Marco Polo Davao offers guests comfortable rooms and impeccable service while also providing them with an accessible retreat right in the middle of Davao City
Written by KLARA ISKRA AÑONUEVO
Photos courtesy of MARCO POLO DAVAO
Marco Polo Davao is a surprise of many sorts to first time guests—while the building is imposing (you can easily spot it from nearby Samal Island, or even as your plane descends into Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport), my first step into the lobby left me awash with warmth and a homey feeling. From the get go, I knew that I would be spoiled during my stay. Upon arrival, our traveling party was whisked to Café Marco for a hearty lunch, and by the time we were done stuffing ourselves, our key cards were already waiting for us.
When they say that Marco Polo Davao is the heart of Davao, they mean it. For starters, it’s around a half-hour drive from the airport, and is right across Aldevinco Shopping Center. If you still need your shopping fix at night, you can visit Roxas Avenue (literally a stone’s throw away from the hotel) which turns into a street market where you can buy ukay-ukay and indulge in street food. The Davao Museum (where you can learn about local tribes), the Malagos Farmhouse (where you can buy cheese, chocolate, and other products from the famous Davao brand), and Tiny Kitchen (where you can taste their famous paella dishes), are also all just a short drive away from the hotel, so exploring the city should be a breeze.
Accessibility isn’t just limited to city landmarks though—guests can learn about Philippine Eagles and other animals at the Philippine Eagle Center, which is just around an hour away from the hotel. Also just an hour drive away from Marco Polo Davao is Eden Nature Park and Resort, where adrenaline junkies can get their fix from the park’s many attractions, including their zipline and Skycycle. For those who want a quick beach getaway, the Pearl Farm Beach Resort in Samal Island is just a half hour drive and a half hour boat ride away from the hotel.
The pool is ideal for both fitness buffs and families, because while its length is perfect for swimming laps, it only goes to a depth of five feet, which gently tapers off into more shallow waters. The pool bar is also the perfect place to have a drink while watching the sunset.
I was booked in a Deluxe Room, and my window view was that of the Davao Gulf, which was only made better during the sunrise (other Deluxe Rooms may get views of Mount Apo and the sunset). It was spacious enough for me to unpack my luggage fully and make the entire room feel homey. The complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel was one of the fastest I’ve experienced in the Philippines, and with the comfy bed and the thick sheets, my downtime in Davao was as relaxing as can be.
Breakfast was served in Café Marco, and what a spread their breakfast buffet was! With a good selection including breads, crispy bacon, cheese from Malagos, and even churros with chocolate, it was hard not to go back for seconds (or thirds!).
Our group also had the chance to have dinner at Lotus Court and Polo Bistro. The former is a Cantonese restaurant known for its divine dim sum and Yin Yang Two-Way Style Green Garoupa, while the latter is a poolside restaurant known for its Grilled Blue Marlin, US Angus Prime Rib Cut Tenderloin Steak, and Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sweet Potato, Corn Kernel and Kidney Bean Salad. Suffice it to say, we all ended the day with full bellies during those two nights.
I am not a fan of overeager and intrusive service, and I can guarantee that Marco Polo Davao’s staff, while ever present, provided understated assistance to the hotel’s guests, which I greatly appreciated. I always came back to a tidied up room, and during breakfast, the staff always seated me in my favorite table.
The Lazuli Spa not only provides guests with dozens of spa treatments, but it also gives them the choice of how long their treatments are going to last. I opted for the two-hour Aromatherapy Massage, which was really relaxing, especially after a full day of exploring Davao’s sights.
THE CHECK OUT
Similar to our check-in experience, check out was a breeze. I usually go to the lobby a good 15 minutes before I have to leave to ensure I have ample time to settle my account and not be late for my flight, but this time, I was done in less than five minutes. I was already sad to be leaving my home for four days, and wished I had stayed in my room for even just 10 minutes longer.
When visiting Davao, Marco Polo should always be your first option for accommodation, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, alone or with a group. Its service and facilities will ensure you a comfortable stay, while its location will make sure you easily get to experience what Davao has to offer.
Marco Polo Davao is located at Claro M. Recto Street, Davao City, Philippines. For bookings and reservations, phone (+63 82) 221 0888 or visit <marcopolohotels.com/en/marco_ polo/hotels/philippines/davao/ marco_polo_davao/index.html>