May 292011

D and I took our four boys on our first ever summer trip together.  At first I explored bringing them to Misibis Bay but the cost was so prohibitive and went against my goal of showing them how to travel simply. We checked out several resorts, but in the end we went for this little 12-room resort on Panglao Island, The Ananyana. We loved it.

I love that it isn’t a concrete structure, but a series of huts that blend with nature. It’s simple and nicely done.  The resort is over a decade old and could do with some sprucing up, but the rooms are still clean and comfortable.

D and I took a regular room. We put our boys in a family room.  The upstairs area of their room could use renovating. Though I appreciate the capiz doors and windows, there were holes in them that were taped over. They ought to repair that or change the finish.  Our room had plain white walls which gave the room a welcome brightness.  Our boys, who like to read, could have used some of that.  We asked for better reading lamps for them instead, which the staff readily provided.
I don’t know about you but I like to be able to fully close the bathroom door.  Our bathroom had swing type little doors that belong more to a bar in a Western; it didn’t give much privacy.  The kids had a large floor to ceiling curtain as their bathroom door, which gave some coverage but still not enough privacy.  That would probably be the one thing I would change.  It would also be nice if all resorts started using earth-friendly soaps, shampoos, cleaners, etc.  This one uses Safeguard.  On the upside, I discovered that Safeguard removes mud stains! Whoa! Still, I doubt it’s good for earth, foliage or sea. Other than that, we were all more than comfortable and enjoyed the simplicity and charm of the place.
I loved the hammocks.  The minute I saw them I knew I came to the right place. There are 5 of them in all.  Even the kids enjoyed them.  They spent a lot of time reading and swaying in the breeze. Sarap!! No beach trip is complete without the requisite “duyan” and I love Ananyana for making sure they had it.
The service is good. We got to know our waiters Coro and Danny and one of the boat men, Eric, and the very helpful manager, Ruela. We joked that they might have thrown a party after we left because we had so many requests. They made every effort to grant them. I asked for my meals without rice, but with a salad instead. We asked for fresh juices without sugar. The menu could use more good salads with lots more greens,  because you start to look for variety if you’re staying in a lot and for more than 3 days (we stayed 5 nights). We love the place anyway! And we loved it even more when we discovered there were no TV sets in the rooms. YES!! They have a small one near the dive shop with dvds to rent and the kids enjoyed Yogi Bear one afternoon. But that was it.
One of the reasons we chose the resort is its proximity to the beach.  Though the water is very, very shallow for a long stretch,  you can rent the resort boat to bring you to deeper waters for better swimming and great snorkeling. We booked tours through the resort and they were well organized and priced very well.
The kids want to go back and D. and I wouldn’t mind it either. It’s harder and harder to find little places that are simple, clean, comfortable, nice and well run. The Ananyana is one such place.  If you’re thinking of visiting Bohol, make sure you check it out.
 Posted by at 9:24 pm

  One Response to “Bohol Files 1: The Ananyana”

  1. I really do wish more people were like you, focused on values and substance in this materialistic, form-obsessed world. I like how you aim for simplicity in things. I like how you (and your kids) read a lot and how you live mindfully.

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