Tuesday 3 January 2012

The Bohol Bee Farm

The view from our room
We decided to book two nights at the Bohol Bee Farm to end our trip around Cebu and Bohol. We arrived for check in, and to our delight, we were told we had been upgraded to one of the newer rooms with a sea view. We weren’t complaining and after a week of cold showers, mossy bites and surprise visits from creepy crawlies in our room, we couldn't have asked for anything better to end our trip with.

I don't know what I was expecting from the Bohol Bee Farm. I was recommended to stay here by a few Philippino friends in Manila. I was told the food was great and the location stunning. I guess I really didn't expect for it to be like that, as we had had bad experiences with previous accommodation that had been described as “nice”, and “homely” on tripadvisor. We anyway, our stay was truly exceptional. I couldn't find any faults with the room, the view was stunning, the location was out of this world, and the concept…. Well, lets just say, I wish every hotel could be like this. 

I read in the Philippines Lonely Planet that the Bee Farm had only started seven years ago, but taking into consideration when the LP was published, it’d be more like 8-10 years. Still what has been accomplished in that time is remarkable. What started out as an organic farm selling produce on site and in the Capital, Tagbilaran, has now turned into one of the most loved hotels in the whole of the Philippines. Surprisingly, for a country that doesn't consider organic to have much weight (as there isn’t much demand for it in local markets), the Bohol Bee Farm is very popular with the Pinoy tourist.  I suppose it’s the natural, organic lifestyle the Bee Farm sells with it’s accommodation, it’s on-site bakery, it’s ice cream hut with traditional Pinoy flavours and the great local, yet healthy food served in the restaurant which is something that is hard to find anywhere else in such stunning surroundings.

Ube (purple yam) and Malungay ice cream in a casava cone

The hotel has great facilities also. It’s ideal, as it’s 20 minuets away from Alona beach where all the “action” is and 20 minuets away from the main town where too much action is.

A day can easily be spent just around the grounds of the Bohol Bee Farm.
I would: wake up, and go for a dip in the sea, early in the morning whilst the tide is low and the sea is calm.

I would then go and enjoy their complimentary breakfasts, which is served by a great view of the endless sea. 

Before the afternoon sun comes out and beats it’s rays, I would go have a lesson in organic farming that can be organised for you at reception.

Then to relax my “sore” muscles, I would walk down to their spa and indulge in a full body massage.

A beer and a dip in their indoor swimming pool is a great place to escape the mid day sun. Maybe read that book you never got around to cause you’ve been so dam busy on your holidays!

 Lunch down by the sunbathing area along with a long cocktail, followed by a mid afternoon dive/snorkel, which can also be organised by the hotel in their very own dive shop, would be a nice relax chance to see the beautiful coral and fish that inhabit the surrounding waters.   

Another cocktail whilst you sit in on of their five hot tubes and watched the sun set. Think about what you’re gonna have for dinner and take in the serine beauty.

I highly recommend staying at the Bee Farm is you are planning on going to Bohol. It offers something I haven’t really seen in other places we stayed, and that’s comfort and calm surroundings at a very reasonable price. Even though the Bee Farm has expanded over the years, it doesn't feel too big. They have 34 rooms that accommodate for all types of travellers. I don't normally stay in “hotel’s”, preferring to stay in smaller B&Bs or Pension Houses. But to me the Bee Farm didn't feel like a “hotel”. I think any more expansion may lose the charm it has now, and unfortunately, I did feel like the tour we had of the farm was a selling tool of making us buy there products from the shop, which was a shame. When something is so organic and so good, it’s almost better to let things run as they are. Even though the tour guide was friendly, she did seem like a sales person rather then a tour guide. I suppose with all great things: bands; brands; restaurants; and even charities, to name a few, have a fine line between success and wanting too much.  I really hope the Bee Farm doesn't cross this, other wise it may lose everything that make it’s so ideal. 

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