Astoria Bohol

Given that the weeks prior to this trip were very hectic for me (talk about 14-20 working-hour days), I never got a chance to properly research our accommodation. Didn’t google, or even ask about it. Then again, it’s not like I had to choose – our stay at Astoria Bohol was free as members of Club Astoria. My aunt is also a member and she had nothing but praises for Astoria Boracay so I figured Bohol should be great as well, right?

Tada! Entrance to the resort is a bit secluded as you have to go down a rough road, but as soon as we saw the reception and had our fill of the buko pandan juice, I heaved a sigh of relief: things were looking up.

With native-inspired furniture and clean lines (no clutter!) contributing to the laid-back atmosphere…

which light up at night, instantly turning the place into a very romantic spot.

The reception area from below/behind.
The resort is still under construction, with plans to add more rooms and improve the 210-meter beachfront, but there is already an existing villa with eight rooms, four on each level. The ground level rooms have direct access to the pool while the upper rooms have wide balconies overlooking the sea. Now, I can’t really decide which of these two room types is better as I am a bit partial to anything that has a sweeping view of the water. But, a quick look at the infinity pool (made of black slate, which they say absorbs the sun’s heat during the day, and uses this to keep the water warm at night) and I have to say that the ground level rooms definitely have the edge. 

chaise lounge half-submerged in warm water
Bright blue skies!!! Our room at the ground level has the best of both worlds: a few steps away from the infinity pool and a couple more to the beach. What more can I ask for?

The place is even more magical at night, when soft incandescent light bathe the hallways and fiber optic lights flash from and all over the pool – turning into various shades of the rainbow. 

The room really blew me away. First, it was huge. As in 55-square meters huge. I’ve stayed in rooms quite this big but the layout – with the four poster king-sized bed smack in the middle, with nothing but night tables on the sides and a writing desk and a wooden cabinet (housing the personal ref, microwave and sink) tucked on the corners of the opposite side – made the room so much bigger and cleaner. 

Those two doors on the left and right sides lead to the bathroom…

The bathroom is also a sight to behold. I think this is the first and only hotel I’ve been to with a his and hers lavatory. The bathroom also has a glass-enclosed shower and toilet and a big tub facing the dresser and two cabinets. Talk about a walk-in closet/bathroom/comfort room/powder room all rolled into one. Too bad I don’t have a decent enough photo to share.

Astoria also has a cafe serving mostly Filipino food – hubby and I tried their fish sinanglay and guava maple glazed pork belly inasal. Loved the mix of broccoli, steamed fish and coconut milk with chili and white wine although the fish was a little bit half-cooked (or was it supposed to be that way?). In any case, it tasted good. Did’t get to taste the pork but judging that hubby wiped off his plate, guess it passed his taste buds. 😀

Fish sinanglay

Guava maple glazed pork belly nasal

For breakfast, they have the standard offering of Filipino, Continental and American so you can’t really go wrong.

Oh, and I love the view from the cafe:

a lone mangrove in the middle

But, I would have to say this is my favourite – sort of reminds me of the Hundred Acre Woods where Winnie the Pooh lives. Dunno why. 

* Astoria Bohol is located in the town of Baclayon (just after Tagbilaran), about fifteen minutes away from the airport. 

Food Trip: Geisha

I know, I know. Hubby and I are supposed to be on a diet, and with our beach trip less than a month away, now’s not the time to fall off the wagon.

But as luck would have it, a few nights ago, hubby and I found ourselves with rumbling tummies, not having had dinner even though it was past 8PM. We wanted to try a new place and when we found this Japanese resto at the High Street Central saying “buffet” for only Php750, stars practically appeared in our eyes. 

I had the Kabochan soup and Rock Shrimp Tempura Salad for starters. I love pumpkin soup and this mixed with Japanese ingredients (or at least those I’ve always associated with this cuisine) was too relish! It had soft seaweed and I don’t know what spices but it was soo good. 

The salad didn’t disappoint. The leaves were so fresh and created the perfect foil for the crispy shrimp tempura. 

Here’s one drawback though – while you can order as many of the other dishes, for entrees, you can only choose one type/serving. But then, their servings are big and honestly, I was full even before I finished the salad.

Hubby got the beef teppanyaki with shigiyaki (eggplant) topped with melted cheese:

I got the wasabi pepper chicken with shrimp rice. I’m telling you, my allergies were starting to kick in but there was no way I would miss all that shrimp! The chicken was boneless and the mix of pepper and wasabi was quite unusual (for me) but it worked. 

I could barely lift my chopsticks after that, I mean, I was stuffed! But we were only halfway through our meal. There was no way I could finish three more courses so hubby and I decided we’d share the next ones – roast pork ramen, chicken teriyaki and of course, we had to have maki!

This was a very large bowl – it could have easily fed 3 – 4 people.

I washed down all that with a pot of chamomile tea – look at that hourglass timer! Your tea leaves are put in the clear glass contraption (Sorry, I don’t know the proper name for it) and you can choose whether you want your tea light, medium or strong by pouring the tea to your cup when the applicable time’s up. I wanted to take the timer with me! Hahaha. 

What I also liked about the place is that it was very spacious, and there were few people that night so we could eat in peace and the servers were very attentive. We’d definitely be back. 🙂

* The buffet price is exclusive of VAT and service charge and doesn’t include drinks. But definitely worth your money. Make sure to have lots of space in your tummy so you can take full advantage of the buffet.