A standard travel post about Bohol would probably mention the Chocolate Hills (textbook!), Alona Beach, and the Mahogany Forest (aka the closest we’ve got to the beautiful Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto) … but I’m going to be the boring beach-loving person that I am and admit that I went to none of the said attractions and purely stayed within the resorts we booked. The hefty price tags were mostly to blame (or credit) for that, plus the fact that three days is just never enough to explore a city. But three days were, again, all I had. Crew life is hectic, y’all.
My boyfriend and I debated for days on where to go on our 3-day leave – should we drive seven hours to secluded Bolinao? Five hours to Baler or La Union’s surfing spots (we don’t actually surf)? Go on a hotel staycation (which would have been ridiculous as we stay in hotels for free practically half of every month)? But we opted for a more practical choice: since he was arriving back from a flight and it would have knocked him out to drive right after, we chose to book a flight instead. Bohol and its white beaches then came to mind.
We stayed at Amarela Resort on our first night, which is the relatively budget option. For eco-conscious travellers, you’d be pleased to know that Amarela prides itself as being an environmental-friendly resort. It’s also surrounded by local art, which makes the hotel feel very Filipino (with a hint of Balinese, I felt like).
There’s a private beach a few steps away from the hotel itself – not quite the white sand Bohol boasts about, but it did feel private and peaceful, something I presume you won’t quite feel at Alona Beach. My boyfriend really enjoyed our 30-minute complimentary kayak ride the next morning. We also read prior to our booking that there’s a library here with a collection of board games (which may or may not have been a factor in our decision to book here hehe), and we got to hang out there at night and play some chess (because you can never be too old for board games!).
For our second and final day, we transferred to Mithi Resort & Spa, which was where most of our budget was spent. We booked their Seaview Villa, and man, was it stunning. This is probably going to sound like a sponsored post, but I truly was just enamored with the design, the attention to detail. (If you somehow follow my Instagram stories, you’d probably know I adore architecture and interior design.)
We were taken to our villa via a golf cart, which gives you an idea on how spaced apart the villas were and how private it is in the resort. This was the outside. So. cute! An intricately designed keycard (I wish I had taken a photo, it was so unique! It wasn’t electronic — I think it relied on the card’s design and holes, as if it were an actual key) led us inside:
Beautiful wooden wall with mood lighting, check. Super comfy king-sized bed, check. Rotating wall-mounted smart TV, check. Bluetooth JBL speakers by the bedside, check. You can probably understand why we never left to actually explore Bohol…
And have I mentioned the bathroom was basically the bathroom of my dreams? I mean…
The villa also had its own little jacuzzi. While the property was just walks away from its own beach, we actually ended up just swimming by the resort’s infinity pool and this little jacuzzi. (I know I mentioned I was a beach-loving person, but by that I really just mean I’m a sit-by-the-beach-and-listen-to-the-waves kinda gal. I still prefer to swim where I’m sure no other creature is swimming. Anyone seen Seven Pounds and has been completely traumatized of seawater since?)
We walked to the beach after a few hours into settling in. There was a man-made islet (third photo above) across that you can walk to during low tide, but since it wasn’t at the time, we were taken by a boat. There wasn’t really anything to do there – it was bare apart from some palm trees; just a spot for photos and weddings, I guess – so we took the boat back after a while.
It started raining cats and dogs halfway through so we had to run back to the resort all soaked up! Oh well – time to swim…
It wasn’t actually as sunny as it appears in the photo at all – it had stopped raining but the weather was still really gloomy, as it literally always is when we go to the beach. Nothing a bit of editing can’t fix, though.
We luckily had the infinity pool to ourselves for some time, so we got to take some photos. Taking this one was a challenge – we set the camera on a chair and my boyfriend had fifteen seconds to run all the way around just in time to sit with me. We had to do it several times cause sometimes his run wasn’t fast enough, haha. The BTS video of us trying to take this photo was quite funny. But I love how it turned out:
More portraits! My ever-so-camera-shy boyfriend’s wearing a cute little pair of H&M trunks that I got him; I’m wearing a Beyond the Beach (#supportlocal!) bikini.
We swam around until the sun set and the skies turned pink, then we headed back to our villa to shower and get ready for dinner. The food in the restaurant was actually quite good and we were even serenaded by three men in floral polos, each with a different type of traditional guitar.
Had the best night in Mithi, overall. Would definitely go back, but at that price point, it’s probably going to be a while.
Our flight back to Manila was supposed to leave the next day, but after hours of waiting at the airport, we were told the flight had been cancelled. So we ended up staying another night at the hotel the airline provided, despite my boyfriend and I needing to work a 12-hour Los Angeles flight merely hours after our new flight back. Exhausting is a bit of an understatement, but hey – I’m living to tell the tale, aren’t I? Not sure how, but we made it. Whew.