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Reviews (229)
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All reviewsisland hoppingcountryside tourchocolate hillsthe ownertarsier sanctuarystar fishriver cruisecity lifea wonderful staytables and chairsdolphin watchingspacious bathroompeaceful placeamazing foodlow tidehome away from homepangangan island
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Reviewed 28 February 2012

If you are looking for a peaceful, beautiful, relaxing setting for your holiday than you can not get much better than Isla Hayahay. Isla Hayahay is remote and isolated but if you have children who want to snorkel it is right on the beach (although it is not the best beach in The Philippines). It is also a very romantic setting for couples who wish to relax and do not a lot for a few days! Activities centre around watersports but the owners, Paul and Ara offer 3 night deals which include island hopping, the Chocolate Hills and The Philippine Tarsier etc. I would strongly advise booking these with Paul and Ara or else you run the risk of paying triple the price if you do it alone. The food is some of the best we had during our whole trip and the portions are very generous! The rooms are large, clean and fresh and the bathrooms are huge! The staff are incredibly friendly. I am giving this resort a 5 because of the reasons stated above, however, we found it to be slighly too isolated (a slight error in our planning and totally our own fault) and when we told Paul and Ara that we had made a mistake they did everthing they could to help us find our way to Panglao Island (which is where we wanted to be) and didn't charge us for the rest of our booking. Therefore if you are looking for a tranquil getaway you will love Isla Hayahay.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank michellevenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Before I start praising this place I just wanna mention that it is remote and isolated. If you're looking for restaurants and shops - go to Panglao. Isla Hayahay has high western standards and offers total relaxation, really friendly staff and owners, accompanied with a brilliant home restaurant (Pumpkin soup highly recommended). Outside this place you can have a nice walk in the village and even catch a chat with it's super friendly residents. We also took the resort's day trip to see the Chocolate Hills and the Tarsier monkeys which was very nice. You can definitely skip the mini-zoo. The animals are in very small cages and hassled every two seconds and they looks miserable. The Simply Butterflies really worth every penny. Thanks Paul & Ara.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ofir P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Loved the food and staff: Ellen, Emma, Elizabeth, Don-Don, Warren.

Six - eight year old retreat. Quiet, with excellent staff - unobtrusive, attentive, observant, helpful, shy, barefoot, smiling, and cute.

Food is served family style on platters, BYO wine, they will chill it ahead of time. Tell them ahead them what time you would like each meal served. Plenty of Seafood & Filipino dishes, but will accommodate Western palates. Good Coffee. Bar is small.

Good wi-fi, especially close to the main building.

Nice landscaping, mature trees, well-maintained grounds. Big bathrooms with good hot water.

Hayahay beach is not the most beautiful (wear swimming shoes) - no pool either - but the Island Hopping was outstanding and where the swimming fun is, anyway!

Serene Loboc River Cruise is highly recommended for the children singing & dancing at the halfway point.

Wanted to buy a souvenir shirt or something ... don't believe they have any.

Can't wait to come back. Book early as they only have about 9 rooms & have a high occupancy rate. Booking is via a human, the hands-on owner, by email, not a computerized reservation system.

Come here for a quiet vacation in a natural setting, not for nightlife or tourist trappings.

Cash is 6% cheaper: PhP, USD, Euros . No Amex.

Leave a tip at the end - it will be deserved and pooled by all staff.

5 stars for value, staff, food, & excursions.

Rick Schofield
Port Ewen, NY

Room Tip: All rooms are good, clean, & quiet with porches. Rooms but not big, but bathrooms are. Wi-Fi is best near the main building.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank VosneRomanee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

What a delightful small resort... who needs a pool when the water is at your doorstep.
As previous reviewers have mentioned, the gastronomy has to be a highlight... a different dish every meal which could compete with the best gourmet chefs... truly Ara and her team are fantastic..just adorable surroundings... simple , tasteful , adequate , not flash but a huge bathroom.... we were a bit concerned too about our 23 year old daughter who might get bored but not at all ... just enough time to go explore the country with their full one day tour included and the island hopping day was just so pleasant too. We wish we had an extra day .
I would suggest it is not where we would take young children as most people who go there want to get away from all the bigger/more commercial type resorts...We appreciated everything and everybody, even the driver was so friendly. I enjoyed taking walks in the surrounding neighbourhood and the locals were so welcoming as well. A little paradise!.... beware of the roosters though: they don't know they are not supposed to crow at 3.00 am......

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Emeline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2012

HAYAHAY is loosely translated as being in a relaxing / carefree state. My wife, I and surely my little kid (2 yr old) agrees that this is what we experienced on our 5 night stay on the resort.

I was initially worried that we might end up bored given the length of stay (5 nights) and that the resort has only a small beach front to speak of. The worrying fades as the days went by as there are actually lots to explore here and in the whole of Bohol!

Day 1: Rest day
we came from an overnight flight and opted to just stay in the resort
I remember eating Fish soup (sinigang na Maya) and Crabs (in gata) for dinner

Day 2: Island hopping (included in Package C)
- to Look Municipality (Bohol main island) to see the Monkeys in the Mangroves
- to Cabilao island for a beachfront lunch picnic
- 2 snorkeling stops to see different coral formations and of course fishes! (there was a cave within the corals)
- 1 snorkeling stop to see the GIANT clams

Day 3: Country-side tour (included in Package C)
- Chocolate Hills
- Tarsiers
- Loboc River cruise (luch! great food!)
- Baclayon Church

There were additional stops upon our request. These are not part of the itinerary but are along the way anyway
- Exotic Animals (we paid 20php for the entrance)
- Blood Compact site (short stop to take a pic)
- Ship House (short stop to take a pic)
- Souvenir shop (for our shopping and Bohol treats)
- Island City Mall (to draw money and buy dunkin donuts and iced coffee)

Day 4: BFAR & Giant Clam snorkeling (included in Package C)
- went to ride a flatboat to the Bureau of Fisheries and saw some cultured Milk Fish, Abalone and Sea Cucumber
- opted out of the Giant Clam as I saw it in the island hopping trip and wifey and kid do not snorkel anyway
- supposed to go to a nearby resort to enjoy the beach but the little one was satisfied by Isla Hayahay's beach front. The sand was not great but there lots of interesting stuff on the shallow beach front that the kid spent time investigating.

Day 5: Trip to Dumog island (not part of the itinerary paid 1500php)
- Dumog island has 3 strips of sandbar that are only visible on low tides. Check with the guides for the most appropriate time to go there. The island has 2 shelters from the heat of the sun but we were mostly out on the beach and got ourselves cooked! Damn I forgot that sunblock on my back!
- The island is about an hour ride of the banca from the resort so the price of 1500php to charter the banca was well worth it.
- We had the island all to ourselves when we arrived we were joined by local fisherman and another group of tourist in the later part of the day.
- We ordered lunch at the resort and brought it to Dumog island. Our lunch was set-up on the banca as the water was high around lunch time (ankle deep). One of the best lunch experience!
- The fisherman (3 kids that live around the vicinity) were kind enough to give us part of their catch that our guides happily prepared with vinegar and allowed us to eat the fish raw! One of the freshest I had in my life!
- I can say that this is one of the hidden secrets of the resort and I am actually reluctant to share this hehe but you deserve it as you have read my review this far! congrats!

Day 6: We cant believe we are going home!
- I feel like crying but oh well all good things end and Isla Hayahay is always there for the next time.
- If you are taking the ferry, get the Cebu to Tubigon route. I think it is a cheaper and shorter trip. Shorter ferry ride and shorter land trip to the resort.

Pros:
- Value for Money - wondering how they actually make a profit from what we paid for
- Relaxed atmosphere
- Flexibility (detailed below)
- Dedicated staff - cant help but look for the tip box when we were checking out! Special mention to Kuya Warren the driver!
- Great Food! - did not feel hungry on our entire stay! I was not able to prepare for this and the bad part is I gained a few pounds!
- Clean rooms! - they change the bedding and toiletries every day.

Cons:
- The loud sound the service van makes when it passes by our room. The road is made of loose gravel - its a nice touch but the sound of the grave and the wheels has waken me up a few times.
- Food can get repetitive when you are on a long stay. The menu is always there anyway so you can always vary your order.
- Power outages - not the resort's fault but our vacation was lucky enough to have an earthquake and a brewing storm on the same week! Always bring a flashlight!
- The neighboring videoke sound destroys the peace and quiet of the resort. Again not their fault but this has also woken me up a few times.
- Mosquitoes! I think this is due to the vast mangrove area - arm yourself with a repellent.

This one of the first vacations where we truly felt at peace. Where there is nothing to worry about - everything is so flexible:
- where you eat (room/resto/sea-side/etc...)
- what you eat (package meals are usually pre-decided but you can always ask what else is there)
- itinerary (you dont need to be in a hurry to start trips!)
- arrival/departure time
- pick-up / drop-off locations

I seldom write reviews and I reserve reviews usually for complaints but this one was different! Trust me!

Looking at coming back next year with our parents. I am looking forward to get the same reception from the same dedicated team in the resort.

Room Tip: Choose rooms 1 or 2 if you want wifi connectivity on your terrace/balcony.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank Ron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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