We just finished up our four night stay at the Villa Leonora - and we had a blast. As I looked at different places in Palawan, I was struck by how divided the reviews (both here on TripAdvisor and elsewhere) seemed to be on this property. Now that I've stayed there, I think I understand what's driving that to some degree, and as much as to report our stay, I'd like to address some of the complaints that have been lodged by some other reviewers.
Stay at the Villa Leonora if you want an out-of-the-way place to stay while you're in Palawan.
Stay in the air conditioned rooms, not the fan rooms.
Expect that the property is a good ways (an hour plus) out of Puerto Princesa - so if it's nightlife you are looking for, do find somewhere else.
Tell the staff what you want. Room cleaned? Breakfast at a certain time? Day trips to make? Just let the folks know, and they will be all over it.
Understand that the road is not far away, and there's no way to avoid hearing it. At this point on the island you have the road and you have the ocean, and there's not much that separates the two. We were so exhausted after every day, you could have run a semi truck by our beds and we wouldn't have heard it. But it's there. The resort in general is so quiet - but the road prevents it from being silent - so just be prepared.
Know that there aren't TVs in the rooms and there isn't WIFI either. But there is WIFI in the restaurant area.
Appreciate that Arthur is an authentic character. A happy-go-lucky guy who is fun to hang out with, but a human being like all of the rest of us. That means there will be times he might rub a person the wrong way. But his is a good guy - and the world needs good guys.
Expect a resort like the Sheridan. It's not that. It's just a little hotel right on the ocean.
Expect it to be in the heart of Puerto Princesa, because its not.
Be surprised that it takes longer and costs more to get there because of its location.
Stay in a fan room unless you are budget constrained. They are bamboo instead of concrete and that's going to mean more bugs and more noise.
At the end of the day, it's a lovely place. The physical plant is well-maintained, the staff are very friendly, and anything you want to do, they can arrange for you. Could you find other ways to do your Island Hopping, etc? I'm sure you could. Could you find ways that cost a few hundred pesos less? Probably? But for me, my vacations are not exercises in "How many pennies can I return home with?" They are a chance to relax, unwind, and get away from the regimen of daily life. And for THOSE things, the Villa Leonora, Arthur, and his staff were just right.
One last thing - if you want to go on the Underground River Tour (we did - and had a great time) PLEASE let the Villa Leonora folks know 2-4 weeks ahead of time. Nothing is surer to disappoint then to arrive there and think that you can start working on getting your passes then. They are limited and these folks need as much lead time as you can possibly provide them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort has eight air conditioned rooms en-suite with hot water showers. All rooms have double beds. Additional beds can be installed on request. Children under 5 years free. 5 to 12 years full. The resort also has 5 fan rooms en-suite with cold water showers. We arrange tours and are close to all the major tourist activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Leonora Beach Hotel Puerto Princesa
- Villa Leonora Beach Resort Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa