Why Stay at Waterfront on your Next Trip to Davao? @WaterfrontDavao

by Monique Tendencia



Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao is one of Davao’s most well-known landmarks. It has served locals and tourists alike since 1961.

A beachfront hotel located just 15 minutes from the airport, it is perfect for travelers who are staying for either business or pleasure or both.

Here’s what I loved about Waterfront Davao…


Lanang, Davao City 8000, Philippines
Phone: +63 82 233-2881
Fax: +63 82 235-0900
E-mail: wihd@waterfronthotels.net
Facebook: Waterfront Insular Hotel
Instagram: @waterfrontdvo
Website: www.waterfronthotels.com.ph


Their welcome drink is fresh coconut juice served in its shell. I like that they don’t try to go all fancy with this.



The lobby has displays celebrating Mindanaoan culture.



The whole property is just sprawling with towering coconut trees and acacias.



The hotel is located along the Davao Gulf, which gives guests an unobstructed view of Samal Island.

Their location is actually very strategic–it’s 15 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes from the beach, and 20 minutes to the nearest mall.




The water on Waterfront’s side is not ideal for swimming though, as it’s very rocky. The next best option is to head to Chema’s by the Sea, which is just a 10-minute boat ride from the hotel.



The fine white sand and clear blue waters of Samal Island greet you as you reach the property. Chema’s is a bit more expensive than other nearby resorts, but this allows for more privacy.



Chema’s by the Sea has a unique saltwater infinity pool for those who prefer to stay in the shade.

The docking point is conveniently located at Waterfront. However, Waterfront does not handle bookings and reservations for Chema’s.




You can find this sign at the entrance of the buildings. You can leave your Durian at the reception and just pick it up before you leave.

Waterfront Davao has 4 buildings, 3 of which are part of the original 1961 structure. The 4th building was added in 1973.



The hallway leading to the rooms are quite dark. I personally like it though…it retains the charm of old hotels.



Waterfront Davao has a grand total of 159 rooms. I stayed in Room 268, a Deluxe Premium Room in Building 2. You’ll notice that there is no visible air-conditioning unit as they kept the original style of using a thermostat and centralized AC.

The room is spacious and comfortable. Despite being an old hotel, the room and its furnishings do not feel dated.



The Deluxe Premium Room has a Queen Size bed that can fit two adults. The pillows were soft as a feather and provided great neck support for sleeping.

There are no ceiling lights in the bed area, so the only light source at night are the two bedside lamps.



There’s a working space in the corner, which I made use of in the late hours of the night.

Waterfront also has a decent Wi-Fi connection so you don’t have to worry about missing e-mails or your social media updates.



The bathroom comes complete with the usual amenities and a shower with bathtub. Having a bathtub is always a plus in my book.

There’s nothing more relaxing than a warm bath after a whole day of walking and traveling.



What I liked most about this room was the telephone system that also functions as a mobile charger and speakers. There are no plugs close to the bed so being able to charge my mobile phone through the landline was convenient.



Not to be forgotten, the view from the veranda is just undisputed. Rooms can either have a beach view or a garden view and you can request for which one you prefer.



Waterfront Davao has four dining areas, each catering to a different dining style.


Café Uno offers all-day international dining, a la Carte, as well as a wide array of choices for breakfast and lunch buffet.

The lunch buffet has different themes for each day of the week, so guests can look forward to having a different experience every time. I loved the carved meat they served during the Wednesday Western Fusion buffet.



Don’t miss out on their breads! Waterfront Davao has outstanding pastries.



Another thing I took notice of was their creative desserts. Some of them were a little too sweet for my palate, but the small sizes helped to stop me from overindulging.



Even the breakfast selection changes daily! You have your usual eggs and Filipino fare, but I was so excited when I saw this DIY taho on our last day there.


Café Uno Lunch Buffet Schedule
Monday: Healthy Options
Tuesdays and Fridays: All About the Grill
Thursdays and Sundays: Truly Asian
Wednesdays and Saturdays: Western Fusion

Lunch buffet is at ₱ 550.00 net/person



La Parilla Grill and Restaurant is an open-air restaurant with a great garden view.

They offer grilled specialties from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., including Davao’s freshest seafood. I couldn’t get enough of the grilled shrimps! 



Vinta Bar is Waterfront’s in-house bar. If you want to unwind after a long day of meetings, or simply just wish to drink in a relaxed ambiance, then this is the place for you. Ask for their special Pomelo Guava drink when you’re here.

Vinta Bar is open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Davao has such a strict midnight drinking curfew that even hotels have to comply.



Lastly, the Pizzaiolo and Lobby Lounge offers a more relaxed ambiance, perfect when you’re just looking for a light snack. If you like the pastries they serve at Café Uno’s buffet, you can purchase them here and bring them home.

Pizzaiolo is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.



Chef Giovanni Sias oversees all kitchen operations and is basically the brains behind everything. You can often see him walking around the restaurant checking that all the food is up to their standards.

Don’t be shy to say hi…he willingly engages everyone in a conversation.




Waterfront Davao also has a swimming pool for adults (five to ten feet) and a baby pool for the kids. I didn’t get to swim in the pool though as there wasn’t much free time during my trip.

Fun fact: This pool has retained its original structure since 1961.




It was my first time in Davao and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao definitely set the bar high for hospitality. The staff was courteous and attended to all our requests. The ambiance of the property put me in a good mood the whole time. Don’t miss out on their grilled selections at La Parilla and their hearty breakfast buffet at Café Uno.

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao is the best hotel to stay in Davao if you’re looking for a sense of privacy combined with the accessibility of the nearby beaches of Samal Island. Dedicate a day to just exploring Samal Island and retreat back to Waterfront Davao at night for a great dinner and a good night’s sleep.


Lanang, Davao City 8000, Philippines
Phone: +63 82 233-2881
Fax: +63 82 235-0900
E-mail: wihd@waterfronthotels.net
Facebook: Waterfront Insular Hotel
Instagram: @waterfrontdvo
Website: www.waterfronthotels.com.ph


Live an Awesome Life,



P.S. I took a quick trip to the city to meet some of my family and tried some grub at Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar. I highly recommend trying out their Smoked Candied Bacon–crispy bacon coated in a sweet glaze, and baked to achieve a candy-like exterior. It’s a good take on a sweet and salty dish.


2nd Floor Al Fresco, Felcris Centrale, Quimpo Blvd, Davao City
Instagram: @perch_dvo
Facebook: Perch Davao

One thought on “Why Stay at Waterfront on your Next Trip to Davao? @WaterfrontDavao

  1. is this the original waterfront hotel?
    I stayed in waterfront Cebu and found it weird that the hotel was nowhere near any body of water.

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