After more than a year in hibernation due to the COVID pandemic, the Donatela Resort and Sanctuary in touristy Panglao, Bohol finally reopened last December. It was a most awaited moment for the many regular clients and fans of the quiet, yet elegant resort off the beautiful coast of Panglao. With business now slowly getting back to normal, and with tourism among the lead elements in this positive development, everyone was looking forward to the memorable return of this precious jewel-of-a-find in Donatela.
Donatela is a 7.5 hectare luxury resort with a small private beach, with 12 uniquely-designed villas offering impeccable amenities and private pools. Located just a quick 10-minute ride from Bohol’s spanking-new Panglao International Airport, it has top-of-the-line room comforts and conveniences that had been getting fantastic reviews before it was forced to close down during the pandemic. It has a classy garden setting with lush green spaces filled with different plants and trees. They also have a stable of young horses, a bird haven, an intimate spa paradise, a gym, great yoga meditation space and their restaurant – apart from the good food – has a picturesque cliffside view that is simply stunning!
Donatela is ideally situated near the ‘tourist-infested’ side of Panglao, near enough for the younger set to indulge the booming, resonant rhythm of latin drums that spring alive in nearby Alona Beach; yet far enough for the older generation to just savor the sun, and enjoy the unsullied sound of the sea rushing to shore. Here in Donatela, we are fortunate to get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Needless to say, the kids had fun trying out the wild, noisy side; while my wife, Wit, and I soaked up on the peace and tranquil side the resort had to offer. Sons Carlo and Josh were able to showcase their visual poi exhibition at the cliffside resto in the evening, while grandkid Buchi was all over the place, showing off his floating prowess in the big pool as well as the private pools, exploring the area like it was his own private domain, unmindful of whatever obstacle the terrain had in store for him. Such a fearless tyke he is.
Acting General Manager Edward Sarmiento played the gracious host for us, even granting Wit the opportunity to showcase her Cacao Ceremony to enlighten us all of the great benefits this wonderful plant has in store for us. Edward’s extensive experience in the hospitality sphere, acquired from years of service in hotels all over Europe and Asia, coupled with his years in luxury cruise ships plying different tourist destinations around the world, has certainly had a positive imprint in Donatela’s revival.
At the end of our visit, we all felt refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world once again. Indeed, it has been a soothing, calming stay for us; truly a home away from home. And I’d like to thank Acting GM Edward and his staff for the warm hospitality and care. It has been a great relaxing experience to cap the year 2022.
Come to Bohol. And savor the exquisite beauty, the elegant ambiance, the serenity that is Donatela. You will surely enjoy yourself there.
And here’s to a wonderful and blessed year 2023 ahead for us all.
For a closer look, just click on the pics. Cover photo courtesy of Bohol Guide, other pics courtesy of Agoda.com, Ph Resorts Group, Booking.com, Panglao International Airport, Trip Advisor, Stay For Long, Philippine Primer, Klook. Videos and other pics courtesy of Josh Holganza.