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“Calm, beautiful and well-serviced” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Nido Resorts Apulit Island

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El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island, Philippines (Formerly Apulit Island Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 89 Hotels in Palawan Island
Hanoi, Vietnam
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Calm, beautiful and well-serviced”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We went to Apulit during the low season, which meant a certain risk of rain. The upside is the resort was almost empty, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We stayed in a small hut on stilts in the water. Small, but well-equipped and tastefully decorated. Perfect for a couple. Nice balcony for lounging. We really enjoyed watching the baby sharks hunt for anchovies under the terrace. Wildlife was really close up and interesting to watch. Colorful birds and fish. Make sure you go on the snorkelling trip with one of the guides, you will be amazed at the sights on different coral reefs in the area.
The resort offers many activities, make sure you ask thoroughly to find out exact what you can do every day. Most of the activities are free, only the diving and the massage was extra.
Food is a buffet at every meal. It's not extraordinary, but there's always lots of fresh greens and fruits, and you can pick out your own meat, fish or seafood which the chefs prepares for you. Sometimes, you can compose you own fried rice, soup or fried noodle which the chefs prepares. Something for every taste.
The service is excellent, everybody is smiling. The staff was very helpful and quickly fixed everything that we asked for.
Can also be recommended for families, as there were bigger huts. The activities were also well suited for kids.
However, we enjoyed the few days when there were no kids at sight...

Room Tip: Get the hut which is the furthest from the main area around the beach. It's further away from t...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Simply breathtaking and amazing service to match. The entire staff made our stay the best beach vacation we have ever experienced. The staff really knows how to take care of their guest's needs and went above and beyond on several occasions. Before arriving, my wife lost her sunglasses and we were telling the manager Franck about how we lost them once we got on the banca boat. To our surprise, on the next day, our waitress brought over a pair of new sunglasses for my wife. We were told that Franck called over to the main office, had someone purchase the glasses for us, and brought them on the next boat ride along with all their normal supplies. I can't say enough great things about this resort and staff...many thanks to Franck and his staff.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

Me and my fiancee absolutely loved this resort. Every little detail was taken care of, the staff couldn't do enough for you, the place was tranquil, relaxing and luxurious. All in all it's pretty expensive, but for a few days it's definitely worth going. We could have easily stayed a day or two more

Room Tip: We had room 51, it's the farthest away from the beach, but very quiet with a nice view of the su...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012 via mobile

Great accommodations. Stayed in Nipa hut on stilts in water. Modern but a little small. Went island hopping, snorkeling, private beach lunch on deserted island was great and was soon cheap $60 USD for 6 people for 5hrs.. Food was great but realize set/scheduled buffets for all 3 meals. Make you ask about all the different activities since they not always made apparent, make sure to talk to angel or any other "activity coordinator".

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Manila, Philippines
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

Stayed in Apulit Island Resort by El Nido Resorts (formerly Club Noah Isabelle) last May 28-30. Came in via ITI which is a 75 minute plane ride on an 18-seater Dornier. Quite the experience but charge to experience. After the plane ride, a modified jeepney takes you to the mangroves where the dock is. We took another 45-minute boat ride going to the island resort. Aboard the boat, you are given coconut cookies and a very strong ginger tea. Life vests are handed out to all passengers to ensure safety.

Once you are near the property, you will get a nice view of the resort. You see the deluxe water cottages on the west end (quite a walk to the main dining area) and the regular water cottages on the main cove. We were greeted by representatives of the hotel staff who sang a kanyonan welcome song and dance (not sure of the spelling). Frank, the resort manager, greets you one by one. This is followed by a quick introduction of the property. This will be followed by a late lunch. You dine with a great view of the sun, sand, and sea. Roslyn will go around each table to schedule the activities that you prefer during your stay in the resort. By the way, all non-motorized activities and snorkel gear are free. Be sure to do as much as you can to maximize your stay. We did the island hop and snorkel in isla blanca and lopez reef and even saw a turtle swimmin in the reef. Too bad we weren't able to do the one in the afternoon. Hobie cat was also an experience although quite risky if the winds are strong. You need to sign a waiver before trying this but guides will always be with you not unless you don't want their presence. If ever your kayaks or hobie cat capsizes in the middle of the sea, a small motorized boat will immediately rescue you.

We had the regular water cottages which are good for 2 persons in each room. The size is good enough. Everyone gets a personal veranda which is good for lounging. There is always a thermos of drinking water in your room. Bathrooms are a bit narrow and very basic, but for a secluded island it works. Hot and cold showers are at your disposal. There is also a turn-down service while you have dinner.

Food in the resort tastes good. The buffet spread is not huge but more than enough to cater to everyone's taste (asian, western, filipino). You also have the option to have private dinners in different parts of the property. Options include having it on the beach, on a deck on the far side of the the property, in a private hut, even in the cave. I suggest you do that.

The property also has an in-house physician in case of emergencies or minor illnesses. My aunt had an upset stomach and the doctor came to the room one night to give medicine and instructions and came back the next day to check up on her. We did not encounter any security issues while on the island.

Overall, our stay was very memorable. Staff were very courteous and genuinely kind. Special mention to Frank (the manager), Roslyn (the activities coordinator), Mike (the guy who greets you at the airport), Eddie (who made sure we didn't capsize in our hobie cat) and Dr. Gia, our in-house physician. Quite expensive, but for the no-worries experience it was all worth it!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012 via mobile

First, make sure you have a direct flight. Flying into Puerto Princesa invites a 4 1/2 hour long cramped trip to Taytay port where Apulit staff will meet you.
Now you'll be on a 30-40 min boat ride to the actual island. Here you'll be greeted by a group of the staff dancing and singing to the beat of guitar, drum, and tambourine. Your activities coordinator and the Manager will present you with a flower shaped necklace woven out of banana leaves or bamboo or something. During a brief orientation you'll be served a tasty desert with Ginger tea. You're given your room keys and you're off. The Deluxe Overwater Villas have access directly to the water via stairs. Snorkeling here is spectacular (and right at your doorstep). 2 single beds downstairs and a King bed upstairs. Downside is that it's a good walk to get to the dining/bar/pool/lobby area. Wear comfy shoes. But if you are wearing flip flops don't worry about sand. They have tall vases filled with cool water, with large ladles for scooping the water onto your feet. Don't miss fish feeding on the pier at 9:00 am. It's beautiful. If you're really adventurous bring your snorkel gear and jump in. The fishes are all the colors of the rainbow, and all sizes. A few eels are present, as is the odd reef shark (not aggressive-and only about 2' long. The meals are served in a large dining area with a buffet style presentation. There is a large variety to suit any appetite. It's all you can eat, so maybe a walk isn't so bad. I was able to see crabs, gecco, and even a monitor lizard (3' long) on the winding path. That was fun. Billiards, ping pong, darts, board games, kayaking, windsurfing, spectacular snorkeling and diving which included beautiful corals and even the odd sea turtle. Not really a party resort, though the bar is open and the staff are eager to please. Don't worry about snorkel gear. They have all the equipment (and it's the good stuff). No ugly orange life jackets like other resorts offer. Go island hopping, it's a blast. If you have time arrange to check out the cave. Bring an underwater camera (you won't be disappointed). There is a safe in your room and a bar (some items no charge).
The staff are so nice they really go out of their way to make your stay amazing. Clark (one of the tour guides) took my camera down about 15-20' to take pictures up close of some clown fish playing. He also took pictures of the group while snorkeling. He can hold his breath forever when free diving.
There is an awesome infinity pool overlooking the ocean. It is large and spacious. No diving though it's about 4 1/2' deep. But it does boast an area about 2' deep and 4' wide around one side if you're just in the mood for soaking. Towels are everywhere so don't bother toting from your room. I do recommend bug spray. There aren't a lot, but one hungry mosquito can be annoying. Bring some anti-itch creme just in case. Bring sunscreen cuz it gets hot in the sun. Really, really hot. The turn down service is nice. They leave you notes written on leaves and even treats. Super environmentally friendly. Hot water? Yes (which isn't the norm in Philippines). Air conditioning works well.
Spacious clean bathrooms (sweet). Not crowded at all. Think ultimate relaxation and adventure depending on your interests. By far the highlight of our trip to the Philippines!
Bottom line, you will absolutely love it!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

We liked
- The stuff that is friendly
- Rooms / water cottages. Smaller cottages are detached / isolated bungalows of one level and are designed for two persons, larger (de luxe) are semidetached bungalows ( the large water cottage is divided by two) of two levels and are designed for four persons (there are two separate beds on the first level and a matrimonial bed on the second level). There is only one bathroom in the cottage on the first level.
De luxe bungalows have direct access to the sea, so you can swim or snorkel right from your cottage (there are stairs going down to the sea from the cottage veranda) that we liked very much. (Smaller cottages for two do not have a direct access to the sea)
- Room design which is simple and good
- Quiet ambiance and isolation
- Beautiful island and the sea good for snorkelling (beautiful and alive corals and marine plants, plenty of fish, we liked it better vs the Maldives for examples)

We did not like
- It is not easy to book a room here. Online booking does not work, our e-mail was not answered for three days, the reservation office does not seem work on Saturdays and Sundays, our call directly to the resort was not answered. So we had to call Miniloc sister resort to be connected to the Apulit and to dictate our e-mail address to book the bungalow.
- The tripadvisor special price coupon obtained from the tripadvisor website does not work automatically. (Dear Tripadvisor team we are for the second time facing difficulties trying to get a special rate or discount using the corresponding coupon from your website - first time it was on the Malvides at Kurumba resort in October 2011). So we had to negotiate and discuss the issue again and again (the initial answer was that no discount could be offered) to get a kind of discount.
- Juices served at breakfast are diluted with lots of water, so they should not call them natural juices as is written on the dish info plate
- There is a lack of fruit at the buffet
- Lack of in room info on possible resort activities, it took us lots of time to find out what types of activities the resort in general offers. We do not think it is hard to prepare a kind of information file describing the offered activities (followed by a precise schedule for the next day to be distributed among the rooms every night), in-room facility (should we think ourselves how to heat the water with the help of the installed heater?), extra services that the resort offers ( massage, diving) etc. Most likely the idea behind was to apply a customized or personalized service (activity coordinator talks personally to all the guests offering them personal activity plan for the next day) but it failed especially when the resort occupancy is more than 30%: the activity coordinator forgets to mention some possible or planned events, guests should choose the next day schedule not having the comprehensive info etc
- The existing boutique is less than basic in terms of the range of goods offered. Why not bring a good variety of gifts and handicrafts that guests being isolated on the particular island can buy and provide extra profit for the resort
- The activity list is relatively short and can be enlarged with other marine sports, evening events based on the traditional local handicraft or performances

Overall the resort is overpriced taking into consideration what we did not like and most likely the resort is rather being maintained than developed based on the guests needs.

We advise
- if you are proceeding from Manila and ready to pay higher price for the airfare to use ITI Transvoyager company. If you are to stay at any El Nido resorts (Miniloc, Lagen, Apulit) the resort will book the flight for you from Manila ITI hangar located in the proximity to the Manila's airport terminals to Taytay (Apulit) or El Nido (Miniloc, Lagen). Only 10 kg per person including hand luggage are allowed free of charge, the extra kilos are paid at the rate of 100 pesos per kg, but you can leave part of your luggage at the ITI storage facility free of charge for the duration of your staying at Palawan)
- to try all the activities at the Apulit resort, apart from diving it is good to snorkel at Isla Blanca, Nabat island (means No beach), Lopez reef, to snorkel at the house reef, do the caving (to go round the Apulit island and to enter two accessible caves out of five existing), go kayaking, try very good and inexpensive Philippine massage at the beach massage cabana
- if you are returning via Puerto Princesa you inland transfer can be organized from the resort

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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

Address: Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island, Philippines (Formerly Apulit Island Resort)
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Palawan Island
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Palawan Island
#3 On the Beach 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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