WANDERLUST| ‘Kawa’ hot bath in Samal

WHEN one mentions Samal, the first few things that pop in mind are its white sand beaches, dive and snorkeling sites, its world-famous bat cave, Hagimit Falls and Puting Bato. But a kawa hot bath? That’s what I recently discovered at the Mango Haven Resort in Barangay Camudmud.

CABANA by the pool

CABANA by the pool

The 700-plus square meter property that overlooks Pakiputan Strait (the body of water that separates Samal Island from mainland Davao) is actually a mango orchard transformed into a resort and spa.

“We wanted to offer something unique and new on the island, so we thought of having a spa with the kawa hot bath as the centerpiece. We know that people would be interested in it as this is a first in Mindanao,” said owner, businesswoman and restaurateur Jovy Escartin.

RESORT owner Jovy Escartin

RESORT owner Jovy Escartin

Barely six months old, the resort has attracted a number of curious visitors and celebrities from Manila even if it doesn’t have its own beach – a staple of most resorts in Samal. Instead, guests can luxuriate in its swimming pool and baths under the canopy of mango trees.

“Our room accommodations, such as our Mango huts and bungalows, have their outdoor bath tubs and jacuzzis. All overnight visitors can also enjoy our kawa hut bath,” she shared.

The kawa or cauldron, which can fit one to two persons, is filled with water then simmered at a certain temperature that’s warm enough for a relaxing soak. Rose petals are then strewn to give bathers an aromatic kawa hot bath experience. The kawa hot bath is available for only PhP299 for 30 minutes (good for 2 persons).

TRYING out Mango Haven’s kawa hot bath

TRYING out Mango Haven’s kawa hot bath

Guests can still have access to the beach though via its partner resort, Club Asiano, which is just a walking distance from Mango Haven.

The resort spa’s other pampering services include foot spa, manicure, pedicure, body scrub, charcoal mask and full body massage, affordably priced at PhP450 for an hour of kneeding.

SERVING the resort’s famous Pork Mango Humba

SERVING the resort’s famous Pork Mango Humba

While some guest go to Mango Haven for a day of relaxtion, others visit the resort to enjoy its delectable food at the Garden Restaurant.

OUTDOOR baths

OUTDOOR baths

“They love our Pork Mango Humba, which we serve as a set meal for our day tour guests,” said Escartin, who also owns a catering service and buffet restaurant. Most of their fares, such as their Chicken Mango Delight and Fish Mango Fillet, are prepared with Samal’s sweet mangoes to keep them in tune with the resort’s aesthetics.

VIEW of mainland Davao and Pakiputan Strait

VIEW of mainland Davao and Pakiputan Strait

The resort also serves lunch and dinner buffet on weekends for only PhP450 per person. Day tour rates is only PhP299 per person.

The resort’s overnight accommodations start at PhP1,299 for their campsite, replete with a single bed, pillows and blanket, good for two persons. The resort also has function areas for meetings, weddings and other events. A shallow cave used by Japanese soldiers during the World War ll can also be found within the property. Check out their Facebook page for other information.

JAPANESE cave

JAPANESE cave

To get there, simply take the barge from Sasa (PhP10 per person), hire a tricycle or “habal-habal” (PhP50 per person) for a 10-15 minute ride to Camudmud.

Posted in Lifestyle