My girlfriend and I were in charming El Nido, hoping to finish off our vacation island-hopping, with all the fun that entails. Unfortunately, our failure to earlier book a flight to Manila meant that we had to endure a wasteful 8-hour boat ride and spend our last full day thereafter in the Bacuit Archipelago. The helpful staff at the god-sent Art Boutique in El Nido recommended Coral Bar Resort, after a few cheaper options had no vacancy.
Arriving in Coron Town after an 8-hour boat ride turned 10, we were met at the pier by representatives of Coral Bay and dismayed to learn that the resort was a 1-2 hour boat ride away... we considered walking away and finding a place in town, but our bags were already on board the boat....
...and the magic had begun. We arrived at high tide, and the ocean had risen to the foot of our cabin, bringing the beach literally to our door step. The husband of the couple who own the resort met us at the pier, told us that dinner would be ready whenever we finished showering, etc (despite the 11pm hour), and we felt like a family friend from our first moment off the boat; this is no small feat, considering our having spent 12 hours on the sea, with our memory of the ride protracted by terra "firma" now rocking up and down.
Our stay ended up being the highlight of our trip. It felt like we were staying at a friend's jaw-droppingly beautiful island home, rather than a resort. Words diminish the experience. A green bird nested in the magnolia near the dining pavilion, where the tables casually overlook the ocean, which itself looks like a lake. Snorkeling and diving at the house reef (we will save the wreck-diving, which entails a 2-hour boat ride to the dive spots, for our next stay). Satisfying meals including large portions of fish, pork, squid; salads at every meal; chocolate cake or other sweets for desert. Hiking the wildlife -saturated island, through the mangrove and bamboo forests, where I am told and have no doubt, live monkeys, monitor lizards, birds of various colors live, although we were sapped by the heat and opted for snorkeling instead. Taking photos of the starfish at sunrise, watched, left on the beach as the tide receded.
Our last night, we kayaked 45 minutes to twin islands on the edge of the sea's immensity and watched the sunset with a beer in our hands. On the kayak back to the resort, the sunset's splendor was outmatched by the rising of the full moon over the ocean and the blue glow or creatures beneath the sea (see the picture).
Thank you, everyone, for what I hope are the first of many memories at your enchanting resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Coral Bay Beach & Dive Resort is Nature green resort, situated in the middle of Busuanga. We offer diving ,and the amazing WWll wrecks of Coron. We have A big house reef is sited just a few swim strokes out, where you will meet a lot of exiting life, even just snorkeling. From the resort, we offer day trips to other Islands, where you can enjoy the silence and beauty of nature. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Bay Beach & Dive Hotel Busuanga
- Coral Bay Beach And Dive Resort