As you might have already noticed, Davao City is does not have a lot of beach resorts. We have nearby Samal Island for that. What we have though are plenty of inland and mountain resorts like Eden Nature Park, Malagos Garden Resort and Felis Resort Davao.
Felis Resort Davao is one of the older resorts that have endured through decades. In fact, I remember visiting this resort during a couple of our field trips in grade school. It’s located by the sea, with plenty of opportunity for communing with nature.
Felis Resort Davao is located in an area called Shanghai in Matina Aplaya, Davao City. I do not know why it is called Shanghai, it does not hold any resemblance to photos I see of the famous Chinese city. Aplaya, though, means seaside or beach. This area in the southern part of Davao City faces the larger portion of Davao Gulf. Matina Aplaya is a coastal area but the beach resorts are not very popular due to the black sand and lack of proper maintenance.
From downtown Davao City, you can ride a jeepney with a Matina Aplaya signage on the front. These jeepneys usually pass though C.M. Recto St (Claveria), Magsaysay St (Uyanguren), Agdao, Ponciano Reyes St then San Pedro Street before it heads south again. The best and easiest place to catch these jeepneys is near the University of Mindanao downtown campus.
Felis Resort Davao is known for its fishing. In fact, according to the Davao City Tourism Board website, it is one of the top recommended activities for visitors. The abundance of marine resources of the Davao Gulf coupled with the resort’s efforts to enrich the area makes this spot a great place to catch fish like lapu-lapu (grouper), snapper, bangus (milk fish) and even crabs. You can either have your catch cooked for an additional charge or take it home and experiment with it in your own kitchen. I prefer the first though, there’s nothing quite like eating fish that was still alive a few minutes before. Fresh!
Another one of their main attractions is the pool. Felis Resort Davao sits on a reclaimed area and their baywalk drops off to deep sea so it’s not really ideal for swimming. Hence, the pool is the next best thing. You can just inhale the sea breeze and pretend to be swimming in the sea.
Their pool is quite nice though. It is very well-maintained and kiddie pool is really safe for kids. I did not have qualms about letting Adie enjoy it without one of us having to get in with her. She had lots of fun with the other kids! There is a sizeable function area right by the pool that’s perfect for parties and small gatherings. You can actually book the pool for exclusive use if you want to hold a poolside event at Felis Resort.
There are plenty of other entertainment options at Felis Resort Davao. They have a volleyball court close to the resort entrance for those who want some sports action. There’s an area where you can play pool and darts. And of course, there’s karaoke! No Filipino resort is quite complete without a karaoke (videoke) machine where you drop coins before you can select a song. Fun!
If you’re not fishing but want to dine by the sea, you can always order live tilapia or hito (catfish) to be cooked for you and served in one of their thatched roof huts facing the water. There’s also Veranda Restaurant which can accommodate big events.
Felis Resort Davao offers a variety of accommodations to fit different group sizes and requirements. They have day cottages near the water and the windmill house for day guests. Felis Resort also has a good number of overnight rooms located all over the resort complex. Some rooms can sleep up to 35 people, perfect for conferences which can also be held in any one of their function areas.
I did not get the chance to peek at any of the rooms during our visit but you may visit their website for photos of their accommodations. Also posted in the website are Felis Resort Davao rates.
I recommend Felis Resort Davao for a weekend of fishing and fresh seafood. If coming with kids, make sure to bring swimming outfits so you can just leave them at the pool (supervised by an adult, of course) while you fish. Win-win, yes?