It was already 6:00 PM when we arrived at El Don Resort in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental. Although it was already dark, I couldn’t help but notice the well-manicured garden, the vibrant lights within the property, especially at the swimming pool area.
El Don Resort lives up to its brand, being a premier resort in Davao Oriental. This 21-hectare coconut and mangrove farm is known as a top-notch ecotourism and wellness destination in Mindanao. And I completely understand why, after having the chance to experience all the property has to offer.
Now, visitors within Davao don’t have to fly out of the region or travel to another location, just to experience a world-class resort.
The El Don Resort Experience
El Don means The Gift in English. According to the staff of the resort, this represents the beauty of nature, beaches, and history of the town of Governor Generoso, ready to be explored by travelers. And the best way to experience the gift of this town, located at the Southeasternmost tip of the Philippines, is to stay at El Don Resort.
Our room is spacious with its own sala area. This is one of its 6 villas – Casa Jardin and Casa Del Mar – that can accommodate up to 80 guests. Casa Jardin has 3 villas in front of the swimming pool area, while Casa Del Mar also has 3 villas with a stunning beachfront view. The entire property has a Mediterranean design with a contemporary touch to it.
I stayed at the Casa Jardin villa with my roommates which is good for 4 persons. Shall I say, I had a good and relaxing sleep.
With a nice location, nature, and accommodation – the food also lives up to our expectations. We had our dinner after resting in our rooms for about 30 minutes. The resort’s restaurant usually serves Spanish-Filipino dishes but that night, we were delighted to see Sushi Bar.
I loved the fresh seafood, plus more Filipino dishes. Good food was indeed a nice way to end our quite busy day exploring Davao Oriental. It was also a good chance to talk and bond with new friends.
One of the most noticeable parts of the property is the swimming pool located in the middle of the resort. Well, it’s easy to know why. It has a relaxing vibe surrounded by tall coconut trees and since it is elevated from the entire property, the blue sea is visible while relaxing at the poolside area.
El Don Resort also has function rooms for celebrations, corporate events, and team buildings.
The next day, I was one of the few from the group, who woke up a little bit early just to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, we realized that sunrise comes from the mountain area. But still, nothing beats the tranquility that the beach offers. It is both relaxing and therapeutic.
As for the beach amenities, there are cabanas lined up at the beach to relax and bond with friends and family.
On the left side, is a walkway leading to a few meters from the shoreline to the sea. The resort staff explained that this walkway is used to offer convenience to divers because just near the end of the walkway is a seawall of corals and rich marine ecosystems. It is just a matter of time that Davao Oriental will also be famous for its diving sites.
The resort also offers water activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.
Attractions near El Don Resort
Right after our breakfast, our team traveled for about 15 minutes to the southeasternmost tip of the Philippines, to witness and experience Cape San Agustin in Barangay Lavigan, still in Governor Generoso.
Here, you’ll find the kilometer zero of the southeasternmost part of the Philippines, and just a walking distance is the Cape San Agustin. There are 3 lighthouses which are called the “Tres Marias” which serve as a reminder of the place’s rich history, and a silent witness of the clashing of waves of the Celebes Sea and Davao Gulf. The structures have been an important navigational point over the past decades.
Climbing up the lighthouse will give every traveler a 360-degree stunning view of the sea and the surrounding beauty of nature.
This is a good side trip if you plan to stay at El Don Resort for its good proximity to the property. According to the El Don Resort team, other future activities to consider are the Sunset Cruise, Panginhas Tour, and Mt. Hamiguitan Tour.
Due to its location, there is no internet connection at the resort, aside from the weak spot at the reception area for Smart subscribers.
But it turned out to be an advantage for all of us, as we were able to relax and enjoy the serenity of the place while being disconnected from the outside world. In just a short span of time, we talked and bonded which gave us a chance to know one another.
El Don Resort is not just world-class for its amenities and accommodation, but a place where you could let go of your worries and connect peacefully with nature.
How to get to El Don Resort?
El Don Resort is a three-and-a-half drive away from Davao City International Airport.
For those who are planning to take public transportation, here are some options.
You can find the Governor Generoso bound vans at Paternos St., Roxas Ave., Davao City. The schedule is 10:00 PM ETD from Davao to Brgy. Pundaguitan.
While from Pundaguitan to Davao, the only trip is at 1:00 PM
Van Fare is PHP 300. You may contact these van operators to ensure trips and bookings – Maunas Van Rental at 09307641708 and Justine Van at 09262088900
Buses going to Pundaguitan or Lavigan are available at Davao City Land Transport Terminal (Ecoland), with 4 scheduled trips at 1:45 AM, 3:00 AM, 5:00 AM, and 10:00 AM. Please note that these are Non-Air-Conditioned buses.
Scheduled trips back to Davao are at 5:30 AM, 7:45 AM, and 9:45 AM.
Davao to Pundaguitan – PHP 350
Tagum to Pundaguitan – PHP 250
Manikling to Pundaguitan – PHP 100
Tibanban to Pundaguitan – PHP 65
El Don Resort Rates and Packages
Here are the rates of El Don Resort’.
Day Tour Package – PHP 900 (inclusive of 1 meal and access to the swimming pool)
Casa La Jardin (Poolside View)
2 Pax – PHP 4000
3 Pax – PHP 6000
4 Pax – PHP 8000
Casa La Mar (Beach Front View)
2 Pax – PHP 4000
3 Pax – PHP 6000
4 Pax – PHP 8000
Extra Person Charge – PHP 1700
Banquet – PHP 650 per head (minimum of 50 pax)
Inclusive of 1 meal, use of poolside cabana for 4 hours, complete with sound system, tables, and chairs
Pictorial Package – PHP 6000 (8 AM – 5 PM schedule inclusive of food and access to resort’s beachline, pool area, and grounds.
El Don Resort Contact Details:
Located at Brgy. Pundaguitan, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental
Mobile Numbers: 0917 722 1506 and 0998 959 1050
E-mail Address: email@example.com
El Don Resort Office
Roadway Inn Mezzanine Floor, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao
City (Mondays- Saturdays from 9:00 am-6:00 pm)
Note: This travel to Davao Oriental was made possible through the Tourism Promotions Board, and DOT Region 11 Office. Thank you for this opportunity.
Also, Huge thanks to Ms. Mice Tin of Earth Explorers Travel and Tours for the excellent service, kahit makukulit kami. Hahaha! Highly recommended.
This was first published on November 26, 2019. Updated for 2021