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“Great naturopathic health retreat”

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Malapacao Private Island
Reviewed 21 January 2014 via mobile

I have explored natural beauty in 37 countries and counting but nothing comes close to this place. Toucans and hummingbirds everywhere. 2 meter wingspanned flying foxes circling the fruit trees on top of the rocks above. Dugongs (according to passing fisherman) cruising in the shallow waters, which is perfect for world class snorkeling right at the doorstep. Fresh noni, coconut, jack fruit and star apples aplenty and the view is absolutely stunning. The island hopping adventures on her boat are memories I will treasure forever. The long, skilled massage sessions were truly transformative in kickstarting my own energies.

I think of her beautiful island with increasing frequency and how I should be moving there, living a similar lifestyle of service to others. Helping people to detoxify both body and mind and enabling them a true perspective on their lives, often for the first time.

Friday is a true naturopathic healer. When you arrive, you can safely lean back and cast all your worries to the wind. You can trust her that she will deliver the healing you need. Her freedom, strenght and wisdom of naturopathic, energetic and other surprise healing methods are inspirational.

I spent two weeks with her and her methods secured me a squeeky clean body, loss of 20 kilos of body fat, and a complete change around in my diet, as I have been able to maintain a strict vegetarian diet since.

This place is all natural. If you are used to luxury, and the use of toxic substances (in food, cosmetics etc) which are not allowed here, and you expect a 5 star treatment, this is not the place for you. It is simple but beautiful wooden huts right on the beach. In fact I did not eat for 10 days, but were on special shakes, which made all the difference for me.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
5  Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (15)
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4 - 10 of 15 reviews

Reviewed 27 December 2013

My wife and I were there in 2008. As most have said, the island is beautiful, great place to let go of the world, free yourself of clothing, swim, snorkel, enjoy nature and just 'be'. The Filipino staff were a most wonderful delight: friendly, smiling, warm, hardworking.

HOWEVER: Leann could be a handful. She is un-trained in any health related field and has some practices that are dubious at best and dangerous at worst ( we are physicians). People have commented about her open sores: lack of protein and skin breakdown. We had to have a discussion about the food: we were not there to 'detox' or lose weight (we are athletic and healthy) and initially she was starving us! We had a 'come to Jesus ' meeting and after that the food markedly improved. The hot tub was gross, but the huts were nice and clean as were the showers (again, excellent staff). Her treatment of her staff left a lot to be desired.

In short, we would go back again, but you need to be firm from the beginning as to your expectations and not let her dictate terms to you. Also, this is not a place to find 'health', at least physical health. Her practices are downright dangerous; and the side effects are NOT "your body getting rid of it's toxins". In all, I think she means well, but the 'road to hell....'.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank AlaskaRollingstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2013

Please check out restlessenergy website - I'm really sorry to say this - I know when I went to Leean's island I was looking for somewhere remote to detox and relax and the island is beautiful. But it comes at a real cost. Leean has been closed down many times and is being investigated by the Phillipine authorities for treatment of staff, sanitation issues and poor business practice. I thought the rooms, beach and views were just beautiful but I've been to many other beautiful places without leaving with infections and long term health damage. I was pretty healthy when I arrived but just needed to de-stress. Leean has many open sores on her body and often got into the hottub with me naked and her sores were weeping. There is no hot water and very little cleaning equipment so the colema boards are not sanitised. The fresh raw food was nice but I developed significant stomach problems and dehydration despite drinking water frequently. The biggest problem here is that it is all unregulated and whilst I normally love that (it keeps an area uncommercial and laid back), in this instance it allows Leean to run a dictatorship where you cannot do anything without being under her control. I'm also really sorry to say but there is quite alot of inappropriate touching from Leean which can feel a bit intimidating as it is a nudist island and can make people feel vulnerable. I understand why you might be attracted to this island but please please do full research and always be aware that on tripadvisor not all reviews are genuine, some are planted by owners of businesses. Good luck on your travels

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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70  Thank UKDiver2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

I stayed on Malapacao Island for about 10 days. I was met at the small local airport and taken to the Island's boat. This is a very large outrigger canoe with a diesel engine > very safe and seaworthy as I know boat very well. A beautiful ride and a wonderful way to land on Leeann's remote island. At first, one can not believe how perfect it is. The eco hardwood cabins are built very well with electric and water all working > very impressive. One reviewer mentioned that this place is not for everybody and he was right. Go there for the beauty and to get healthy. Leeann, will give you only healthy food and drink so don't even think that you will find anything else on the island. I am vegan and healthy and her food is perfectly save and good. If you are not super healthy you will start to detox with days. One reviewer mentioned that she got sick > yes that is detox and the sicker your body is, the more you will detox. Sorry that is part of life > drink plenty of water. The swimming is wonderful as the waters in that area is pretty much calm all the time. The jungle behind the beach is awesome and if you are strong in the body and soul >>> climb the mountain << serious climbers only. But Leeann can do it. You won't find this Island experience anywhere. Warning, not for the wimpy complainers.

Room Tip: Swim around the island!
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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7  Thank Neal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

Last Dec 2012. I was there with my wife. We enjoyed the place very much. Food was of my choice. Owner did not allow us to get bored any day. We enjoyed day boat trip, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Swimming, Massage, Mud massage, Raw Food. One must visit there, without any say. Staff and Owner of the island are very good and helpful. We would like to visit and stay there again. Earlier we were scared after reading anti reports on internet. Thankfully, all reports seems biased. Leeann has become good friend of me. Our stay totally detoxed mind, body and soul.

Room Tip: All cottages are sea view.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank indianvegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2012

I stayed here for a month and found it quite scary and in the end persuaded one of the staff to take me to another island - Leann was not allowing me to leave and kept all my possessions and money. It was the most scary experience of my life - she was practising medical trials without knowledge or qualifications and uses her guests as experiments. She basically held me hostage there and it was frightening. The staff and island are wonderful but Leann Cruz is an absolute danger, she sexually molested guests, oppressed her staff and used the isolation of the island (and the fact that only she can control you leaving the island) as leverage. Please please stay away

  • Stayed: July 2011
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76  Thank Justgivingthetruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

Me and my wife visited Malapacao island in october 2011. It was very interesting experience. We did not look for a detox vacation, but when I found information about this place in interent, we decided that we definetly should visit it, because always interested in healthy life style.
The owner of the island (her name is Leeann), very nice woman, treated us with warmth and care. Almost everyday we went on boat trips or snorkeling. Lian longtime resident of El Nido, so she knows all the most interesting and beautiful places to visit. She also knows the time of the main influx of tourists during the day, so we were able to visit all the main sights of nearly alone (but you should be ready to wake up early). She acts as a naturopath. And she encourage her visitors for a deep detoxification programm. But she never forced you to do something you would not like to do. It is absolutly not a problem to say "hey Leann I dont want to do it"!And one more thing, that I think people should be notified, that she is a naturalist and used to walk naked. She offered us to go naked too, but never forced us to do it. So if you're shy nudity, keep in mind this fact before you arrive
Accommodation on the island in a very cute and eco-bungalows. Our was called "life" and was located on the edge of the beach, away from the main buildings. It was so cute and very simple house with just two walls (the other two walls can be covered with shutters, in the case of inclement weather). Therefore there is a feeling of complete oneness with nature. The house was equipped with shower, toilet and hammock. Bed covered with a canopy (protection against insects). Electricity was only for a few hours a day. Very eco-friendly and romantic atmosphere. Cuisune on the island is vegetarian. And, honestly, sometimes I missed a good chunk of meat or seafood dish. But anyway it was very nice experience.
So as a conclusion, I can tell you that if you enjoy a healthy life and nature, if you are not afraid of a little ascetic way of life, or if you would like to briefly escape from "pesky fruits" of civilization, or improve your health - it is a perfectly attuned place.
But if you are looking for glamor and all the comforts of civilization (which are absolutely not a bad things) - you better look for another place. Otherwise you risk to spoil your impression about the vacation and create an erroneous impression about the place in other people, leaving negative feedback.

I am not from english speaking country, so I apologize for possible mistakes in my post.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank AlexDeLight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malapacao Private Island

Address: Malapacao Private Island Malapacao Island, Palawan Island 5313, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #127 of 272 Speciality Lodging in Palawan Island
Number of rooms: 32

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