The Peacock Garden: Bohol’s Best Kept Secret

Summer 2014 may be dwindling down to its last few weeks but that doesn’t mean Kaye and I didn’t get to have our fair share of some well-deserved R&R. In fact, we went away from our usual “travel” affair for a relaxing “vacation” instead; and what better place to celebrate the good life than in one of Bohol’s best resort hotels. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Bohol’s best kept secret, The Peacock Garden.

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Blogger’s Note: We booked at The Peacock Garden through a promo we got from Deal Grocer. We got the 3D2N stay at the Deluxe Sea View Room for P11,995.00. For price comparison purposes, if we booked directly at The Peacock Garden’s website for the same package, we would’ve shelled about P20k. Agoda also has a 20% off promo which pegs a 3D2N stay for P16k++ (complimentary 30-minute tension reflex massage not included). I’d like to think we got a pretty awesome deal. 🙂

From seaport to paradise

From seaport to paradise

We were fetched by the hotel’s shuttle van upon our arrival at the Tagbilaran seaport (the package included airport/seaport transfers). Right off the bat, we were treated to an unconventional yet ingenious welcome. We were given cold towels (to dab our sun-soaked skin) and cold bottle of water to combat the scorching Bohol heat. Nice touch.

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Any minute now…

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Open the gates

The Peacock Garden is located at Baclayon, near the infamous Baclayon church which was partially destroyed by the strong earthquake last 2013. We arrived after a short 15-minute drive from the port.

The Matron is gazing at her vast estate

The Matron is gazing at her vast estate

Stepping foot inside the Peacock Garden for the first time was a revelation. It was like being transported into another country, with all the luxurious furniture and antique pieces displayed. When they came up with their tagline “A Different World Awaits”, they weren’t kidding about it.

The Piñakwan

The Piñakwan

Check-in time was relatively quick. While waiting for the check-in procedure to over, we were treated to The Peacock Garden’s signature welcome drink, the Piñakwan. It’s a delicious concoction of pineapple and watermelon. This is coming from a guy who doesn’t like watermelon.

Couches near the check-in lobby

Couches near the check-in lobby

Blogger’s Note: This blog will not be a chronological blow-by-blow account of our stay at The Peacock Garden. Rather, it would be a showcase of the different amenities the resort has to offer. Kinda like MTV Cribs. Haha.

The Deluxe Sea View Room

Lovely view from our room

After doing the usual check-in procedure, we were led to our designated Deluxe Sea View Room. Our room was located at the second level, with a breathtaking view of the hotel’s infinity pool. You can also choose the room on the lower ground if going from deep sleep to a quick dip in the pool is your thing. Though that won’t beat the view from the upper level rooms, IMO.

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We were very impressed with room. The attention to detail is very evident; from the king-sized bed, clean and fluffy pillows and the wardrobe to the classy wooden furniture, flatscreen TV and bathroom. All were very well presented. Didn’t hurt that the room was spotlessly clean.

Comes with complimentary peanut kisses (they refill it the next day)!

Comes with complimentary peanut kisses (they refill it the next day)!

Didn't find Narnia in there but at least there were robes, extra pillows and a safe deposit box (WordPress just schooled me that it is incorrect to call it

Didn’t find Narnia in there but at least there were robes, extra pillows and a safe deposit box (WordPress just schooled me that it is incorrect to call it “safety deposit box”. The more you know!

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L'Occitane toiletries

L’Occitane toiletries

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The Peacock Garden’s Manicured Grounds

The Peacock Garden is probably one the most well-maintained hotels in the country. With a big land area covering the property, the level of detail to each of the resort grounds is very high. The grounds are so beautiful, photography enthusiasts would drool over it. My RX100 surely wasn’t disappointed with what it saw.

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Eerie fountain

And you're gonna hear me ROAR!

And you’re gonna hear me ROAR!

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Up-close

Up-close

You may notice that the place seems very private and secluded. Well, it is, sort of. We went here a few days after the long Holy Week holidays (which is one of the busiest times during the year for almost all hotel and resorts). During the time of our stay, I counted maybe 4-5 rooms occupied which meant that the fewer the hotel guests, the more private and peaceful the place was.

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The couch Dr. Jose Rizal once used.

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I wanna see your peacock! XD

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Oh, there you are. Meet Argus, Peacock Garden’s resident peacock.

Roman-inspired murals can be found at different parts of the resort

Roman-inspired murals can be found at different parts of the resort

A different world awaits

A different world awaits

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Where the sky and sea meet

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The row of Deluxe Sea View Rooms

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The Infinity Pool

One of the most iconic spots inside the Peacock Garden is the infinity pool. A pool long enough to be considered olympic-sized, it certainly is very inviting whether it be a quick afternoon dip or a long swim session in the morning to burn off your breakfast calories. The infinity pool is one of the resort’s proudest possessions.

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Good morning, Bohol.

Good morning, Bohol.

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Like a boss

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We had the entire pool for ourselves on the two occasions that we went for a swim. It doesn’t get any more private than that. And that’s why we were being extra trigger-happy with the pool shots. 😀

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Peacock (42)One thing that we liked most about the pool is its cleanliness (No molds and mildew!) as it is cleaned and maintained everyday. A pool caretaker/lifeguard is always on the lookout for guests. Towels are provided by the pool so you don’t need to bring your room towels with you. 

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While the big pool’s depth range from 4 ft.-6 ft., there’s also a kiddie pool perfect for toddlers (and adults, ahem) that are not yet very good at swimming. Then, there’s the round tub.

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Rumor has it that the whirlpool sucks the people who stay here for more than a minute. It then transports you to another world. ALIENS 😉

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Sunset by the pool

Sunset by the pool

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The Old Heidelberg

If there’s anything I can take from The Peacock Garden and bring it home to Davao, it would be The Old Heidelberg. Seriously, this restaurant is immaculate. IMHO, one of the best restaurants in the country. From the elegant dining chairs to the chandelier and the antique decor to the bar stools, ambience has never been this grand and warm.

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Love the dark varnished tone of the bar and the stools

Love the dark varnished tone of the bar and the stools

Included in our package was complimentary breakfast at the Old Heidelberg. Now, breakfast food here is quite different from that of other hotels. Basically, there is a mini buffet section composed of cereal, fruit, Filipino sweets, cold cuts, bread, jam and some drinks. Aside from the buffet, you also get to order a plated breakfast set of your choice. The Old Heidelberg knows how to do breakfast and they do it BIG. This is how morning meals should be done!

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

Mini buffet section. We may have taken a couple of bottles of jam. Ok, we got 6. Happy now?

Mini buffet section. We may have taken a couple of bottles of jam. Ok, we got 6. Happy now?

Goodies I took from the buffet. The croissants are spot on!

Goodies I took from the buffet. The croissants are spot on!

Breakfast course Day 1: Sausage Sampler with Cheese Omelette and French Toast.

Breakfast course Day 1: Sausage Sampler with Cheese Omelette and French Toast.

Breakfast course Day 2:

Breakfast course Day 2: Chicken Beef and Pork Plate with Ham Omelette and Hash Browns. Their hot chocolate (not pictured) is very, very good.

Breakfast isn’t the only thing Old Heidelberg is an expert at. In fact, all the food we ordered were delicious (well, maybe except for the Champorado during breakfast but we didn’t pay for that so it was ok). And while the food pricing at the Old Heidelberg is a bit on the expensive side (average of P500.00/meal per person), they can get away with it because I can assure you that the food is worth every penny. Their meals also come with big portions so they are also good for sharing.

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Pork Tenderloin Medallion (one of my favorites)

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Chicken Cordon Bleu. Their side veggies are also very good.

One famous dessert from the Old Heidelberg is their homemade ice cream. But wait, there’s more to this than meets the eye. See, they just don’t have ordinary ice cream, they have exotic flavored ice cream.

My personal favorite would be the hazelnut and the Erdinger (which really tastes like sweetened San Mig Light). The lomboy and vanilla ginger was really not my cup of tea, although they are worth the try if only to taste the unique and exotic flavors. The apple pie was good, so as the mango chili coriander (though you can really feel the spice of the chili near your throat every single time you swallow the ice cream).  Overall, a very satisfying dessert with lots of flavors pleasing to the palate. Their homemade ice cream sampler is definitely a must try!

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Name of flavors starting from the left top corner: Vanilla Ginger, Hazelnut, Mango Chili Coriander sorbet, Apple pie, Erdinger (beer) and Lomboy (duhat) sorbet

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We only had this Spaghetti Bolognese to share for our lunch during our second day of stay because we were feeling full after our breakfast that morning.

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Jaegerschnitzel with spaetzle. The spaetzle is an egg noodle-like side dish. The Jaegerschnitzel I liked, but the spaetzle was meh.

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Smoked Porkloin Kassler. Very tasty meat cuts, though the side dish at the bottom (we didn’t know what that was) was snubbed. The mashed potatoes were great!

We’d also like to commend the service of the restaurant staff. They were warm, attentive and had good knowledge of the food on the menu (Some menu items were a bit confusing LOL). They also try their best to speak in English although I respond to them in Bisaya because let’s admit it, talking is easier when using your mother tongue. Unsaon ta man, Bisdak man ta. 😀

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Al fresco dining near the infinity pool

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Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry sauce. Oozing with flavor.

Fontana Aurelia Spa

The Fontana Aurelia Spa is the Peacock Garden’s precious relaxation haven. However, this is not one of those run of the mill massage parlors you see everyday. The Peacock Garden’s Fontana Aurelia Spa is the only Philippine spa included in the 2012 Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Spas. That distinction alone would be more than enough to raise your interests on their services.

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One of the best spas in the country

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On our first night, we availed of the complimentary 30-minute tension relief foot massage included in our Deal Grocer package. While the foot massage was really, really good (and we mean really good), 30-minutes of feet pampering just wasn’t enough to enjoy the form of art exhibited by their talented masseuses. We’d like to think that they included the “complimentary” foot massage to give us a very tempting teaser to avail of their premium services. And boy, did that work.

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The only spa in the Philippines that uses Pevonia products

The following day, we decided to avail of their Essentials massage, a 60-minute whole body massage with a 30-minute facial worth P1,650.00. I know, it’s bloody expensive compared to the P400-P800 range of spa services we are used to seeing in ordinary massage parlors but stay here with me.

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Steam bath

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Jacuzzi (though I know the correct term is “hot tub”)

Before our session began, we called dibs on their lovely jacuzzi (hot tub) and steam bath. The hot tub was very soothing and made our bodies warm enough to be ready for our session. We didn’t care about the steam bath too much since the mist was a bit too much. After lounging around for 15 minutes, we were then led to the couple’s room.

The spa room

Couple’s room

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“Damn, this masseuse knows her sh** (expletive).” From the moment the masseuse first stroke the heel of my right foot, this thought instantaneously went through my head. It was that good. All the massages that I previously experienced, vanquished. I couldn’t help but think that the other spas and massage parlors in Davao (or in any other city) are run by amateurs. And while this is a slight knack on other spas, this is also a testament on how good the masseuses are in Fontana Aurelia.

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Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Spas 2012’s feature on The Peacock Garden.

The pressure used throughout was just right and the movements were very fluid. And while I didn’t snooze off during the massage, I was still very satisfied because I got to feel all the soothing strokes on my back, legs and feet. Though the facial left me wanting for more “head massage” (the facial was mostly application of cream and lotion on the face), the Pevonia products used during the massage and facial felt very premium.

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After our session was over, we were treated to a nice tea session (though we wished the massage had continued for at least 4 hours if we only had the moolah LOL).

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Tea sesh

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After all was said and done, this was easily the best spa/massage experience we have had so far. We didn’t regret splurging a bit on the massage experience because the dexterity displayed by Fontana Aurelia’s masseuses was just top-notch. Kudos!

The Wine Cellar and Game Room

Other amenities inside The Peacock Garden include the wine cellar and game room. The wine cellar houses expensive imported wines catering to both casual drinkers as well as wine connoiseurs. Since we aren’t big wine drinkers, we skipped that area and went directly to the game room.

In wine there is truth

In wine there is truth

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More murals

The game room has plenty of indoor games for guests to play with. You can play darts, table tennis, foosball and my favorite, billiards. There are also tables and chairs at the corners if you just want to chill and enjoy the picturesque view of the sky and seas.

Channeling my inner Django Bustamante for the 9-ball break

Channeling my inner Django Bustamante for the 9-ball break

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Playing pool with a great view for a background? I could get used to that.

 The Peacock Garden at Night

The Peacock Garden is a gorgeous hotel, but you already know that. It is also equally gorgeous in the evening which meant night shots were an absolute must.

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This serves as an outdoor hall for various functions

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Outdoor bar near the infinity pool

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Care for some night swimming?

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I don’t want to leave this place

Bottomline is, The Peacock Garden is one of the best (if not THE best) resort hotels we’ve had the pleasure of staying in. I mean, The Peacock Garden really has it all. World class spa? Check. Excellent food? Hell yeah. Gorgeous grounds and rooms? You bet. Superb service? Bank on it.  I feel really sorry for the hotels and resorts that we’ll be staying in the future, because The Peacock Garden has raised the bar to another level. And quite frankly, I don’t see it being broken anytime soon. -rod-

THE PEACOCK GARDEN Boutique Hotel & Spa
T +63 38 539 9231
M +63 917 326 9000
F +63 38 540 9487
Upper Laya, Baclayon
Bohol 6301 Philippines
http://www.thepeacockgarden.com

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9 comments

  1. IT’S SO PRETTY!!! Thank you for showing me these photos. I’d definitely choose The Peacock Garden next time we visit Bohol. So nice 🙂

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for your insightful review. I am contemplating a trip to Bohol for New Years and WAS deciding between Peacock Garden or Amarela Resort. Well, after seeing your pictures and reading this, I will definitely go with Peacock Garden! Can’t wait!!!

    Like

  3. Great blog and post! How I miss the Old Heidelberg Restaurant! Food there is simply delectable. Good thing they have changed their complimentary toiletries. Are they still offering the Buggy Trail Adventure?

    Like

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