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Patriot, Peter, and I are just back in Hong Kong after a stay at Amorita Resort for our first family holiday. Patriot has done a lot of travel over the last 7 months (including Rwanda, 3 US states, and Malaysia), but this was the first time for us to travel for a vacation, just the three of us.
We had an incredible time on Panglao Island, just off the coast of Bohol in the Philippines and I credit most of this to the amazing team and facilities at Amorita Resort.
Amorita is ranked the #1 hotel on Panglao and after our 4 night stay there, it’s easy to see why.
Amorita Resort Review
We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite during our stay. The generous 80 sqm of space included a living room, dining area, large bathroom, king sized bed, and an outdoor patio and tub. I loved the design and decor of the rooms and even my discerning architect husband agreed that the design was really well done. Polished concrete floors and walls, simple wooden four post beds, and modern furniture with a native element. The photos online don’t do the rooms justice. No cheesy beach decor here (unless you count the free beach toys they provide for kids!).
The one bedroom suite was perfect for a family stay and while Patriot shared our spacious bed, the day beds in the living room could easily fit two extra guests or older children at night (or at nap time).
There is no shortage of restaurants on Panglao (longer post on the island’s dining options coming soon), but we ate most of our meals at Amorita. Not only out of convenience, but because the food was excellent and the service topped any other restaurant we tried on the island.
Breakfast was a buffet served at Saffron, which was an outdoor, poolside restaurant serving food all day. The buffet featured western, Filipino and a few Chinese options. There were usually several items that they had daily – bacon, egg station, french toast, pancakes, hash browns, baked beans, fruit, cereals etc. and then a few special items each day.
I was hoping to see longganisa at the buffet but alas, it never appeared! One morning I thought about asking for it in case they could prepare some for me, but then they ended up having fried chicken with gravy that morning so I stuffed myself with that instead.
You may be thinking, fried chicken for breakfast? That’s right. Life is #morefuninthePhilippines.
The main restaurant at Amorita is Saffron. They have the same a la carte menu throughout the day for lunch and dinner and serve wine, cocktails, and other drinks. We did try a few of their cocktails which I found to be nothing special, so Peter usually opted for a cold San Miguel Super Dry while I would choose a glass of white wine.
We tried a few different dishes off of their menu which featured a variety of western and Filipino options. My favorites were the kinilaw, sisig quesadillas, the four cheese pizza, and the Thai beef salad. I also highly recommend the chocolate lava cake! Portions are large and the service was the best we experienced on the island or a fresh calamansi juice.
At dinner time they sometimes host special buffets including a Saturday night barbecue. During our stay they had a special Chinese New Year buffet dinner which was excellent. I filled my plate with prime rib and and a perfectly crispy and juicy pork belly.
For those traveling with children, Amorita provides kids plates and plasticware and high chairs. Patriot made a mess at every meal but the staff was always extremely kind about it.
Above Saffron is an intimate tapas restaurant, Tomar. They only have a handful of tables so best to make a reservation if you want to give it a try (and trust me, you do!). With surprisingly generous portions Peter and I stuffed ourselves with cheesy croquettes, fried potatoes, spicy gambas, hearty paella, and lots of other delectable dishes. We had dinner here twice (including my birthday dinner) and Patriot enjoyed sampling all the different flavors too!
Filipinos are known for their hospitality but the staff at Amorita take it to the next level. Bobbi, the front desk manager arranged for beautiful flowers for our room and for a chilled bottle of sparking wine too when she learned this trip coincided with my birthday ! She was always really friendly and made us feel like we were VIP guests! Bobbi also made sure that we were able to find a trusted nanny, Leope, to help take care of Patriot when Peter and I decided to go scuba diving for a day.
I left notes for Leope before we left the hotel and she took special care of Patriot — feeding him his favorite foods and taking him for a swim in one of the hotel’s beautiful pools. It can be scary to leave a baby in the hands of someone you don’t know well, but we trusted Amorita and Leope and they took great care of Patriot.
Throughout our stay the team at Amorita spoiled Patriot with treats, cuddles, and toys. Every night they would bring us a note from the manager and and a freshly made sweet treat.
Marloun, Leo, and Rob at Saffron were extremely attentive and would go out of their way to make our dining experiences, special and relaxing (not always the case when you have a messy 7 month old eating with you).
Overall the service at Amorita was exceptional. Their personalized service often made us feel like we were the only guests at the hotel!
One afternoon I decided to treat myself to a massage at the resort’s Sea Tree Spa. Judith, the masseuse, gave me an excellent oil massage and I only wish I had opted to have my massage under one of their outdoor canopies by the ocean. Prices are extremely reasonable so I would definitely plan for a massage (or two!).
Location and Facilities
Amorita Resort is located on Alona Beach. While Alona is full of beach bars and scuba diving shops, Amorita was a stunning, private escape from the madness of the public beach. We traveled during Chinese New Year which is also during the peak travel time but it never felt crowded or crazy at Amorita, despite the fact that I expect it was fully occupied during our stay.
There is a small private beach at the resort, one large infinity pool (boasting 3 different depths – perfect for kids!) and one smaller infinity pool, complimentary bicycles, a small playground, foosball table, ping pong table, and an area for daily kid’s activities. Every day at the pool they would bring out treats – a refreshing, cooled cucumber spray, fresh mango popsicles or fruit kebabs.
Patriot loved splashing in the pool and napping in the shade. While we didn’t end up using them – the resort also offers free use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and stand up paddle boards. There’s also a dive shop on site (though we unfortunately did not have a positive experience with them and ended up diving with another shop).
Amorita Resort is an amazing resort that I hope we can visit again and again!