Checked in: 28 Dec 2013
Checked out: 30 Dec 2013
Room: Oceanview #3
Price paid: $75 per night through Agoda.com
Kayla’a Beach Resort comes with a heart felt story. The resort is named after the owner Jon Wood’s late-daughter, who passed away ten years ago. After a period of grief, Jon decided to move to the Philippines to create a life that helped people, and Kayla’a Beach Resort was born, employing around 20 staff from the local community.
“Jon is a very good boss. He really cared for us.” Rose, who had been working for Kayla’a for three years. She could have worked in a five star resort over at the more tourist side of the island, she said, but she enjoyed working here, so much so, that she introduced her husband to also join the team.
Where the staff are happy and taken care of, the guests also enjoy the ricochet effect of the relationship. Our stay with Kayla’a was filled with smiles and laughter, and the truly warm hospitality that the Philippines is so famous for.
I could not ask for more here at Kayla’a. The service is friendly and down-to-earth, and the staff make you feel like part of the family. One reason I love these smaller, out of the way places to stay is that they generally make you feel more at home, than a resort with marble corridors and fancy tiles. Sure, I could have had feathered pillows and goose-down duvets, a bathroom with state of the art modern amenities and white sandy beaches littered with resort branded umbrellas exclusively for our own use. I could easily afford all of that, but it wouldn’t be the same experience.
We wouldn’t have had personal story telling sessions with the staff, nor have the kitchen hand cook us a dish of local cuisine from home just because I had mentioned that I liked it. Such was the service we received here at Kayla’a and we wouldn’t have liked it any other way.
Our room looked over the pool and the sea, a picture perfect way to wake up everyday during our stay. The room was basic but had all the necessary items such as a tv, DVD player (assorted DVDs can be borrowed from front desk), a bed comfortable enough, air-con, and a sufficient bathroom. A balcony ensured that we could spend the lazy afternoon reading and enjoying the view in our own space.
There is a restaurant, bar, pool and massage room onsite, and the resort is right on the beach. Wifi access throughout the resort but the connection can drift in and out. The resort also has a car and a couple of scooters for rental.
The massage service is good value.
The resort is located in the town of Dimiao, just a little under an hour’s bus ride from Bohol’s major hub Taglibaran. You can walk to Dimiao central market in 20 mins or catch a bus or jeepney for 8 Pesos. The beach at the resort (and most of the mainland Bohol) isn’t the ‘standard’ white sandy beach that we see in tourist brochures but is still pleasant enough for a quick dip in the sea. The water is shallow for a few hundred meters out and while the shores are littered with debris, once you wade out from the beach the water becomes clearer and cleaner.
Value – 10/10
I welcome you to check out Kayla’a the next time you are in Bohol. It may not have the luxury elements and the modern facilities of the more upmarket resorts over at Panglao, but it’ll make you feel like part of the family.