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“Rustic and relaxing” 5 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 5313, Philippines   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in El Nido
Las Pinas
Top Contributor
1,022 reviews 1,022 reviews
213 hotel reviews
Reviews in 128 cities Reviews in 128 cities
539 helpful votes 539 helpful votes
“Rustic and relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This is the oldest and most original of the three El Nido resorts. It is also the most rustic and compact of the three. It had undergone renovations and sprucing up recently. More rooms have been added but the service remains remarkably pleasant. The food is good. The House lagoon just off the island is enchanting. You can feed the hundreds of fish just off the pier. It is very close to both the big and small lagoons. Excellent and well worth the visit.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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428 reviews from our community

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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 (86)
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Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

My wife and I made Miniloc Island Resort our honeymoon destination and we were not disappointed. From our online booking to arriving back in Manila everything was taken care of which made everything so perfect. ITI who are the domestic airline from Manila to the resort are professional and efficient. They are strict on the 10kg per person limit. Upon arrival tea, coffee and muffins are available and your own little table with your name tag is waiting for you. The boarding passes are unique. Take bug spray for the airport if you are leaving on the early morning flight. If you are a smoker take enough smokes to last you as the price and selection at the resort is limited.

When we were looking at the website and reading reviews here we really couldn't decide to book a water cottage or a deluxe seaview room so we booked 3 nights in each.

The water cottage was lovely and being over the water was pretty cool but the bathrooms were old, tiny and a bit smelly. The deluxe seaview room was exactly what you'd expect for the price paid.

A few reviews here have panned the buffet and selection of food. We thought the selection was amazing with so many options. There is always soup 3-4 different mains plus noodles or rice, bread station, make your own pasta, make your own stir fry, grill station with meat and seafood, salad station, vegetarian options, dessert bar etc etc and then a room service menu to choose from.

Spa does not offer a full range of services but the massages in the water hut were amazing!

Activity guides were so helpful in planning what you wanted to do day by day. We found it was better to charter an outrigger so we could go when and where we wanted without having to worry about larger groups. Just be careful about how long the trips take and what time you'll be back with the guides as they don't tell you how many stops you have to make to drop off or pick up people.

The cave day trips aren't really worth it but if you have the time you might as well do it.

Snake Island - awesome - just make sure you check the tides and go when it is low tide to appreciate it fully.

Dibuluan Beach Club is ok - great snorkelling to the left (when on the beach looking to the water) but the right is all dead coral reefs. Better snorkelling elsewhere.

Big and small lagoons are spectacular - go in the afternoon when it is much quieter. We also kayaked there and yeah it was amazing.

We also kayaked from Miniloc and turned right and went past two little beaches and stopped at the third one we came across. Bit of a kayak but nice and quiet and beautiful. The second beach from Miniloc is called Daggaan Beach and we thought that had the best snorkelling.

The island they say is the best for snorkelling which is within sight of Miniloc starting with a P is not that great. Most of the coral there is dead,

Entalula Beach Club was the best spot though. Great snorkelling - perfect spot!!! Spend a day here swimming, and snoozing.

If you are visiting with your partner, spend the bucks and do a private dinner. Ours was arranged for Daggaan Beach and was romantic - plenty of brownie points, even had a few fire fly bug things floating around the hut. The food was even better than the buffet and the service was impeccable.

If you are doing your homework and thinking about booking with a cheaper place - don't! You need to stay in an El Nido owned Resort as they are the ones that own the beach clubs. If you don't you can still visit the island but you can't utilise the beaches that the beach clubs are on. You have to make do with some small patches of sand and watch on while El Nido guests get waited on.

The service of the staff and their genuine friendliness, as per other reviews, are simply brilliant. So accommodating and interested in taking care of you they make the trip.

Other facilities included table tennis, pool table, fussball table, wii etc. Kayaks and snorkeling gear are included in the package and are of very good quality and well maintained.

Bar has a good selection of drinks and they make a very good coffee. My only criticism is that non-alcoholic beverages should be included in the price or at least cheaper than what they were.

Nevertheless, this spot is perfect the way it is and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Room Tip: Deluxe Seaview Room without a doubt - much, much better than the Water Cottage
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We relocated from two nights at Lagen Island to four nights at Miniloc's deluxe Seaview room (#57). As far as the seaview rooms go, i was totally happy with our room. The water cottages appeared to be nice and might even have a bit of a sunrise view. However, for the time of year we went (May) we didn't see any sunrise of sunset from Miniloc (which is not necessarily bad since we sure get enough of sun throughout the day so a slight reprieve during morning and evening hours was quite welcome). Their cottages in the main area central area was not really my thing. It felt like a campground and anybody walking by could see right into your room (there were some rooms way back, slightly higher up, which could be ok).

While Lagen Island was a nice place to relax and chill out, Miniloc definitely is more geared around activities. We quickly fell into a routine of kayaking, snorkeling in the morning, hiding out from the scorching mid-day sun during noon, then heading out for more kayaking and snorkeling in the afternoon. We went island-hopping by boat one day, but realized that the big/small lagoon and nearby little islands were more than enough to keep us occupied. The places we went to for island-hopping (secret lagoon, hidden beach, etc.) were nice, but the steady onslaught of tourists over the years has clearly taken its toll (destroyed reefs, garbage floating around here and there). I get it though... its good that they designate a few concentrated areas for tourists to visit and keep the hidden gems off of the sightseeing circuits.

Personally, i couldn't get enough of the kayaking. I've done some river kayaking before in N. America and so was really looking forward to this sea kayaking. We asked someone about kayaking around Miniloc island and they told us nonchalantly that it only takes a couple of hours. So we went for it, only to encounter rough waters when we hit the side facing open sea. For someone who only experience river kayaking where you basically drift downstream and most of your work is steering, fighting the ocean waves of an incoming storm was a daunting experience (lucky i started a regiment of daily push-ups in preparation for this trip!). After that ordeal we just went for short excursions with our snorkeling and camera gear (also food and water, just in case). We'll see a small secluded beach in the distance, decide to head straight for it, land the kayak, then go snorkeling in that area. I can think of no better way to spend a day.

Food at Miniloc was OK. Same as Lagen, it is canteen/buffet style. We missed lunch one day only to find out that there is no a la carte menu to order from. Fortunately, the ever-helpful staff loaded up a plate of fruit for us which tied us over until dinner time, which is an example of how great the staff is. They are genuinely helpful and make every effort to accommodate.

Sure, it seems like El Nido Resorts pretty much has a monopoly in the area and your definitely overpaying luxury high prices for only "OK" accommodations (for these prices, i would be staying in a new and chic top-rated Santorini hotel!) but if they continue preservation of this paradise and control the amount of tourism and development, then I'm happy to pay a premium for the privilige of experiencing El Nido in its natural glory. Kudos! And I can't wait to go back, perhaps try out their other two locations in the Bacuit Bay area (Pangulasian and Apulit).

By the way, watch out for those monkeys. One morning, I was just about to dig into my cream and syrup ladled waffle when a monkey and her baby appeared from nowhere to snatch it from right under my nose. Apparently they often come down from the mountains after a bout of rain... so beware!

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
    • 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.
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Miniloc is a slice of paradise for the family. Beautiful water, island-hopping, scuba diving, snorkeling, ping pong, basketball, evening kid movies and lectures... The staff was generous with their time and genuinely friendly (greeting us and sending us away singing). You can do as much or as little as you like. Should you choose to do little, you might feel landlocked, so better spend the extra money and have a private boat take you to the hundreds of unspoiled beaches. The scuba operation run by Ronny is extremely professional and can cater to children as young as 10.
My only issue is that the property could be renovated (in an environmentally friendly way) to make the bill tolerable. Rates not far from five star equivalents... Otherwise, go with your children and grab a couple of the pier rooms near the spa.

Room Tip: Pier rooms near spa, not the rooms in the back of the property. Ratings so low mostly because of la...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nice, France
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

we stayed here on our recent vacation to the Philippines and this was the last place we visited, so maybe we were already spoiled a bit. Overall this place is very beautiful but the maintenance needs some work.
The staff is eager to please and the service is very friendly. It's a bit out of the way of everything and we stayed there for 5 nights, which probably was one or two to long, as there is really not much around other that beach, ocean and nature, but I guess that's what draws most people to that place.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooloolaba, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Did a weekend in Miniloc Island for the first time recently and I have to say it is just breathtaking. One of the best experiences I have had, with each day leaving us spellbound by the islands in the bays beauty.

Remote and isolated beaches, snorkeling, secret caves and beaches, amazing kayaking, wildlife viewing, Miniloc has it all and more.

The resort rooms we stayed in were only average, but the staff and food made up for it, plus all the activities they organise each day with the excellent guides. Our best was a fellow by the name of Cris, he was superbly informed and you have to love the way the locals have passion to take on the responsibility to keep the place pristine as possible.

I could rave on for pages of how breathtaking the scenery is, but I am sure many of you would know this already!

The sister resort on Lagen Island seemed to have better/ newer accommodation than Miniloc, but Miniloc had a nicer feel to it for me personally, so maybe split your days between the two resorts if heading over, i will consider this the next time we go for sure.

Be sure to book yourself in to see this great area, at least once. We will return for sure.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We have just returned from Miniloc and once again had a wonderful experience. The accommodation does need some refurbishment but the staff, scenery, snorkelling and the overall experience is amazing. Congratulations to Miniloc for ensuring the area remains pristine and the snorkelling in front of the resort is spectacular. The activities are excellent and without pressure you organise your day as busy or leisurely as you like.
On arrival we had a problem with our accommodation - this was quickly rectified by Thids - many thank yous.
Overall everyone of the staff we encountered were obliging and went the extra miles to make sure our stay was as memorable as it was 25 years ago.
One small criticism would be to ensure the drinks are colder. Some of the mixers are not chilled and this just makes the ice melt quickly and the drinks become watery. Also beer needs to be really cold in the tropics.
Thanks to all the wonderful staff.
John and Sandy

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

Address: Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan Island 5313, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
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*
Number of rooms: 50
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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