DISCOVERY SAMAL opened in Limao, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte on July 21. — MAYA M. PADILLO

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL — Hotel and resort operator Discovery World Corp. (DWC) opened the five-star resort hotel Discovery Samal in Limao here on Friday (July 21).

The six-hectare Discovery Samal boasts 128 hotel suites, 15 executive suites, and the Grand Signature Suite. Dining options include the Morning Catch, The Shoreline, Garden City Café, and Haribar Lounge.

The resort also offers Samal Escape Spa where guests can enjoy rejuvenating treatments, therapeutic massages, and personalized wellness programs.

With its state-of-the-art facilities, Discovery Samal is positioned as an ideal venue for business and gatherings for corporate events, conferences, and celebrations.

The opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Beatrice Gonzalez-Magallanes, president of Discovery Samal; John Tiu, chairman of DWC; Christopher Tiu, DWC board member; Jose Parreño, president of Discovery Hospitality Corp.; Stanley Lau, general manager of Discovery Samal and Island Garden City of Samal Mayor Al David Uy.

“But it wasn’t just one person or a select few who made this dream a reality. It was a collective effort, a symphony of talents, and an army of hardworking staff who poured their heart and soul into bringing this project to life. To every single person who contributed their time, energy, and passion, I extend my sincerest gratitude,” said Ms. Gonzales-Magallanes during the ceremony.

Mr. Lau said Samal is the ideal place to showcase and provide its guests with “service that’s all heart,” which the Discovery brand is known for.

Discovery Samal is the first and only Discovery Resort brand in Mindanao, and has the biggest resort convention facilities in Davao.

Meanwhile, the opening of Discovery Samal is expected to boost tourist arrivals in Island Garden City of Samal, according to the city’s tourism officer Jennifer Cariaga.

In terms of tourist arrivals, she said they are aiming for more than 800,000 tourists, but the figure may go up with the opening of Discovery Samal.

Ms. Cariaga said tourist arrivals reached 1.9 million in 2019 but this dropped to 150,000 in 2020 due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Tourist arrivals bounced back in 2021 with 670,000 and in 2022 with 750,000.

“In terms of tourism, the opening of Discovery Samal has a huge impact as people and investors will see that Samal has the potential,” Ms. Cariaga said.

Discovery World is a hotel and resort operator with several facilities across the country that include Discovery Shores Boracay, Club Paradise Palawan, Discovery Suites, Discovery Primea, Manami, and now, Discovery Samal. — Maya M. Padillo