I read about the Sampaguita Gardens Resort in an old copy of Lonely Planet, and I knew I had to go there.
Sampaguita Gardens Resort a hotel/theme park, I guess you could say, with the theme being Christmas. It was close to where we were flying into Panay (an island in the Philippines), and since it was already going to be a long travel day to get to Boracay, we thought why not stopover at the Sampaguita Gardens Resort for a night.
I found out from reviews before we booked that unfortunately many of the random attractions at the resort were no longer operational (such as aquarium and merry go round), but the Christmas trees would still be there and the whole place still sounded fun!
I booked online with the hotel via email, and they picked us up from the airport when we arrived in a big van.
It was a great ride to the hotel. Our first on the ground glimpses of the Philippines was very exciting!! It is full of life, green, run down, but in a way that I love. It reminded me more of Central America than other places in SE Asia, perhaps because of the Spanish influence.
10-15 minutes later we were at the resort. We knew we were somewhere special as soon as we arrived and saw the angel lined drive way and all the figurines in the gardens.
We checked in in a Christmas decoration filled reception.
We were soon very very happy to be in our room. It was just after 4pm at this point, and it had been a very long two days.
There was no time to rest yet though, so it was out of our room and time to explore the resort.
Across from our rooms was the big Christmas cottage which housed many many dolls in a shop on the lower level and a Christmas museum in the rest.
The gardens were surprisingly massive, and there was lots to explore. The resort is also by the sea, although no reason to go in there as there are two beautiful pools which is where we ate dinner.
It was a fun stopover, and I recommend it. I would have loved to have come here in the Sampaguita Garden Resort’s heyday, and it is all looking a bit aged (but still nice). My only complaint was that the service at dinner was bad. Still, it was a lovely, random place to unwind after our long journey and to prepare for our trip to Boracay. We could have easily spent longer here, and we would definitely go back if we were in the area again.
Sampaguita Gardens Resort, PHP2290 a night for a standard room which is a triple. Cot is free. A simple breakfast is included. Transfers are also free as is admission to any of the attractions. Check the latest prices here.
You can also visit without staying. There is an entry fee.
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