As I stated in a previous article, one of the most common requests I get, both from the comments and from email, are for Samal Island Resorts recommendations. The criteria for choosing a resort on Samal remain the same, but after our recent visit I now feel that I have a few that I can give my endorsement to, assuming they meet your needs for location, size, function, etc.
Here are three that I visited and/or stayed at that I’d have no problem recommending to you, or staying at ourselves on a subsequent visit to the island. They are in the order that we visited them, but not I’m not giving a preference other than meeting needs.
- Camp Holiday Resort and Recreation Area
Located directly after the ferry terminal in Kinawitnon, Camp Holiday is an affordable option for those looking for an overnight stay or a day at the beach. They offer rooms in both cottages, or their hotel. The restaurant/terrace has a nice selection of local foods, along with the recently added pizza options. A very nice pool, and also a beach front provide the water experience. Nipa huts are available to relax in, or larger groups can use the clubhouse.
I found the rooms in good condition and clean, as you would expect with a newer resort. WiFi was available in the open lobby, and if you were lucky enough to get a cottage close by.
They were attentive to some of our special requests. I would recommend this resort to anyone looking for affordable, convenient accommodations. It would be an option to Paradise Island, as it would likely be much less crowded.
- Precious Garden of Samal
Located just through the main road in Babak, Precious Garden is a little more secluded than some of the other resorts on the island.
Precious Garden started out as a restaurant and coffee house. I had dinner, lunch and coffee there, and was more than pleased. The pizza was great, in my opinion, and I was really surprised to find that on a place like Samal. Though I didn’t hit every spot on Samal, I would have to guess they easily have the best coffee drinks on the island, too.
The hotel is still being finished and will eventually have 8 rooms. The top four are currently available for reservation. I had a tour of them, and again they were very nice as, you would expect from a newly constructed facility. They were definitely more upscale than one might expect for the price. Very nicely done.
You need to take a walk to the beach area. It was nice, but it is still being developed, and wouldn’t be the main reason to stay here.
I intend to stay at Precious Garden on our next trip, if things allow.
- Chema’s by the Sea
Located in Limao, you will need to take their boat from the Waterfront Insular, or arrange ground transportation (habal-habal?) from one of the ferry terminals.
We visited Chema’s twice, the first time was on our trip to our land, and we were lucky enough to catch the owner who had the staff show us around the facility. The rooms were VERY nice. The cost being a bit more than you’d spend with either of the other two, but well below what Pearl Farm would charge.
We came back the next day and spent a few hours taking advantage of the beautiful white beach and pool.
Chema’s offers a more exclusive experience than some of the other resorts. You aren’t likely to encounter any crowds here. I was impressed by the beauty of the overall compound. The beach was maintained meticulously, and every building was nicely done, fitting the overall theme.
So depending upon your wants and needs, those are three resorts that I would recommend you check out if you plan to stay on Samal. There certainly are a lot of others, and I don’t mean to say they aren’t great, too, but these three have my endorsement.