SUMMER is almost gone but the highlights of the happy season is still vivid in my mind. The interlude at BE Grand Resort in Panglao, Bohol, tops it all! I am completely besotted by the resort owned and managed by the Cebu-based property developer Enrison Land Inc. of Honorary Belgian Consul Enrique Benedicto and wife Helena. Eldest son Grand, honorary consul of Romania, sits as the hands-on president.
For starters, the resort is artistically designed with beautifully landscaped gardens. And then there are the meandering pools around luxurious/spacious villas with airy patios; well-appointed guests rooms in a five-storey pavillion crowned by a breezy roofdeck overlooking the entire complex; a dive pool and a dive shop; a well-equipped gym and relaxing spa services... the list goes on. From the lobby (with eye-catching furniture) to the room furnishings, to the artworks on display (many of them by SunStar’s Ruel Rosillo), one could feel the five-star ambience.
One other factor that made us love the place even more was the warmth of people manning the resort led by manager Pearl Lorraine Yang and assistant communications manager Karen Ello. Together with BE area communications manager Ronalaine Sato who graciously escorted us all the way from Cebu, they made a super duper team.
The main reason for our visit was the launching of the updated menu of the Asian Bistro at the resort’s Food Hall. On the frontline were executive chef Mike Mandigma and sous chef Clifford Lee who tweaked familiar comfort food to give them an innovative twist. The duo proudly offered their signature dishes in addition to the array of dishes in the menu which were presented to us for tasting.
Asian Bistro’s signature dishes are Ngohiong rolls (marinated pork blended with five-spice powder, wrapped with bean curd sheets, deep-fried and served with home-made sauce); Bohol seafood bouillabaisse (with peanut butter, veggies and shrimp paste on the side); Peppered prawns (tossed in salt and pepper, five-spice powder, chillies, salted and scrambled eggs, and deep-fried); and the BE Grand halo-halo which was presented in a very unique way. First time I saw my favorite halo-halo with the shaved ice and ice cream inside a coconut shell while the rest of the ingredients (a dozen!) were neatly arranged in spoonfuls surrounding it.
A tour of the classy resort set in 2.9 hectares of land showed us more dining outlets... Bridge & Swim-up Bar (cafe dining by the pools); Monkey Bar (al-fresco dining by the waterfront); The Boathouse which is exclusive to guests of The Villas; and Lune at the roofdeck, the place to be for cocktails from sundown onwards with its sweeping view of the sea and beyond.
BE Grand Resort offers a blissful interlude for honeymooners, families, barkadas and everyone else who wish to savor the good life on a sun-drenched hideaway by the sea.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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