Here’s a comparison of Panglao Island Nature Resort versus Alona Palm Beach in Bohol, Philippines.

The short answer: If you want your children to have a fun time in a resort in Bohol, choose the Panglao Island Nature Resort and book the Seaview Bungalow (upper level).

Marcel writes: “I would like to ask your opinion and recommendation which among the 2 resort is preferable considering the SERVICE, FOOD, ACCOMMODATION and FACILITIES (kid-friendly). My kids do enjoy both swimming pools and beach.

I find the facilities, beach and pool of the Panglao Island Nature Resort better than those of Alona Palm Beach.

At Alona Palm, there’s an area for table tennis. The same thing can be found in Panglao, but Panglao also has an Xbox console (although the games are quite limited).

Alona Palm Beach Pool
The pool of Alona is a straighforward, no-frills pool, while Panglao Island Resort has 4 pools. Two of those are shallow and have bubble jets, so your kids will have fun in those. If they get tired of the small bubbly pools, they can have fun in the 4.5-feet deep pool.

Panglao Island Nature Resort Infinity Pool
Panglao has an infinity pool which creates the illusion that the pool merges with the sea, depending on the angle of your camera. You’ll most likely have nicer photos at the Panglao pool than at the Alona pool.

Panglao sunset Alona Palm Beach, early morning
Panglao offers a view of the sunset, while Alona Palm beach offers a view of the sunrise.

Panglao beach
The sand of the Panglao Island Resort beach looks cleaner than that of Alona Palm. The beach is quieter and more private, while the Alona Palm beach is open to more people, some of whom are enterprising boat men who *regularly* offer you banca rides and dolphin watching sorties. Regularly, as in every time you set foot on the beach.

Alona Palm beach
You have more space to build sandcastles at the Alona Palm beach, though.

Panglao seaview bathroomIf you get the Seaview bungalow at Panglao, you’ll be treated to a fantastic view of the sea because the bungalow has large windows (yes, even in the bathrooms). Everywhere you turn, you’ll most likely see the sea and sky.

The unit we stayed in at Alona was mostly walls, although it did have a nice veranda which offers a view composed 80% of other villas, and 20% ocean.

Our kids enjoyed the Panglao Seaview bungalow because it has a jacuzzi. They also liked watching the large schools of fish that lazily swam beneath the balcony. We were only about 30 feet above the water, so the kids watched the fish even at night, either from the balcony or through the floor-to-ceiling bathroom windows.

Panglao jacuzzi(Note: There’s a similar unit below our “bungalow”, but it is the upper bungalow that has a jacuzzi.)

There are some bright lamps near the shoreline which illuminate the sandy walking area at night. During high tide, this walking area under the balcony of the Panglao Seaview bungalow gets transformed into a clear swimming pool for both fish and people.

If you get tired of looking at that, simply shift your gaze outward to the sea, beyond the feeble fringes of the lamplight’s reach, and you will be mesmerized by the rhythmic waves dancing towards the shore. The lamps make the sea look like a relaxingly hypnotic series of emerald ribbons floating towards the bottom of your bungalow.

Add to that a strong and cold March wind swirling around your ears and the breaking surf whispering all around you, and you will lose your sense of time and place.

Now where was I? Oh, right…

Food, Food

The dessert at Alona Palm was more kid-friendly, because they served Italian ice cream gelato. Since it was quite novel, the kids enjoyed it a lot.

The food at Alona Palm is prepared by a European, and his version of adobo is different from the usual Pinoy adobo.

All in all, both Alona and Panglao serve equally good meals, although I enjoyed the variety of Panglao’s breakfast buffet more–interestingly filling, but not overwhelming. I’m biased because I prefer Filipino cooking, so the fried crispy danggit with garlic-filled vinegar brought Panglao closer to my heart and tummy.

If I could bring my kids only once to Bohol, I would bring them to the Panglao Island Resort (Seaview Bungalow, upper unit, #1105-A). Here’s what the view to the west looks like:

Panglao, view to the west

Related Pages:

Bohol 2005 Travelogue
Alona Palm Beach, Chocolate Hills, Loboc river

Bohol 2006 Travelogue
Panglao Island Nature Resort, Bohol Bee Farm, Loboc Children’s Choir