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Experience the Heart of Davao at Marco Polo Hotel

Marco Polo Hotel: Experience the Heart of Davao

It was a sunny afternoon in Kerala, India when a colleague asked me where I would love to go next. In a heartbeat, I said I would love to go back to Davao. Coincidentally, while having dinner in Kumarakom Lake Resort, I got an email invite from Marco Polo Davao Hotel (check rates) for a Davao Familiarization Tour.

Marco Polo Hotel Davao
Marco Polo Hotel Davao

That was a super early birthday gift, but who am I to refuse? Straight from Bangkok last February 26, 2015, I went home just to change my bag and headed back to the airport to meet other travel writers for our Davao Trip.

Marco Polo Davao Lobby
Marco Polo Hotel Lobby

After waiting inside the overcrowded gate in NAIA Terminal 3, we finally boarded our Cebu Pacific flight. My excitement just got me going. Time flew by, and the next thing I know, we were about to land at the Davao airport.

Salad Bar
Salad Bar

Upon arriving at Marco Polo Davao (hotel info), our bags were tagged and we all proceeded to Cafe Marco for lunch. Located at the second level, Cafe Marco offers buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner that highlights Filipino, Spanish, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, and International cuisine. It is sure to please even the most discriminating palates.

Desserts from Marco Polo Davao
Premium Davao Desserts from Marco Polo Hotel‘s Cafe Marco

Apart from their selection of fresh fruit, I also loved their set of desserts. Alongside their regular set of cakes, they also prepared their premium desserts, like Pandan and Jackfruit Parfait in Bamboo Tubes, Pomelo Creme Brulee, Mangosteen Mousse, and my favorite Durian Panna Cotta for us. That was one lovely welcome.

Deluxe Room - Davao Marco Polo Hotel
Deluxe Room – Davao Marco Polo Hotel

We proceeded to our respective rooms to freshen up. Afterward, we visited the Davao Museum in Insular Village. Honestly, it was my first time visiting this museum.

The Team at Davao Museum
The Team at Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

Even though the place was quite small compared to other museums I’ve been to, the collection of ethnic artifacts was quite interesting and very educational.

Braised Bean Curd - Abalone Sauce
Braised Bean Curd – Abalone Sauce

Our afternoon tour was followed by a sumptuous dinner at Lotus Court – Marco Polo Davao’s in-house Chinese restaurant. We sampled their “Taste of Xiamen” offerings. For the entire month of love, Chef Arno Huang from Marco Polo Xiamen shared his Cantonese recipes to Lotus Court patrons. We tasted some of his creations, like Braised Imperial Bird’s Nest with Crab Meat soup, Poached Shredded Chicken with Salt Baked Powder, Braised Bean Curd with Abalone Sauce, and some of his famous recipes.

Day 2

After having buffet breakfast at Cafe Marco, we left the hotel for our day tour at Pearl Farm Beach Resort in Samal Island. We reached the resort in less than an hour.

Parola of Pearl Farm Resort
Parola of Pearl Farm Beach Resort

I’ve already stayed at Pearl Farm Resort a few years back and I had an awesome stay, but during our recent visit, I noticed a lot of improvements. As part of our visit, we had an ocular inspection of their rooms, including their new Mandaya Houses.

Travel Writers and Bloggers at Pearl Farm Resort in Samal Island
Travel Writers and Bloggers at Pearl Farm Resort in Island Garden City of Samal

Our resort inspection was followed by buffet lunch at the resort’s Maranao Restaurant. Davao is famous for fresh seafood, and I love their new grilling section where you can have your choice of seafood grilled your way.

Private Pool at Malipano Island Villa
Private Pool at Malipano Golf Course Villa

The highlight of our tour was our visit to Malipano Island. This island has several private villas that are also available for rent. It’s quite expensive, but you will have the entire villa on your own with several beautifully designed rooms decorated with exquisite Asian and antique local handicrafts.

Pearl Farm Mojito
Pearl Farm Mojito

We ended our day tour by having Mojitos at the famous Parola Bar while chatting with Pearl Farm’s General Manager Mikel Villaverde.

Peppered Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potato and Grilled Asparagus
Peppered Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potato and Grilled Asparagus

Our dinner was served at Marco Polo’s Polo Bistro fine dining restaurant. For the appetizer, we sampled their Davao Tuna Kinilaw and their Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus. I’m not a huge fan of raw fish but I liked their version of Tuna Kinilaw. I think I’m the newest convert. 🙂

Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back Ribs

For the main course, we had Atlantic Salmon Steak, Polo Bistro’s Famous Baby Back Ribs, and Peppered Sirloin Steak with Roasted Potato and Grilled Asparagus. I loved their version of Baby Back Ribs, it was so tender and flavorful. Finally, for dessert, we tried their Coffee Banana Foster with Dark Rum and Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice. That was probably the best dinner I’ve had in Davao.

Tuna Kinilaw
Tuna Kinilaw

On our third day, the Marco Polo Davao Hotel team brought us to Eden Nature Park & Resort. Due to the humid weather, we only visited the bird walk and the adventure park, where some of us tried their Skyrider. Our short tour was followed by buffet lunch at their main restaurant.

Marco Polo Rice Cakes
Eden Nature Park & Resort Rice Cakes

It was my second visit at Eden Nature Park & Resort, and I can say that their set of food improved a lot. From the fresh garden salad to simple kakanin desserts, we definitely enjoyed our lunch.

Davao Philippine Eagle Center
Davao Philippine Eagle Centre

After having lunch, we proceeded to the Philippine Eagle Center – home to 36 Philippine Eagles, 18 of which are captive-bred. The eagle center also houses 10 other species of birds, 4 species of mammals, and 2 species of reptiles. As we headed back to the hotel, we had a short stopover at Apo ni Lola pasalubong center, where we fulfilled our durian candy cravings and bought some for pasalubong too.

Apo ni Lola Durian Candy
Apo ni Lola Durian Delicacies Durian Candy

Our dinner was hosted by Tiny Kitchen in Torres Street – one of my favorite restaurants in Davao. We met Vincent (The Chef) and Donna Rodriguez (The Baker) who graciously welcomed us. Our dinner was filled with several best-tasting dishes that Tiny Kitchen is known for, like Alicante Salad, Gambas Al Ajillo, Paella Negra, Al a Cazador Paella, Lengua Estofada, Paella Mariscus, Paella with Duck, and so much more. For dessert, we tried their chocolate crinkles, red velvet cake, and red velvet cheesecake. I personally loved their Paella Negra because I love my Paella Negra with lots of squid ink in it. As a baker myself, I was quite impressed with Donna’s red velvet cheesecake – it was perfectly moist, and the taste of the chocolate and the cheese perfectly blended. I also loved their chewy chocolate crinkles – truly a must-try.

Paella Negra at Tiny Kitchen
Paella Negra at Tiny Kitchen

We spent the entire morning at the hotel on our fourth day. After having breakfast, we had a short tour of the hotel to check out the rooms and resort amenities.

The Rooms

Marco Polo Davao Hotel (discounted rates) has 245 rooms and suites, all with breathtaking views of Mt. Apo or the Gulf of Davao. You can choose from Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Premier Rooms, Rooms for the Handicapped, Cabana Rooms, Executive Suites, Continental Superior Suite, Continental Deluxe Rooms, Club Suites, Honeymoon Suite, Cabana Suite, Marco Polo Suite, and the Presidential Suite.

My Bed for 3 nights at Marco Polo Hotel Davao
My Bed for 3 nights at Marco Polo Hotel Davao

All rooms are equipped with an executive desk, queen or twin beds, electronic guest room locks, International Direct Dial telephones with voice mail facility, fax/modem ports, remote-controlled LCD TVs with Cable, individually adjustable air-conditioning systems, fully-stocked mini-bars, coffee- and tea- making facilities, and personal safes. For the comfort of the guests, the Hotel also offers special floors for non-smokers.

Marco Polo Davao Suite
Marco Polo Davao Suite

Aside from the Presidential Suite, I loved their Cabana Room because it has its own patio, which leads directly to the pool terrace. It’s near the Gym and Spa as well.

Perfect for Business Travelers

Marco Polo Davao (online reservation) features a 24-hour Business Center to provide Business Travelers with an extensive range of secretarial and business services. The Business Center’s modern facilities and services include word processing, facsimile, Internet, and office equipment rental. Meeting rooms are also available at a nominal fee.

Health and Wellness

Marco Polo Davao Fitness Center
Marco Polo Davao Fitness Center

Marco Polo Davao Fitness Center offers a wide range of services to provide guests and members a relaxing and stress-free stay in the hotel. Located on the fourth level, the Fitness Center offers top-of-the-line cardiovascular and strength training equipment, as well as services of highly trained fitness professionals.

Lazuli Spa
Lazuli Spa

For those who want to relax, Lazuli Spa has four private rooms and one couples’ room. Each room is equipped with a private steam bath, plus your own selection of music and color lighting. A grand spiral staircase leads towards the rich interiors of the foot massage room.

Perfect Vacation

Melo Villareal in Pearl Farm Resort
Melo Villareal in Pearl Farm Resort

After lunch, we packed up and left the hotel for our flight back to Manila. It was a perfect pre-summer vacation made more awesome by Marco Polo Davao Hotel.

Marco Polo Hotel Davao (book online)
Address : C.M. Recto Street corner M. Roxas Avenue, 8000 Davao City, Philippines
Telephone: (63 82) 221-0888
Facsimile: (63 82) 225-0111
e-mail: [email protected]

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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