If you are planning a quiet tropical getaway, the Island Garden City of Samal in the Southern Philippines is a great destination for sun, sea, sand, diving and island hopping. Easily accessible from Davao City, the island offers holiday makers a relaxing break in a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether for a longer break or a nice relaxing day out, the island has you covered.
Adding to my previous blog of my favourite day trips in Samal Island, I’m definitely adding Club Samal Resort, a modern hideaway nestled in Caliclic, Samal Island. We availed their day tour package which includes return boat transfers from Davao City to the resort, entrance fee, use of swimming pool, showers, towels and lunch.
Our package tour began at the Garden by the Bay wharf for the 10 am transfer to the resort. It was a short comfortable trip of around 20 mins, just basically crossing the waters of Davao Gulf to the other side. When we arrived we were greeted at the landing point and ushered to the main lobby where we formally checked in. Cold drinks were served while we were waiting for meal vouchers and pool towels.
The lobby is on the second floor which is also the main entrance if you arrive by car. Views of the resort from this point are quite sublime, it’s airy, relaxing with lots of natural light. At the entrance guards thoroughly inspect every guest’s luggage for security reasons. If you are not familiar with or have not visited the Philippines, it’s a standard practice to be checked whenever you enter a main building, like hotels and shopping malls.
The complex is composed of a three story building with a warm white palette, it has a restaurant, bar, private beach, oversized pool and function room. Swimming pool area leads down to the private beach which is spacious and lined with tropical touches. Nice sun lounges matched with contemporary umbrella shades complete the scene.
A few paddles in the water and sun soaking, it’s time for lunch. Day trip menu selections were mostly Filipino dishes. Five set dishes were on offer: Chicken Piccata Milanese, Chicken Ala Pobre with rice, Inihaw na Liempo (grilled pork belly) with rice, Bangus (milkfish) with rice and Tuna Salpicado. We opted to have our meal in the bar area instead of going up to the restaurant upstairs. We also ordered beers which we paid for separately to go with our lunch.
After lunch, I moved onto the white powdery beach area. As I sat, I could see glimpses of Davao city, its high rise buildings and a couple of cargo ships entering the main port area of Davao. Beach beds were comfy and coconut trees provide shade from the sun. There was a slight breeze, very conducive for an afternoon nap, so relaxing!
Sweet tooth cravings hit at the three o’clock mark, it’s merienda time! Time to try their halo-halo, a favourite Filipino dessert or in between pick me up. It’s a concoction of crushed ice, various ingredients like ube (purple yam), sweetened beans, coconut, kaong (sweet palm fruit) with added evaporated milk and topped with ice cream. I must say their halo halo version hits the spot! We caught the 4:45 PM boat transfer back to Garden by the Bay wharf where we parked our car.
Although we didn’t stay overnight, I was able to take a photo of one of the ground floor rooms. It looks promising!
For rates and promos, please visit Club Samal Resort website, they do change from time to time. Current Golden Months Promo photo grabbed from their site as per below. Conversion rate: 1 US$ = 52.00 Philippine Peso / 1 AUD$ = 35.00 Philippine Peso. Our day package that we availed was 800 PHP per person.
How to get there:
Francis Bangoy International Airpot – Davao City is operated by the following airlines: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, PAL Express, Philippine Air Asia, AirAsia, SilkAir, SkyJet and Qatar Airways. You can reach by a direct flight from Manila or from any major airports in the Philippines along with few international flights. You can pre-arrange with your hotel/resort for a transfer from the airport or catch a taxi to the nearest port for a boat transfer to Samal Island.