The Peacock Garden getaway

Scored a lovely 3D/2N getaway at The Peacock Garden in Baclayon, Bohol over the long weekend via a DealGrocer promo a couple of months back. (That was actually my first DealGrocer purchase; best impulse buy made EVER. On that site at least. Haha. Maraming salamat guys! Next year ulit!)

Have I mentioned: ALSO A TOTAL STEAL. Here, have a photo:

Needless to say, we were totally not prepared for how totally awesome that place is.

(Cut for even more photos)

Nestled atop a mountain, the Peacock Garden (owned by German Hans Schoof and his Filipina wife Lani) is located in Upper Laya, Baclayon in Bohol, a fifteen-minute drive from the Tagbilaran airport. It's billed as a "luxury boutique resort" -- owing to its location, it certainly isn't a beach-front property, but trust me when I say it doesn't need to be too near the beach to be awesome. Just saying.

We left Manila Saturday morning via AirPhilippines. News of the tropical depression "Egay" kind of kept us on edge, but what the hell, it was actually sunny when we left Naia-3.Thanks, Universe! (Also worth noting: Can you believe it took us roughly four years to actually plan a getaway involving a the two of us and a plane? For serious.)
Signage by the Tagbilaran airport entrance. Indeed, a different world.
Andrea and I have both been to Bohol before on separate occasions -- she's gone to visit Panglao with her family a few times, while I actually trace part of my maternal roots to Bohol, where my grandfather was born, etc. etc., though it's been certainly a while (read: 6 years) since I was last here, and to say that a lot has changed between summer of 2005 and this weekend is an understatement. So upon booking the Peacock Garden for the Rizal long weekend we decided it would just be about chillin' at the place, a little swimming, and probably lots of... reading by the pool. Haha. :)

Anyway. Reached Tagbilaran City a little past 11 a.m. We were afraid it would be rainy -- we got our umbrellas confiscated by airport security haha and were too lazy to check in one of our hand-carried bags -- but alas, Tagbilaran skies were actually pretty clear when we landed. Our DealGrocer coupon included roundtrip airport transfers, and true enough, someone was waiting for us when we got there:
Specifically, someone driving a fucking COASTER. Haha. This photo taken by our lovely new friend Ira, thank you!
We arrived in the resort some fifteen minutes later after driving through the town alongside colorful tricycles and past the famous Baclayon church. It was a little before noon, and check-in wasn't until 1 p.m. and we were starving as expected. Thankfully, the staff was friendly, accommodating and attentive (constantly efficient throughout our stay, I tell you). They greeted us with welcome drinks and offered to serve us lunch by the pool. We were like, "Okay. STARVING PLEASE HURRY." We were ushered from the reception and into the Old Heidelberg restaurant, past its certainly European interiors, and through the garden, and into something totally breathtaking. From, "Okay, starving" we were like, "Oh my God. What is this place?"
Give me liberty, or give me my hands. LOL. Also, to the left of that statue you can actually see Pamilacan Island.
I therefore conclude that no matter how hard we'd researched on the Internet about this place, nothing could have possibly prepared us for this. I mean, SERIOUSLY. I knew just how much I paid for this three-day, two-night stay, and it somehow felt like I was cheating the establishment HAHA.
Look at those, "JACKPOT!"-smiles haha
Shady individuals by the infinity pool

For lunch, we had the "Chef's set" which, for that day, included lentil soup with bacon, pasta and homemade ice cream (spicyyyy). While waiting, they served us bread with nice butter and schmaltz. Also, we met a new friend, Nong, whom we had initially mistaken for a Filipina haha. Turns out she's from Thailand. :)

And yet another shot of us by the pool. We can't get enough, seriously.

During our first afternoon, we swam a bit in the pool -- LOL finally, after taking a million photos. Anyway it is actually bigger than it looks, damn. The adult pool at its deepest point is 5 feet, which is enough to actually drown me haha. And then we had an early dinner (order the Beef Salpicao from their snack menu -- the best we've tasted EVER) before proceeding to the Fontana Aurelia spa for our massage. Thanks love for this treat! :)
Fontana Aurelia Spa -- come early to your appointment so you can use the Jacuzzi! :)
Before I forget -- we were actually ushered into our room after lunch. As unprepared as we were for the lovely landscape outside, we were also totally caught off guard by how even lovelier the room was. Our DealGrocer coupon included the Premier Infinity and Sea View Room - beyond words. Really.

The keys to a different world

View from the outside
Bath robes! I could totally get used to this!
Actually two sinks here
Morning scene from our window

Also somewhere in this photo: A Sharon Cuneta DVD! Haha. It's as if the place did research on me!
View from the inside

With welcome fruit! They sure know how to make guests feel welcome.

Enough reason to stay indoors, actually (which is probably what we would have done, had it been raining.) On Day 2 however, the sun was out and the day was lovely, so Andrea indulged me and let me do this:
Adventure buggy ride! Also known as, The First Time Drea Sits as Passenger to Anything Driven by Me!
More than a rough drive through tough terrain, there's also an eco-tourism lecture about birds and nature courtesy of our guide-mechanic Jeff.

Requisite jumpshot. LOL my face, as always!
Loved how our guide actually knew birds by sound and was actually pretty knowledgeable about the area and its natural resources, like the plants and their uses, etc. Turns out he was a Forestry graduate. Good job Kuya! We drove through the forest, uphill, downhill, etc. Thankfully, only a few spots were muddy and I only got lost once (haha) on the way back and I got confused as to which way to turn. Hehe. The girlfriend says I'm a good driver! That's all that matters! We're getting a buggy to drive us to and from our Makati workplaces! Or maybe not :)

In the afternoon, we swam a little more (sayang naman ang araw haha) and then tried some other dishes from the Old Heidelberg's menu. (Veal cheeks in wine -- still think the Salpicao's better though)
You and me: To Infinity and beyond. <3

Nifty chess set by the entrance of the restaurant. Egyptians vs Romans ahoy! :)

Staff said this means: Enjoy while we are young. Or something. Haha that we'll do!
Left the following morning after a heavy buffet breakfast with our new Thai friend Nong. Rode a van back to the Tagbilaran airport with Ira et al and waited for our 11 a.m. flight back to Manila, also via AirPhilippines.
Until we meet again, Peacock Garden! We sure had a really lovely time.
Notes on this trip: I'm sure you're curious as to how much all this decadence cost us haha -- the DealGrocer coupon cost P10,995 net, which included 3D/2N accommodation at the Premier Infinity and Sea View room, free daily buffet breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers (I checked -- originally P12,500 A NIGHT. Totally a steal on this front). DealGrocer coupon also included P2,000 resort credit for use in the restaurant, the spa and the activities at your discretion. Thank you DealGrocer, lovely weekend well-spent. 

Activities: The 90-minute massage at the Fontana Aurelia Spa was P1,450 per head inclusive of Jacuzzi and steam room use and after-therapy tea. The two-hour adventure buggy trail ride cost P1,750 for two pax, inclusive of guide/mechanic. 

Food at the Old Heidelberg is a bit pricey, but we found the Chef's set (with refillable bread basket, appetizer soup, main course and dessert) to be reasonable at P650/head. Their snack menu items start at P300, while their entrees start at P400, but even then the servings are generous you could split them. (This was where the P2,000 resort credit c/o DealGrocer went haha.)

Airfare via AirPhilippines -- not too discounted considering I booked late (May already) -- roundtrip Manila-Tagbilaran-Manila at P3,600/head already inclusive of taxes and fuel surcharges.

(Andrea's LJ entry on the trip is here. The rest of the photos are on her Facebook.)


  1. Awesome trip!

    But you have to admit, Sharon Cuneta's DVD made it more special. :P

  2. total game changer talaga yung Sharon Cuneta DVD! FTW!