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Reviewed 13 December 2011

We stayed in this resort for 2 nights at the end of our trip to Bohol and I can say it was perfect timing. After "wild" life on Alona beach with live music, bars and many tourists this place was the very opposite. As we arrived still in lower season the resort was occupied only by us, English Owner Paul with his Philippino wife Ara and nice and helpful Philippino crew. I was amazed by the tranquility of that place which led us to relax as much as possible. Food and fresh drinks were great, service too and availability of snorkeling equipment together with cayaks on top of that just underlined this great resort.
If you plan to stay longer, I can definitely recommend to book some of the offered packages which include all the trips around.
Thank you Paul for nice chats and your enthusiasm to manage this resort also "with your hands" and to make it unique.
If we decide to travel to Philippines again, we will come for sure.
Martin, Petra and friends

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank MartinPestik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

No need to repeat what others have stated but I totally agree that Ara and Paul run a fantastic small resort. I strongly disagree with a previous review saying it’s like a Motel 6. The entire Motel 6 chain could not match anything at Isla Hayahay.

Tips:
Recommend advanced reservations, too many people are starting to get familiar with Isla Hayahay, you don’t want to miss out on this little Gem.

If this is your first visit to Bohol highly recommend you sign up for the Short Stay package, it’s a bargain, they take care of almost everything. Check out their web site for more details and cost.

Arriving:
If you fly or take the Super Cat Ferry (from Cebu) to Tagbilaran: get there early morning and begin your tour from the Airport or port. Option: Stay overnight or more, relax and depart on your tour the following morning.

Start your Country Side Tour: From Tagbilaran coordinate with Ara and Paul in advance and ask for a quick stop at Island Mall in Tagbilaran if you need any personal items. Won’t go into great detail but everything is taken care for you, A/C van, umbrellas, lunch, fees, parking, luggage security, paid by Isla Hayahay as part of the package.

Departing from Isla Hayahay:
If you’re going to Cebu City you can depart by Super Ferry from Tagbilaran or take Starcraft Ferry from Tubigon which is only 30 minute away. Check both webb sites as their schedules vary.

Meals: Let Ara know if you have any special request. I just said seafood and Ara came up with superb seafood dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m not especially fond of dried fish but I loved the Danget (speciality of Bohol). I hope that’s spelled right. Coffee and tea is available anytime at the 2 story reception center.

What to bring:
Mosquito Repellant
Led Flash lights.
A Relaxed attitude.
Extra Batteries for Camera etc

Comments: Isla Hayahay is located on Pangangan Island. It’s a few kilometers from the small city of Calape. The 2 mile jetty crossing to Pangangan Island is listed as the largest in the Philippines. Along the sides of the jetty are extensive young mangroves planted over the years by students. Day time local transportation is very limited. No taxis, few trikes and jeepneys. During the evening the main roads around the island change to pedestrian walkways. Lots of loose dogs just keep your eye on them and avoid. Night life is minimal with only a couple of resorts with karaoke. All the residents are very friendly and make friends readily. Evenings are extremely peaceful and the night sky clear as glass. However lots of mosquitos. One tour I wanted but unable to complete for lack of time is the Danao adventure tour. This will be on top of my agenda on a future trip.

THINGS TO DO: Snorkeling: They have a fantastic house reef but it’s about 200 meters from the shoreline. If you’re not very comfortable snorkeling long distances, you might ask to use the small dinghy at the resort to paddle yourself out to the reef. I spotted numerous corals, nudibranchs, seasnakes, seaturtle, octopus and variety of reef fish. The snorkeling at the Giant Clam Reserve is also fantastic but is ¼ mile away and you need the services of a banka boat. If you take the Island tours, you make sure you snorkel during your trip.

Scuba Diving: Unfortunately they do not have a scuba shop on premise. I dove with Diver’s Lounge which is also located on the same island however their webb site is down as of the date of this post. Cabilao Island is a fantastic scuba location with long distant boats from Cebu and Tagbilaran traveling over two hours to dive here. From Pangangan Island it takes about 25 minutes to get there.

Motorcycle Riding: Recommended only for experienced riders.
I rented the motorcycle from Isla Hayahay and had a fantastic tour of Pangangan Island, Calape, and Tubigon. Things to see: various old Spanish churchs, mangroves, Kabasihan Nature Park, Cabu Beach, various out door markets and seafood stalls. The motorbike they have is well worn and not in top shape, so check it carefully.

Beach: Isla Hayhaya has a rocky shoreline, when the tide is out you can beachcomb and tide pool hunt. During low tide several kids are out clamming. Around the island are several undeveloped beaches. They are quite beautiful but have shallow shorelines.

The only problem you will have is having to leave this place, you will want to stay longer.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank edinstk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2011

When I remember our stay at Isla Hayahay, I think about the food. The glorious food. I had to shake the hands of the cook before I left because every morning we'd wake up and wonder what we were going to be eating that day. 4 options for breakfast (I always went with the pancakes), lunch and dinner always started with a soup, followed by 3 more dishes. And every meal ended with a delicious dessert. Even a simple fruit salad was made special by the subtle taste of calamansi squeezed on top of it. It is clear that a lot of thought, care and detail has gone into every aspect of Isla Hayahay.

We stayed for 4 days-3nights and had food and some tours included. But the best place to see turned out to be the reef in front of the resort. They take you there by their own boat accompanied by a guide who will snorkel with you and I guarantee you will be amazed. I honestly don't want to say too much for fear of the place being discovered by too many too quickly.

The staff are helpful and friendly. We met Paul the owner and you have to admire his dedication to the place, we had many interesting chats. The rooms are very comfortable and clean. Bathrooms are big and western style (no hand spray near the toilet). The bed was very comfortable with extra pillows thrown in. There was TV and aircon.

The resort is on Pangangan Island so be aware that is very far from most attractions like the chocolate hills and various other places. It is however close to Calibao where I’ve been told there’s some excellent diving (on the list for another trip). Another trip to Bohol is definitely on the cards and I would pick some place to stay on Panglao Island so I can reach Balicasag and other dive sites easily but I will be sure to come back to Isla Hayahay to relax, for the great food and the beautiful Pangangan reef already beckons.

Tip: Skip the Loboc River cruise. Huge tourist trap. Did not enjoy being trust into a boat with 30 other people all rushing towards the very average buffet.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank nafz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2011

My fiance and I wanted to escape from the pollution and traffic of Manila, so we decided to travel to Bohol and experience some of the natural beauty. We decided we wanted to get off the beaten path and away from the noisy, screaming child-infested hotels and resorts that most tourists frequent. Instead we heard of this place, Isla Hayahay, and after doing some research we took a chance and made a reservation.

I must admit, being a "city-boy", this place was a little out of my comfort zone at first. It takes a "bumpy" car ride through an unpaved road to reach the resort, but within the first hour, I found myself really relaxing and getting lost in the beauty and tranquility of this little diamond in the ruff. There are a handful of rooms, but they are very quaint and cozy. They have a tropical motif, but most importantly have A/C.

Perhaps one of the best features of this resort is the food. Ms. Ara is by far one of the greatest cooks I have ever seen. Among all the great things we were doing and seeing in Bohol, trying to anticipate what Ms. Ara was going to be making for our next meal was among one of the best features of this trip.

As for activities, Isla Hayahay offers a vast array of great activities and tours. We took a cross island tour to Chocolate Hills, the Tarsier sanctuary and a lunch via river cruise among other things. The best thing is that the tour guide (Nicest guy too) was very adaptable and able to make this private tour the best experience possible. We also went snorkeling and got a chance to take pictures with giant clams and other sea critters. It was amazing.

In short, if you are visiting Bohol and are looking for an alternative to the usual craziness of most modern resorts and hotels, give Isla Hayahay a try. Your stay and the activities are all fairly priced, the staff are as friendly and warm and easygoing as that infamous Philippine "provincial hospitality" would lead you to believe, and most of all the food is amazingly delicious...

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cracky_Bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Absolutely fantastic place to stay,,Very clean,,great food,,very friendly,,My family & I stayed for 3 days and I will go back again,,
Good size bathroom & toilet..

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank 2805joshuavallejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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