From the very second that you step foot in the transfer lounge in Manila, everything runs like clockwork. The transfer hanger is on the main drag alongside the airport and a little tricky to find, but taxis will know "El Nido" more than Palawan or Miniloc as the destination. Once there, your bags are taken, and you are efficiently transferred by plane and boat to the island. In rough weather you'll be provided with towels and wet weather gear, and your bags will arrive bone dry. The transfer point from plane to boat has toilets, drinks and is well organised. This operation is military in its precision, and is not what you have most likely endured on any other trip around the Philippines.
You will be met at the island by the beautiful singing of the staff, and welcomed to enjoy a breakfast buffet of a high quality. There is fresh brewed coffee, but let me tell you that the coffee made at the bar by the beach is as good as in any café, and perfectly balanced.
The rooms are excellent, if a little small. The cleanliness is exceptional, and the air conditioning and ceiling fans keep the room cool; the power is not on if you are not in the room, so get two key cards and get in the habit of leaving one plugged in before you head to dinner to return to a cool oasis.
The staff are more than accommodating, and will happily organise any venture. There are free canoes with plenty of life jackets, and grab a pair of flippers and a mask for the week. There are loads of large fish in the harbour, but the big ones and the turtle reside just the other side of the breakwater, where the sea bed drops suddenly from 3 metres or so to 10+ metres. This shelf is rich with fish, although all coral is muted in colour, and sparse.
There is a small hidden cave on the head, just outside the breakwater, at the end of the beach huts on stilts. Little tricky to get in and out, but amazing inside. Take a canoe around the harbour to the left side of the resort (with the resort behind you) and you'll find a large lagoon hidden between the cracks of the cliff walls. Staff will guide you anywhere, and a boat hop around to any of the nearby beaches is easily arranged. Don't be surprised if an armed guard comes along for the ride, they take the welfare of guests very seriously.
The food is plentiful and of a high standard. Loads of seafood as you'd expect, but great stews, pasta dishes and a variety of meats at every serving also. There is an omelette bar at breakfast, and the chefs will whip up eggs anyway you like them. Fresh bread is always around, as well as pastries. Drinks are a little expensive, but you are on a remote island so get over it.
All in all, this place is a paradise, and if you want to do is hang about on a quiet beach, play some pool by the bar, have a game of table football, or drink a few cocktails, it is perfect. The sea is clear, and the photos you see are a very accurate depiction of what you'll get. Don't be fooled, this place is expensive, but you get world class quality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Miniloc Island is a rustic and charming hideaway reminiscent of a coastal village. Miniloc Island is located in El Nido, in northwestern Palawan. It takes a 75-minute direct flight from Manila to get to El Nido or a 6-hour travel by land from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan's Capital City).Miniloc Island Resort is tucked within a beautiful cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and a vibrant coral reef. It is a gateway to popular activity sites in a breath-taking location known for its high biodiversity. The resort has 50 cottages and rooms built in traditional Filipino design over the water, beside the beach, or surrounded by garden and limestone cliffs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Nido Resort Miniloc Island Hotel El Nido
- Hotel El Nido
- Resort El Nido
- El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island Palawan Island