Where to Stay in Samal Island | Discovery Samal


I’ve been fortunate to have stayed in two amazing properties during my previous trips to Samal Island. Chemas by the Sea captivated me nearly 15 years ago with its bungalow accommodations surrounded by a well-kept garden, a tiny pool, and a private beach. Last year, Pearl Farm, one of the island's well-known resorts, satisfied my long-standing desire to experience its brand of hospitality. 

Cola Nievera
The layout of the resort appears like a Y from the air. You can go around the property on a golf cart. 

While these two aforementioned resorts come highly recommended, my third time in Samal Island, as part of Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines’ post-PHITEX familiarization trip, gifted me with yet another opportunity to stay in one of the biggest and newest property, having just opened in August of this year, the Discovery Samal Resort.

Cola Nievera
The resort has its own port and is only 5-10 minutes away from its other jetty in Davao City

On the final leg of our three province tour of Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Davao del Norte, we arrived at the private jetty of Discovery Shores just as the dusk skies slowly glint their golden hues into the embrace of darkness. Nonetheless, the crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sands immediately arrested my attention and made me take a mental note of “I must swim these waters tomorrow.”

Cola Nievera
The lengthy lobby and lounge leading to the Morning Catch

As we arrived at the spacious lobby and had our welcome drink, the sheer size of the resort dawned on me. It was affluent, huge, and high, with plenty of open space to smell the breeze from the ocean, surrounded by meticulously chosen furnishings, modern wall and ceiling finishes, and lovely lighting fixtures.

Cola Nievera
Feel like lounging by the pool all day

My Room, the Junior Suite

There are more than 150 spacious rooms and suites, as well as three huge pools that stretch out along the beach and are encircled by a maze of canopies, gardens, and pathways leading to the various facilities.

Cola Nievera
The cozy junior suite

My room is located on one of the two 5-story buildings that ran parallel to the property’s third swimming pool after the Villas section. These suites feature cutting-edge architecture, modern fixtures, and high-tech conveniences. My room on the fifth floor open to a balcony that affords me a bird's-eye perspective of the entire complex. I find my room adequately spaced to provide the ideal comfort for even a family of four.

Cola Nievera
My room's balcony that has a view of the third swimming pool

Being here for two nights gave me—and our group, a fitting bookend to our memorable 6-day trip together. Our time here in Discovery Samal consisted of the usual feasting on appetizing fare, a morning snorkeling exploring the giant clams of Samal, counting bats at Monfort Bat Sanctuary, watching a spectacular fire-dance show and a satisfying leisure rest.

A Sundry of Amenities

Opting to rest inside my room outside of our beach and island exploration activities, I wasn’t able to experience the resort’s other amenities that come aplenty, such as the fitness gym, the spa and other recreation facilities. What I had a lot of was the dining experiences at the property's in-house restaurants; Morning Catch, The Shoreline and at Haribar Lounge. Two new dining establishments, Garden City Cafe and The Bistro, will be opening in the near future.

Cola Nievera
Just a few of the many *thumbs up* dishes we had at the Morning Catch

Morning Catch is located at the front of the resort, adjacent to the beach club, offering stunning views of the Davao Gulf. It serves a variety of delicious dishes, including the freshest catch of the day. From succulent shrimp and juicy crabs to roast beef and fried vegetables, there is something for everyone. You can also enjoy options like chicken curry and a range of other dishes prepared through grilling, steaming, stewing, or frying.

Cola Nievera
With Discovery Samal Marketing Manager Katya Dizon and PHITEX sellers who were with us

Situated nearer to my room and positioned on the upper level of the resort facing Davao Gulf, The Shoreline serves as the all-day dining restaurant of the property delivering a wide variety of tastes from international cuisines to local flavors.

Cola Nievera
Breakfast at the Shoreline

I enjoy having my breakfast in this location, where I can sit outdoors by the expansive swimming pool. Although their breakfast selections may not be as extensive as those offered at other 5-star resorts, they are still incredibly delicious and easily filled me up satisfyingly.

Cola Nievera
An outdoor dinner by the beach was arranged on our last night

The Haribar Lounge got its name from the words "haring ibon" and "bar".  The lounge offers a diverse range of meticulously prepared cocktails, using only the highest quality ingredients and spirits available. We had our drinks ordered here and served by the beach on our last night.

Cola Nievera
that included a fire dancing performance

Overall, an Upper-Tier Resort

In terms of leisure, service, food, amenities, hospitality, and aesthetic, Discovery Shore unquestionably ranks among the top must-stay properties not just on Samal Island, but throughout the country. I've stayed in at some of the best accommodations in the country and abroad, and I see Discovery Shores, especially as it smooths up its operations in the coming months, as a shoo-in for any top ten listicles of the best staycations in the region.

Cola Nievera
Discovery Samal have three swimming pools built on top of each other. The second-tier is the villa pool and is still under maintenance for installation of lawn grass.