Islands and Beaches

Mindanao’s Top 3 Posh Resorts

Zamboanga del Norte

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Ida Damo | Sep 03, 2018

When my editor asked me to do a list of posh resorts in Mindanao, 3 resorts immediately popped into my mind--- Pearl Farm, Island Buenavista, and Villa Angelina Luxury Suites Dakak.

I immediately sent them letters if I could feature them and scheduled the shoots with them.  They were all very accommodating and so the road to luxury was paved for me.

1.    Island Buenavista

Photo by Olan Emboscado

Island Buenavista is a beachgoer’s nirvana.  You get to experience owning an island and have the exclusive use of the island and its facilities for a day or the days that you have rented it.  

What does that mean?  Since it is an island sanctuary, you are surrounded by clean and clear turquoise water over white sand beach.

Rich marine life is teeming in its water and so you can have a feast looking at the colorful fishes, corals, and other sea creatures.

Lush trees shade you from the harsh sun while drinking cold fresh drinks.  The food is a buffet of grilled delights, fresh vegetables, and fruits. The kitchen staff has you in mind and all you have to do is eat, drink, and laze away.

Your living units are cabanas and villas that have air conditioning units to keep the temperature cool.  Beds are big and comfortable.  The open cabanas let in the sea breeze freely.

If you do not fancy the sea, there’s a temperature-controlled swimming pool to wade in.

Whatever you choose to do in the island is your choice.  You are king or queen of the island.  Just do not harm the environment, okay?

Rate: PhP155,000/day inclusive of boat transfers, meals, use of the facilities for 10 people (as of May 2018)

READ: Live The Good Life At One Of Mindanao’s Exclusive Resorts: The Island Buenavista


How to get there:
Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu.
Book your reservations for The Island Buenavista at (082) 299-2992 or 0932-328 6003 so that they can make arrangements for you to be picked-up from the airport upon your arrival.
The Island Buenavista dock is located at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in lanang, Davao City.

2.    Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Pearl Farm Beach Resort is truly Mindanao’s tourism gem.  Its service is something that other resorts should learn from: warm, welcoming, and first class.

From the moment you alight from their boat to their iconic Parola Bar, you get a taste of Mindanaoan food and hospitality with their welcome drinks and smiling staff.  Everyone has your comfort in mind.

Mindanaoan architecture surrounds you amidst the laid-back island vibe. It is a flowing theme from the parola bar, to the front desk, to the houses on stilts, the spa, and the comfortable bedrooms.

Even your headboards and your bed linens are works of art from Mindanaoan woven fabrics.

The restaurant’s Maranao tabu or drums are beautiful backdrops to buffets of food of different cuisines and satisfy your needs.

If you stay at the Samal Houses on stilts or the Samal Villas, you have an uninterrupted view of the deep blue sea and the blue sky from your terraces.  The gentle lapping of the sea would lull you to sleep or entice you to take a dip at the designated beach swimming areas. Mind you, the sea surrounding Pearl Farm is a marine sanctuary.  

You can swim in the sea or at the infinity pool in front of the restaurant or at the pool near the Mandaya houses.  Wherever you prefer, the water is everywhere.

If you stay at the houses in the middle of the forest, you wake up to green trees, the chirping of the birds, and a glimpse of the sea.

Malipano Island is part of the Pearl Farm experience.  You can bask in the sun while swimming in the island’s white beach or just stroll under the tall coconut palms.

Watch the sun go down while having drinks at the beach or at the restaurant and retire to comfortable rooms to welcome yet another beautiful day at Pearl Farm.

READ: Bask In Beauty And Bliss At The Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Rate: PhP9,900-PhP50,000 (as of June 2018)


How to get there:
Major airlines have daily flights to Davao from Manila and Cebu.
From Davao Airport, take a taxi to Pearl Farm Marina in Lanang.  
Pearl Farm is just a 45-minute boat ride from the marina.
Book your stay at the Pearl Farm at www.pearlfarmresort.com.   

3.    Villa Angelina Luxury Suites

Dakak has always been a favorite because of its private cove, the very comfortable rooms, the good food at its Bamboo Restaurant, the spectacular sunsets from the shore, and the very accommodating staff.

I kept abreast of the development of its luxury accommodation through the years.  Finally when it was ready for occupation and I was invited to try it, Martial Law in Mindanao was declared.  And so

I had to wait a whole year before I could finally savor Villa Angelina Luxury Suites.

From the moment they met me at the airport I was already chattering because I was so excited.  When the van veered off from the usual entrance to Dakak, the staff told me that Villa Angelina has its own road.

And yes, it was as I have been told it would be.  The Cliffside villas has subdued class, breath taking views, luxurious rooms, and butler service.

You start your mornings with a warm jacuzzi soak right at your own terrace while listening to the chirping of the birds or the rushing of the sea to the shore.

Or have a relaxing rain shower in your bath room that has its own garden.

If you fancy a game of golf in the early morning, the Dakak Golf Club has a Greg Norman-designed golf course that has an amazing 8th hole teebox.

After a game, their Spa is guaranteed to melt all your stress away.  The four hands massage is two-thumbs up! The spa looks over a private beach that has a manmade waterfall where you can be pampered with a sunset massage from their spa.

If you prefer fresh water, an infinity pool looks over a cliff that has spectacular views of Dapitan Bay.

As if that is not enough, take a sunset cruise over Dapitan and Taguilon Bay and bask in the warm setting sun’s rays while enjoying drinks and pica-pica.

Luxury is indeed Villa Angelina’s second name.

READ: Appreciate The Fine Things In Life at Villa Angelina Luxury Suites

Rate: As of June 2018, Cliffside Villas PhP18,000 inclusive of overnight room accommodation for two (2), breakfast, Gloria Fantasyland tickets, and round trip resort transfers.
Signature Four Arms Whole Body Massage PhP2,500 for an hour.
Day Tour is PhP1,500.


How to get there:
Major airlines (PAL and CebPac) fly daily to Dipolog City from Manila and from Cebu (CebPac).
From the airport, Villa Angelina Luxury Suites Dakak transfers guests to the resort in Taguilon, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.  Contact 0915-318-5238
As of June 2018, Cliffside Villas PhP18,000 inclusive of overnight room accommodation for two (2), breakfast, Gloria Fantasyland tickets, and round trip resort transfers.
Signature Four Arms Whole Body Massage PhP2,500 for an hour.
Day Tour is PhP1,500.

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