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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Be Grand Resorts Bohol: A Vacation with a Mission

Our 5-day holiday in Be Grand Resorts Bohol was quite special, to say the least. I had not yet fully recovered from my 1-month trip in Europe and Morocco but there I was a going on another vacation. When I got invited to go back to Panglao Island and stay in one of the newest five-star resorts, I could not have imagined a better place to recover from my serious case of jet lag. 
Since I was no longer a Bohol virgin, I wanted to experience something new in this island province.

Panglao has always been a fantastic alternative to frenetic Boracay and other beach destinations. Sometimes though, you still want more to inspire you. Be Grand Resorts was able to help me find that inspiration. 

The first thing that greets you is the lobby adorned with furniture and lamps by the master Kenneth Cobonpue himself - a local famous designer that has made a mark in the design world. 
It leads to a lanai that overlooks the main pool and wet dining area. 

You'll notice that Be Grand has 2 main areas, the main building, which has all the rooms and suites (Around 189), and 19 private villas. The man behind the design of the whole resort complex is Paul Alcazaren. His brother, Johnny Alcazaren, has 2 five-story murals in the main pavilion and a smaller one at the Bridge bar. These artworks all showcase the natural wonders of Bohol. 

Welcome to my temporary residence: Villa Number 22.

I loved how flat and crease-free my sheets were. Kudos to the housekeeping staff for an excellent work!

I had my own outdoor lounge area which had direct access to the lagoon pool. You can literally swim from one villa to the other.
My bathroom was also huge! I did a lot of thinking and planning while taking a bath here. 
After the turnover service, I received more surprises from the resort.

When you stay in a Villa, you have a villa host who looks after you 24/7.  We always emphasize the regular use of sunblock to our patients. Thank you, Ken.

My frontyard.

The villa complex also has a special restaurant called The Boathouse. It was unfortunately not yet open during this time but I could imagine it being a fun place to bond with family and friends at night. The Boathouse is exclusively for guests staying in the villa.

For bigger families, Be Grand has two-storey villas. 
Master's Bedroom.
Living Area.
Kids/Guest Room.
As for the rooms and suites, the main building has them all. Below is the Ocean Suite, a well-appointed accommodation that has a relaxing living space. 

Balcony with a view of the ocean. 
Be Grand also has the Deluxe Aqua and Deluxe Oceana Rooms. Aqua rooms have view of the pool and Ocean rooms have views of the ocean.

A party of four could comfortably stay in this room.
View from the Deluxe Aqua. 


The Food hall is the central dining area of the resort. With its industrial appeal and look,  it invites guests to simply relax and enjoy the food.

For other dining options, you have the Bridge Bar located near the dive pool. 

If you love the water, you must try diving lessons in the resort.

You can even watch your friends and family while taking those lessons.
With its private beach, away from the crowds of Alona, Be Grand is perfect for those who want some quiet time.

Sunset watching is a must. The Lune Bar offers breathtaking views.

The Monkey Bar. Sipping cocktails at sunset is most welcome!

The Game Room. We spent all our nights in the Videoke Room.

I have already mentioned how excellent everything is in Be Grand but what actually sets it apart from the other properties? The impressive thing about this property is that it wants to integrate and involve the local community. They want the growth of the resort to include the rest of Bohol.

One morning, we had a sinful chocolate buffet from a homegrown company in Bohol. Before going to the gym, I met Dalareich Polot, a Boholana lady who made her dreams come true. It was inspiring to hear that the Ginto (Edible Luxury) and Tableya Chocolates started from this woman with a dream to be a chocolatier when she was young. Every night, the hotel leaves these these sweet temptations  right beside your bed after turndown service. 

Aside from chocolates, Be Grand Resorts also supports local music. The world-class Loboc children's choir serenaded us one night. This was also a way for them to raise funds to rebuild the Loboc Church, which was destroyed by the recent earthquake. The kids blew us all with all their immense talents.

I was completely surprised when I was asked to go up the stage and the children started  singing "Happy Birthday" for me. That was one of the best Christmas and Birthday gifts.

As an effort to involve the Bohol community more, Be Grand also plans to take its guests outside the usual tours.  For example, they encourage guests to go to Tambahayan Cafe, a book and art cafe that is microcosm of the "Boholano creative consciousness". They support local visual artists, musicians, writers and artisans. The cafe believe in the core that arts can be a tool to improve the life of the local community. Hopefully, the resort makes this happen. It would be amazing to be on an actual vacation with a mission. (If you are wondering about the food, the cafe serves superb Filipino food!).

Be Grand has an atmosphere that instantly makes you feel at ease. You can let go of everything and completely shut the world out for a day or two - something that we all need in this world that has too much unnecessary information and "over connectivity".

It was truly a delight to have stayed in a property that makes a vacation grander because of its cause. Be Grand has made me realize that we should all have this kind of mentality whenever we travel.  At the of the day, it felt right to be in a resort that supports the locals. Traveling becomes deeper because of the resort's vision and mission.

For reservations, Click Be Grand.
Facebook: Be Grand Resorts Bohol.
Instagram and Twitter: @begrandbohol

I would like to thank all the staff (and Marivic!) for the incredibe 5 days! See you all again next month!

1 comment:

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