I've been to Mergrande Ocean Resort twice before. This was my third. There's a bold sign that warns against swimming due to "Big Waves" but I do wonder if this sign is actually removed out of sight. I remembered this from my last two visits. To be honest, I was looking for evidence of these gigantic waves. They seem to have gone elsewhere.
I visited on a Monday so the place was almost deserted. Almost. There was a Japanese guy with 3 friends lounging at the restaurant. I ordered a "pansit canton" (a noodle dish) for my snack. It looked as common as most cantons, but I was surprised it was actually good. A table facing the beach was a perfect spot for relaxing and watching the waves rush to the shore. There were guys frolicking with their skim boards, it was actually fascinating watching them slide over small waves.
Mergrande Ocean Resort is a lot of things. It's a beach resort, a convention center, and an events place for prom nights and birthdays. There's a neglected mini-golf area with a castle as its entrance. There's a pond with overgrown lilies. People could stay here overnight and rent out cottages categorized into four: Captain, Pirate and Fisherman - and then there's the Duplex/Quadruplex all ranging between PhP1,500 to PhP1700 a night, with 12 PM check out time. If budget is tight, there are 90 dormitory rooms worth a measly PhP100 per head per night. There's dart, basketball, tennis and a mini-golf. And there's a huge swimming pool with slides, but we'll feature that on our next post.
Celebrities have been here, as documented by framed photos on the wall. Edu Manzano, Sam Milby and PBB's Cass; Angel Aquino's stepped on its grounds as well. There's a canteen and a sprawling restaurant with a very laidback waiting staff, I had to go up to their counter to order instead of them coming up to me. Overall, there's a languid atmosphere that fascinates me.
The place is big enough that you'd have plenty of areas to cover for a little stroll, 8.8 hectares to be exact. And for how much? Hold your breath, it's a measly PhP25 ($0.55). If you plan on using the swimming pool, buy a separate ticket worth PhP60 ($1.35). That's a total of PhP85 - and there's plenty of options for leisure. In fact, there's the actual possibility of exploration other than the beach. How much is it at Villa Carmelita Resort or the Japanese Tunnel's pool - PhP100? If I wanted my money's worth, this would be the better option hands down. I won't even blink on it. It's a no-brainer.
As mentioned, there are open huts for the day visitors: PhP200 for the small huts and PhP700 for the big ones. The beach officially closes at 6 PM. Pool schedule is from 8:30 AM to 10 PM. There's a lifeguard manning the pool compound. The better news is, videoke is not allowed here - so people who impose their noise are prohibited here. This allows a truly relaxing time. In fact, the city feels far away.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|The way to the beach.|
|Playground for the children.|
|Pansit Guisado will cost you PhP65 ($1.46).|
|Swimming Pool. We'll have a separate feature on this pool area which follows this posting.|
Mergrande Ocean Resort is located in Bago Aplaya, Talomo, Davao City. If you're staying at the city center, it'd probably take you 45 minutes to an hour to get there, which is south of the center, considering traffic - and the ridiculous speed limits that the city has adopted. Please do not inquire in this blog for rates and reservations. Contact them at (063-82) 298-4100 or 298-4101. You may also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. There's a corresponding corkage fee for each beverage taken inside the resort. I reckon you don't have to because food and beverages at their restaurant aren't resort rates. It's an inexpensive place for dining.
Visit their website if you require more information: http://mergrande.com/
|Entrance to the resort|