Many people visit Davao for the food, particularly the fruits like the infamous durian, the pomelo and the banana. Other fruits in abundance are rambutan and mangosteen. On the way to Eden, we passed by stalls selling marang, a fruit that is a cross between a jackfruit and an atis, for P20 per kilo (This is way cheaper than the P60 to P80 price in the city but then again, Eden is miles away so no competition there). It also has an odor that is less pungent than that of the durian.
We tried the French restaurant Claude’s, which has been in Davao for 17 years, and La Toscana, which serves Italian cuisine. These are more expensive than the usual restaurants in the city, where a crab buffet can be enjoyed for less than P300, but they serve authentic fare. One of our hosts told me that she has never eaten at La Toscana because it is a fine dining restaurant even if she and her boyfriend would always pass by it.
Marina Tuna also serves one of Davao’s most famous culinary offerings—tuna—10 ways, including sashimi, ceviche, grilled and sinigang (this involved the eyeballs only, something definitely not for the faint of heart).
Back at the hotel, we had lunch at Café Marco, which offers buffet specialties from around the world, and dinner at Polo Bistro, which serves steaks, and hot-off-the-grill seafood treats. Café Marco is where we had a very delicious lechon before we left for Manila. We also enjoyed a meal at Lotus Court, which offers Cantonese food and an unforgettable chocolate buchi.
After our last dinner at the hotel, we enjoyed a two-hour treatment, including a massage and body scrub, at Lazuli Spa.
For breakfast, I would usually go to the newly renovated Continental Club Lounge, where afternoon tea and cocktails are also served. And it is in this lounge where my younger relatives had their much-awaited “pictorial.”
They also had their picture taken in the room that I occupied, which was under a new room category. Premier Rooms, which are for business travellers, have a higher rate than the superior rooms but lower than the suites. Included in the rate is the use of a coffee machine (with refills) and a mini bar.
“There are travelers who do not have the time to go to the Continental Club Lounge so this category is for them,” explains Marco Polo Davao Hotel general manager Anthony Wai Kwok Tan.
Most of the foreign tourists in Davao, says Tan, are Koreans, Chinese and Singaporeans.
“But 95 percent of our guests are Filipinos, most of them business travelers. We don’t get a lot of Davao City residents because the idea of a staycation is not common here yet,” he adds.
Aside from the beautiful rooms, excellent services and world-class facilities, another reason to stay at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao is its location. Just across the hotel is Aldevinco, a shopping landmark for souvenirs.
“Davao offers the total experience for any traveler,” says Tan.
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