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“Picture perfect paradise!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

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El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 10 hotels in El Nido
Fremont, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Picture perfect paradise!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We really loved it here! Picturesque, post card worthy views 360 degrees, you truly get what you paid for, and you pay a really pretty penny, but I think it was worth it. From the airport lounge till we got to the resort, the staff were all smiles, very helpful and what I think really makes this resort stand out.

We stayed 3 days/2 nights (I suggest to stay at least one more full day) in a garden cottage, just a few yards from the beach. I loved how they set up your day activities and you get to go in small groups with a dedicated tour guide (towels and snorkeling gear is included). Vladimir was excellent! He knew his way around the islands, was super friendly, knowledgeable and you can see that he truly appreciated the beauty around him. The enthusiasm was contagious and we were smitten with Palawan by the 2nd hour of our day trip. I want to be shipwrecked at Entalula!

Back at the resort, there is a prime snorkeling spot just in front of the hotel where you can swim with the huge jack fish. It's quite easy to snag a beach chair, drinking in the views (and your alcohol). It didn't seem crowded, more couples than families. The food was good, great selection, with western fare along with some local delicacies; price includes 3 buffet style meals a day. If you get hungry in between, they serve a limited menu (think sandwiches/burgers) with "resort" prices, so eat up at the buffet! Bottled water was not free, but you get a small pitcher of water in your room.

The property is showing its age, but the lodgings are adequate, we didn't spend that much time in our cottage anyway. The bed was a little hard but we were so tired at the end of the day that it didn't matter. Water pressure in the shower was not that great but whatever, it got the job done. Along with that I had a couple of other gripes that I thought could have been averted since I booked way in advance and like I said, paid a pretty penny for-- I booked a couple's massage appointment on the day we arrived, confirmed it a couple of times with their lady travel agent thru email. After almost 18 hrs of fly time/traveling, a massage sounded nice, right? Well, that didn't happen. The front desk staff at Miniloc (who also apparently manage the spa appointment log book) said that they were fully booked that day and that they could squeeze us in on our last day. And while they were telling me this, another guest on the side was booking a facial for like NOW, right then and there. I was livid but too tired to argue. I mean, you're charging fancy pants 5 star prices, you could at least have a better appointment system. I wanted to visit Lagen on our last day, couldn't do it because of this snag and I already paid for it. Then, I also booked a romantic couple's dinner, fully expecting some concierge lady and a chef come to me to discuss details. I wanted to go the the big? lagoon where they had a platform and have a Michael Mina- like dinner. Alas, no one talked to me about it, the front desk just confirmed the date for it, no one really asked us what we wanted to eat and we kinda had to look for the spot. I was feeling the steam come out of my ears but thank goodness, Jun (our server, and musical entertainment) came to the rescue. Yay! Romantic dinner was not a total bust, the food was pretty good and Jun serenaded us on his guitar. (Note to staff: next time, maybe more candles or a lantern, it was pretty dark on the dock and hard to see my food).

Thanks to the great staff! They caught my attention with their singing and had my heart by the end of the trip. I look forward to next time! I love the luxe eco-friendliness!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013 via mobile

We leave tomorrow and want to say how much We have loved the stay. Getting engaged is one thing but the way the staff treated us was another. A resort is as good as the managers. Don don was superb as the manager in charge. He personally welcomed us and looked over and beyond our needs. This hands on personable approach trickled right down from the ladies on reception to the chefs and to the island look out AJ. We got engaged and the things they surprised us with were out of this world. A private smiley chef, dinner in the middle of the water, a musical dinner interlude by the manager. Words cannot describe our experience. Thanks for giving us the perfect start to our new life, we cannot wait to visit again and recommend this place to all. A clean, welcoming luxurious stay for all xxx
Adam And Dareen

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Stayed at Miniloc Island for three nights March 16th to 19th 2013. The setting and accomodations were amazing. Soaring limestone rock formations and crystal clear waters...perfect weather. While it was full (there was an Aussie wedding) still felt like you had the resort to yourself. Would recommend taking the first 45 min prop plane flight out from Manila at 0730 (meaning staying in Manila overnight) then leaving on last flight at 1pm to maximize time at resort since paying 700 per night. We met no Americans the entire time - added to the feeling of going somewhere less travelled although it was a nice feeling that every Filipino we met in Manila and El Nido seemed genuinely happy to meet Americans. Everything is included and staff is beyond friendly. The snorkeling is the best I have ever experienced with the sites at the Miniloc resort better than anywhere else in El Nido (by itself enough reason to choose Miniloc) Boat excursions to both Lagoons (kayaks included) and neighboring caves plus Dibuluan and Entalula Beach Clubs with banana leaf lunches all musts. Visit to Lagen Resort with its pool and jungle walk nice but Miniloc has a preferable isolated tropical feeling to me. Food delicious and plentiful. Hope to someday return!

Room Tip: Garden Cottage facing water
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucca, Italy
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile


We spent 5 nights in Lagen (see review) but visited Miniloc twice.
We would recommend Miniloc, smaller then Lagen, simpler, more in tune with nature, better food, better surroundings. Accomodation more "native" but still quite good and, most important, you don't have necessarily to get out every day!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Stayed: Feb 16-22 Water cottage:
Split into 4 smaller resorts.

Rooms:
The only quarrel i found with the resort is its claim to be a environmentally sustainable luxury resort. I stayed in a water cottage and although the view from my room was the best in Miniloc, it was quiet small and the bathroom had a consistent light smell of sewage. The tap water water was usable only to wash your hands and the shower water was satisfactory. The water cottage was roughly 5m x 7m. And for the price you pay to stay in Miniloc, the people who own the resort could upgraded it alittle more, even if it is 30+ years old.

Even then you would have the view from your patio, and a view of their sewage treatment plant at your front door.

Food:
Although the buffet was very small in options, it was very delicious. You can eat at Lagen for lunch for breakfast or lunch, then dinner at your home resort.

Staff:
Treated you like royality... to go even as far as family.

Overall:
I found Miniloc to be much MUCH!!! better than Boracay in terms of value and location. The beaches were small and intimate, clean and safe. The activities and meals are all included and found it to be the best value for money.

Miniloc itself is a gem with incredible views from the beach looking into the ocean and its neighbouring limestone islands.

Despite my smaller issues with eco-friendly VS. Luxury, its worth staying here with value and service.

Room Tip: Water cottage for the best patio view, Seasuite and deluxe seasuites for the luxury and spaciousness...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
chicago
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

pros: untouched beach, lagoons, islands, natural geography amazing, service at resorts outstanding, they don't seem to expect tip as resort is all inclusive but i'm sure they didn't mind when we did tip

cons: difficult to get to (probably makes it so untouched); would definitely just go with the chartered plane

i don't think i've been to a more beautiful beach/island although i have not been to seychelles or maldives

unexpected: they really can do anything you want them to do, everything is virtually included except for very specific items. i was hesitant about the price as i have a hard time paying over $400 USD for any hotel but the all inclusive nature of the resort justifies the cost. also they are very green and this is a good lesson on how to be green

  • Stayed February 2013, 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

Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

From the moment you land at El Nido airport you can forget all your cares and let the staff take you by the hand for your entire stay at THE most beautiful location in the world – an undiscovered gem of both beauty but also service that we have never experienced anywhere else…

It’s clear from the beginning that Miniloc is a special place, nestled in a secret cove of Bacuit Bay, the scenery on the way is spectacular, the scenery from the resort – even more so. So to spend each and every day with that on your doorstep is heavenly before you even begin. But that alone wouldn’t be quite enough to make it so fantastic; in fact it’s really the staff that help glue all of this together to give you one truly wonderful resort that you will never forget. Fillipions are known for their warmth and humour but the staff here are so incredibly genuine, effortlessly friendly, happy and thoughtful. On so many occasions the restaurant staff would bring me my English tea at breakfast or my favourite banana cake in the afternoon. You would mention it once that you like it and they would remember, so much so that we arranged a special anniversary dinner on a private beach which was outstanding and the staff remembered our favourite desert from the island..Mango madness! All these little touches are what make a holiday special and memorable. We constantly felt at home there, always greeted by a smile and sadly a wave off at the end of our trip.

As I’m sure you’ve probably gathered by now, Miniloc also has a sister island, Lagen and many other small islands that you are free to travel to and explore on your trip – do it! Make the most of free boat transfers and trips, wake up early to watch the sunrise (it’s beautiful) over the bay and kayak round to the small lagoon before 8am when all the other boats and tourists start to arrive. We did this and had it completely to ourselves; we’ve never seen mint green water or had such tranquillity like it! We also did the same for the big lagoon and stayed for the day on a raft there in complete privacy with a picnic lunch – all arranged by the resort. Where else can you do this and not pay any extra or have to worry about times, transport modes?! It’s all taken care of. If this was Jamaica you would feel the need to say ‘don’t worry, be happy’.

Choose from lazy or active days surrounded by so much wildlife that you feel you begin to learn more and appreciate the world and all its beauty. The resort actually give you a checklist which really gets you actively into finding monkeys (we saw them!), reef sharks (them too!) turtles (no such luck..) and many more. Keep an eye out for the huge sea eagle that swoops down most nights over the bay. You really do feel grateful for the opportunity to visit a place still rather undiscovered and even now whilst writing this review makes me feel desperate to return to island life.

I should also mention to enjoy the spa whilst the waves lap under you and send you off into a deep relaxing sleep, the facial was a total treat and nice after so much sunshine. And for those all-important room choices, I would suggest the beach cottages as they are smack bang on the beach (obviously) and central to the resort, even though it’s very small. We actually made this trip for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary and were very fortunate to be given an upgrade from a garden cottage. We only booked one of those because that was all that was left but if you can afford to pay the extra then do it, they didn’t look so great compared to the water cottages or beach cottage like we had and for our room (43) was on the 2nd floor and had fantastic views over the beach and the bay. Every morning I would rush to open the blinds and just lie in bed looking out watching the boats and people go by, it never got old. Bear in mind there are no tv’s on the resort but we never missed one instead you while away hours playing dominoes at the beach bar, walking the boardwalk to watch the jackfish, snorkel, sunbathe, relax, love it!

Although we visited Miniloc for our wedding anniversary it wasn’t just the anniversary day itself that was spectacular or special, the whole trip was! But for our special day the staff arranged for us to be taken to a private beach and private it was! Speedboat drops you off at a place that reminded me of something out of a Bond movie (or think more like the recent Bourne Legacy shot there in the bay) and you were left for hours to explore at your leisure before they return to serve you lunch. The same at night, we were taken to a different beach and had a full on staff cooking and catering to us, another special touch was we had told a Chef that we would love to try some Filippino Pork Liempo and that is indeed what they served and after dinner we were serenaded by guitar which was just wonderful, not cheesy at all – fun!

300 photos and even more memories later, we would like to extend a special thanks to Noel, the manager who runs Miniloc like a breeze and has all his outstandingly helpful staff around him. They really excelled themselves when I unfortunately dropped our camera and being on a remote island where am I to get another? So the resort lent us there one..no hire fee, no security deposit just lent it to us without any concern. This idea never even occurred to us but there they were with a solution. It was like this so many times for plans we made regarding the weather, on our anniversary it began to rain so we worried our special beach dinner could be cancelled, they simply moved it under a romantic canopy. They really were always one step ahead of you with an idea, with a plan, with a solution right up to the day you leave the staff come to take your luggage before you even think about how you will pull it through the sand!

We also want to thank all the staff especially Vokz on the boat trips for his knowledge, stories and tales. He gave us a tour around his hometown of El Nido which the resort do not promote but you should ask about it, hire a banca for the day and go see a traditional town. Also, Joel at the beach bar. Everyday we loved our daily happy hour watching the sunset, slurping a coconut and Joel was always there with a smile mixing my favourite cocktail (bluebird bay – try it!)

Miniloc is a wonderful resort, quirky, traditional and totally homey. If you want to try somewhere a little undiscovered yet clean and somehow familiar then this is the place for you. We felt Lagen was a little too ‘hotely’ for us. We have travelled alot but can honestly say this was our best ever holiday in the most beautiful location in the world – GO before the rest of the world catches on...

Room Tip: Beach cottage for central location on the sand and beautiful bay views :)
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 7
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 Miniloc Island

Address: Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in El Nido
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island 3.5*
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

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