Time For A Cavanico Il Mare Vacation!

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(Note: As of this Writing, Cavanico Il Mare has done some major upgrades to their existing facilities. I hope they’ve upgraded their service level as well)

What do you do when it’s too hot outside and even hotter inside your house? That’s the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway. Or just an excuse for an overnight escape to the beach.

We finally managed to get a common time off from our daily responsibilities (Margaux is a Doctor specializing in Emergency Medicine and I’m a  full time Ghostwriter for a boatload of demanding clients) to have some quality time together. And we headed for Cavanico Il Mare.

This wasn’t really an unplanned trip as I had booked our reservations a couple of days ago. We were basically going to join my band mates for this trip as everybody needed a chance to let their hair down away from civilization.

Rooms were pretty affordable at only 1,100 per person for the airconditioned rooms. The rates on their website still advertise the rooms at only 1000 per person so take note for budgetary reasons. Getting a room frees you from paying any additional costs like the entrance fee.

It was pretty easy top secure the room once you get to talk to someone in the reception. The hard part is getting to talk to someone, it took me a couple of calls before I finally got through. In that span of time, I also sent an email and a text message because if I failed to secure the booking, a lot of people would get mad at me.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well. We got the booking, made the deposit and emailed the scanned copy to them and we were good to go!

We traveled to the Sasa port and had to pay 250 to get the pickup on board the barge. That fee allows for two people to ride free. The rest had to pay 10 (or 15) pesos per head.

It was a short barge trip and within 15 minutes we were on solid, Samal ground.

We took a left once we reached the junction from the wharf and it took us barely 15 minutes to reach Cavanico Il Mare. It would’ve been a shorter trip if we weren’t so engrossed with the sights and sounds of Samal. The beach is situated to your left if your driving from the Samal pier. It’s pretty easy to spot as they have large banners and billboards along the highway.

Cavanico Il Mare is situated a little bit away from the main highway as you have to enter a still undeveloped subdivision with small houses (like Camella) that is sloping downhill. at the bottom you’ll reach a makeshift guardhouse with a blockade. A quick chat with the security guard and you’ll be able to enter.

Another gate and you’ll be welcomed with these sights! 

This is the pool area and the open cabins for the pool area users. It’s not your typical rectangular pool as it has many sections that offer privacy if you want to just chat with that special someone. You can also use the main pool area for a quick lap. And I do mean quick, you can basically cover the entire length of the pool with two or three strokes.

These are the bigger cabins that we availed with the group. We spent 1,100 per head. It’s a nice room with airconditioning in it. Although it looks like it’s made of bamboo, what you’re actually just seeing is the facade. The walls are made of traditional cement which is good because it won’t get knocked down if Davao ever experiences a powerful storm or typhoon.

At night, we were able to have a blast cooking our own food by using their kitchen facilities. It’s basically an outdoor cookout area for barbecuing your food. Since the group wanted to save up on food expenses, we brought along our own fish and meat to grill. This is what you’ll basically see at night. The main lit area is the convention area where you’ll be able to get breakfast or just hold conferences. It’s pretty small and should be able to hold around 50 people comfortably. There’s also the bar where the rest of the group had a hell of a time getting entertained by the bar tenders. Needless to say, the rest of the group almost drained the resort’s reserves with their propensity for massive alcohol intake.

In the morning, this is what you’ll see. Cavanico Il Mare got its name for its fan shaped cove. Pictures can’t do the actual beach any justice. You’ll have to see it to believe just how beautiful this place truly is.

At around noon time we had to prepare to leave. Everyone was nursing a hangover and no one really wanted to leave this little paradise. Sadly, our work responsibilities and meager finances urged us to get out.

For the most part, Cavanico Il Mare was a great place to have a mini vacation in. We went there on a weekday and while it was still undergoing major renovations so we basically had the place all to ourselves!

But there’s a downside to the place. When we got there we were asked what breakfast we’d like to have in the morning (our reservation included a free breakfast in the package). So you’re handed a slip of paper to check what you want. You can only choose one type of rice, one type of viand and one type of way to cook your egg. And that slip of paper is good for everyone in the room. So if you’re in a group of five people, you can expect to all be eating the same thing. We were not allowed to choose individually how we wanted our meals prepared which made it quite challenging as we had 5 people debating over what type of food they wanted.

I understand that from a business point of view, this is a logical approach to preparing meals as you’ll only have to prepare it in one way. But form a customer’s point of view, I came here for a vacation and to basically have my wishes granted even for just a day. Not having any choices is a major bummer.

That’s not the end of our meal ordeal. When breakfast came rolling in the next day, we found out that they put out a buffet type of setting instead of what was promised which was an individual meal for everyone who chose what they wanted. So, we weren’t allowed to choose in the first place and we ultimately didn’t get what we wanted. Major, major bummer!

We left the place with only that as our major complaint. Everything else was great!

Would we recommend this place? Well, yes of course! Just don’t expect too much when it comes to your meals. And keep calling their number until you finally get through to someone,

To get to Cavanico Il Mare Resort, here’s there address and phone number:

Cavanico IL Ma Re Resort  
Address: Camudmud, Babak, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, Philippines
Phone:+63 942 473 8122

We hope to see you there someday! And please make sure to air your complaints about the food so that they can improve their services!

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