We had spent a couple of rather uncomfortable nights at the KokosNuss Garden Resort- which had a myriad of problems, from mosquito infestations, bed bugs, ants in the bedroom/bathroom, cold shower, overly-expensive breakfast and a location that was just too far out of town to be convenient- and chanced upon Amphibi-Ko, close to Bistro Coron near the centre of Coron Town. We had originally been after a boat to hire- like a canoe or kayak- to paddle around the wonderful bay in, and had asked the owner of Sea Dive to help us out. However, his remarkably aggressive manner and blatantly ridiculous prices forced us to go elsewhere. We asked around, and were pointed in the direction of Amphibi-Ko.
When we got to Amphibi-Ko all the boats were out, but we noticed they had a buggy to rent- which we had been after since our first day in Coron and been told 'only motorbikes are available for hire in Coron'- as well as jetskis. The prices for renting out the jetskis were about half that of others we'd seen in the area so we decided to plump for one straight away, and asked where we could leave our things. We were shown to two lovely(even if quite small) bedrooms at the back. We asked if they were available for 2 nights, and we were in luck. The normal price is 1000PHP(about £15 UK) per night per room, which includes hot shower, free Wi-fi, free breakfast and a lovely area for sitting and dining outside of the room. I was travelling with a friend, and we opted to take both rooms- at a very generous 20% discount, making the price of 2 rooms here cheaper than one ant-infested/cold-showered room at KokosNuss.
The lovely Phillipino lady who welcomed us- along with her husband- couldn't do enough for us. Where KokosNuss had looked at my mosquito/bed bug bites all over my arms and legs with a blank look of disregard, Amphibi-Ko offered a Japanese lotion to apply(free of charge) which really did the trick. Not only that but we were brought a mosquito repellant, also free of charge, whereas KokosNuss had mosquito repellant in their list of prices for services at the front desk. We availed ourselves of the hot shower- so relieving after some uncomfortably cold showers the previous 2 nights- and then sat outside in the beautiful dining area. One of the owner's nieces came to ask if things were ok, and fully replenished the mini-bar that was available. It was a relief to have a fridge here, after no such facility was available at the previous establishment.
The rooms were very nicely furnished with a comfortable double bed and crisp, clean sheets. The fan was large and new, and up to the task of keeping you cool in the warm climate of Busuanga Island. The bathroom was spotlessly clean, with new tiling and a good, hot shower. Outside of the rooms was a lovely sitting area with furniture of a traditional Filipino style, and then some steps took you up to a large dining area, with beautiful wooden chairs/tables, all for the exclusive use of the guests. We were able to access the free Wi-Fi facility here, and all in all the sleeping/living areas were cosy, well decorated, clean and in a style that felt traditional and yet contemporary at the same time.
We were made to feel fully welcome and very much at home by the friendly owners and staff, and any help we asked for was met with a cheerful smile and an offer of hospitality that didn't feel like we were burdening them. We liked the place so much we opted to try the Japanese food in their restaurant. The food was very good, and at a very good price. Prices on the menu are wonderful value- a banana milkshake, for instance, set us back 30PHP, which is less than 1/3rd of the price of the same drink at an establishment just a stone's throw away. (And it was nicer at Amphibi-Ko, too). The free breakfast in the morning was very good, served cheerfully and with copious amounts of free coffee.
We took out the buggy for a day and spent the whole day travelling around the island- no mean feat over the roads of Busuanga Island- and were welcomed back with a friendly smile, even though we were considerably later than our scheduled return time. I couldn't speak highly enough of Amphibi-Ko- I wish we had gone straight there instead of spending time elsewhere when we first arrived in Coron, but I know where to head to next time I take a trip to this wonderful island. I don't know what was the best thing- whether the beautifully-appointed sleeping/living areas, the tasty breakfast, inexpensive prices, or the friendliness of the owners and staff. But of all the many places I have stayed in around the world, from Europe, America, Africa and Asia, Amphibi-Ko is my favourite. It was the difference between moving out from an old, Ford Fiesta at the previous establishment, to a Mercedes Benz or Lexus at this. Whereas KokosNuss seemed set up simply to extract money from you for a rather average service, Amphibi-Ko were interested in whether you were happy and comfortable, which made for a much more pleasant stay. I'd recommend this place wholeheartedly to any of my friends who wish to travel to Coron. Amphibi-Ko also have rooms/cottages to rent elsewhere, including one in the sea, which I'm sure are of a similar high standard as at Coron Town. It's a shame Amphibi-Ko doesn't have more rooms to offer in Coron Town, but if you can drop lucky and get both rooms- at prices very affordable for a Western traveller- I'd go for it. Lovely place.
- Also Known As:
- Amphibi-Ko Hotel
- Amphibi-Ko Hotel Coron
- Amphibi-Ko Coron, Palawan Island
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