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BC1425
Manila, Philippines

Best Garden Resort in Samal !

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 Jan 2023
Overall, happy with our stay and will consider rebooking in the future should we visit Samal Island again. Highly recommended if you find Pearl Farm above your budget.

Main advantage of Chema's is they have direct boat ferrying guests to/from Davao <> Samal Island via private transfer, which is very convenient. Likewise, the resort is small-medium sized, hence you expect more privacy since number of guests is controlled.

We booked a cabana for our stay. Really enjoyed dining in private (breakfast, lunch, dinner!) in our own veranda. We never really ate at their restaurant since we enjoyed the convenience of private dining so much!

The beach was never crowded, there's always beach lounge chairs available whenever we went.

PROs:

- Very good service from staff, everyone is respectful and helpful
- Food is good!
- Drying rack provided
- Plenty of power outlets in the room
- Beach is divine! Powdery fine white sand, like that of Boracay's. Beach is very clean.
- Two pools to choose from! First time to try a salt water pool!
- They provided local Samal tour guide with a good/reasonable rate. Look for Arman. Highly recommended!
- Wifi is stable and accessible even at the beach... unless blackout strikes.

CONs:

- The following are NOT provided: hair dryer, safety vault
- Frequent power blackouts: we experienced multiple blackouts every day during our 4 day stay there. Once it was even at night (past 9pm). Generators take some time to kick-in. Likewise, the emergency lights in our cabana are not working. While all other cabanas have some light source during blackout, we had to make do with candles. They didn't replace or fix the broken emergency light even when we reported it on day 1. That probably never got fixed in a long time.
- The resort is NOT handicap-friendly (no wheelchair access, don't bring strollers too). All paths are stone steps (not paved walkway) , you need to take steep stone steps to head to the beach.
- Very long wait time for boat transfers both ways. Even if we had coordinated properly, it still took us an hour of wait time. We had small kids in tow so this was a struggle. Though I heard this is already better than taking the public boat transfer from Davao to Samal as queue can take 4 hours.

OTHER NOTES:

- Bring plenty of insect repellant. They seem to provide this for guests but they never refilled the dispenser in our bathroom. They do provide katol (insect repellant incense coils) but I do not recommend using if you have allergies, rhinitis, asthma.
- Bring aqua shoes and snorkel gear / goggles at least. The beach waters have live corals a few meters away from shore, you can see small marine life !
- We really liked the following items on their menu: daing na bangus (breakfast), beef salpicao, carbonara


Date of stay: December 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
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        4 - 9 of 154 reviews
        Reviewed 15 July 2022

        We chose Chema's as it was one of the few resorts in Samal that allowed you to bring your pets. We had stayed at Chema's a few years back, so we were not sure what to expect. We booked an overnight stay (Sunday-Monday) in July 2022. Our whole experience was decent, here is a breakdown of our stay.

        - To get to Chema's you have to go to Waterfront Hotel to use their pier. They will be in-charge to bring you via boat (they should give you time slots of when they travel). We were said to be there at 1pm. There was a quaint waiting area indicated for Chema's guests with seats. We ended up waiting for 45+ minutes. We speculated that this was due to the resort wanting to let guests leave as it was a Sunday. During the boat trip, we had the vibe that the crew was rushing us to the resort. This resulted to us getting splashed by the water (current and weather may be factors here). Crew helped us with our bags, which was good.

        - Upon arrival we were met with welcome drinks at the reception. We were sent to our rooms after a few moments. We stayed in the Cabana 1 (Sea Garden View Room) This had 2 rooms, 1 Queen sized bed, bathroom, television, small refrigerator, and aircon each. An outside couch and table is on the veranda of the cabana. The room felt secluded and private despite its location in the resort.

        - Chema's has a small beach front. The water has an amount of organic matter (not disruptive) and the sand is fine. To compensate for the small beach front, they have 2 pools, one on the shore and the other in the inner part of the resort. Both pools were clean and well maintained. All of the swimming areas had ample seats and tables. Take note room towels can not be used outside of the rooms and separate beach towels are provided.

        - Food here is good. I suggest trying their Twice Cooked Chicken Adobo and Greek Salad. Their prices are a little steep, but considering the ingredients and being in a resort, it should be fine. Dining may be done in their restaurant or at the table outside your room (preferred).

        Copies of their menus are available on the website.
        Breakfast is free for overnight stays.

        - Service was excellent. All the staff answered all our questions and queries. They were attentive and very accommodating. All of our requests for water while eating was responded to quickly. Our request for late checkout was dealt with well and they sent a room checker in advance to have a smooth exit.

        Overall, our stay was great. We felt like we escaped the city in a very peaceful vacation. I noted a number of negative reviews, but soon saw that they were all before 2019/2020. Their staff are very accommodating and friendly, greeting us with smiles whenever we walked pass them. Hopefully the delays and problems in getting to the resort will not be seen anymore, but nevertheless we will definitely want to go back!

        Date of stay: July 2022
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          • Location
          • Service
        Thank Samasaurth
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Reviewed 12 May 2022

        Book here because of the good reviews i’ve read but our experience was quiet the opposite. They arrive almost an hour late for the pick up schedule.Not even a phone call to inform us their whereabouts. We decided to cancel our stay and the refund took a month which i paid cash. Very inconsiderate.

        Date of stay: March 2022
          • Value
          • Rooms
          • Service
        2  Thank Hiiamceejay
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Reviewed 12 April 2022

        So sad … I visited this place so many times when his previous owner, Mr. Quincho was still alive … never expected the new management to be so dishonest !! They neither credit my deposit nor refund it after almost two months …

        Date of stay: February 2022
        Trip type: Travelled with family
        2  Thank rafaelg195
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Reviewed 5 March 2022

        My family and I were at Chema's by the Sea last January to celebrate my birthday. We were on a trip to Davao City that time so I decided to go to one of Davao's beach resorts for my special day.

        Booking was quite easy even though my reservation was last minute. I was able to secure a booking the night before we were supposed to go there. They were responsive via text and email, and I was able to make the payment via online bank transfer.

        From Acacia Hotel, we took a taxi to the Waterfront Insular Hotel where we were picked up the resort's boat. Boat ride took around 5 mins.

        If I remember correctly, it was P1,500 per head (day tour) which includes the boat transfer, cottage, towel use, and food. There were four of us so we had P6,000 to spend on food from their menu. Free welcome drinks were also provided. I think that was a cucumber-calamansi concoction.

        The place, in general, is serene. Luckily, there were only a few people with us during our stay. There were only about 4 groups, ours included. One group even had their golden retrievers with them. :)

        The beachfront is not that big, so I can imagine it getting crowded during peak season.

        The staff were friendly and helpful.

        Food and drinks were okay.

        Overall, I loved the ambiance of the place. It's the perfect spot if you seek solitude and privacy.

        Date of stay: January 2022
          • Value
          • Sleep Quality
          • Service
        2  Thank CheSabCab
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
        Reviewed 22 January 2022

        I have been visited Chemas by the Sea last November 7 with my family to bond with them . I am very satisfied with their services because most of the staff in their resort are very welcoming and approaching, they really do their job very well because when they serve their customers we can feel very comfortable and feel like our only home. I am very thankful for their services because you would never being disatisfied when you visit Chemas by the Sea.

        Date of stay: November 2021
        Trip type: Travelled with family
        3  Thank miyasungit0605
        This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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