I just came home from an epic vacation, returning to my apartment here in the small city of Dumaguete, the Philippines. I come back relaxed, refreshed, smiling, and more than slightly sunburnt. The smell of ocean water, Citronella mosquito repellent, and a little bit of local rum is still clinging to my skin.
Where did I go for such a great vacation? Actually, I just went to Mike’s Beach Resort, which is only 20km away in the coastal town of Dauin. But I must have stayed there for a whole week, right? Nope – just a part of two days and one night!
So, why was this 24 hours at Mike’s Beach Resort so vacati-licious? (That’s a real word. I think.)
What to Know About Mike’s Beach Resort
In all seriousness, Dauin is a hidden gem for nature and ocean lovers, as its primarily a long stretching highway (simple two to four-lane paved road) that snakes along the coastline south of Dumaguete. Along the way, there are turn-offs down a slight hill to a lineup of resorts. From El Dorado to Pura Vida, Blue House and the luxury Atmosphere, there are some really nice places (and not too cheap) along this pristine and uncrowded stretch of jungle.
The wonderful part about this area is not only the pristine oceanside landscape but that there are very few tourists. I mean, you’ll see plenty of foreigners and visitors, but there are about 1/100 th of the number of tourists that you’ll see in Dumaguete, the island of Siquijor, or other spots.
The reason is twofold:
1) The beach in Dauin is dark sand. It’s not dirty, just volcanic sand, but it doesn’t attract the beach lovers who look for white sand.
2) The area is a hotbed for divers.
In fact, these resorts all cater to the SCUBA diving crowd, who can have epic underwater adventures right off the coast or head out to nearby Apo Island.
That’s how Mike’s Beach Resort and the rest of them started, and they still attract divers, who tend to be more subdued, chill, smart, and conscious than your average tourist.
At Mike’s, it also means that it’s very chill during the day, as a lot of divers are out on (or under) the water. So, for my one day there, I just chilled by their pool, which is surrounded by perfectly manicured short natural grass (my favorite in the tropics), gorgeous palm trees, gnarled acacia trees, flowers, and a stunningly picturesque view of the ocean. In fact, I just chilled at one of their many outdoor sitting areas, working on my computer while feeling the sea breeze. (Yes, they do have Wi-Fi at Mike’s, and it actually WORKS! In fact, I got a decent signal all the way to the water’s edge!)
Mike’s offers all the amenities I needed, too, right in that open-air natural setting, like a full bar (with a TV outdoors so I could glimpse the Warriors game), a great restaurant with a surprisingly expansive menu (the breakfast burrito is killer), and about a dozen clean, spacious, and modern but organic rooms. I really love just hanging out at Mike’s and taking in the vibe, down to the sweet-as-pie people who work there and their resident big, lazy dog.
At night, folks just sit out and have dinner or relax by the pool among strings of golden lights and the moon over the ocean, but the brave can also walk up to the main highway and visit the super fun and iconic little Finbar. You’ll probably stumble back to Mike’s!
It’s only half an hour away for me, but I’ll definitely be back to Mike’s whenever I need the perfect little getaway!