The weather was so hot that we thought of booking an overnight stay at Samal Island to get away from the city and go swimming. Samal island is just a few minutes boat ride from Davao City. At first, we are still hesitant that there may be travel restrictions when going there due to the pandemic. So I made some research on what are the requirements to go to Samal Island. It turns out, they only need a QR code from the tourists. They don’t ask for a health certificate or travel authority.
We chose to book at Cavanico Il Mare Resort since it looks nice in their photos and it is cheaper compared to other resorts on the island. We reserved a room by calling their Reservation office. We booked an overnight stay for August 31, 2020. The room was good for two with free breakfast at P2,200. They messaged their email address and account number. To process the booking, they asked for a 50% downpayment. They processed our QR code within 24 hours and sent it to my email. After I emailed to them the proof of payment, they emailed the QR code. The QR code is required to enter the island. Tourists will need to screenshot their QR code and present it to the security officer at the Sasa Wharf ferry station.
On the day of our booking, we went to Sasa Wharf to ride the barge going to Samal. The security checked our QR code. The barge fee is P10 per person. Wearing of face mask and face shield is required to ride the barge. Travel time is only 30 mins. Cavanico has its shuttle service that picked us up from the barge to the resort. From the barge to the resort, travel time is 30 minutes. The weather was warm and sunny, perfect for swimming at the beach.
When we arrived at the resort, we were asked to fill-up a health declaration form, and then we washed our hands at their washing area. The security officer took our temperature and we sanitize our hands with the sanitizer the resort has provided before entering. Upon checking in, we were asked to settle the balance in full and a security deposit of P1,000 which they will return upon checkout. Check-in time is 2:00 pm and check-out time is noon the next day.
A buggy brought us to our cottage which is one of their bamboo designed cottages. It is a small yet clean air-conditioned cottage with a toilet and bath and a cable T.V. After settling our things we went straight to their restaurant to order lunch. It was 1:00 pm and we were already hungry. While waiting for our food to be served at the restaurant, we took some photos and videos of the beach. The food was delicious and the serving was big. The price was not expensive too. There were many people on that day because it was a holiday. The white sand beach was clean. It is not a high-end resort but it was well-kept and there were two lifeguards on duty. The staffs were friendly and accommodating. The resort was well-managed.
After lunch, we rested for a while in our cottage for about an hour then we went swimming at the beach. Many people were swimming at that time, mostly families. We had a photoshoot by the beach before taking a swim. The water at the beach was clean and warm. We had a nice time swimming. What I like about this resort is that they have nice large sunbeds which are perfect for relaxing by the beach. Afterward, we went to our cottage to shower and change clothes then we went for a little walk around the resort. After a few minutes, we had coffee at the restaurant then did more walking and watched the sunset.
We had dinner at their restaurant. When we arrived there, our food was immediately served because we placed our order early during lunchtime. The restaurant closes at 8:00 pm and the staff advised that is it better to place our order early so we did. For dinner, we had pork sisig and rice. It was delicious and not expensive, a real value for money. After dinner, we went for a walk to get some fresh air. The resort has no activity for the evening. There were fewer people in the evening because many people just spent a day tour and have left the resort already. So went back to our cottage, relaxed, and slept early.
The next day, we woke up early to have breakfast at the restaurant. We had ordered our breakfast during our check-in time. Breakfast was included in the package for check-in guests. Breakfast was just basic with coffee and some fruit slices. After breakfast, we went for a swim at the beach and did some photoshoot. Afterward, we went to the pool for a photoshoot and swimming. Their pool was nice, clean, and large. Only a few people were swimming there.
We wanted to make the most out of our time, so after swimming at the pool we took a shower at our cottage and drank fresh buko juice at the restaurant. We relaxed by the beach then afterward, we went swimming again at the beach and did more photoshoot.
After our shower in the cottage, we immediately packed up our things and called the reception to check out. We went to the restaurant to have our lunch before going to the reception to check out. Checking out was a breeze. Their shuttle service took us to the ferry terminal. At the ferry terminal, the security will ask you for your QR code so you better prepare your QR code screenshot for the inspection. Otherwise, they won’t let you ride the barge without the QR code.
For those who do want to go to this resort for a day tour only, their day tour fee is P250 per person. For bookings and reservations, you may call them thru their mobile numbers: 09614166584 (Smart) or 09065860123 (Globe) or you may message them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cavanicoilmareresort.
I would recommend Cavanico Il Mare to my friends. I am not their agent nor in any way connected with them. I just had a nice experience staying in this resort. I would come back again.