After the past few posts, are you as in love with El Nido as I am?
Over our 3 day/2 night stay in El Nido, I grew to adore Palawan and El Nido Resorts Miniloc.
If you’re interested in planning a trip for yourself then 1. please bring me 2. definitely consider staying at El Nido Resorts Miniloc (or one of the other El Nido Resorts locations).
El Nido in general, isn’t the most convenient place to reach if you’re coming from outside Manila (but what pristine beach is?), but once you make it to Miniloc things are actually quite accessible. From Miniloc you can kayak to a few other islands and to the Big Lagoon and the Small Lagoon. As I understood from guests I overheard at Lagen, it’s not really possible to kayak anywhere from Lagen.
Peter and I loved being able to kayak right from the resort to an uninhabited island, pull the kayak up onto the beach then jump out into the water to snorkel.
Cleanliness and Rooms
I don’t have any complaints about cleanliness in our room or at the resort. We stayed in a beachside room which seemed updated, had a big king size bed, a single bed, and excellent air conditioning.
To sum up the service at El Nido Resorts: amazing! All of the staff members were incredibly friendly and went above and beyond to accommodate all the activities we wanted to do and the requests we made.
When I arrived at breakfast my first morning and didn’t see any longganisa available, I asked one of the dining staff members, Benjo (who was awesome the entire trip by the way) if there would be any. He offered to get some from the kitchen to cook just for me.
Of course, I denied the offer, “Oh no, Benjo. You don’t have to do that for me”
But of course, he insisted. He cooked up the longganisa just for Peter and I and brought it out to our table.
When Peter and I kayaked to the Big Lagoon and happened to come across staff members who were enjoying their time off, they chatted with us and showed us a special cave in the lagoon even though they obviously didn’t have to.
Our guide, Raymond, did an awesome job of leading us through all the activities we wanted to do during our stay and gave Peter and I tips on locations we could kayak to on our own. When a few guests in our island hopping group had trouble kayaking through the small lagoon, Raymond hopped into a kayak to paddle of the guests, tied another kayak of guests to his kayak and paddled them all to the lagoon opening.
Peter and I also had massages Friday night and Saturday night in the open air bungalow on top of the water. The waves crashing around us created the perfect atmosphere and the massages were great.
As part of our resort stay, all meals- breakfast, lunch, and dinner, were exclusive. Each meal was all-you-can-eat with lots of Filipino and Western options. There was always a “create your own” type station at the resort where Benjo would cook up custom omelets, stir fried noodles, fried rice, or other dishes.
Water is free, but keep in mind that any other drinks (alcoholic & non-alcoholic) are not included.
For those of you who are concerned with water quality, I had no problems with the drinking water provided by the resort, the ice used, or the fresh vegetables. I’m normally very paranoid about water quality after getting extremely sick during a stay in Manila several years ago so I didn’t brush my teeth with the tap water just to be safe, but Peter did without any problems.
Overall I believe staying at El Nido Resorts Miniloc is definitely worth it. The resort is much pricier than any options in El Nido town, but had we stayed in El Nido town we wouldn’t have had unlimited access to snorkeling gear and kayaks and islands within kayaking range, 24/7. By staying at the resort we were able to fit in a lot more activity over the weekend.
All the activities we did, minus the massages, rock climbing (which was very cheap) and drinks at the bar, were inclusive and there were perks to island hopping with El Nido Resorts over other touring companies we saw.
We were able to paddle through the Small Lagoon in our own kayaks unlike visitors who had to awkwardly swim through and risk sea urchins, rocks, and generally not being able to see the entire lagoon.
In the Big Lagoon we also had access to the entire lagoon in our private boat instead of having to just swim through and not be able to access the front part of the lagoon (and Peter and I spotted LOTS of sea urchins in the Big Lagoon).
If When I visit El Nido next, I’d definitely stay at El Nido Resorts. There were still lots of activities Peter and I didn’t get to participate in because of our time constraints, so I’m dying to go back.