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“can't swim here”

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Precious Garden Samal
Ranked #3 of 14 Samal Island B&B and Inns
Nueva Vizcaya Province, Philippines
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“can't swim here”
Reviewed 13 May 2013

Came here with friends. place was ok. food was ok, thanks to SMB, anything you eat tastes better.

service can be improved. they were slow. and then, they were really slow. must be the island way. I had asked them if they had a laundry service, they didnt. but they got the neighbors to do my laundry at a very cheap price. i think my clothes were washed with shampoo and not detergent. ;-)

rooms are clean, so it's ok. got a small bar of soap in the shower.

we just didnt have a good start with the resort.

We arranged for pick up from Davao Airport, their car broke down and we waited for quite awhile for them to arrive. It would have been ok except for the fact that they didnt even bother to call and inform us of their whereabouts and their current situation. my friends demanded the service(pick up) to be free of charge. and they agreed. so, we just didnt really get a good start with precious.

but all in all, it's still a good stay.

just that you cant swim in their beach...really.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Jamo_gwapo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

My expectations were not high, but i booked for Easter weekend and there was limited availability elsewhere. Setting of the hotel is great. Inside a garden which is well maintained and offers peace and relaxation (if it were not for the other noisy guests shouting and laughing outside their rooms!)
Food is very good, but quite expensive. Staff were friendly but probably due to short-staffing, the service was very slow. A short walk to the beach with huts, but the beach was nothing special and due to the port on the Davao side, the water looked dirty. Nice beach bar but, strangely, it was closed for 2 days over Easter which is quite odd given that it is an hotel. Beware of the touts at the ferry terminal. The only way to get to the hotel from the port is to take a short tricycle ride which costs around $1. I was charged $6, probably as I was a foreigner. The touts made sure that all trike drivers gave me the same quote!

Room Tip: Upper rooms have better view
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Roger B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2012

All in all it is fantastic. Their staffs are very accommodating and helpful. The hotel room is neat and the whole place is wonderful, serene and safe. Foods are sumptuous and the price ranges are at par. Their beach front is a nice place to stay. I and my friends hanged out in their floating bar, you can order beers and their specialty pizza. Your breakfast is already included in the accommodation payment which is 2,500 and you have the option if you want to serve it right in your bed or have it in the beach front. I also saw a flying lizard and it is cool. Samal is a very special place and the scenery is breath taking from morning till night. I do recommend their vanishing island tour which is very cheap. You will ride a speed boat going to the island. Just a tip, go for a tour in the afternoon so the island will come out (low tide). Things for improvement: The room that we went in has a defective air-conditioning; welcome drinks will be nice especially that most of the visitors will be coming in from the airport and extend the WIFI access in the rooms and in the beach front. Oh by the way you can ask them to call for a tricycle if you want to visit the downtown. Lastly the place is not commercialized unlike other resorts. If you want to have a laid back vacation and forget the busy schedule of your habitual life. This is a very nice piece of Mediterranean Serene Garden to stay in.

Room Tip: if you want a private balcony ask for a room in the second floor if you are going to the vanishing...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Yuna Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quezon City, Philippines
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2012

I wasn't expecting much from this resort in Samal but when we went there recently, my expectations were exceeded. First of all, the hotel is gorgeous and what I love most is how meticulously the paintings, the designs and the landscaping were selected. It's a mix of Spanish and modern designs although the owners are Filipino and German.

It was quiet and the place is big (a couple of hectares). The food is pretty good too and the price is just right because the servings are enough for 2-3 persons. The rooms are nice with a patio for every room. I would recommend updating the bed sheets to a modern design though. It's clean with good shower and lots of cabinets for your clothes. What they lack is a cable but they have wifi at the restaurant. What makes this place charming also is the attentiveness of their staffs and the quick reply of the owners via e-mails or cell phones.

Currently, they are building a swimming pool. They already have a beachfront with lots of bamboo beds with big throw pillows, two bars (one connected to where a small speedboat is docked and used to bring guests around Samal island), a badminton court and the outdoor shower areas. Oh and look for that beautiful Silver tree that glistens at night! I will definitely come back to this place.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rem_Lucio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2012

Precious Garden was an excellent resort. It was well maintained, well managed and very friendly. The location was pretty good as well. The main resort is about 100 meters off the actual beach in an immaculate garden setting. Walk down a palm shaded path and get to the private beach with lots of cabanas, a bar and a pier with another bar out over the water. Best of all was the food. It was really exceptional. We had the pizza from the wood fire oven…amazing. You must try the Kinilaw. It’s a local delicacy where fresh raw fish is drenched in vinegar and calamansi juice to ‘cook’ it. Seems the place is run by Germans, but I never met the owner. I’ve lived in the Philippines for 3 years and I have to say this place was beyond my expectations.

Here is a run down of positive and negatives:

Positives:
1. Food Food Food. Had German curry sausage, pizza, American breakfast, German breakfast, kinilaw, sizzling gambas and French fries. All were some of the best food I’ve ever had.

2. Cleanliness. The beds and room were basic, but good. Nothing really fancy. I stayed in what was called a matrimonial room. Air conditioner was fine. Bathroom was clean.

3. Service. Everyone we encountered was very nice and attentive. A lot of places in the Philippines have nice people. Attentive is the harder part. When I went done to the beach at night to sit in a cabana and relax, they send an attendant just for me to open the bar and let me drink. They also delivered food.

4. Price. The room was affordable. The food was affordable, but more expensive than you might find in the village. Not bad though.

Negatives:

1. Like most hotels in the Philippines below 4 stars, this place was hot-water challenged. Took a solid 10 minutes before a weak stream of warm water came out. I’m used to it I guess.

2. Not a lot of people. If you want to people watch, this is not the place. Seemed like there were not a lot of rooms. Felt like I was the only guy there. Even at the beach, it was quite alone. This can be a positive though.

3. No ref or water in the room. They want you to buy everything from the resort so they don’t make it easy for you. It’s how resorts make money here in the Philippines. Lucky here, the food is good.

4. Other guests looked like old German guys with their young girlfriends. Maybe it was just at this time. Doesn’t bother me, but might bother some.

Highly recommended. I will go to this place again.

Room Tip: Only saw the matrimonial rooms. Get one upstairs for a more private balcony instead of the shared la...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Russell H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davao City, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Yes the rooms are nice but
No fridge and the tv didn't work
The food is good
But expensive by comparison to many places I went
The beach is very average
Nice atmosphe but don't go off season there is little to do nearby
Thought I would get a room discount as I was the only one there and I didn't
It was a 150 dollar night in a hotel with food and drinks .. Hardly worth while going there if u have any budgeting to consider

Room Tip: More or less the same rooms throughout
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jonahing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davao City
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

I've recently spend a weekend there with 2 of my bestest friends from college. And we had an awesome time. We had the resort all to ourselves and felt like we own the place since there were just like 2 other guests there besides us. There were people also coming by to eat or. I'm not surprised cuz they offered numerous selections on their food and wines on the menu. It's too bad we didn't get the chance to try their pizza which they are famous for(feedback from people who have been here). Still, we had a delish brekky by the beach--- which is a short walk from the rooms, passing through its lovely garden.The resort is clean, and so are the toilets and shoreline. The staff were friendly and nice. The room we stayed at on the 2nd level has a big bed, with a flat screen (no cable though--- whcih is ok since the purpose of coming here is to enjoy the beach and catch up with friends, no room for watching movies) and a hot&cold shower. The upper rooms have the better views. And the veranda was juz perfect for hanging-out. The resort is Mediterranean-inspired which gives a different ambiance ... I think they're still more to the place. Currently, they're constructing the pool and doing a lot landscaping around the resort. Just a little note: It would have been nicer though to have been provided with complimentary H20, shampoo and soap like other resorts and hotels do. Although, I still highly recommend this place. And another thing, you can ask them to have you booked for a speedy trip to vanishing island or island hopping around Samal for affordable price.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bites B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Precious Garden Samal

Property: Precious Garden Samal
Address: Miranda, Libudan | Sitio Libudan, Brgy. Miranda Babak Dist. IGACOS, Mindanao 8118, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mindanao > Davao del Norte Province > Samal Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Samal Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Precious Garden Samal 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Precious Garden Restaurant and coffee house offers a warm welcome to all visitors. Sit out under the stars and enjoy the open air ambiance and leafy shade of mature tropical tress when enjoying our food. We are locally famous for our wood-fired oven pizzas and homemade pasta as well as other European and Filipino favorite dishes. We serve bio dynamic rice or fresh baked bread as options with all our dishes. We are confident that our brewed coffee and homemade cookies are the best on the island of samal. Our little fine hotel is located 10 minutes from the ferry landing in Babak / Samal Island. The tropical garden restaurant is a nice start in the morning and the white beach good for sundower. We offer many trips, also free shuttle servive to an islet named Sanipaan (Vanishing Island). Diving trips, snorkeling tours, inland tours (Bat Bave, Hagimit Falls, etc.). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Precious Garden Samal Hotel Samal Island
Precious Garden Samal Samal Island, Davao, Philippines

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