They say the best things in life come in small packages. Sometimes though, they come in huge ones, like 760 hectares huge. I’m talking about the only beach resort in the world that’s situated within a plantation, Banana Beach Resort.
Having heard so many good things about this hidden piece of paradise in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, we endured the bottom-warming hour-long drive to Banana Beach Resort one fine Monday. We’re self-professed weekend warriors but since we didn’t want too many people photo-bombing our Instagram-worthy shots, we opted to go on a weekday. Plus of course, the rates are cheaper (haha!)
Banana Beach Resort is but a small portion of a 760-hectare property owned by the Tuasons of Hijo Estates. They are a prominent family based in Manila, known to be the first exporters of bananas in the Philippines. Within the estate is another, more luxurious resort, Lanikai, which also serves as the family’s vacation home.
From the property’s main gate, Banana Beach Resort’s tourist center pops out of nowhere; a white structure with a thatched roof, and a good number of interesting sculptures on its front lawn. The lady manning the front desk directs guests to the beach path right after prompting the resort staff that you’re well on your way.
I was expecting the resort to be beautiful what with all the photos and reviews in blogs and travel sites but I guess I was not expecting first-class service. As it turns out, Banana Beach Resort is not only a high-end resort; they’re the epitome of authentic Filipino hospitality.
Perhaps it was the huge smiles of the staff or maybe the manager’s efforts to go out of her way to entertain us. It could also be the palpable feeling of being one with nature. Whichever it is, we felt so welcomed and at home from check-in ‘til check out.
The Infinity Pool
The resort’s main crowd magnet is their stunning infinity pool. As somebody who always prefers the sea’s salty ripples to a pool’s chlorine-infused stillness, I was surprised to find myself yearning to dip my foot in the warm waters. The reviews I read weren’t fabricated at all; the pool is absolutely fantastic! It even has a swim-up bar for when you get thirsty but are too lazy to get out and walk about 10 steps to the restaurant.
Sun beds are placed by the pool, ready for anyone who’d like to take a siesta while working on a sun-kissed look. The beautiful beach is also just a few steps away; kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are just waiting to be used by the adventurous guest.
We stayed in a tastefully-furnished casita sitting among beautiful flowering plants and palms. The room is air-conditioned though it was very tempting to just open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors and let the fresh sea breeze in. It was so airy and the room looked so immaculate, so immaculate that I almost didn’t want to lie in the bed. We’re so used to roughing it out that such luxury left us a little disoriented, like we didn’t belong there but those thoughts quickly evaporated as soon as we sat on the comfortable bed.
Air-conditioned casitas in Banana Beach Resort are spacious and can accommodate up to four people. Aside from the king-sized bed with premium bedding and linen, there’s a wide sofa with a pull-out bed, and a love seat which can easily sleep an average-sized adult.
For those who prefer having the sea breeze lull them to sleep, the resort also has non air-conditioned nipa casitas located closer to the beach. The beds are enclosed in mosquito nets to make ensure a good night’s sleep. If you need privacy, you can always take the blinds down.
For day guests, Banana Beach Resort offers tea houses located on the left side of the pool. They’re basically open cottages furnished with cozy pillows, two small mattresses and a small table. The setup looks really comfortable and the manager told us that they were once able to convert them to impromptu overnight accommodations by installing mosquito nets.
Things To Do
There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Banana Beach Resort; I think the only limit will be your energy. Water activities are available at the beach and there are tours you can join that can leave you in more awe of nature. I’d recommend the forest tour and the river tour; they’re both fun and enriching.
If you’d like to tap into your inner haciendero, you can go for the plantation tour and learn about the science of growing bananas and processing coconut products. Or you can just laze around The Spot while waiting for fish to bite. Your catch can be cooked by the staff at the restaurant.
All activities are supervised by a very able security team to ensure safety at all times. Find out more about the different tours in separate posts.
Our stay at Banana Beach Resort was an exhilarating adventure, albeit a short one. We were able to experience the best of everything the resort has to offer, and then some more. We recommend visiting soon, before the rest of the world finds out about Davao Region’s best kept secret.
Banana Beach Resort
Brgy. Madaum, Tagum City
Davao del Norte
+63 917 633 7019
+63 999 885 0031
+63 82 282 3662