We live for pocket vacations that fuel our work and school days. So when the chance came to visit one of the most popular vacation spots in Buda, I convinced Jun to pack up our laptops and go. We visited Monte Ana Haven up in Davao City’s highlands last week and boy was it a great experience!
Monte Ana Haven is a vacation rental located in the rolling hills of Marilog District. Before the pandemic, we frequented the area for fresh strawberries and vegetables. Earlier this year, we celebrated the New Year with my parents and siblings at Gethsemane Garden Resort.
My siblings-in-law are home from their jobs overseas so it was an opportune time to gather Jun’s family. Moments like these are few and far between so we decided to go even if the reservation was on a work day.
Getting to Buda
Monte Ana Haven is about 60 kilometers or a two-hour (mostly) scenic drive from us. From downtown Davao, it could take up to three hours depending on traffic in the Matina and Maa areas. The property can be accessed by private cars or motorcycles. If you’re not a Davao local and do not own a vehicle, rentals are available in the city.
From downtown, take Asian Highway 26 then make a right to the Davao-Bukidnon Road. Follow the winding BUDA (Bukidnon-Davao) road until you reach the Philippine Eagle monument — it will be on your left side. A few meters away will be the start of the access road to Monte Ana Haven, right across the road from the Baganihan Barangay Hall.
The road leading up to the property is not exactly easy. Our small Kia Picanto had a really hard time in the muddy uncemented parts, and Adie and I even had to disembark on the final ascent. Good thing Jun is an exceptional driver. Big cars will have no problems, though.
Monte Ana Haven is on Google Maps so you should have no issues locating the place.
Monte Ana Haven Features
The resort is perched on a 500sqm property with a main house and pool house, all offering commanding views of the surrounding mountains. They can comfortably house 15 to 30 people in three main sleeping areas: the mezzanine (not in photos), the master’s bedroom, and the loft house.
The master’s bedroom sleeps 2 people while the loft house can fit up to 12. The mezzanine can also accommodate 12 people and tents can be set up around the property upon request. The daybeds and sofas are also good for sleeping.
While Monte Ana Haven is relaxing, it is also made for a fun staycation for the family. Their beautiful hall/activity area is perfect for Instagram-worthy photos and there’s a karaoke machine for those who want to belt out their favorite songs. I know I did!
There’s also a pit for bonfires, roasting, and chilly night drinking. Firewood can be made available but I recommend bringing your own. Also, bring a firestarter to make things easy for you. There are several lounge chairs and tables around the firepit for gathering the family around. The kids were intrigued by the big fire and asked for marshmallows, which I sadly forgot to bring. 😔
Monte Ana Haven’s swimming pool is one of the prettiest I’ve seen in this area. It looks out into the mountains and is surrounded by beautiful flora. The water was freezing, though. Even my water-loving toddler only lasted for a few minutes in the pool and just opted to play on the slide and swing set.
Kitchen and Dining Areas
There is a fully-functional kitchen in the main house where you can cook your meals. Foodservice is currently not available so you should bring your own ingredients. There is no refrigerator in the house so bring coolers and ice as well. A cooktop, pots and pans, knives, and utensils are available for guest use. Plates, cups, and dining utensils are also provided. There is an indoor 6-seater dining table and an outdoor dining area that can accommodate more. Drinking water is also provided.
Electricity and Internet
You do not have to worry about running out of juice or going off-grid at Monte Ana Haven. The entire property is solar-powered and wireless Internet is available through Globe Telecom. Their energy stores were enough to power the karaoke machine and TV for the entire day until we turned them off at 10PM (local regulation). High-wattage appliances like rice cookers and water heaters cannot be used. They also have a backup generator in case the panels run out of power.
My Impressions on Monte Ana Haven
Would I recommend Monte Ana Haven? Yes, definitely. It is great for family gatherings or outings with friends. It’s perfect for team building, too. The property is child-friendly although there are spots where kids can fall off if they’re not careful. The grounds surrounding the main house and loft house are covered with artificial turf so it’s safe for walking around barefoot.
There are some staff/caretakers who live just off the main house. They’re very friendly and attentive. In case of accidents (like Adie’s), they have a basic first aid kit for dressing wounds and some medicine for common illnesses.
- Make sure you bring a 4×4 or at least a large vehicle to avoid trouble on the road.
- Check the weather forecast before booking.
- If traveling with small children, never let them out of your sight especially when the doors of the activity area are open. They can easily fall off.
- Do not sit on the metal swing set near the firepit. It’s not anchored to the ground and it fell on Adie when she tried to swing.
- Bring your own firewood and coals for grilling.
- Take advantage of the karaoke! It has a huge selection of songs.
- Bring insect repellant and apply a generous amount on exposed skin.
- Wake up before 4AM to (possibly) witness a sea of clouds.
- Buy plant seedlings and fresh vegetables in nearby Marahan.
- Enjoy the place, forget about social media for a while, and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
For bookings and inquiries, you may visit their Facebook page.
More Photos of Monte Ana Haven
I would gladly go back to Monte Ana Haven and maybe stay for more than just a night. As I write this, I am truly missing the experience and already looking for dates when we can plan our next visit. To close, here’s a photo of our family taken right before we checked out. Adie was attending class, that’s why she’s missing in the shot. Until our next quick trip!