Sunday, 3 March 2019

Spa Review: Alon Spa (Bacau Bay Resort Coron, Palawan)

Alon Spa

One of the highlights of my 4-day, 3-night stay in Bacau Bay Resort Coron was my relaxing spa treatment at the 32 sq. m. Alon Spa.  

Located just above the Amihan Restaurant, it has two massage rooms but you can also have your massage at the comfort of your room or in one of five outdoor massage cabanas.    

As with most spas, I was first asked to fill up a questionnaire regarding some personal medical history in order to avoid any problems with my treatment as some products are quite specific and prescriptive.  Answers also allow their therapists to target my specific conditions, tailor my treatment and ensure they are aware of any contra-indications before starting.

One of two Massage Rooms

The spa offers a variety of massages as well as head massages and body scrubs (to slough away dull, dry skin). 
·         Alon Signature Massage –PhP1,400 for 1.5 hours and PhP2,000 for 2 hours.
·         Volcanic Rock Massage – uses hot and cold volcanic rocks to help relieve stress, promote deep relaxation and remove negative energy.  PhP1,400 for 1.5 hours and PhP2,000 for 2 hours.
·         Traditional "Hilot" Massage – used for generations to ease strained and tight muscles, it uses banana leaves and warm virgin coconut oil to heal the aches and pains of the body.  PhP1,400 for 1.5 hours and PhP2,000 for 2 hours.
·         Swedish Massage - - the most relaxing massage, it uses gentle strokes and various pressure techniques (gliding, kneading, tapping, friction and light shaking) to relieve stress, stiffness and pain, rehabilitate injured muscles and improve the immune system. PhP800 for 1 hour, PhP1,200 for 1.5 hours and PhP1,600 for 2 hours.
·         Shiatsu Massage – Japanese for “finger pressure,” it is best for people suffering from fatigue.  Rhythmic pressure is applied on the acupressure points to relieve blockage, restoring chi (the body’s vital energy). PhP800 for 1 hour, PhP1,200 for 1.5 hours and PhP1,600 for 2 hours.
·         Thai Massage – also known as Thai Yoga massage, your body is compressed, pulled and stretched to correct blockages, deficiencies and imbalances in the flow of energy.  Here, the therapist uses her hands, knees and legs to move you into a series of yoga-like strectches and apply deep muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure.  PhP1,300 for 1 hour and PhP1,700 for 1.5 hours.
·         Combination Massage -  a combination of Swedish and Shiatsu massage techniques to trigger your acupressure joints, it relieves all tension and knots in your muscles.  PhP800 for 1 hour, PhP1,200 for 1.5 hours and PhP1,600 for 2 hours.
·         Ayurvedic Head Massage – originating from Indian culture, this massage, with the help of almond oil, increases oxygen flow in the head; and helps release accumulated toxins,; relieves migraine pain, neck and shoulder stiffness and problematic knots in the muscles.  PhP800 for 1 hour.
·         Oriental Food Massage –PhP800 for 1 hour.
·         Thai Foot Massage – a stick is used to stimulate the accupressure points.  While your feet is soaked, the head and shoulders are also massaged.  PhP800 for 1 hour.
·         Sea Salt – exfoliates dead and dry skin; replenish and renew skin cells and improve blood circulation. PhP900 for 1 hour.
·         Hot Chocolate or Sugar -  this light exfoliating, moisturizing and hydrating scrub meant for people with sensitive skin.  P1,100 for 1 hour.
·         Coffee – best for reducing cellulite, impurities and improving blood circulation, the coffee’s aroma and antioxidant properties help makes the skin younger and smoother. PhP1,200 for 1 hour.  

The choice of massage oils

I opted for the Alon Signature Massage, the most rejuvenating of their various offers.  But, before anything else, I was made to choose between Lavender Oil (anti-inflammatory, it treats anxiety, insomnia, depression and restlessness), Lemon Grass Oil (soothes aching muscles and tendons; purifies and tones skin and releases negative energy) and Peppermint Oil (helps digestion and respiration and relieves headache, stress and sore muscles).  I chose the first.

Oriental Foot Massage

Before my massage, I had an Oriental Foot Massage.  My feet were soaked and my calves were massaged, with pressure applied to stimulate the nerve reflexes to promote good blood circulation.    The Alon Signature Massage is a combination of spa techniques (Thai, Ayurveda, Shiatsu and Swedish).  As my muscle still ached from the previous day’s island hopping activity, this massage did wonders to rejuvenate my body, leaving me invigorated and in an uplifted mood.

Alon Signature Massage

Bacau Bay Resort Coron: Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5, Coron 5316, Palawan.  Mobile numbers: (0995) 760-3444 and (0995) 760-3445. E-mail:    Website: Open from 11 AM to 12 midnight (last call at 10 PM).

Manila Sales & Marketing Office: Anya Hospitality Corporation, 5/F Pilgrim Building, 111 Aguirre St., Legazpi Village, Makati City 1229, Metro Manila.  Tel: +63-553 8888 loc. 34-36.  Fax: +632 874-0426.  E-mail:

Friday, 1 March 2019

Resort Review:: Bacau Bay Resort Coron (Palawan)

Date of Stay: March 1- 4, 2019

RATING (Scale of 1 to 10)
Location: *******
Rooms: ********
Condition and Cleanliness: ********
Staff Performance: ********
Room Comfort: ********
Food and Beverage: ********
Other Amenities: *********
Value for Money: ********

Bacau Bay Resort

This 4-star, 1.5-hectare resort, opened last March 23, 2019, is managed by Anya Hospitality Group,  the same company which manages Anya Resort Tagaytay in Cavite and Club Punta Fuego (a premier membership leisure club and residential resort), Terrazas de Punta Fuego, Aquaria Water Park, Crusoe Cabins and Amara Residences, all in Batangas, and 5 franchises of Go Hotels. 

One of the resort's building clusters

The resort was so named after the bakawan, the local name for mangroves. And rightfully so as mangroves line the resort's private port.  Palawan is home to 42,500 hectares of mangrove forests and 90% of the known mangrove species that is found in the country. 

Upon arrival at the resort, we were ushered into a Zen-inspired resort lobby and reception area which also, on the other end, opens into a vista of swimming pools, fountains, walkways and a sprawling garden planted to banaba, pepper, mulawin, duhat, cashew and acacia trees plus bougainvillas and bamboo trees, all surrounded by clusters of buildings housing the resort's 80 non-smoking rooms.   

The Zen-inspired resort lobby

The 32 sq. m. Deluxe Rooms (64 units) has two queen-size beds while the 47 sq. m. Premier Suites (15 units) has one king-size bed. Both have balconies.

The 144 sq. m. Presidential Suite, which can accommodate 4 persons (ideal for a family or group), has a living room and 2 bedrooms - a master bedroom with king-size bed and a sitting area and second bedroom with a queen-size bed.

De Luxe Room
De Luxe Room

Each airconditioned room, elegantly designed in the Minimalist style, has a flat-screen, 32" LED cable TV, phone, digital alarm clock with Bluetooth speaker, minibar, safety deposit box, writing desk, turndown service, espresso machine, balcony/terrace and complimentary drinking water.  

Its private ensuite bathroom has a rainshower head, bidet, hair dryer with free toiletries, dental and vanity kit. Bathrobes and slippers are also provided. Free wi-fi is offered in the room as well as in public areas.  Hung along the walls of the rooms as well as other areas in the resort are paintings by Anton Cunanan. 

Premier Suite
Living Room at Premier Suite
Presidential Suite

Bacau Bay Baby Back Ribs
Dessert Station
The airconditioned, 80 to 100-pax  Amihan Restaurant,with its rattan-lined coffered ceiling, offers indoor (80-pax) and al fresco (50-pax) outdoor dining (with patio umbrellas) of buffet and a la carte local and international dishes. Breakfast is served from 6 – 10 AM (last call at 9:30 AM), lunch from 12 noon to 3 PM (last call at 2:30 PM) and dinner from 6 – 10 PM (last call at 9:30 PM).  Morning snacks are offered from 10 AM to 12 noon and afternoon snacks from 3 to 6 PM.

Amihan Restaurant
Al fresco dining area - Amihan Restaurant

Hammock underneath a tree
The building we stayed in
There three outdoor swimming pools, open from 6 AM to 10 PM, all with varying depths.  The round children's swimming pool has a 2 ft. depth ideal for kids.  

A similarly rounded swimming pool, beside it, has a 7 ft. depth ideal for introductory dive sessions. The free-form swimming pool, the largest of the three, has a 4 ft. depth ideal for adults. All are surrounded by sun loungers shaded by patio umbrellas. Nearby is the Isla poolside bar (open 8 AM – 11 PM).

The resort's three swimming pools
The poolside Isla Bar

Recreation Information
Passenger Golf
Strategically located along the walkways are 3-person metal outdoor swings with canopies while near the buildings, underneath trees, are free-standing hammocks. 

The 24-hour fitness center is equipped with Matrix gym equipment - two stationary bicycles, one treadmill, weights (in pounds) and TRX suspension trainers. 

The recreation information center, open 6 AM – 10 PM, books van transportation and island hopping tours (including exclusive day tour, including meals and water sports activities, to Malcapuya Island) for guests.  It also has a small boutique with souvenir items. 

Fitness Gym

The 32 sq. m. Alon Spa, open from 11 AM to 12 midnight (last call at 10 PM), has two massage rooms.  It offers volcanic rock massage, traditional "hilot" massage, Swedish massage, Shiatsu massage, Thai massage and Combination massage as well as head massages and body scrubs. 

Alon Spa

The 151.55 sq. m. Culion Ballroom, with its coffered rattan-lined ceiling, can accommodate 80 persons, depending on the setup, while the 46.46 sq. m. Malcapuya meeting room can accommodate 50 persons, also depending on the setup.  Other resort facilities include a 24-hour Front Desk, a dive shop; a 24-hour business center; and a pavilion. 

Malcapuya Meeting Room

Lounge area at the end of
the private port
Walking along the 200 m.
length of the pier
The resort is one of few resorts in the area that has their own exclusive private pier. About 200 m. long, it is used for island hopping and diving adventures.  

Slung along the sides of the boardwalk are four sturdy rope hammocks, two for watching the sun set and the other for the sun rise.   

The exclusive private port
The author relaxing on the rope hammock slung at the side of the pier.  Great for watching the setting sun

The resort's motorized outrigger 
boat and bamboo rafts 
Kayaking along the resort's
The resort has two speedboats as well as a 14-pax motorized outrigger boat.  

From here, you can board any of the resort's three  bamboo rafts with picnic table and benches where you can dine al fresco or do kayaking and stand up paddle boarding among the mangroves or out at sea.

One of the resort's two speedboats

Kiddie Activity Center
Sand Lot
Aside from the kiddie pool, children can spend time at the Kiddie Activity Center. Open 6 AM - 10 PM, it has interlocking soft tile flooring, colorful kiddie desks and chairs and offers lots of board games such as Classic Jenga, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, Chess, UNO, Aim Game, Euler's Disk, 4 In A Row and Scrabble as well as train sets and badminton and table tennis gear. 

The sprawling garden of the resort

The resort also offers concierge, luggage storage, laundry, airport transfers, water sports (kayaking, paddle boards), daily housekeeping and room service (7 – 10 PM, last call at 9:30 PM).

The resort at night
The resort's management and staff

Bacau Bay Resort is located 2 kms. from the National Highway, a 16.9 kms. (30-45-min. drive) from Francisco B. Reyes Airport, 100.7 kms. from San Jose Airport and 2.5 kms. (a 5-min. drive) from the Coron town proper.  It is also 780 m. from Coron District Hospital, 940 m. from the Coron Shopping Building, 1.02 km. from Coron Fishport, 1.8 km. from Mt. Tapyas View Deck, 1.12 km. from the Municipal Hall and 7 kms. from Twin Lagoon.

L-R: Ms. Armina O. Mangune (Anya Hospitality Marketing & Communications Manager), Mr. Feliciano Rodriguez III, the author, Ms. Leica Dacuycuy, Mr. Pete Dacuycuy,  Ms. Sara Grace
and Ms. Via Marie Claire Baroma

Bacau Bay Resort Coron: Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5, Coron 5316, Palawan.  Mobile numbers: (0995) 760-3444 and (0995) 760-3445. E-mail:   Website:

Manila Sales & Marketing Office: Anya Hospitality Corporation, 5/F Pilgrim Building, 111 Aguirre St., Legazpi Village, Makati City 1229, Metro Manila.  Tel: +63-553 8888 loc. 34-36.  Fax: +632 874-0426.  E-mail:  Website: