Was very excited & looking forward with our Bohol Trip but Amarela was not only short of our expectations but discriminating which almost made me cry. Being in the Travel Industry, I try to be reasonable on requests/demands.
Day 1: Our flights' arrival is 10AM so I requested for an early check-in since we are a party of 4 Adults, 3 kids & 1 infant. Ms. Maila of Reservations was very kind & warm to say that we will be accommodated when rooms are available & even offered baby bath tub & sterilizer which I thanked in advance on our exchange of emails . However upon arrival everybody was cold & insensitive with the exception of the driver who picked & dropped us off to/from the Airport. Upon check in (while i was carrying my baby), the Receptionist was rehearsed on saying his long welcome spiel about Amarela's amenities, rooms blah blah.... He made me fill up forms, asking me to write all the names & other info of everybody in our Group which should not be necessary since it was booked under my Travel Agency. All info has been provided to them in advance by email. I had to ask my husband to get my baby so that I may finish giving the info Amarela apparently needs which really took some time. When I followed up our request for early check in, he went telling me about Amarela's standard check in & check out and that we can read books, use resort's facilities while waiting for our rooms to be available. All I was able to say was, "yes, I am aware of that. I was just expecting we may be given consideration since we're traveling with a baby and there are vacant rooms". Question is, when are rooms available? When they are actually vacant or when receptionist decides when it is available?
(Oh I forgot to mention earlier, while we are inside the van going to Amarela I asked the driver if they are full because I am worrying that our request for early check in may not be granted if it's packed. He was quick to say that there are only a few guests in the Resort so we may be accommodated & request on front desk).
Not wanting to argue anymore, we stayed on the hammock near the beach for 2 hrs until my husband can't stand it anymore. He went to the reception alone & asked he'll pay the amount needed so we can check in early. Maybe seeing the frustration on my husband's face, the reception apologized & said that there's no need to pay extra & that we can check in already. (The answer to above question is when the reception decides when it is available).
I just kept my mouth shut.
The rooms (305 & 306) given to us had connecting door. Thank you because my baby can easily go about between rooms playing with his cousins. But the provision of baby bath tub & sterilizer, NONE. Not wanting to add more disappointment to our stay, I just kept mum & did not request for them to provide. We just managed on sterilizing my baby's bottles on the hot water. My son is afraid of the sound of the shower. Every time we put him to bath after swimming in the pool or beach he would go crying. Every time he cries, I regret for every staying at Amarela.
My family stayed at Room 306 while my sister-in-law & her kids stayed in 305. I don't know if it was just bad luck but their bathroom sink is clogged & the hinge of the cabinet door (mini ref) is broken. One of the kids almost got hurt because it just unexpectedly opened.
However there are good points too. We we're happy swimming in the Pool with our board shorts & shirts.There's not a lot of guests so most of the time we have the pool on ourselves. Well I guess my niece, nephews & son's happy face contagiously make us elders happy... We like hanging out in the hammock too. UNTIL... (It happened on Day 2).
Day 2. Good breakfast. It may not be buffet but the taste of the food & the serving size is ok.
Were on tour all day & got back to the resort past 6PM. The kids wanted to swim in the pool while waiting for dinner which we willingly obliged. We were alone in the pool when a staff then approached us & pointed the signage that swimming in the pool requires proper swim wear. Since 2 of us are typical (mid-30s early 40s) Filipinos who are uneasy wearing swim suits & are on t-shirt & board shorts, we just followed & didn't complain. My attire was acceptable to them because my top is a rash guard.
Breakfast. Since some can't swim on the pool, we opted to enjoy the beach in the morning. Though the sand is not that white & sand, it is finer to some other beaches I've been. Yes it looks dirty but they are not man thrown trash or garbage. They are natural waste like seaweeds or fallen leaves or branches so I'm fine with it.
As some of us were swimming to the pool later that afternoon, a Filipino senior lady (local) in her shorts & sleeveless went dipping to the pool. Thinking she'll be forgiven with the swim wear policy with her age, we didn't report to spoil her swim. We even chatted to her. Then one staff approached her & informed of the freaking swim wear policy. Her face turned red & she looked so embarrassed. She tried requesting to swim more for a while but the staff just answered that it's their policy. That's when I reacted & said that they should not be embarrassing the guests. I've been to 5 star & bigger Hotels like Shangrila but they're not rigid on the swim wear. Most of the time they just let the guests seemingly unnoticed. If the swim wear attire is that big of a deal, it wouldn't hurt if they could wait for the lady to get off the pool then remind of the policy when nobody or no audience can see or hear.
As we we're about to get off the pool, there came a group of Filipinos Balikbayans with foreign relatives. They jumped on the pool with their t-shirts & shorts (2 guys are even wearing boxer shorts). We stayed for a while & observed. 20 mins had passed with staffs of Amarela circling nearby but they were not approached of the swim wear policy. To our surprise, one of the staff even took orders of beer & food from the foreigners!!! Talk about discrimination!!!
I felt my blood rushed through my head. Holding may baby with me I went to the Reception & confronted them. It's been days that I'm holding into my patience but this is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! We maybe locals but God we paid for our accommodation too!!! They're money has no difference to ours!!! The two reception staff has nothing to say but apologies. The other one narrow-mindledly tried to appease me by requesting the guests to get off the pool. Oh my!!! That's not even the least of what I want them to realize. If they can not fully implement that swim wear policy to all, just eradicate it!!!
This may be harsh but I would never ever go back or book any guests from now on unless the Hotel learned to value local guests too!
- Also Known As:
- Amarela Hotel Panglao Island
- Amarela Hotel
- Amarela Resort Bohol
- Amarela Hotel Bohol
- Amarela Resort Bohol Province/Panglao Island
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amarela is a cozy yet elegant boutique resort atop a gentle slope with a stunning panoramic view of Bohol Sea and neighboring islands. Natural sandstone pathways run through native landscape, leading to the long stretch of white beach. The resort showcases local art and culture in meticulous detail - highlighting antique & traditional furniture, artifacts & handicrafts, old hardwood doors & floors, as well as an outstanding collection of sculpture & paintings. ... more less
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