Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hof Gorei

October 25, 2009. Great Service. Great Food. Great Views. That's how I describe Hof Gorei Resort in Kaputian, Samal.

It's a 45-minute boat ride from Sta. Ana Wharf, Davao. Our pick-up time is at 11am. You should make your reservation with the resort at +63-082-2860238 or +63-0918-6096966 ahead of time, and you choose your pick-up time either at 11am or 3pm, if you will be staying overnight. While at the resort, we were able to inquire that they also allow Day Tour at the rate of P950.00 per person, and you may also opt to be picked-up at 8:00am so that day tour guests can stay longer in the resort.

While on board the boat, we were able to pass by Malipano Island and later on noticed that Hof Gorei is in the neighboring stretch of Pearl Farm Beach Resort. Their "makeshift port" is quite an adventure, it's my first time to walk along floating planks of wood, but the view of a much larger and concrete port is already being constructed nearby.

There's always a surprise at the Hof Gorei Beach Resort. The moment you alight from the boat, resort staff would greet you with a cool face towel for you to freshen up. Hahaha! Believe me, I didn't know what I would do to that face towel at first. I thought the staff was serving food. Hahaha!

As you enter the resort, you will again be greeted by another set of resort staff at their bar where a glass of cold, fresh fruit juice awaits you. It was melon juice for us that time, truly refreshing! You will then be introduced to your hmmm, shall I call it valet? It's your own personal assistant, tour guide, waiter, everything. I actually would want to hire someone in real life, not just on vacation-mode. Our valet is Ate Ging-ging, and she's such a pro at what she's doing. I have never received such kind of great service at any other resort I've been to.

We stayed at one of the resort's Roundhuts. It's like a modern treehouse, located at the higher grounds of the resort. I like the architecture, it's mostly wood, and nicely decorated. The room is almost complete in itself, you can make your own coffee/tea, you have your own mini bar and refrigerator, and they even provided umbrellas for their guests. Hahaha! And the color of the umbrella is the same as that of the curtains. Nalingaw jud ko!

It's time to tour the resort.

First stop: Jacuzzi. The jacuzzi is located at the resort's highest peak. You have to walk 230 steps up to reach it. It's super super cold up there, but it would give you a very good view of the Davao Gulf, Mt. Apo, and the neighboring resorts. Simply amazing!

Second stop: The Beach. Hmmm, Cali is disappointed with the beach. Me too. I expect Samal to have the best beaches Davao has to offer. But this time, it seems that the resort is not much inclined into developing their stretch of beach. It's not as good as that of Chemas and Isla Reta. Anyway, there are other resort facilities to check...

Third stop: Swimming pool. I expected the swimming pool to be as cold as the jacuzzi, but it isn't. Ate Ging-ging said that their pool is equipped with a water heater system. It's a plus! So, forget about the beach, and better lounge and stay at their swimming pool. They even have a poolside bar! Wow!

Fourth Stop: Al fresco restaurant. It's dinner time! The resort surprised us with a candlelit dinner for two, how romantic! And the restaurant is located on higher ground, there's a scenic view of the sea while you dine. They have a delectable menu where you could choose a variety of dishes, some of them I could not even pronounce, hahaha! Their food is a bit pricey, plus they bill an additional 10% service charge. You won't feel robbed for the taste and service, though.

It's time to go back to the roundhut and have a good night sleep. Oh wait, before I forget, do you know that "Hof" means Farm? While touring the resort, expect to see lots of animals: ducks, different kinds of birds, monitor lizard, monkey, snakes, geese, etc...

Rise and shine! It's breakfast time! The breakfast is included in our package. We dined at the al fresco restaurant, but guests may also opt to dine at their cottages. So, what's for breakfast? There was coffee or tea, at your own choice. Then you can choose between the continental breakfast, filipino breakfast, pancakes, or fresh fruits, all served to perfection. I loved my filipino breakfast while Cali enjoyed his pancakes so much and he got intrigued with the strawberry marmalade, hahaha! And there's a fruit juice to end your meal. Yum!


Day Tour: Php 950.00 per person
Overnight Room Accommodation: Php2,500 to Php4,000 per room (good for two)
Food: Php200 to P700 per person/meal
Drinks: Php50.00 to Php200.00

You may also opt to avail of their Samal Island Tour Package at an additional rate of Php950.00 per person. They would take you to Hamigit Falls, Maxima Aqua Fun, and Bat Cave

For more information, visit their website at

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Isla Reta

Isla Reta is another one of the resorts lined in Talicud, Samal. Our stay was short and "bitin" (for lack of a better word)... It was mainly because the boat (Pacific) left Davao City at around 10:30am and arrived in Isla Reta at almost 12 noon. Travel time through ferry from Davao to Talicud is approximately 1 hour and 20 mins. The earliest ferry leaves Davao at 9am (but poor unfortunate souls as we are, the Isla Reta Ferry did not have trips that day for reasons I do not know). The Pacific Ferry is the next boat for Talicud Island which is scheduled to leave Davao at 10am. The last trip from Talicud to Davao, by the way, is at 3pm! So, from the preliminaries I've laid, you can sense how furious I must have been to arrive at the resort at almost 12 noon and leave the same in as early as 3pm! It's my fault anyway, because I refused to stay at the resort overnight (I have work the following morning!).

Well anyway, 12 noon is NOT the perfect time to arrive at any resort: the sun is at its peak and it's the hottest time of the day, and its' usually LOW TIDE (the sea is knee-deep). Fortunately, Isla Reta has a little restaurant that offers Native Chicken (cooked any way you like it: adobo, barbeque, etc). So, we had barbequed chicken, and OMG, it did satisfy our palate! Truly, finger-lickin' good! (It has beaten KFC with that!) Good thing the food is good, though native chicken is the only food on their menu! Hahaha! You can bring food though, but the resort charges corkage fees for softdrinks.

I really don't have anything more to say because I only stayed there for 3 hours. Yes, I did enjoy my stay but its still "kulang." I hope someday, there would be more trips going to and from Talicud, like as early as 6am and as late as 5pm so that we can truly enjoy our day tour.


Ferry: P60.00 to P70.00 / person/one way
Cottage: P150.00 Day Tour; P700.00 to P800.00 Overnight Cottages
Entrace Fee: P75.00 per person (adult); Kids at P35.00
Food: Approximately P150.00 per meal

Monday, June 01, 2009

Chemas by the Sea

May 29, 2009 - Cali and I went to Chemas located at Island Garden City of Samal. Yes, its the same resort along Samal's beachline resorts such as BlueJaz, Paradise, Bluewaters, and the list goes on.

What's nice about Chemas is that it is semi-private. They don't accept walk-in clients so you better make your reservation if you're planning to go there. You don't have to worry about it being overcrowded. Corkage fees apply except for chips and water. But you don't have to worry because they have a restaurant that offers sumptuous meals.

The Beach. Normally, you would compare different resorts in the same beachline by the facilities and services they have since these resorts naturally share the same beach! But Chemas is different, it not only boasts its facilities and services, I've noticed too that their beach is absolutely safe! No corals!
The Pool. The saltwater infinity pool is a plus, too! It's shaded so you can enjoy swimming minus the sunburn. Unfortunately, I think that the pool is designed for adults only, its depth being too deep for kids.

So, if you want to have a serene summer beach getaway, go to Chemas!

Contact Numbers:
(082) 303-0235

Rates (these are as of May 29, 2009):
Boat transfer from Waterfront Pirata Bar - P200.00/trip
Entrance Fee - P125.00/person
Cottage Day Tour - P500.00/ 4 persons
Cottage Overnight - P4,200.00/ good for 4

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Victoria's Secret Swim Wear

I wish I have these for my summer beach outing! Hahahaha! Clicking on the images would bring you to the swimwear description and the Victoria's Secret website.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Dahican 2008

If somebody would ask me about my most unforgettable childhood memory, I would definitely say “Dahican.”

Dahican is a virgin stretch of beach along Mati, Davao Oriental. When I was young, our summer days are never complete without a visit to this magnificent beach. It was until I was in highschool that we stopped going to Dahican. I missed Dahican's tiny pebbles and huge waves that used to thrive my summer days.

December 30, 2008, a day after my 24th birthday, we went to Mati to pay a visit to our grannies and relatives. We didn't expect that we'd be going to Dahican on that very same day. I'd describe it as an anticipated surprise, anticipated because we really look forward to going to Dahican whenever we visit Mati, but it still remained as a surprise because for all we know, dad did not schedule a beach outing, we didn't even bring swimming gears that time!

Dad, Mom, ate Christine, Dani, April, Jun2, Grace, and I, we were all very happy to see that magnificent beach. We were all smiling as we trekked the narrow road in goi

ng to the beach. The beach did not change that much, it was still the same as what I've imagined through the years. No formal cottages, gigantic waves, that piece of paradise that gave me my biggest smiles when I was young.

It was not Boracay, not even Samal, it's not highly advertised, but it gave me the simplest but most satisfying joy that I could ever have. My family, complete and happy, in this li'l piece of paradise. I love Dahican! (--,)