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A Roof Over my Head in Davao Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016

A Roof Over my Head in Davao

Location: Davao City, Philippines

Hotel Stays
In Davao, I would usually stay under P200/night in dormitels. Nice! This price point is increasingly becoming rare in this country. This time around though, I had the privilege of hotel-hopping in luxury hotels, thanks to the kind people who opened doors for me. Davao has been more than generous in giving me shelter.

A Roof Over my Head in Davao
feeling pampered at Pinnacle Hotel

Bahay ni TudingBahay ni Tuding
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After 2 nights with my aunt, I was glad to be back in my old hotel, Bahay ni Tuding, for that homespun charm. Its Poblacion location is central to all transport modes - that fits well into my mass-transit mobility. My room had a working table to get all my online stuff done in the comfort of my underwear (seriously, who wants to get dressed-up just to be able to punch the keyboard?). Wifi was fast and reliable and the room was quiet and very comfortable. I would have an occasional conversation with Mel, who manages the place. We've become friends.

Bistro ni TudingBistro ni Tuding
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Mel would boast of her Dad's (Gerry) meticulous kitchen preparation with Kapangpangan dishes (dishes from the gastronomic capital of the Philippines, Pampanga) which they serve to friends on special family occassions. I tried all of them and yes, they are all good - familiar comfort food but with an added twist. It was a refreshing deviation from the usual culinary offering of Davao. I suggested she offer those dishes as well on the menu, and she did - Gerry's Picks.

Pinnacle HotelPinnacle Hotel
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This one took an interesting spin. When I checked out of Bahay ni Tuding, I was homeless again and repeated the cycle of pounding the pavement for a possible hotel deal - or I end up on a bunk bed in a dormitel. As I was making a presentation to the general manager of Pinnacle Hotel, one guy overhears my talk and joined in. He got interested about me walking away from the corporate world to pursue a life of travel with no home, no money and no property. When I mentioned "UP" (University of the Philippines), he immediately asked me my student number, to which I immediately gave him with no thinking. He in turn, gave me his as a reply. With that, we both laughed out loud. UP alumni never forget their student number! That broke the ice. He invited me to join him for dinner, and in his words, "to pick your brains". With that, he gave me a huge suite in the hotel for a night with full inclusion of all facilities and amenities. Turns out, he was the owner. Whoa!!! With its buffet breakfast, gym, pool and walking proximity to Gaisano Mall, I felt pampered.

Apo View HotelApo View Hotel
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Apo View Hotel is as iconic in Davao as it gets. It is Davao's version of the prestigious Manila Hotel in Manila. For its rich history and elegance (and I might say, snob appeal), few can rival Apo View. It remains the place of choice for the well-heeled denizens of Davao. I felt like a king in the days I spent there, inviting friends and relatives to be my breakfast guest. When the sun goes down, I step into their Blue Room Jazz Bar for live music. At Apo View, I was the fly on top of the carabao thinking I was the carabao.

North Zen HotelNorth Zen Hotel
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With its city central location and the Lounge One Yoga Studio beside North Zen, I was in my elements. North Zen is also a short walk away from the best grilled tuna place, Yakituna and to Gaisano Mall (G Mall). The hotel offers the basic essentials for the traveler including breakfast.

Urban Zen HotelUrban Zen Hotel
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With the success of North Zen, the owners opened up another hotel, Urban Zen. I was its first hotel guest when it opened. The place offered a koi pond with a central lobby that opened up to the 4th floor ceiling. It was well architectured. Locationwise, it's within range from the cluster of trendy restos mushrooming up the area. Being a new hotel, everything was functional and new (similar to driving a new car that just rolled off the assembly line)!

Royal Mandaya HotelRoyal Mandaya Hotel
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Royal Mandaya Hotel looks colossal along J. Palma Gil Street. It has a luxurious lobby with well-appointed dining amenities, fitting its rich breakfast buffet offering. The outdoor pool is a great addition. Service is over the top with staff making you feel like a VIP. It's a short walk to People's Park and Cinematheque Davao. The room I had was very comfortable with a welcome fruit platter. The cable channels were clear and numerous.

Alu HotelAlu Hotel
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There is something about feeling right in a hotel - like a comfortable glove that fits. That is how Alu Hotel came across. With its hands-on and forward thinking manager, Mr. Ibot, wonders to the place have been done. It's one of the few hotels in Davao that has a bidet! One attraction of this place is the view of Mount Apo from its higher floors. For night life, it's right smack in front of the Night Market along Roxas.

Le CafeLe Cafe Resto Bar
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Le Cafe is an in-house resto for Alu Hotel but given its food selection and price, it can rival established dining places in Davao. Like Bistro ni Tuding, it offers something a little different from the usual offerings of Davao and well-worth the dining experience. Their P199 Payday Dinner Buffet is bang for the buck and its halo-halo is the richest there is in Davao. When doing the Night Market in Roxas, stop by Le Cafe and explore its menu. Your taste buds and pocket will thank you for it.

Ending Thoughts
For a traveler, hotel stay is the biggest expenditure. To have those looked-after, and add luxury to that, is a privilege I am grateful for. Given all my travels, this is the one time hotel abundance rained down. In the short interim I had no deal, I could always take refuge in my aunt's place. I cannot thank enough the good people who opened doors for me in making all these magical things happen. I appreciate the fact that this doesn't happen to anyone. It's a blessing I wish to pay forward with.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively review or assess your hotel from a traveler's perspective, email me.

comfy and luxurious room at Pinnacle Hotel taking advantage of the Pinnacle Hotel's gym finding an open space at Pinnacle Hotel for some rope skipping pool-side rope skipping at Apo View Hotel
getting online work done at Bahay ni Tuding Inn buffet breakfast with Dr. Lim and Ley at Pinnacle Hotel jacuzzi time at Pinnacle Hotel Apo View Hotel has a big room with a view
Apo View Hotel still has the old-world elegance you don't see nowadays the Peugeot pepper mill is the telltale sign of excellence. This is the Rolls Royce of pepper mills...only at Apo View Hotel resto with my uncle at Apo View Hotel's breakfast buffet savoring dishes from Pampanga with Mel and her friends at Bistro ni Tuding
live band at Apo View Hotel's bar basic room with the essentials at North Zen Hotel being the first hotel guest on the soft opening of Urban Zen Hotel luxurious resto ambience at Royal Mandaya Hotel
buffet breakfast offering at Royal Mandaya Hotel outdoor pool at Royal Mandaya Hotel the richest halo-halo serving in Davao at Le Cafe in Alu Hotel. You might like to request for more ice halfway through bringing the family along at Bistro ni Tuding for Gerry's Picks, a sumptuous selection of dishes from Pampanga
Mount Apo view from my 4th floor window at Alu Hotel Le Cafe at Alu Hotel can rival Davao's best eating places...for a fraction of the price Payday Dinner Buffet at Le Cafe...not to be missed for value and taste  

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Aug 22-Oct 31, 2016

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Davao City tourist attractions hotels in Davao City - hotel van rental in Davao City van rental
  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
    0925.500.3211 |
yoga in Davao City yoga | health | fitness food tour in Davao City tour food in Davao City resto | cafes in Davao City cafe autism in Davao City advocacy

Great Things Going for Davao City

  • one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  • smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  • pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  • public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  • durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information
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Davao Hotels


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One Oasis Davao

Davao hotel
Alu Hotel Davao
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Urban Living Zen Hotel

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The Apo View Hotel
Davao hotel
The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites

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The Royal Mandaya Hotel
Davao City hotel
Bahay ni Tuding
Inn and Resto

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North Zen Basic Spaces

Health and Fitness

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Lounge One
Yoga Davao
Davao Yoga, gym, spa, salon
Holiday Gym & Spa
gym | spa | yoga
massage | salon
Alveo Herbal
Alveo Herbal
cleanse the body
boost immune system
Lucy Rivero
T 0917.660.9529

Food and Coffee

Davao Pampanga cooking
Bistro ni Tuding
Davao restaurant
Le Cafe Bar & Grill Restaurant
Mel's Davao Food Tour
Mel's Davao Food Tour
Davao hotel
FROG Kaffee


Van Rental

Davao Autism
Shine Life Skills Center
Davao hotel
Cinematheque Davao
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Apollo Van Rental