pool Villa (Double Occupancy) – Php27k – 37.5k
Rates includes taxes. Rates are inclusive of set breakfast for 2. Option of adding extra bed is allowed to only one extra bed per room. Extra bed is P2,500. *Rates may change without prior notice.
Donatela Hotel is managed by Enderun Hospitality Management and is located at Km. 16 Hoyohoy Tawala, Panglao, Bohol. For inquiries and reservation, you may contact the resort at (038) 510-8472, mobile 0917-526-6001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit their official website at www.donatelahotel.com/.
Disclaimer: My 3d2n stay at Donatela Hotel was complimentary. All opinions are my own.