Off The Beaten Track Luxury At The Momo Beach House In Bohol
Okay, so a luxury hotel review?
I know, I can hear you asking, what has a luxury hotel review got to do with Travel Tramp’s usual exploits? Where are the war zones here, how is a beach house even remotely related to off the beaten track travel?
Well readers, bare with me, because this is the first time – and perhaps the only time, who knows?!! – that I’ve ever dedicated an entire article to what is essentially a hotel review. And that’s because, well, The Momo Beach House in Bohol in the Philippines is so far the only luxury hotel worthy of being described as off the beaten track that I have ever had the pleasure to visit.
So that, readers, is why the Momo gets pride of place on the Travel Tramp blog today.
Off The Beaten Track Luxury At The Momo
I was invited to stay at the Momo Beach House in Bohol during my last trip around Palawan and Mindanao, and with Bohol being just a short ferry ride away from Camiguin Island where I was exploring beforehand, I thought why not give it a try?
I’ll be honest, I gave it a try because for one, it’s a luxury beach resort. Who out there would really turn that down? And two, because the Momo is slightly unusual for a Bohol resort. It’s luxury, but as you will see, it’s off the beaten track luxury.
That sounds like new travel speak that I just made up – off the beaten track luxury, what does that really even mean?! – but really nothing else describes the setting and vibe of the Momo more than this.
Let me show you why.
Rustic, rural yet luxurious
I was picked up by the Momo inTagbilaran, the largest city on Bohol and I was looking forward to a few days relaxing on the beach and a whole lot of nothing after an eye opening but exhausting week in Mindanao – I know, the life of a travel writer is a terribly tiring one isn’t it?
The Momo Beach House is found on Panglao Island, which I’ll be quite honest is one of the most visited and indeed busiest areas in Bohol, being just a short ride away from Tagbilaran and being rather spectacular. The majority of tourist resorts and hotels however, are centred at Alona Beach, but the Momo is far away from any of this. In fact, it might as well be on its own island it’s that secluded.
The van took me away from the main road and along a nondescript, sand and gravel path. I was driven along the slightly bumpy and completely rural road to the Momo, past small farms, a few village houses and even the odd water buffalo.
It was not the entrance I was expecting to lead to a luxurious, high end beach resort. But, that’s precisely why I loved it.
The Momo is rustic, rural and located completely off the beaten track.
Literally off the beaten track in fact.
“Welcome Home, Sir Richard!”
“Welcome home, Sir Richard!” The staff literally queued up to welcome me into the Momo Beach House, and to welcome me home – so their little catch phrase goes.
That”s their thing, to make you feel as at home as possible, and while being in the southern Philippines on the edge of a white sand beach is as far away from home as it’s possible for an Englishman to get, actually the sentiment is rather nice, and although of course it’s wasn’t home -rather, a much warmer, more welcoming version of home – it was certainly the welcome retreat to isolation I’d been looking for .
The room echoed that same homely theme too with an extravagant towel creation again welcoming me into the Momo Beach House. As far as a beach side luxury hotel goes the room was of course great. The WiFi even worked, which anyone who has ever visited the Philippines will understand is indeed the height of luxury.
The real attraction of the Momo though is not the rooms – they are flawless, as to be expected from a high end resort – no, the real attraction is the setting.
Beach, Pool, Bar
The Momo Beach House faces right out onto the beach. Out to sea, there’s a coral reef just a 100 metres offshore, easily swim-able or there’s even kayaks available to take out on the water for a paddle along the coast.
The beach either side of the Momo is quiet, peaceful and calm. There’s not a whole lot going on nearby and that was just fine by me. The only neighbours are a few fishermen and the odd dive boat that cruises past. The beach isn’t exactly a private beach, but there are so few people here – the Momo only has 16 rooms – that it never exactly gets busy. And it’s so far from anywhere else on Panglao Island that it’s unlikely anyone even knows how to get to the Momo without a lift from the hotel themselves, it’s that out of the way.
Hammocks are strung between the palm trees and by the pool side and it’s easy to simply sit back and wile away the day looking out to sea, ordering the odd gin and tonic or San Miguel from the bar.
Staying at the Momo is a relaxed life, one that feels far away from the busier areas of Bohol. Off the beaten track luxury is really a thing here and I can guarantee that the Momo Beach House is the place to stay in Bohol to escape EVERYTHING.
All Words and Photographs by Richard Collett
Disclaimer: The Momo Beach House in Bohol provided me with a complimentary two night stay, however all opinions are that of the author.