Our Bluewater Panglao Staycation

Talking to fellow Pinoy bloggers about go-to islands of the Philippines, they’re often surprised that I haven’t been to Bohol yet. As a diver, I’ve heard of the charming marine life of neighboring Balicasag Island and so I really wanted to spend my short vacation in Bohol. My requirements were the following: somewhere close to the water, tourist safe and stress-free accommodations. I remembered that Bluewater had a resort on the island of Panglao – closest extension of mainland Bohol to the islands I wanted to visit. Experiencing the hospitality of Bluewater Sumilon, it was a familiar and clear choice.

A peaceful walk from beach to lobby- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
A peaceful walk from beach to lobby- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

My associate photographer Fabian and I traveled from Manila to Panglao (MNL to TAG) in less than an hour and a half. The Airport opened late last year and is 10 minutes from Bluewater Panglao. Foreigners might get confused as “TAG” on Google Maps will show you the old airport so make sure to write out “Panglao International Airport” for accurate mapping.

Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort's accommodations, with its unique, thatched, nip-hut-like roof.
Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort’s accommodations, with its unique, thatched, nip-hut-like roof.

We were picked up by the resort’s van by Kuya Arayan (thank you again!). The first thing I noticed about Panglao was the number of tourists. From backpackers to full families, Europeans, Australians, Korean and Chinese tourists were everywhere. The restaurants and establishments on the main road had enough variety for everyone to celebrate Chinese New Year the way they desired. Quiet yet close to Panglao’s main attractions, Bluewater is also 5 minutes by tricycle from eventful Alona Beach Road.


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Center of Main Pool- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Center of Main Pool- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

Bluewater Panglao’s hospitality has the perfect balance of support and privacy.

The lobby was attached to the main portion of the resort, close to all the lodging and principal pool. We were greeted with beverages and our luggage was brought to our respective rooms. We were then picked up via golf cart and brought to Aplaya, their seaside restaurant, for lunch.

Dining Area Pool and Aplaya Restaurant High View - Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Dining Area Pool and Aplaya Restaurant High View – Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Sunset at Bluewater Panglao
Sunset at Bluewater Panglao
Aplaya Resto- Bluewater Panglao
Aplaya Resto- Bluewater Panglao

The eating area was rather spacious and offers international dishes with Filipino flavors. I think we went overboard with the à la carte menu- wonton soup, an assortment of tempura, chicken adobo in bamboo display, grilled squid and pancit canton. It was delightful and oh so filling. If I had to recommend a meal, go for the assortment of tempura with chicken adobo main course and end with homemade ice cream (mango because Philippines… duh J!).

Lunch at Aplaya Restaurant- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Lunch at Aplaya Restaurant- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Mango Icecream- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Mango Icecream- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

If you happen to be staying in Panglao elsewhere, I’d suggest visiting Bluewater to eat. It’s 1000php per person for walk-in swim and dining! The pool is charming and kid-friendly. 700php of the 1k goes to the meal of your choice. I always value reliable good food and meeting the kitchen staff, there is so much passion and care that it could never disappoint.

Ube Dessert- Bluewater Panglao
Ube Dessert- Bluewater Panglao

Fast forward to a dinner with a half-full belly, we were gifted with a 4-course meal of ginataang manok (chicken), beefsteak, cheesecake, and ube gelatin dessert. These were all amazing dishes with absolutely nothing to improve on.  We had other options that we couldn’t explore due to lack of stomach room but we’ll make sure to consult our knowledgeable waiter, Kuya Kervy, again next time to try the other meals!

Sikwate - Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Sikwate – Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

Almost done with food, promise. The breakfast the day after was luxurious – the standard of Bluewater. It had pretty much everything from meats, soups, eggs, bread, fruit stations. They had homemade Sikwate that I’ve been craving for a year since Bluewater Sumilon. Sikwate is rich and divine pure hot chocolate. A usual breakfast paired with sticky rice or *insert the Filipino pastry I can never recall*, we were honored to have Chef Zemri teach us how to make it. A mix of 2 cups of boiling water, 200g of cocoa tablea, 3 cups of milk with around 150g of sugar and manipulated (stirred and simmered) by a native Filipino who grew up with this recipe, created such a heavenly concoction. Many thanks to Chef Zemri Clarin for the overall 10/10 food experience at Bluewater.

Dining Views- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Dining Views- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Mango Cheesecake- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Mango Cheesecake- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

Okay back to other aspects of the resort! There are various activities you can do from kayaking, swimming in 2 different pools, spa treatments on the beach, giant connect 4… you name it. We had poor timing catching high tide, therefore, we stuck to the main pool near the lobby to bask in the sunlight. The pool was pretty great with water at ankle level at the center where you can lounge on chairs. A peaceful stroll to get to every area of the resort. The garden and outdoor pathway is rather romantic and we witness a couple exploring the ground as a potential wedding reception. There’s so much to do at the resort yet I found myself indulging in my private villa.

One Bedroom Villa Private Pool- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
One Bedroom Villa Private Pool- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
One Bedroom Villa King Bed- Bluewater Panglao
One Bedroom Villa King Bed- Bluewater Panglao

Bluewater Panglao’s One Bedroom Villa was the ultimate solo honeymoon.

Private Dipping Pool One Bedroom Villa- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
Private Dipping Pool One Bedroom Villa- Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

Before bed and before leaving, I took full advantage of my lodging, Villa Cabilao. I was the most restful I’ve been in all my experiences in the Philippines. Air conditioning was strong and cold enough for a Canadian. King size bed felt new and supportive. The bathroom is a solid 10/10 – a trademark of Bluewater resorts. The hot shower was spacious for two, and the bathtub is immense and equipped with a television… with Netflix. The bathroom acoustics made you sound like an artista- what else can you ask for?

My ideal bathroom - Bluewater Panglao
My ideal bathroom – Bluewater Panglao

I’d like to end the review with my favorite part of the experience. After having a refreshing massage at the hut near the lobby at around 8pm (not recommended this late for those who get cold easily. You can have the massage in your roomJ), I walked back to lay in the villa’s dipping pool. I could spend forever in that private pool with a night cup of tea or breakfast poolside. The structure of the villa along with the amenities and privacy that Bluewater offers really makes me consider this resort for my honeymoon or future #treatourselves dates.

A Amuma Spa Hut - Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion
A Amuma Spa Hut – Bluewater Panglao by Fabian Encarnacion

24 hours at Bluewater was the epitome of luxury. Food was filling and the villa provided a carefree and private experience. There’s simply nothing to stress about at Bluewater Panglao.

Alona Beach
Alona Beach

A big merci to mesdames Clarissa and Ivy for this fulfilling collaboration and hospitality.

For your next honeymoon, family vacation, solo staycation… anything in Panglao book with Agoda for discounted rates.

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