When you talk about Mati, one place pops immediately to everyone’s mind — the Dahican Surf Resort. A fantastic premium tourist spot especially for surfers, the said resort boasts a fine and powdery white sand shoreline, with waves that are perfect for surfing.
But Mati has more to offer other than that. There are plenty of resorts here bestowed with an abundance of beaches that remain unknown to many, particularly to those in the North. One notable place is Bahia Beach Resort, a simple yet wonderful tourist haven that is just as great as Dahican.
Last year, I had the chance to celebrate the 24th birthday of my friend, Joanne, in Mati, along with our other friends. Since we’ve been to Dahican Surf Resort a couple of times — that place was our favorite hangout spot — we finally decided to go somewhere else: the Bahia Beach Resort.
We had set our criteria for this early on. We were looking for a resort where we can have fun, be loud. It should be budget-friendly with a stunning and mesmerizing sunset view, and Bahia Beach Resort clearly was the best choice.
We made sure to book a reservation before we went to Mati. After that, we talked about the things to bring and food to prepare. Bonus factor, this resort won’t charge you for bringing outside food, meaning no corkage at all.
Getting to Bahia Beach Resort
The night before Joanne’s birthday, everyone arrived on time at the meeting place we agreed on. However, there would be a person who had a different time zone in our group. That was me. Though we agreed to meet at 9PM, I arrived an hour late. Luckily, our departure time was not until midnight.
We hopped into our rented car from Car Rental Davao to get to Bahia Beach Resort. Although you could take public transportation to get to the resort, renting a car would be the best decision you could ever make whenever traveling outside Davao City. We had a comfortable experience with renting a car from this car rental agency.
It was a seamless experience. We chose a Ford Everest for our group, but Car Rental Davao offers sedan units and vans as well. What’s also great about them is that they offered to arrange an airport car rental for us. In our case, since we were already in Davao, they dropped off the unit in a nearby street. No other car rental agency would do that aside from them. It was part of their service, and they won’t charge you for that.
Trip to Mati
We arrived in Mati around 5 in the morning, so we waited there to witness the sunrise. I couldn’t count how many pictures we’d taken with the Sleeping Dinosaur Island in the background.
Then, we went to a restaurant near the roadside to eat breakfast. It was a typical carinderia and the food was just okay. After that, my friends and I had a brief chit-chat that ended up with us taking the trail to Sleeping Dinosaur Island. I didn’t know how we ended up there, but I was sure it was one of those spontaneous decisions a group of friends would make to enjoy the thrill of the moment. Although we didn’t make it to the end of the trail, we definitely had a blast, and the normally quiet trail was filled, though short of breath, with laughter.
After that, we returned to the carinderia where we parked the car. Then, we immediately proceeded to Bahia Beach Resort. On our way to the resort, we were amazed by how peaceful the road of Mati was. Even the downtown area was not that crowded compared to Davao City, where I live.
As we got closer to the beachside, the houses became few to nothing at all. We witnessed a typical provincial scene. It was calming, appealing, and mesmerizing. We were like children, amazed by how beautiful and picturesque the scenery we had seen, away from the busy Davao metropolis.
Arrival at Bahia Beach Resort
It was 9 in the morning when we arrived at the resort, and we were the first guests to check in. Honestly, we anticipated that there would be several guests in the resort since it was the weekend. The staff welcomed us with a smiling and welcoming face.
First, we followed safety protocols by wearing face masks and face shields. It was also a city ordinance that resorts would not accept walk-in guests if the guests were from another city, so we made sure to secure a reservation by contacting the resort’s Facebook page.
The resort ground was surrounded by coconut trees as if they were strategically arranged to create a scenic view for the visitors’ eyes. There were a few air-conditioned beach cabanas and casitas rooms, kiosks, camping tents, and a pavilion.
After we checked in, we immediately went to our tent. We rented one since it could house all of us. The first thing that we did was, of course, took pictures, like most of our age do. But the fun got interrupted since we needed to prepare for lunch.
“Who among you here will cook the rice?” asked Joanne. I volunteered, but Patricia remembered what one of the staff had said when we checked in. “Didn’t Kuya offer to lend us a rice cooker whenever we need one, did he?” she said.
“Yeah, he did! We should get the rice cooker. Even though we have a portable burner, it is still a good offer,” I said.
Until now, I couldn’t believe the kindness and hospitality the resort staff had shown to us. Typically, a resort would collect a rental fee for appliances, but it was really different in Bahia Beach Resort. The rice cooker was free of charge. We were grateful we chose this resort among all of our choices.
The lunch we prepared was served on the table just outside our tent. We had a quick lunch since all of us were excited to swim or, honestly speaking, take pictures.
Probably the striking feature of the resort was its famed Bahia Bridge. It was a footbridge that would lead you to an open hut, meters away from the shoreline. I had seen pictures on different social media platforms where they shot prenup pictures or even proposals here. It was known to be its main attraction.
Bahia Beach Resort was unlike other resorts I had been to. It was full of surprises. When one of the staff went to walk the horse on the resort grounds, Therese, another friend of ours, jumped out of excitement.
She asked if she could ride the horse, and she got a yes. Her eyes sparkled as she hastened to look for her purse to get money for the horseback riding fee. I don’t know the specifics of their conversation. All I heard was that for 30 minutes of horseback riding, you have to pay P150 and P300 for an hour. I was a scaredy-cat so I opted not to try it myself.
When the sun was about to set, we immediately went to the shoreline to witness the saturation and blasts of colors. I guess it was very obvious that we loved watching the sunrise and sunset, and we loved taking pictures during those magic hours. Aha!
The next day, we woke up at around 7AM to prepare our breakfast. While doing that, some of us cleaned the tent we rented as our check-out time would be by noon. We decided to leave earlier though because we were planning to visit the downtown bay area of Mati City.
We then went straight ahead to the reception area to check out. We were very thankful to the resort staff. Of course, we returned the rice cooker. I couldn’t forget as all of our faces were painted with perfect smiles as we gave our thanks.
Our stay at the Bahia Beach Resort had widened our perspectives about Mati City. This city is not limited to Sleeping Dinosaur Island and Dahican Surf Resort. It indeed has more to offer. Also, this city is not just about its pristine, white-sand beaches, but also a place where polite and kind people live. That alone makes this a remarkable and memorable place. We will surely come back.
Bahia Beach Resort Rates
Kiosk – P1,500 for overnight rate suitable for ten persons
Airconditioned casitas room – P2,000 suitable for three persons with complimentary breakfast
Air-conditioned beach cabana rooms – P3,500 including toiletries with complimentary breakfast suitable for five persons
Camping tent – P1,500 including an electric fan with complete beddings
Exclusive rental for events – P50,000
How to contact Bahia Beach Resort
Manguihay, Mati City, Davao Oriental
Mobile nos.: 09197107347 or 09752648754
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