I’ve been mastering the act of putting work and play at a bracing balance, and been staycationing not to escape life but to build a better and healthy footing to the everyday life I wanted.

Working as a creative, the fast-paced city life can be enervating, and an obvious energizer is to get some rest to replenish insights and motivation. And I just discovered a place where I can relax and revive.

I had a quick overnight stay amidst the well-kept nature reserve in the beautiful North Zen Villas, Panglao, Bohol. Ain’t it a warm welcome when you are greeted with a smile and a fresh glass of ice cold Pandan juice? Thanks, Alma!

With only 21 rooms and villas in the property, the resort still feels exclusive even fully booked. My accommodation was at a Zen Deluxe, which was by the mangrove garden. The tub would be my personal favorite. Soaking in warm water will always be calming experience for me.

The resort did not only promise a comfortable stay, but granted a wholistic experience. With their farm-to-table concept, they served the freshest and healthiest plates they can offer. I arrived at the resort past 1pm, and honestly starved. I went to SEADS Restaurant, the resort’s F&B outlet. I ordered the bestselling dimsum set, which was surprisingly a bang for the buck, priced at less than a P1,000 even after tax and service charge. It’s also very rare for resorts to have quinoa on the menu, and I love that they had Quionoa with Veggies! And what’s even better is that it’s priced at less than 200 bucks!

I spent the afternoon swimming, and had a floating refresher spread from the NEST Bar. Had buko, mango cocktail, charcuterie board of cheeses, nuts and sandwiches, fresh garden salad and fruits. Burp!

For dinner, it’s a chef’s surprise – had a whole fried fish with salad and quinoa on the side, and basil drink. And for breakfast, I had the crab omelette. Generous and hearty, their offerings are unique from other resorts in Panglao.

I’d admit, I was finishing deadlines during my stay, and spent the in-betweens walking along the mangrove trail and swimming in the pool. The Nest was still closed during my stay due to some much-needed repairs. Glad to hear that it has opened already. It’s one of the best places to enjoy the Panglao sunset – with a few rounds of aperitif.

It was a short fling with North Zen Villas but the stay was for sure a sweet one. Can’t wait to go back and hang out at The Nest Bar for a sunset chill, and to also try their soothing massages and signature spa treatments for optimal restful and rejuvenating experience.

North Zen Villas is at Brgy. Doljo Panglao Island, Bohol 6340, Philippines. You may contact them through +639 17 304 2300 or +63 38 502 8453. Email is info@northzenvillas.com. For bookings and reservations, visit NORTH ZEN WEBSITE.

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