Blue waters and the waft of the balmy air beckons one to a relaxing getaway right in the city of Davao at Waterfront Insular Hotel. A resort experience within the urban confines of the city.
Originally named Islandia Hotel by the Ayalas in September, 1961 when it opened, the hotel then consisted of only three nondescript buildings. Additional structures had to be added in 1973 and again in 1977. As it had a great location in the city, the clientele steadily grew. In1991, the Islandia Hotel was renamed the Insular Davao Hotel and underwent major renovations by the design team of GF and Partners and Chiming Lopez of Mariott Hotels in the U.S. The hotel’s modern structures were designed to blend harmoniously with the lush greenery surrounding it—including the breathtaking stretch of beachfront of the Davao Gulf and the picturesque Samal Island in the distance. Landscaping was provided by Noel Altea of PDAA, an international landscape firm; the hotel took pride in a postcard-pretty garden. In 1998, the Ayalas sold the hotel property to the Gatchalian family and the hotel was renamed the Waterfront Insular Hotel-Davao.
Today, the Waterfront Insular Hotel-Davao has four low-rise buildings housing 159 luxurious guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. Recently added are tribal-inspired cabanas and a sauna and jacuzzi at the Pool Aquarius area. The pool bar is open from 6 am to 8 pm, serving refreshing fruit shakes and delicious snacks.
The hotel has maintained its reputation as a premier urban destination for family and friends and businessmen. Says Tet Fernandez, the energetic general manager, “We are also known as a heritage hotel. We have in the lobby an antique tribal collection that has been in the hotel for years. This collection has become a sort of trademark.”
Adds Fernandez, “Waterfront Insular Hotel-Davao is also doing its share in the climate change campaign through its use of solar energy to maintain the water temperature in the hotel.”
The Waterfront Insular Hotel-Davao is a popular venue for conventions and special events. It has made a name in gracious service and great food. “Indeed, we make sure that our guests get good value for their money,” guarantees Tet Fernandez. “The Waterfront Insular Hotel-Davao is the right destination for fun, relaxation, business, and entertainment
by Michael Ebro Dakudao
photography Genesis Rana