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“Relaxing & Beautiful”

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El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
Ranked #6 of 86 Hotels in Palawan Island
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
145 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Relaxing & Beautiful”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

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
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

Getting There
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.

The Flight
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.

Arrival
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.

Taytay
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

Room Tip: We chose a Loft Water Cottage and really liked this as we had extra room and steps leading down to t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tuesdayjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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586 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

...of El Nido Resorts. Having stayed a the group's Lagen Island Resort last November 2014, all I can say is the standard of service and the facilities are truly world class. Despite the long way round to the resort (almost 2 hours by land and sea from El Nido Airport), Apulit Island Resort's beach and wildlife both in land and in water, however, is tops. It's right there under your water cottage, across the infinity pool and the restaurant. Heck! We even got a surprise private dinner because of a little booking issue last year. Nothing but fond memories. Why do great vacations have to end?

Oh by the way, I heard that ice cream will be on the menu soon.

Room Tip: Request for a water cottage away from the dock. Too much activity that area.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank deputy_tom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We went for two nights. The place is spectacular. Water cottages are not super luxuous but the location is breath taking. The food is included in the price of the room. The buffet is ok, nothing special there. But the pool , the beach and the fact that you feel alone on your own private island is such an experience.

Room Tip: Dont take the Familly water cottage unless you travel with children. They are bigger but are on the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SmithPP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014 via mobile

The journey seemed a little long, what with a plane, van ann then a boat, but this quiet privacy will not be found any closer to the mainland. And what a lead up.... Arriving by boat into the bay, the anticipation form 39 minutes out.

The water cottage with direct access to the water has a second floor which gives you the space you need when you're staying for a few days. The only downside, the cottages aren't stand alone, so you can hear footsteps up and down the internal stairwells, and it can be a it of a walk from the main area. The reef is at the bottom of your stairs with clownfish, baby sharks, stingray and beautiful coral. Activities were fantastic- repelling a welcome thrill, and diving, island hoping, snorkelling, kayaking, stand up paddle board. But who needs activities when you can lounge around on your verandah and gaze at the beautiful sunsets or on the white sand beach. Never been to bora bora, but why would you with this value! Top mention to Alvin and Tetyng.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Carlybowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

My husband and I had our honeymoon in El nido last April. Stayed here for 4 nights as part of an adventure where we travelled to borneo, Thailand and Laos. We have travelled widely through Asia (Vietnam Cambodia Malaysia in addition to the above) and this was without doubt our favourite place in the world. If you think isolated luxury, this place is the embodiment. Although it takes a long time to get there it's worth it. Wish we had stayed longer. The day trips are fabulous but the best part of this is the actual resort. The aquamarine water, snorkelling anytime you like in the bay, seeing baby sharks, barracuda, so many bright blue and yellow fish. The resort has lovely food. The beach and the pool are nothing short of paradise and the staff are superb. The rooms could do with being bigger but who cares, when you are in paradise. I hope we get to visit here again one day. It was magical.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank DebinSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2014

It amazed me how they treat their guest. Remarkable places that I cherished with. Highly recommend for those people who likes adventure & outdoor activities. Surely I will visit someday again and stay longer than before.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mariloucd007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2014 via mobile

They have thought of everything here! Our bags were handled by the staff all the way from the airport to our water cottage; they've prepared drinks and snacks for the guests during the land/sea trip; Angel and Gwen made sure we had something planned to do daily - kayaking, island hopping, caving, rappelling, lunch at the back of the island where they cook and serve everything! Food was great and enjoyed it more so with excellent and friendly service from Jeriec and Alvin! My husband enjoyed the happy hour at the bar and one night I fancied kamias juice. The bartender April, without hesitation said she can pick some kamias fruit for me and within 15 mins I was enjoying my freshly pureed kamias drink! All over the island, there were water stations, clean towels, staff to greet you warmly.
Kudos to the resort manager Carlo who took time to talk to each guest and made sure we had everything we needed!
There is about 1hr sea trip and 2hr land trip back to the airport. Since I was pregnant they anticipated that I might get hungry on the way back so they prepared sandwiches and drinks for me and my husband (all for free!).
All the staff are well trained and the resort is just a beauty! We really hope to come back soon!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Dior P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Nido Resorts Apulit Island

Property: El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
Address: Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island 5322, Philippines (Formerly Apulit Island Resort)
Region: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Palawan Island
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Palawan Island
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Palawan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — El Nido Resorts Apulit Island 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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

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