Hotel Review: South Palms Resort Panglao

20161214_060337 South Pamls

Serene resort and amazing staff

This is our most awaited holiday during our vacation to the Philippines.  A 4-night stay booked via booking.com.  It’s our pre-anniversary get-away and I informed the hotel about this during my booking. Based on price, service and experience so far, I must say that South Palms Resort is a notch higher that Shangri-La Boracay, which is our best experience before this hotel. The hotel surprised us with a cake and a wine. We are so pleased with this hotel that we will definitely stay here again we come back to Bohol. My son enjoyed all the activities. It has a long beautiful stretch beach shoreline. We truly had an amazing experience at South Palms Resort.

On our last day, the resort have fire dance performance at the beach. We are informed about it – it just happens that we are the restaurant during dinner.

Location

Travel time from Tagbilaran port is 30 minutes.  An hour to Loboc river cruise or an hour and half to Chocolate Hills.

Reception

When we arrived, one of the hotel staff put a lei in our neck and offered us drinks. I thought it would be better if they had welcome performance especially for group check-ins, just like in some resort hotels that we’ve been to.

The staff are very courteous, polite and friendly. We reached the hotel quite early, around 1pm and they allowed us to check-in early. They are trained to have a conversation with guests which is good. They recommended what we could do in the resort itself and activities around Bohol. They are experienced on what they do.

The reception area was well decorated. Clean, neat and they have soothing sound system.

I had two separate bookings for our stay. We originally planned to stay for 3 nights only, but later on decided to stay for 4 nights and arrive a day earlier. I requested for a king-size bed on the second 3- night stay and forgot to request on the first night. On our second day without realizing I requested for a large bed instead of twin bed, the staff approached me in the morning during our way to the breakfast hall. The house keeping changed the bed and made-up our room before we came back from our breakfast.

Hotel’s Ambiance

The hotel is a perfect place to relax and reflect. The lobby is clean. The resort compound is big so they provide bikes (partly made of bamboo) for you to cycle from end to end. Lots of coconut trees and hammocks to rest down and relax.

Every time I pass by the lobby, the staff are so courteous and friendly to ask how I am.

Room

The room is neat and clean. When we arrived, we saw a personal, hand written note from the hotel manager and fresh flowers. I wasn’t given a beach or “bayong” bag. I asked the housekeeping about it and immediately sent one to our room. They gave us wine for our anniversary. Rubber slippers were also provided, in case you didn’t bring your own.

The room was made I think at least two times a day. They gave us 3 packs of peanut kisses every day.

It would be better if upon check-in, they’d provide fresh fruits in the rooms. Philippines is a tropical country and has lots of tropical fruits. We tried to use the phone to call a mobile phone and it didn’t work. We told the reception about it and were told they were having technical issues but I was still charged for the unsuccessful call. The telephone system could be improved especially for guests who need to call like us who didn’t have a local mobile sim card.

Bathroom

Clean and good size. Good water pressure. The shower has glass panel however after the shower outside the shower area is always wet. They need to install something into the glass door to prevent water from leaking. They provide complete set of toiletries.

Internet

Not a big deal for us as we were here to relax. The connection in the room is okay however if you want to access the Internet near the pool, it’s not that good.

Breakfast

Good size to accommodate the entire hotel capacity.

Coffee or tea were not served upon seated – with the hotel’s standard they are almost five-star, it would be better if they serve them too. Staff are attentive to clear the emptied plates and refill your glass of water.

We missed Filipino food and there are lots of choice for us to savor. We all enjoyed the breakfast plus the sea view from our breakfast table was really great. My son’s breakfast wasn’t included so I had to pay half price of adult or P394.

20161215_073234 South Palms

Restaurant

Good range to try for a 4-night stay, however if you’re staying more nights, I think it could be tiring since the resort have only one restaurant.  There was one night we ordered 2 pizzas, one of the pizzas was filled with raw flour underneath and undercooked. I told the staff that this pizza was not cooked well compared to the pizza we tried two nights before. The manager came and asked me if we wanted to have the pizza replaced.  I told him we’re too full so he offered me to have the pizza the next day on the house – of course I took the offer.

The price of their food should be reviewed. It’s bit pricy compare from other beach resorts.

Pool

The hotel has two pools. The pool near the restaurant and bar is quite smallish but from it’s like an infinity pool. The second one is bigger however, it has no bar for drinks or food orders.

Beach

Pristine, long-stretch, shallow beach. For me, I found serenity in this beach by just simply watching sunrise and sunset.

They have activities like stand-up paddling, kayaking, and snorkeling that you can do free of charge. While doing this activities, you’ll see lots of starfishes in different colors and sizes, and sea urchins. The beach is so calm and these activities are really great to enjoy. I suggest aqua shoes for better enjoyment.

20161214_060337 South Pamls

Transportation

There’s a free shuttle to Alona beach. Albert, my son enjoyed the ride because it was a jeepney. It’s been a while for him since he last rode this type of vehicle.

The shuttle jeepney idea was great but I hope they could use a quieter jeepney, as its engine noise can sometimes be heard at the resort. Not a big deal but can be reviewed.

Other Amenities

My son enjoyed all the activities. They have a basketball court, a tennis court, gym, billiard table, ping pong table, foosball table and they are all FOC.

A business center, which my son used to write his blog.

Touring around the resort, they have bamboo bikes that you can use FOC.

Staff

We travelled from Singapore and before we arrived at Bohol, we first stayed in Cebu where I left my extra bag for my dirty laundries there. I had a big problem, since I had 3 laundry bags and 3 pairs of muddy shoes after the ATV ride at Chocolate Hills. I needed to pack them in another bag.

I checked out the hotel retail shop to see if they have bags that can hold all our dirty clothes and 3 muddy shoes. There was none so I asked the concierge if they could help me purchase a bag big enough to hold all our dirty clothes and muddy shoes. They didn’t turn me down. The staff are so guest-oriented and that really impressed me.

On that same day, while passing by the lobby area, the staff approached me and handed the “sako bag” and my change. I was embarrassed to tip him the change because they were in coins and my wallet wasn’t with me that time. The next day was our check-out, and I looked for him to hand a tip but wasn’t able to find him.

Very, very friendly, courteous and accommodating staff. Everyone greets guests. They will address everything you want and need. And they make sure everything’s accomplished with a big SMILE! Bravo for that! The management should be proud for them. Great team!

 

_DSC0221 AHC making memories everyday copy

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