My husband and I just spent 4 nights at El Portal Inn and it was very enjoyable, but we wish we would have spent one or two nights out at Alona Beach (on the nearby Panglao island) instead of all our time in Tagbiliaran because Tagbiliran is quite small. This was our first time in the Philippines and we didn't understand the layout of Bohol and surrounding area very well when we booked. Tagbilaran actually doesn't have much itself, but it's about 30 min drive from many great sights such as the Chocolate hills, the Tarsier Sanctuary, and Alona Beach. If you just want to tour Bohol island and see the Chocolate hills, Tarsiers, Loboc river, etc, Tagbiliaran is a perfect base and El Portal Inn is truly great value at 750-1000 pesos per night (less than $25 US). We had the hotel arrange a driver for us to tour Bohol for 2000 pesos and it was a great tour - the 2000 is supposed to be just a driver but our guy spoke decent English and provided info wherever he could.
But if you want to enjoy the island life and get some sun/water activities in, you'll need to get out to Panglao & the beach resorts/chalets, which are all about double the price of places in Tagbiliran. To do a daytrip to Alona beach from El Portal costs about 600 pesos for round trip by trike, which is about the difference in accomodation costs anyways! And it's not very comfortable getting there by trike but finding a metered taxi in Tagbiliran isn't easy.
Within Tagbiliran, El Portal has a pretty good location, close to the pier and the airport. There are a couple of small malls within walking distance of El Portal (about 20 min walk), or you can grab a trike for 25 pesos. Up the street from the hotel is a 24 hour mini market, as well as a gas station with a mini mart and a really great spit roasted chicken place (head up to the main street and take a left and you'll see a large chicken restaurant that only sells take out chickens but they are amazingly juicy and tender).
Our email reservation request was handled promptly by Jose, who also helped arrange the tour(substituting the Tarsier Sanctuary for the Tarsier encounter at Loboc at no extra cost!) and ferry pickup. The deluxe double room was spacious and very clean when we arrived, but there was a damp dirty towel in the wardrobe which led me to believe the cleaning staff had not bothered checking everything over. They don't come clean your room daily unless you leave your key behind at reception when you go out and ask for cleaning. This wasn't an issue, as long as we got rid of all food garbage in our room promptly because, like all places in the Philippines, ants are a common pest in Tagbiliran. No breakfast is included, but they do sell breakfast in their restaurant. Bathroom is a fair size and hot water works good, but water pressure is very low so expect a light mist type shower. TV had a decent amount of English channels. Free wi-fi worked great in our room and staff were super quick to respond when it stopped working once.
At this price point, I feel like the hotel staff provided very helpful and friendly service, and the room was great value so i would definitely stay here again if I returned to Tagbiliran.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tourist Inn located in the heart of Tagbilaran City conveniently located within one kilometer from both airport and pier. Offering the best value and comfort for your money is what we aim for. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- El Portal Hotel Tagbilaran City
- El Portal Inn Tagbilaran City, Bohol Province