Yearning for a quick getaway but never able to do it? Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol is a destination for that. It is a convenient one-hour plane ride away, with a 40-minute private car ride to the resort from Tagbilaran Airport. With many flights to Bohol from Manila, disappearing for the weekend is possible. Surely, spouse and children will not mind you returning home fully-recharged.
Through Amorita’s friendly and efficient service, scheduling any activity of choice is a pleasant and easy experience. Whether choosing to bask in the privacy of a personal villa and make the most of your alone-time, or join a group of explorers for an early morning island-hopping tour, the resort has something for every preference.
Get a Two-Hour Spa Treatment
Amorita has a private spa called Sea Tree, making it convenient to call for a treatment on a whim. Massages are possible in your villa, although Sea Tree has a pleasant ambiance for a quiet treatment alone.
The spa manager presents a menu of treatments, which you can ponder over as you sip hot ginger tea. The Sikatuna, a deep-pressure massage, is a good first choice to set the mood for a weekend of rejuvenation. It offers ultimate relaxation as senses get healed and calmed. Named after the nobleman of Bohol and designed for aching muscles, the use of peppermint oil liniment and the application of pressure in all the right points will help in recovering from aches and pains. End the treatment with Lana, a natural coco-based bath, where you can soak and linger as muscles relax away.
After this, you will not regret your decision to spend the weekend alone. As a matter of fact, you will be eager to see what’s next on your agenda.
Watch the Sunset During Happy Hour
There is nothing better than catching the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Tomar, Amorita’s tapas bar on the second floor of Saffron Restaurant, has a great view of the sun setting into the sea. Order some Pinchitos Pescado (crusty baguette topped with caramelized onions, aioli, seared local fish and spinach crisp), which goes well with Tomar’s signature sangria. For something heavier, try the Sisig Quesedillas (cooked pork, Boholano chorizo, kesong puti and tomato salsa inside a homemade tortilla). An option of unlimited wine and tapas is also available for P1,200 per person from 4 to 6PM. You will, no doubt, walk back happily to your villa that night.
Join the 8AM Island Hopping or Countryside Tours
There is a choice between two early morning tours, both organized by the resort with your own private bangka or van. The Island Hopping Tour is for water lovers who enjoy jumping into the water and exploring nearby islands. There is a sanctuary nearby, where snorkeling is possible.
The Countryside Tour highlights historical sites the province is known for—Chocolate Hills, Loboc Church, Loboc River, and of course, the tiny tarsiers only seen in Bohol. A private tour guide is available, and other historical churches may also be added to the tour. Ask for the days the Loboc Children’s Choir sings at the church and try to catch their angelic voices. Lunch during the Loboc River Cruise is worth the experience.
Enjoy the Peace & Quiet in Your Own Villa
Both tours will have you back in the resort by early afternoon, with lots of time still for a dip in your private plunge pool. After an adventure-packed morning, a doze in the terrace will be tempting. Amorita has two kinds of luxury villas—an Ocean View Villa and a Garden View Villa. Whichever you choose for yourself, each promises nothing but privacy.
A two-bedroom Family Villa with a larger private pool is being launched this year. After this relaxing weekend alone, a future trip with your family will definitely be in the works.
All the accommodations in the resort are well-appointed and spacious, with modern amenities like your own Nespresso machine with coffee pods refilled every morning. Everything in the mini bar are also complimentary. Local surprises, like homemade calamansi juice and kinampay macaroons, are left following turndown services. Kinampay is a popular Boholano root crop, and when cooked as a dessert, is as simple as ube mashed with coconut milk.
Junior, One-Bedroom and Two-Bedroom Suites are located in the new wing of the resort. Though these do not have their own private plunge pool, each has spacious living and dining areas. Guests of the suites can make use the resort’s two infinity pools overlooking the sea, where there more than enough daybeds to lounge on all day.
Walk Along Alona Beach
Amorita is a very private and quiet resort. If this is what you seek on a vacation, you will get exactly that. The staff knows when you need them or when it is time to leave you alone. Just the same, other guests may opt for their own privacy, and likewise, respect yours.
If you wish to see more of a crowd, stroll along Alona Beach. Amorita, located on a cliff on one end of the beach, has its own private access to the shore. Alona is not as long as Boracay’s famed White Beach, so walking from one end to the other can easily be done in an hour or two, depending on how many stores and cafés you decide to stop by along the way. Just like in Boracay, there are a couple of masseurs who offer massages on the beach. It is perfectly safe to walk along Alona alone, even at night.
A branch of Bohol’s famous Bee Farm is located along Alona, near Amorita. Try their famous ice cream using honey from bees. You will want to return and try their different flavors—some usual, some unusual, like malunggay and kinampay. Other products are worth bringing home, like their spreads, syrups and beauty products.
Feast on All Your Favorites
You’re enjoying your first weekend alone in a long time. Go ahead and take long, leisurely meals! Newly-opened Saffron Restaurant serves an array of mouth-watering dishes, a lot using local flavors like kinampay and gata. Make sure you order Dinakdakan (grilled pork belly with slivers of red onion, tomato and chili, tossed in calamansi dressing) and Green Fish Curry (white marlin cooked in green curry coconut sauce infused with kaffir and lemongrass).
Twice a week, there are special buffet nights in the resort. There is a lean meat treat every Friday from 7 to 9PM called Steak Out for P1,065 per person. And a Saturday Grill Buffet for P965 per person.
Catch the Dolphins at 6AM
More early morning tours are offered. You may want to take advantage of them, since you have no one else to take care of except yourself. Dolphin watching is always an exhilarating experience, especially if it’s the first time to see those flippers jump out of the water. You will need to leave the resort quite early by boat—4AM to be exact. That way, you catch the dolphins going on their morning exercise by sunrise.
The marine life in Bohol is worth a peek. If you’re a certified diver, why not go for a few dives? There are many dive sites nearby. Amorita has a resident dive shop with dive instructors, and they can arrange everything for you.
Get Another Two-Hour Spa Treatment
Before calling it a weekend and hopping back on that flight home, go ahead and get another two-hour spa treatment. Give in to the temptation and do not feel guilty! It might be awhile until your next one.
Sea Tree’s Baraka will energize you for your days ahead. It starts with a coffee scrub, a skin-softening and natural treatment designed to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin. As you lie on the massage bed, the scent of the coffee grains will awaken your senses. However, with the soothing movements of the therapist, the exfoliation also relaxes you. This experience lasts a good 30 minutes, followed by a quick shower in a private indoor garden adjacent to your treatment room. Skin will feel and look noticeably smooth.
Then, it’s back on the massage bed for a 90-minute Raja massage. This oil-based pampering features gentle kneading—perfect for any aches and pains you may have developed over the weekend of activities. It offers the ultimate relaxation, increasing oxygen levels in the blood, promoting circulation and flexibility. It also seals the deal and caps off your time alone, energizing for what is to come.
You are now ready and eager to get back to the grind, and at the same time, dream of your next adventure alone.
Amorita is located in Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines. For inquiries and reservation, phone (+63 38) 502 9002 or email <[email protected]>.
By Carmen Silverio Roxas
Additional photos courtesy of Amorita Resort