From the main coastal road of Baclayon, Bohol, just a few minutes past the Baclayon Church and Baluarte, our van took a left turn on a narrow road. We passed through a small community as we ascend taking a couple of turns on the road. It seems a distance away from the main road, I thought. But suddenly on my right I saw a large yellow gate with no pedestrian entrance. It opened to let the van through and I saw this large manicured garden with well cut grass and placed trees. Then on a higher ground stands a mansion that seemed to have been plucked out from a scene in Europe. Everything seems so elegant. I had no idea Bohol was hiding another wonder beyond what it is known for, I thought as I walk the grounds of the Peacock Garden Luxury Boutique Resort.
A Slice of Roman-Mediterranean
The whole resort area bounded by high perimeter walls to keep the place safe is huge. Everything seems to be maintained well. The trees trimmed and the grass regularly mowed. The resort has three main buildings serving as accommodations and one small building as the wellness center. The garden would have been the set for the movie poster of ‘Midnight at the Garden of Good and Evil”. There are murals painted on the sides of the buildings depicting some scenes in Rome. Most rooms are facing the view of the ocean.
High End Rooms with a Filipino Touch
The Mediterranean influence may easily be noticed but when you look into the details, you will notice the Filipino touch in the designs. I was told that the designs on the bed head and foot board as well as the side table furnishings were customized with a couple of alternating designs per room. Even some of the lamps were custom made.
I was only able to try their Superior Room (Twin Bed) and Premium Room (King Sized Bed) and they were large, spacious and have most of the facilities I would need. Both have their own balcony on the second floor but the Premium rooms at the middle building have a nicer pool view, lounge area and bath tub.They have larger and more expensive suites at the first building.
The multi-function DVD Player is a nice touch. So if I don’t find anything interesting on Cable TV, I can just plugin my USB drive or use my own DVD-R with readable DIVX movies or simply play music. Internet is free as there’s wifi but if you are having trouble with the signal you can request for a LAN Cable. Airconditioning is really cool and the rooms are regularly kept clean. And the long bath robes they have are a pleasure to use. I can wear them all day if I could.
What!? No Beach?!!… So what?
Located up on a hill at Upper Laya Baclayon, there is no direct access to the beach aside from the view of lush forest, ocean and Pamilacan Island across. But I thought their large Olympic Size Infinity Pool and Jacuzzi makes up for it. I could even stay all afternoon at one of the lounge chairs reading a book. Aside from that, the resort has a slew of activities available. Like the game area for pool, foosball, table tennis and darts.
At the Pim’s Pub, their very own bar area complete with laser lights and fiber glass dance floors, guests can have a karaoke session and the resort plans to add wii consoles here as well for some fun gaming for kids. There’s the Hemming Lounge as Cigar Room and Wine Connoisseurs should enjoy their time at the Baccus Wine Cellar.
For those looking for Spa and Wellness they have a nice small gym with a nice view of the greenery and the ocean through their wide windows. Their Roman Spa definitely has top notch facilities. I enjoyed their steam bath and Jacuzzi in their roman-inspired interiors. They also have very good professionally trained masseurs.
But if you really insist on the beach, Peacock Garden is only 5-10minutes away from the Baclayon Baluarte. They have a tie up with an organization offering outdoor activities like visiting Pamilacan Island where guest can also enjoy the beach, kayaking, dolphin watching and snorkeling. For a different kind of adventure, there’s the 14km buggy trail-ride in the countryside of Baclayon. I really had fun with that one.
Old Heidelberg Restaurant
If you were to ask me what the best German Restaurant in the country is, I would have to say it’s the Old Heidelberg here at Peacock Garden Resort hands down. I was able to try a lot of their dishes from the Shnitzel, Veal Cheeks, Tenderloin steak and more and not one really disappointed me from their main menu offerings. Their breadbasket filled with homemade bread sided with both butter and lard is more than enough as an appetizer while waiting for the main entree. The restaurant interiors are also filled with memorabilia and shows the owner’s passion for our local hero, Jose Rizal.
Their breakfast buffet at the Peacock Room is another matter though. I find the offerings okay but I hope they add the batirol tsokolate instead of the regular milo when asking for a hot choco. Bohol is also known for their good chocolate tablea.
It’s definitely one charming resort I’ve been to for some time. If one has a budget to splurge and is looking for a luxurious getaway, I would definitely recommend this one. It’s also a perfect place for company outings or conferences. It’s also an ideal place for honeymooners since the place is private and quiet. The service is very personal since the place isn’t patterned to large hotel chains and the facilities top notch. More importantly, they got one of the finest restaurants within a resort I’ve been to. It’s a truly different Bohol experience.
The Peacock Garden Boutique Resort
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.