A vacation island destination Cebuanos would love to visit—or probably already frequent—would be Panglao, Bohol. The island, known for its white sand beaches, has all sorts of resorts.
With this is mind, BE Grand Resort is an option that’s both sophisticated and hip. The multi-awarded resort, tracing its roots from Cebu, is all about detail—from the custom-made furniture to the signature bathroom products. Although just 15 minutes from the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, the BE Group’s flagship property feels much farther from the real world. Families tend to rule the resort but it’s also a hit with couples and groups of friends. Intentionally designed to work with the natural beauty of the island, BE Grand Resort is almost like a luxe extension of the surrounding nature.
Working with local artists, the resort is a show gallery in itself. Kenneth Cobonpue furniture greet guests at the welcome pavilion. The main building features Heatherwick’s playful Spun Chairs and two five-storey murals (marine and flora and fauna) in the atrium by Johnny Alcazaren, a Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Awardee. Outside, palm trees, accent shrubs and water plants line the manicured grounds.
The main building has 189 rooms and suites that can be best described as contemporary chic with native touches. Spacious and well-appointed, each guestroom is fitted with a king bed or two large queens with orange raffia and Capiz headboards. The modern interiors are offset by hints of wood and stone and enlivened by earth and jewel-colored decor.
One of the resort’s highlights is its Grand Villa or the Dream Villa. The former is best for families with its two-level, airy space with a master suite and bath on the ground floor, a second guestroom on the upper floor and a living area that opens onto the lagoon terrace. The latter is perfect for honeymooners with its timeless romantic feature, a four-poster bed, on top of the standard villa amenities.
The 19 villas are surrounded by a sinuous jade-green lagoon pool, providing each villa with a plunge pool of its own. Villa guests get to have butler service 24/7.
Be Grand Resort has six food and beverage outlets to choose from. Indulge in a generous spread of grilled meats and seafood at Monkeybar with picture-book views; have a sundowner or two at Lune, its rooftop lounge which has panoramas of the sea and Balicasag Island in the distance; savor premium steaks, sustainably sourced seafood and world-class cuisine infused with fresh island flavors at The Boathouse, Bridge and Swim-up Bar; or enjoy The Food Hall’s DIY noodle bar.
While post-breakfast snoozing on one of the cocoon beds by the beach seems tempting, BE Grand Resort also offers plenty of outdoor diversions. From water sports to countryside and island-hopping tours, the resort can arrange it for groups of all sizes. It also has a custom-built dive pool which has portholes so other guests can view ongoing classes from a tunnel-like alley on the same level as the bottom of the pool. A favorite destination would have to be the Balicasag Island wherein not far from shore, one can snorkel over kaleidoscopic reefs and swim with a sea turtle. The island-hopping tours come with a private chef.
After a long day, take advantage of the spa facilities. Each of the nine treatment rooms has a shower and toilet and the spa services include tension-soothing massages.
With sustainability at its core, BE is actively involved in nature conservation. This has led to the declaration of the sea adjacent to it as a marine sanctuary where a coral reef recovery program is aimed at preserving and protecting the reef ecosystem. To reduce water consumption and minimize water pollution, the resort’s wastewater goes through an in-house treatment plant where it is processed for reuse. The treated water is used for gardening and flushing system in each water closet. In addition, the resort has eliminated the use of plastic straws since July 2018.
Indeed, one can live in the lap of luxury yet still feel good about it.