Poolside cocktails, anyone?
It’s painful, very painful to be writing about the holidays I just spent in the Philippines’ archipelago when I’m back in Beijing, I’m under pressure for a deadline at work and outside it’s -5 degrees. Anyway today I decided I would go for it. After I spent 3 days in Manila (you can read about my adventures here and here), I packed my bikinis and took a flight to Tagbilaran, Bohol Island.
After one-hour flight (during which I slept – as usual) I landed in the small airport and a member of the Bellevue resort was already waiting for me with a shell’s necklace and a big smile. It took us a forty-minute air-con-car trip to get to the resort along dirty roads crowded with motorbikes and tuc tucs.
Once in the resort, they offered us iced fresh fruit juice, helped us check in and brought us to our room. Here the welcome card we found. By then I was already 100% fond of this place!
Also, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing architecture features of this place: colonial elements, natural materials like wood and stone, beautiful lighting elements.
Do I even need to mention that the room was awesome? First of all, I think it was almost as big as my apartment in Beijing, and then it had a huge washroom, with both shower and a bathtub. But the best part was a small balcony – with a coffee table (which is definitely the hot piece of furniture at the moment!) and two armchairs – with sea view. Sweet.
The beautiful blue sea was definitely the main feature of the Bellevue resort. The first 200 meters from the white beach it was light blue, then it became darker, because of seaweeds. Very often, especially in the morning, the tide would be very low, and then we would able to see hundreds (literally hundreds) of little crabs running to hide away in holes in the beach and many beautiful sea stars.
Also, an overhang swimming pool allowed us to relax and have a look at the seaside from above, being able to order our drinks just by pushing a button – every sun umbrella had a small remote control to get in contact directly with the bartender. Nice touch, right? Theorically you would be able to feed yourself for days without actually leaving your beach chair.
But if you liked to get up and go visit the bars and restaurants yourself, you wouldn’t be disappointed. Even if the resort is not huge, there were plenty of dining & drinking options – two bars: Flujo, which serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and Marea Sports Bar, which offers classic and signature cocktails and also features billard, chess, dart games and a 32-inch TV airing sport channels. As for the food, there were two restaurants: Lamian – buffet – and Marea – al fresco dining that serves a la carte.
Breakfast time – my favorite time – is from 7 to 10 am. During breakfast, an amazing buffet is displayed and your belly capacity (and the sky) is the only limit! There is everything you can think of: from sausages to sushi to soup to salad to fruit to yogurt to pancakes. My favorite desk was the one displaying bread: they had so much choice it was hard to make a decision, so every morning I tried a different kind, and at the end I have to say my favorite was the musli one, dark brown and stuffed with raisins. Yummy!
They also have cooks at the eggs’ station, so that you could have your ‘sunny side up’ customized with ham or cheese or whatever-else-you-want.
As you can imagine, you end up eating a lot. And preparing your lunch sandwich hoping the staff won’t see you. I know. I should be ashamed of this. It’s just that there is so much food and it doesn’t make sense to spend 15 US$ for a ham & salad sandwich that you can have.. for free (or let’s say included in the expensive breakfast plan)!
Ah. It would have been good for me to do some activity between meals. But I didn’t. I barely walked from the swimming pool to the beach and back. This is because I was tired and needed to relax. And because I was busy with the blog and had to carry an iPad and an iPhone and my PC all the time. And because I love to be lazy.
So I would eat my sandwich around 12 and then take a nap. You need to take a nap when you have been doing nothing all day, right? Then I would wake up as hungry as ever. Am I the only one to experience this weird phenomenon? Please share your stories!
Then as a snack in the middle of the afternoon with a minimum effort (just push the button) you could order either a coconut and drink the delicious and super healthy juice, or a mixed fruit platter that includes pineapple, mango, watermelon and melon.
Then shower, lots of hydrating body lotion (read a post about how to take care of your skin while on holidays here), and ready for dinner. Before that, a quick photo shooting in the hall.
For dinner you have two choices: the buffet or the a-la-carte restaurant. Most of the times we went for the second one. This was because I didn’t want to come home and not being able to enter in my favourite (and super tight) vintage jeans (I’m sure by now it’s not a secret anymore I can’t control myself when in front of a buffet), but also because at Marea they had a little stand with the fresh fish that was caught that very day. It doesn’t happen that often to eat such fresh fish! The fish would come in a big white dish together with salad and some steamed rice.
I spent most of the time in the resort, but if you feel adventurous enough, there are many activities you can take part in. For example, if you walked west along the beach, you would find out a cozy Korean restaurant that offers fish and Korean specialties. Also, as the owner is an experienced diver, he would be happy to organize some diving trips for you – at one third of the price you would pay if you go with Bellevue’s diving centre!
Giorgio did go with them once. They brought him to Balicasag Island – here a picture he took from the boat. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you walked east instead, you would find an uncontaminated white beach with local kids playing around. If you’re lucky enough, they let you play with them, and then it’s gets really funny!
While waiting at the airport I was delighted to wear:
During my staying at the Bellevue Resort I was delighted to wear many pretty dresses, bikinis and accessories, among which:
Dark green bikini: Calzedonia
Black&colorful bikini: Miss Bikini
Beige linen shirt: Custom made in Beijing
Green little dress: Zara
Blue flats: Prada
Pink sunglasses: Dior
Brown sunglasses: Prada
Pictures were taken with my white iPhone 5 or with Giorgio’s black one.[map id=”20″]