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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao: 5-Star Hotel with Beach Front (Lanang Davao City)

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao was our home during our three days and  two nights stay in Davao City.

waterfront insular hotel davao
If you're looking for a solemn refreshing spacious resort hotel type of accommodation in Davao City, this is the best one there is!

waterfront insular hotel davao
The air is so fresh and the landscape garden is well-maintained.  The pathways are wide making it great for morning jogs.  At night, some parts are not well-lit so jogging may not be viable.

waterfront insular hotel davao
La Parilla
There are a lot of dining places as well as function rooms.

waterfront insular hotel davao
Pizza Lolo
waterfront insular hotel davao

There's another cafe by the pool side.  I'll share more about our dining experiences on a separate post.  

waterfront insular hotel davao
The pool is open from 7 am to  8 pm.

waterfront insular hotel davao
Although the hotel is big, there weren't many guest who had the time to swim during our stay.

waterfront insular hotel davao
Cuckatoo
Beside the pool, there's a caged Cuckatoo.

waterfront insular hotel davao
It has a Parrot companion which didn't talk.

waterfront insular hotel davao
There are complete in amenities like this roofed stadium, souvenir shops, business center, gym, massage center, function rooms and clinic.

waterfront insular hotel davao
As much as possible, I'd suggest picking a room with a beachfront view.

waterfront insular hotel davao
The beach is a bit rocky and seaweed layden so I don't recommend swimming in it.  But, they do allow beachline swimming from 6 am to 6 pm.  There's a reminder to take precaution as they do not have any lifeguard at duty.  I walked up 100 meters from the shore line and the water was just knee deep.  According to my friends who are locals, Samal Island is just a boat ride away from Waterfront Hotel.  So a lot of guests at Waterfront head there for superior beach experience.  In Vicente Hizon Road (street in between Jollibee and Petron Gasoline Station), you can have a boat transfer to Samal Island.  A day tour to Samal Island is only 250 php.  Unfortunately for us, our itinerary was so full that we didn't have the time to go there.

waterfront insular hotel davao
Let's now go to my room... 

waterfront insular hotel davao
Each building had two floors.

waterfront insular hotel davao
The corridors are also air-conditioned.

Deluxe Room
waterfront insular hotel davao
2 Single Beds, Cable TV, Desk and Balcony
Everything was flawlessly clean.

Mini Bar and Mini Fridge

Closet with Safety Deposit Box

waterfront insular hotel davao
My deluxe room had a tub.  According to my friends who stayed in other buildings, theirs didn't have any.

waterfront insular hotel davao
Complete Toiletries
And, this is my balcony view.

Travel Tripster Remarks
Overall, I'm very happy with my stay at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.  The place was relaxing, the food is good and the staffs are very courteous and quick and eager to assist.  The WiFi is fast and reliable.  The only downside is that it is roughly around 30-minutes away from the center of Davao City.

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao
Hotel Address Lanang Davao City Davao Del Sur, Philippines
Contact (6382) 233-2881 |
wihd@waterfronthotels.net |
waterfronthotels.com.ph
Reservation Required Yes
Payment Options   Cash Public Transport Jeep, Taxi
Room Types Room Amenities Estimated Price
Deluxe Room
•38 sqm.
2 Single Beds or 1 King Bed
LCD Cable Television
With balcony 
International direct-dialing telephone connection 
Safety Deposit Box
Complete Mini-bar
24-Hour Room Service
Free WiFi internet access
Complimentary access to pool
Air-condition with individual thermostat control 
Complete bathroom fixtures and amenities including phone extension
2,700 php
Deluxe Premium Room
•38 sqm.
2 Single Beds or 1 King Bed
LCD Cable Television
With balcony with view of the beach or pool
International direct-dialing telephone connection 
Safety Deposit Box
Complete Mini-bar
24-Hour Room Service
Free WiFi internet access
Complimentary access to pool
Air-condition with individual thermostat control 
Complete bathroom fixtures and amenities including phone extension
2,800 php
Junior Suite
57 sqm.
1 King Bed with 300 count bed linen (in a separate bed room)
dining and receiving area
LCD Cable Television
With balcony with view of the beach or pool
International direct-dialing telephone connection 
Safety Deposit Box
Complete Mini-bar
24-Hour Room Service
Free WiFi internet access
Complimentary access to pool
Air-condition with individual thermostat control 
Complete bathroom fixtures and amenities including phone extension

Executive Suite
133 sqm.
1 King Bed with 300 count bed linen (in a separate bed room)
dining and receiving area
LCD Cable Television
With balcony with view of the beach or pool
International direct-dialing telephone connection 
Safety Deposit Box
Complete Mini-bar
24-Hour Room Service
Free WiFi internet access
Complimentary access to pool
Air-condition with individual thermostat control 
Complete bathroom fixtures and amenities including phone extension

Presidential Suite
133 sqm.
3 room suites with 3 balconies with view of the garden, pool, beach and samal island (1 bed room with  King-sized Bed with 300 count bed linen)
dining and receiving area
LCD Cable Television
International direct-dialing telephone connection 
Safety Deposit Box
Complete Mini-bar
24-Hour Room Service
Free WiFi internet access
Complimentary access to pool
Air-condition with individual thermostat control 
Complete bathroom fixtures and amenities including phone extension
30,000 php
General Amenities •Pool
•Gym
Parking Yes
Travel Tripsters Hotel Review Rating Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao Map
Location
Room Comfort
Cleanliness
Service
Price

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Top 15 Food Pasalubongs to Buy in Davao City

It's quite natural for us to want to share and impart our experience to others in every way we can.  One of the best ways is through pasalubongs (souveneirs).  Before I flew to Davao, I already researched on the food pasalubongs to buy.  My friends from Davao also added to my list.

davao pasalubong

Top 15 Food Pasalubongs to Buy in Davao City
Before we go on further, I just want to remind you that Davao is famous for Durian and my taste preference is towards Durian.  If you taste buds aren't for it, just skip the Durian suggestions. =)

15. Biscone (27 php)
Aren't there times when you want to order ice cream just for the waffle cone?  Well, Allergro Ice Cream has been making Biscone since 1952.  Biscone is your waffle cone shaped in thin round cuts.  It is sweet and buttery.  I suggest eating it with hot chocolate or coffee.  You can buy this at almost all local grocery stores in Davao CityGaisano Supermarket is one of the biggest supermarkets there with wide variety of local and imported goods.


14. Sanny Sweets' Durian Special Hopia
The Durian Special Hopia of Sanny Sweets Bakeshop is a must try!  The durian filling is flavorful, creamy and not overly sweetened.  A pack costs 38 php.  You can find Sanny Sweets Bakeshop at 26 Tionko Avenue, Davao City.  Alternatively, you can also find it at grocery stores.

13. Saging Republik's Gigingka
Gigingka is a combination of bibingka (rice cake) and banana (saging).  Each piece costs 80 php.  You can find Saging Republik at Tionko Ave. corner V. Mapa St., Davao City.

12. Mindanao Industrial Confection's Mangosteen Cube and Durian Cube
Mindanao Industrial Confection's Mangosteen Cube and Durian Cube are sweet and chewy candies.  Although the fruity flavor is not rich, it's cheap price and long expiry date makes it a good option for pasalubong.  You can buy it at most grocery store in Davao City.

11. I Love Mousse by Chef Con Yan Chocolate Cupcakes
i love mousse by chef con yan


I usually shy away from cupcakes because I find them to gloried with sugar.  But, these made to order chocolate cupcakes by I Love Mousse by Chef Con Yan is unlike any other.  I could really attest that the icing and filling is made of quality chocolate.  The chocolate flavor is rich.  And, it doesn't need sugar to mask that genuine taste.

10. Blugre Coffee Shop's Chocolate Torte
blugre coffee shop


Blugre Coffee Shop is not only popular for its Durian Coffee.  It's Chocolate Torte with Cream Sauce (135 php per slice) is also good.  Blugre has 9 branches in Davao City such as SM Lanang Premier, Abreeza, Gaisano Mall and SM City Davao.


9. Osvaldo's Cakes' Pomelo Lemon Pie
The Pomelo Lemon Pie is  inspired from a Key Lime Pie.  The pie has three layers, a glistening pink gelatin top, the pomelo filling and a graham crust.  The Pomelo Lemon Pie is priced at 500 php each and you have to order a minimum of 2 pies.  Osvaldo’s Cakes is located at Ground Floor, Paseo De Legaspi, Pelayo St., Poblacion District, Davao City.  Call them at (0919) 291-5007 or (0932) 428-4070.  They are open on Mondays toSaturdays 9 am-10 pm.

8. Lola Abong's Original Mangosteen Candy, Durian Candy and Durian Tarts
The Durian Tarts are quite expensive at 50 php for a pack of 5.  But, the family loved that the most.
Lola Abong's Original Mangosteen Candy and Original Durian Candy are priced at 35-40 php per pack.  The flavor is very rich.  You could tell that the fruit component is higher than its cheaper counterparts.  It also expired quicker because of that.  These can be bought at the main store in San Miguel St, Davao City.   You can also buy these at grocery stores, pasalubong centers and market places like Bangkerohan Market (10 php more expensive than from the main store).

7. Durian World's Durian Pastillas and Durian De Leche
Our of the Durian confections I brought home, Durian World's Durian De Leche got the most praise. Durian World's Durian Pastillas is also good.  Each pack costs 48 php.  They also have a long expiry date (almost a year) BUT don't trust it!  Consume it within a month.  You can buy them at Candies-Bakeshoppe located at Door #2 Elena Arcade Duterte St. Davao City or most grocery stores in Davao City.

6. Cecil Bakeshoppe's Durian Roll and Durian Pie
cecils snack inn and bakeshop
Cecil's Bakeshoppe Malvar Branch

Cecil's Bakeshoppe has over 10 branches in Davao City and was established in 1963 at their pioneer store in 198 Anda Street Davao City with contact number (082) 227-5305.   For convenience I suggest you visit their branch at Gaisano Mall near Gaisano Supermarket.

cecils snack inn and bakeshop
Cecil's Main Branch
They are popular and awarded for their Durian Pie (50 php per slice).  Alternatively, you can also opt for their Durian Roll (45 php per slice) and Durian Cake (45 php per slice).  If you don't like Durian Pie, you can opt for the Egg Pie (30 php per slice) and Chicken Pie (22 php per slice).

5. Annie Pie's Cinamon Rolls

annipieannipie

My Davao blogger friends Glenn and Ria (of Kusini Ni Maria) highly suggested Annipie's Cinnamon Rolls. Their products are sold in boxes which makes them ideal as pasalubongs.

annipie
All of this list would not have been complete if not for my Glenn Santillan (cool guy in pink polo) of IloveDavao.Com

annipie
Annipie also serves cakes
Annipie is located at Malvar Street and Quimpo Boulevard in Davao City.  You can check their Facebook Fan page for more details.   Contact them at (082) 298-2986 and (082) 295-3799.

annipie
I wanted to order the Assorted Four in a Box (140 php) but it turns out that they were almost out of Cinnamon Rolls.  As I didn't want to go out empty-handed, I almost settled for their Assorted Bars (140 php).

annipie


annipie




Good thing the staff mentioned that they still have some Ultimate Rolls in Cheese (55 php) and Espresso (55 php).  Their boxes comes with heating instructions.  The family loved these so much!  The bread is so soft and cottony.  The sauce is rich but with a right blend of sweetness.  Because of the lightly sweetened factor, we'd choose this over Cinnabon (which we all know is guilt in a single piece).

4. Missy Bon Bon Breadshop's Original Pastel and Durian Pastel
missy bon bon
Missy Bon Bon Breadshop originated from Cagayan De Oro and has recently opened in Davao City.  Their store in Davao City is at lower ground floor at Gaisano Mall (just in front of the Gaisano Supermarket).   You can check their website here

missy bon bon pastel
Original Pastel (90 php)

They have 3 kinds of Pastel: Original, Durian and Chocolate.  If you buy their 3-pack, you can have a discounted price of 250 php.  We normally don't like pastel because of the sweet yema filling.  But, my my Missy Bon Bons bread is so soft and the filling is so smooth and just lightly sweetened.

missy bon bon pastel
Durian Pastel (110 php/box)


The Durian Pastel has subtle Durian flavor.  Just enough for a Durian loving tongue but may be overwhelming for a non-Durian lover.  Expiration date is found at the bottom of the box.  It can last up to 3 months is you freeze it in the freezer.

3. Lachi's Sans Rival Atbp.'s Durian Sans Rival and Durian Cheesecake
My friends from Davao wouldn't let me leave without buying or trying Lachi's famous Durian Sans Rival and Durian Cheesecake.

2.  Fresh Pomelo
davao pomelo

My Davao Blogger friends suggested buying fresh fruits at Bankerohan Market because it is open 24 hours (we went at around 10:30 pm) and it's a lot cheaper because this is the bagsakan (first delivery point).  There were many varieties available.  You can have a free taste before you buy.  Prices as follows: Golden Fruits Class A (110 php/kilo), Nenita (50 php/kilo), Orange (40 php/kilo) and Sweet Pomelo (30 php/kilo).  I bought a 10 kilo box of the Orange and the we consumed it for a month.  It is so much cheaper than in Manila.

Update (October 2016): Was told that to make sure that there are no mixes, best to buy at Golden Fruits factory instead at 150php/kilo.

1. Fresh Durian
davao durian
It is said that Durian is the king of the fruits.  This is my first time to see a whole fresh durian fruit.  I just discovered that it had pockets.

davao durian
We only found one store open and selling durian during our visit.  It was Dinampo Bobong Maloy Fruit Stand.  We were charged 60 php per kilo.  50 php for the take out plastic container which they sealed using the packing tape.  I took home with me 3 of the plastic container which costs around 100 php each together with the plastic container.  As we got on the van, we realized that the smell was still evident so the next day we box a styrofoam ice box from a convenient store for 220 php and some more packing tape. So if you intend to bring home some durian, better bring a styrofoam ice box with you.  The Durian is so delicious and creamy!  The family said the Durian I bought wasn't enough.  They noted that next time I should bring home 10 packs!

Bonus: When in season, Fresh Mangosteen fruits are also affordable to buy. (60-75 php/kilo)

So this sums up our Travel Tripsters Top 15 Food Pasalubongs to Buy in Davao City.   If you have anymore to add, please leave a comment because I really intend to go back for their good and affordable food.