To put this review in perspective, we are a very middle class family who travel on a budget as much as possible. But since we have kids, some level of comfort is paramount. And may I just say that ending our Dipolog-Dapitan vacation in Dakak was the most brilliant thing we could have possibly done because we really spent very carefree days just lounging there and enjoying each other.
COORDINATION AND BOOKING
I absolutely love that they were an e-mail away, mainly because I hate having to have to use my cellphone anymore in coordinating trips. I would get replies to queries within 24 hours and was able to arrange for their people to fetch us instead in Dipolog. We were offered their Dakak 'Tabay Package and just paid for extra night so that amounted to P15,400 for 4D/3N stay there with the kids staying for free.
The driver who fetched us was also helpful enough to stop at a laundry shop so we can have the clothes we used in Dipolog laundered while we while away the rest of our week in Dakak. We just picked up the clothes on our way to the airport.
RECEPTION AND STAFF
I am not a jet setter by any standards BUT I can definitely say that Dakak's staff were sooo superbly trained, I just really loved them. They were friendly, not overly hovering, just rightly solicitous, very accommodating, warm, etc. We felt safe, welcome and in a way pampered, haha. They saw to our every need without invading our space.
Then again, we did stay during the week... sometimes it felt like there were only probably less than 10 guests in the resort (our brood of 4 included).
typical front porch of the cottages
room was clean, the A/C took its time cooling the room however but there was also an electric fan... and it did get cold enough that we had to adjust the thermostat
My son loved this sofa and slept there for two nights... don't expect much from the cable TV though, we only got 3 channels when we were there (not that we really needed the TV)
we had to request for a pail and dipper to be used in the CR because there was no bidet attached to the toilet... but both rooms (shower and toiler) were very spacious
Il Patio Ristorante (depending on what you order and how many you guys are, and how much you eat... this will set you back an easy P500/person)... servings are a little bigger than usual
Interior of Il Patio Ristorante Italiano... I think the most expensive restaurant in the resort and one that served a lot of great food
I could eat this salad forever! Cannot remember anymore if this was a regular Caesar or what.
Super great pizza too, haha. We bagged our leftovers and stored them in the ref and would just ask whieer resto in the property we're eating in to reheat it for us. Saved us some money.
Sorry, since it has been months...I really cannot remember anymore the names of the dishes we ordered. Anyhoo, we asked them to sweeten up this one (angel hair pasta) for our kiddos and it tasted sooo great.
This one, we didn't like so much. And weirdly enough, pesto pasta seems to be unheard of in both Dipolog and Dapitan.
I hope this is creme brulee, haha... and yes, it was great.
Inside Bamboo Cafe
This fountain enthralled my kids
Gotta love this view every morning where our free breakfast was served :)
miscellaneous Filipino breakfast options
Continental breakfast options
Free breakfast is a choice between continental OR Filipino breakfast, fruit plate, coffee/tea/chocolate AND fruit juice (yes, you get two drinks)... funny thing about the fruit plate, we thought the calamansi was just for decoration until our last day there when we tried squeezing it onto the fruits, and were bowled over by the freshness it infuses the other sweet fruits (Bamboo Cafe never served us any fruit that wasn't perfectly ripe and sweet)
that last one is fried chicken... regular dining at Bamboo cafe cost us between P800-1200 per meal
loved this shellfish
couldn't get enough of the styro-looking noodles
The leche flan was a FAIL from Bamboo Cafe (and a slice cost P100, I think... the one sold by Mang Inasal is much, much better!)... this other cake was good enough (I think it was white chocolate something)
Bamboo Cafe will serve you at the beach, should you want it :) These were great!!
On weeknights, you get an extra dining treat with a rondalla and cultural dancers
the CR at Bamboo Cafe... mentioned especially here because it was the only one I saw/used with a bidet, haha
The pool with the slides, off limits to kids my sons' ages (6 and 3).
Pool nearest Bamboo Cafe and the beach
Pool on the right (near Il Patio) is the only kiddie pool in the resort
Kiddie pool up close (all pools can get super cold so we really preferred the beach... no need to bring towels though because attendants will provide you with huge ones)
beach view near the Aqua Sports bar (rightmost of the property)
view of the beach from a lounge chair
Dakak beach is a small cove... I think it is just about 200 meters long so it gives this very private, intimate feel... this is the left part of the cove. High tide and low tide is just a matter of ten or so feet difference in the water level at the beach.
view of the right curve of the cove
they say this one will be a grand Chinese restaurant
I seem to not have gotten great pictures of the well-manicured lawns but everything is just really clean and pristine, from the gate a hundred miles away (haha, I exaggerate, but really the entire resort is well-maintained) to the beach front. Staff kept the place clean all day... someone was always just sweeping fallen leaves.
Overall, Dakak Park and Beach Resort has become our most favorite resort. We literally spent all our days on the beach, with our kids napping on the chairs or hammocks. We decided not to enjoy the adventurous offerings of the resort (like the Zipline thing) because we didn't have anyone to leave the kids behind with. Plus, it was really pure heaven to just watch them dig and swim all day. We really intend to be back regularly (maybe every 2-3 years or so).
And yes, I really have no idea why the resort got poor reviews because it was jut heavenly while we were there.
Note: Travelled as a family, last week of August 2013 during weekdays... so it was really quiet there, and there were no buffet options (coz that is offered on weekends only).