About Me

My photo
An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

Search This Blog

Monday, May 27, 2013

HOF GOREI : It's Not Korean, It's Austrian-Filipino! (A Boutique Resort in Samal Island)

Reading good reviews about this place that is the next door neighbor of the famous Pearl Farm Resort, we decided to book a room for a two night stay before heading out to the last resort in our itinerary.

My initial impression of the place, before even reaching it was not so nice due to the free ferry transfer of the resort.
a miserable wait
 Case in point #1: we were instructed to head out to pier 1 at the Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao 30 minutes EARLIER than departure. When we got there, the end of the pier was THE waiting area. No shade or seats were provided against the summer heat. There are also no stores or restaurants in this wharf that could offer refreshments of sorts. We paid extra to our cabbie to allow us to just wait in the cab till the boat arrived.

blaming these folks for showing up late
Case in point #2: to add insult to injury, we did wait till the boat arrived at around 2:00 PM. It’s quite hard to spot if it is indeed the resort’s boat from the parking spot parked in front of the pier as the lettering was quite small at the side, but still we got in the boat on time. The person I spoke to at the resort, Rommel, insisted that they were going to leave with or without us at 230. We left at 245. He told us to be there by 2, so the 45 minute wait without AC and with our febrile 5 year old was just the pits (and then some since we got there early).

The late departure was caused by a 4 person group who arrived looking fresh, laughing and carefree with their newly bought popsicles. I have never wanted to drown people so much up until that day. Rommel should not have played the role of a stickler for on time departures, when clearly, they waited for the other group to arrive before taking off. JERK.

The resort DID make up for all my prior issues when we got there. Arriving at their wharf, nature’s beauty and the way the owners developed the place to blend into its natural surroundings was quite impressive. The dock, the welcome pavilion and the great service that we encountered as soon as we got off the boat was just sublime.

Watermelon-lemon flavored welcome drinks and ice cold face towels were handed to us by no less than our personal butler for the duration of our stay. 

It is Erven’s personal duty to ensure that all our needs from check in to check out be met, at no extra cost!

Poor dude earned his keep the first day of our arrival as the house we were to stay in was a long walk up to a hill. The romantic in us decided to get rent the entire attic, at the 3rd floor so lugging our bags could not have been healthy for the poor butler. Here's what he had to go through to get to our room:

There are no paved roads for vehicle to bring up our things or to bring around and about the island to tour sites like the Monfort Cave and the Hagimit Falls. Motorcycle rides may be arranged, but with a 5 year old, that so wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

Looking out or attic terrace, one could imagine living in Tarzan’s tree house with the village below us. Real pretty stuff here :D

it initially felt weird to ring for the butler
 Since our son was sick for the first 2 days of our stay here, we literally had to stay locked up in the attic. It really helps to have a butler to set up your meals with a ring of a bell!

standard table settings in our room
 Food at Hof Gorei is a bit pricey but the portions are quite big and the dishes, tasty. Fresh seafoods abound here, so take advantage of the catch of the day. 

Sunriser breakfast

an omelette with everything on it :)

Fisherman's Catch. Fresh Malasugue fillet for breakfast is the best!

Gambas Pasta

Beef stew ala stroganoff

fried ice cream. The Hof take on a baked Alaska

Pasta Gregorio - fettuccine in cream sauce with lots of chopped prawns

grilled talakitok

fried bananas
Owned by an Austrian, expect schnitzels and goulash in the menu, but a whole lot of other nom noms are available for Filipino palates and dietary requirements. The menu is so extensive they actual have 2 kinds. One for breakfast and another for everything else! Check it out:

Our room was beautifully furnished. A bamboo/Filipiniana motif was employed, with 2 ACs installed at opposite sides of the room to ensure the cool interior. No cable though as well as wifi. They also have a pretty decent bathroom with a hot and cold shower and a toilet with a bidet.

two ACs cooled our attic room

our mini living room

rustic cabinets

The boat ride out to next door Pearl Farm was so much better. No long waits and the parola bar/wharf had wi fi and shade to boot. Lots of tiny fishes in the clear waters surrounding the area.

better this time

All things considered, we had a great time despite not leaving the room. The pool area, Jacuzzi at the chalet and the white sand, clear watered beach not to mention the resort’s horses looked real fun, wish we got to go around.

Our photos can never do this place justice ( with Phil's iPhone taking a plunge at the Pearl Farm's waters and our 2 extra batteries for his Canon 60D were drained before we even used it. Add no battery charger and we're left with these photos)

The gardens surrounding the area are beautiful and obviously well cared for. Kudos to Ms. April, the owner, who we met briefly. It's her green thumb and lovely soul that makes sure it's all lovely.

If you’re in the area, give it a try! Here's a look at their website for more info: HOF GOREI

From TMW, may all you wanderings be better than ours!


  1. Thank you, this is very helpful :)

    1. Sorry for the late correspondence. Should you have stayed at Hof Gorei , hope you had a great time :)