We had 5 full days on the Island and had a wonderful time. It is incredibly beautiful. The snorkelling is exceptional. We loved it and could not spend enough time in the water. We had 2 families of Clown Fish in their anemones in the water just off our cottage. I snorkelled down to see them every day and they were an absolute delight. I can see why they were made the stars of their own film (Finding Nemo).
The resort is slow and the atmosphere is intoxicating; we really de stressed and slowed way down which was what we wanted and why we went there. We spent a lot of time by the pool or in the water. There is very little to do. Do not go expecting action. Go if you want deep relaxation. We met lots of lovely people from around the world and found that the friendly atmosphere encouraged you to chat to other travellers. I also think that because it is a small resort it is very personal. We didn't ever feel like there was a crowd or too many people.
The cottages are pretty basic. This is not a luxury resort. It is very remote and very beautiful. You are paying for the experience of being somewhere very few people get to go. And you are paying for the fact you don't have to share it with hoards of people.
The food is pretty good, fresh and generally well prepared. It is buffet style so after 6 nights we were ready for a change in diet. Dinner isn't until 7pm every night which was too late for our 7 year old but we were able to order pasta in the bar and feed him around 6.00pm each night so that made our life easier. However be prepared that this isn't really a child friendly place. Kids are welcome and will have a good time but it isn't set up for children
Have a massage (or several), they were really good and cheap. Josie and Loretta did a great job.
Carlos (the manager) Gwen, Sid (in reception) and Angel (booking our activities each day) looked after us really well.
The staff in the restaurant were all great but Alvin was the stand out. He really made an effort to ensure that we, and our son, were looked after. To the point of arranging special meals for our child.
Armind did a very good job with the snorkelling tours and also deserves a special mention
Information I wish I knew before I went:
WiFi & TV
There are no TV's/ DVD players in the cottages and NO WiFi. (I would have liked to watch a DVD in our room at night so this is something that could be improved on). The only WiFi is in the bar. So if you have kids take the portable DVD player with you. We couldn't use the movies on our iPad in our room as we hadn't downloaded them on to the tablet and we needed WiFi to watch them. this was tedious with a 7 year old. Also downloading anything is impossible due to strength of WiFi. Though I could load a photo on to Facebook.
Dinner is very casual. No one dresses up. There is no formality on the island
Most people go to bed after dinner (or back to their rooms)
There is no entertainment (which we liked) so do not go if you want a party scene.
Take an underwater camera. I really wish we had bought a good one before we went. The Water loft cottages have the disposable ones in their mini bar for you to buy (reasonably priced) however you don't get them in the other cottages and they do not sell them in the shop (why not?).
Toiletries in the Room
They are not great quality, especially the combined shampoo conditioner, which for someone with long hair, like me, was a nightmare as you want to wash your hair after a day in the water. So make sure you take your own good quality products.
The shop sells basic souvenirs (t shirts, fridge magnets, sarongs etc, chips, and a few basic toiletries. They could do a lot more with the shop. Be prepared to NOT be able to buy things
The first thing to say is that getting to Apulit Island is not for the faint hearted. We knew what we were in for but it was longer and harder than we were expecting.
El Nido has a great facility at the airport which considering you have to be there 2 hours before the flight you will be using. It is very pleasant lounge (though the chairs are wooden and a little hard). It is well air-conditioned. It has great free wi-fi and a decent range of snacks (sandwiches and cookies). We were not expecting this so it was a bonus. We were able to store our luggage at the lounge for the duration of our trip which was fantastic. You can only take 10kg including your hand luggage (and yes they weigh everything) so we really needed to leave our large bags behind in Manila. The plane is small but not too small and the flight was smooth. They do not serve drinks or snacks on the 1 hour flight.
You fly into El Nido and they have another airport lounge where you go and sit and have a drink and cookie while your bags are put in a mini-bus. You will be given a bottle of water and a sandwich for the drive. Then things get bad. You are in a mini-bus, it is not 4 wheel drive and it is uncomfortable. The road is very patchy and what feels like an adventure at first quickly becomes tedious. It rained heavily on our way to the port of Taytay and it made the drive considerably rougher and a bit hairy at times. The drive back in good weather was much easier. You get one toilet stop after about 1.5 hours. We were told that the airport at Taytay is opening soon and I really hope this is the case anything that cuts this drive out will be a good thing.
There is an old English fort at Taytay which you stop at and get an opportunity to look at and take photos. From here you go by boat for about 1 hour. The trip is smooth
If you are someone who needs snacks or are travelling with kids take extra snacks with you
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Apulit Island Resort is nestled within a pristine cove with a backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs. Apulit offers a wide expanse of white-sand beach lined with coconut trees. It has 50 cottages built over the water in traditional architecture mixed with contemporary design. Apulit Island Resort is part of the El Nido Resorts group of eco-island resorts. It is located in Taytay, northeastern part of Palawan. It takes an hour flight from Manila to El Nido, and an hour and a half van ride, or a 4-hour land trip from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan's Capital City). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apulit Island Hotel Palawan
- Club Noah Isabelle
- Hotel Noah Isabelle
- Resort Noah Isabelle