We came to the Philippines to go scuba diving. We didn’t really have anything else on our wish list except to cram in as many dives as we could.
Unfortunately, we didn’t do much research and arrived at the beginning of the rainy season. Wind and rain pounded the popular Alona Beach, drenching tourists and touts alike. Thankfully, once you go underneath the surface of the waves, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or not. That is, as long as the currents aren’t too strong.
Thankfully, the ocean remained calm enough for us to get in a number of dives off Panglao Island, south of Bohol in the Philippines.
We saw an ocean paradise so beautiful it would make Ariel the Little Mermaid wish she’d never longed to be a land-dwelling human.
Our highlight was watching the frog fish thunder across the ocean floor, looking as though they’d walked into a bar to start a fight. You can check out our post from the experience here.
The best way to top off our days of diving was to come home to the comfort of the Hayahay Resort, right on the seafront of Alona Beach. We could retire up to our room, to the comfort of the air-conditioning and quiet, and take a much needed nap after a long morning of diving.
Location of Hayahay
You can’t get a better location on the tourist hotspot beach of Alona than at Hayahay. You literally walk out the hotel’s front door and your feet are on the sand. The hotel’s restaurant stretches along the beach to the water, so that you can dine with one of the best views to be found on Panglao Island.
What we loved the most about the location is that it meant we could sleep in a little longer in the mornings, because the hotel was adjacent to the dive shop. This meant we just had to roll out of bed, get dressed and eat breakfast, and we could walk next door and get ready to dive.
Rooms at Hayahay
The rooms were very comfortable and a good size. The space was large enough to roll out our yoga mats in the mornings and the desk space was helpful for getting some work done.
The extra attention was nice – like the free bottles of water that they place in your room each day, and the notice that says that if you’re unhappy with your blanket you can change it for a better one.
We also liked the ample hanging space outside and inside the room, great places to hang our wet swimming gear after a morning of diving. It really is a dive hotel!
Food at Hayahay
We ordered a breakfast and it was huge, the perfect way to start your day when you have a lot of diving ahead of you. The hotel also had brown bread, which isn’t always the case for restaurants in the Philippines.
Although the breakfast wasn’t included, the large meal of eggs, baked beans, mango and toast was well-priced.
The view out of the hotel’s window overlooks the water and it’s a lovely place to take your first meal of the day.
We didn’t get a chance to dine at their downstairs restaurant, but it serves up fresh fish daily and the smells coming from their kitchen were enticing.
Other amenities at Hayahay
Hayahay Resort is well-suited to the scuba diving crowd. It has its own dive shop next door, called Genesis, and it gives discounts to divers if you stay in their hotel and dive over a number of days.
We went diving with Genesis and were impressed by their professionalism.
Unfortunately when we stayed at Hayahay the weather wasn’t that great. However, when the sun is shining, you can go up to the roof terrace and sun yourself on their loungers. It’s a nice way to escape the touts on the beach and relax.
What we liked about Hayahay
The location really is unbeatable. You can walk to all the local restaurants and pop next door for a spot of diving.
The service was also great – everyone behind the desk was very polite and willing to help out with all of our requests.
What we didn’t like about Hayahay
Unfortunately, the wifi didn’t work in our room. I think we were too far away from the reception area. However, you could get around this by using your devices in the front desk space.
I know it’s customary for hotels, but you had to pay for a late check out if you wanted to stay later than 1pm. This was a bit of an inconvenience if you were a diver, as often you only returned to shore at 3pm and would love a shower before checking out of your room.
Thank you to the Hayahay Resort for hosting us for one night, and giving us two complimentary dives. As always, our opinions are our own.
What you need to know:
Cost: It costs from AUS$65 for one night at Hayahay Resort. The bathroom is worth it though, I speak for myself, I can really get used to having a bathroom heater like that one!
How to get there: You can get a jeepney from the ferry terminal at Talingay which will take you to Alona Beach. This should cost around seven pesos. If you want to get their faster, get a tricycle to take you. Or you can do what we did and hire a scooter. This is the most effective way to get around the island of Panglao. Although, if you are staying at Hayahay Resort, it’s right in the centre of everything, so you probably won’t need one.
Head to Alona Beach and turn left when you get to the sand. Walk halfway to the end of the stretch of beach and Hayahay Resort is on your left.
Booking: We found the best deals for Hayahay to be listed on Booking.com. If you want to book a dive package with the resort, however, it’s best to contact them via their website.