Let's get this straight: Alona Beach is a huge letdown. The beachfront is filled with tourist-trap restaurants (all serving the exact same crappy, overpriced Western food), expensive resorts/hotels, and more touts than there is acceptable beach space; it is lousy if you want to stretch out and relax. Unless you pay a premium to stay at a high-end resort, the limited swath of beach between all the buildings and the ocean is often covered in seaweed and detritus, and the shallow water is filled with slippery and jagged rocks, making swimming unpleasant too. It only took my husband and me one night there to realize it wasn't going to offer us the tranquil beach vacation we had been hoping for and we decided to explore other options.
We are so happy we found Calypso Resort, which is only about 4 km away from the main Alona drag. With the free motorcycle that is included in the price of the room, it's easy to head to that area for meals, or to head northward to some of the nicer beaches where you can actually swim and lounge. Or better yet, take a tour of Bohol's main island and do a self-guided tour of the big sights like the tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills! This was one of our highlights of our time on the island, and was far more fun then paying 3000PHP to have a car take us from place to place. For us Calypso offered us a much-needed reprieve from Alona, but was still extremely convenient, and we really appreciated having a set of wheels to get from place to place so that we could explore. For 770PHP, I think you would be hard pressed to find a better deal for accommodation AND transportation.
As for the resort itself, it was undergoing some renovations when we stayed there, but we did not have any of the issues other guests mentioned. The staff were friendly and very helpful, as was the owner, Andy, who gave us plenty of advice and suggestions for places to visit and stay during the rest of our time in the Philippines. The resort is a 3 minute walk from a stretch of beach, that while not amazing for sunbathing or swimming, is nice enough to poke around and do some exploring. If you want to swim, jump into the pool, which is very nice! Our room was large and spacious, and as it was situated above the restaurant/bar area, had excellent views and a great breeze so it wasn't damp or dark or musty. The bathroom was clean and the shower had fresh water. We were extremely happy with the room, experienced no bug issues of any kind, and slept great. I could see it potentially being noisy during peak season, but if you happen to visit during low season, it is the best room at the resort. Also, the resident dog, Lumpy, was so playful and sweet and we had a great time carousing with him!
We stayed 5 nights at Calypso and were very happy here. The price was reasonable, the staff friendly and accommodating (they allowed us to check in at 10 am, no problem), and we were very comfortable for our entire stay. If we ever head back to Panglao Island, we would happily stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small, cozy resort, friendly atmosphere, with nice swimming pool and diving facilities. 3 Cottages with double bed, WC & shower. 2 Rooms in main house with bathroom. 1 Family room with large shower & WC, kitchen and barbecue area. Swimming pool. Restaurant and bar, diving facilities. Beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Calypso Resort Bohol Province, Philippines