I went with my son and his wife in Dec 2012 for 3 days and 2 nights. Overall, we had a wonderful time being reunited, and Club Paradise seemed to be the perfect place for it. The kids snorkelled for the first time with a guide from the hotel which gave them that extra bit of security. Unfortunately, no dugongs nor sea turtles, which I thought, from the description on their website, were right on the premises. This being sea turtle hatching time, and there being a sanctuary as described, there were no hatchlings or semblance of any attempts to save them (I had just come back from the Pawikan Conservation in Morong, Bataan, so was quite excited to see that this place was also a sanctuary - so it said). So this was a little disappointing for me personally.
That being said - the place is idyllic. The island really is a slice of paradise. My daughter-in-law said the photos and descriptions do not do the place justice. But - it is better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed!!! Yes, there is a (private) bus ride from the airport, yes there is a very very peaceful (private) boat ride through the mangroves, and then out to sea. We were always accompanied by hotel staff, who gave us sandwiches and drinks on the boat. The 1 - 1.5 hrs to get to the hotel was worth it.
The staff were very pleasant and polite, and their training shone through. Friendly enough but not too friendly nor familiar. It was a good balance. I had questions about a couple of billing matters, and they bent over backwards to try and solve them which I appreciated.
Upon reading reviews, I also read drinks were expensive. It was ok - unless you want to drink a lot. But for a couple of drinks a day, it was fine. Although I found that they did not really have knowledge of their wines even though there was an extensive wine list.
I was a little bit unnerved by the welcome upon arrival on the island though. I've been to a lot of resorts in the Caribbean. So I am comparing this to those resorts. We got off the boat, walked through the beach to the building, and were a bit hurried through even though we just wanted to take in the magnificence of the wide expanse of white sand and turquoise blue waters. Then when we 7 from the boat were gathered, the group of musicians started to play, and we saw 7 glasses of something tropical strategically placed on the table, evenly spaced out. We had to stand there (uncomfortable) while they played their welcome song and the staff came out to greet us with a cheer (unnerving for a place so quiet and idyllic). Then we were allowed to drink our drinks while we registered. That was fine. But usually one is offered a drink upon arrival and not made to wait. The rambunctiousness of the welcome song scared me a bit, because it gave the essence of a party place and I was not there for that. Thankfully, that was the only form of noise and partying during our stay - but it didn't fit in with the whole essence of the place.
Meals were ok - some better than others. It was always a buffet, so one can never get that freshness - esp with wonderful fresh seafood - in a buffet. It would be better if only breakfast (and perhaps lunch) was a buffet, and then one can order a la carte at night for dinner. Crabs always during lunch (but we also found out that one of the owner's friends was there during our stay - so I'm not sure if that is always the case), fresh fish both at lunch and dinner, and a variety of meats, salads, desserts. We found out we missed the roast beef BBQ on the beach which they had the night before we arrived. The variety was there. Coffee at breakfast was decent too!!!
As to our rooms, we got a tour package for an island view room. I wanted a beach villa, but we were told by the travel agent there were none available, and the island view room has a view of the lagoon and were very nice. We found out there WERE beach villas available, but wanted to see our island view room first. It was a bit far away from the main club house, and you need to climb several steps which didn't appeal to me at night or after a long day of snorkelling etc. And although it was supposed to be facng the lagoon, it was overgrown with beautiful trees and couldn't see the lagoon (which by the way, you wouldn't want to see anyway). I just felt a bit claustrophobic, and they gave us adjoining rooms, which when travelling with honeymooners, you don't want that. So we upgraded to 2 beach villas - one on my own, and one for the honeymooners at the far end of the bay. So much better, BUT I couldn't open the windows to let any fresh air in and therefore had to keep the air conditioner on all the time which I didn't really want to do. I did, however, spend a LOT of time on my private hammock on my private deck, with a view of the water. I also had my own private beach area with my own private lounge chairs and cushions. Really very very nice.
We met a couple who asked us about our rooms because they said their island view room smelled musty and moldy. So they also upgraded but to the other side of the island.
Be forewarned that they charge for an upgrade by the person, and not by the room. I questionned this because a person is not going to eat double the food (we had already paid for our meals with the island view room) nor use double the towels. They did give me a slight discount.
This and another incident just caused a bit of bad vibes, especially when one of the staff told me that I got a great deal on our rooms. I then felt they were trying to nickel and dime me to get me to what I should have paid for. But they also did something about the 2nd incident. It was just not pleasant to go through at the time, especially when trying to relax. And that kind of comment should not be made!!! So what if I got a good deal - then it was my luck!!!!
The island hopping to the Coron I discovered last March 2012 was not readily available since this island is quite far from the Town of Coron itself (another 1.5 hour travel time) and those beautiful islands within 15 minutes of the Town of Coron. And it was quite expensive in addition to being a full day. One did not have a choice of taking half a day island hopping to "THE" islands of Coron since it is quite far away.
Snorkelling on the house reef was ok. We did see a turtle and the giant clam, and a school of fish surrounded us and circled around us which was beautiful to see. But nothing like the island hopping swimming and snorkelling. We just stayed on the island to avail of the beauty of the island itself and the services.
3 or 4 days on this beautiful island would be enough, then go to the Town of Coron for another 3 days.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Club Paradise Resort once you see it, you will love it! Amidst Coron, Palawan's sparkling turquoise waters lays the beautiful island of Dimakya, the home of Club Paradise Resort. A tropical haven for people seeking relaxation and adventure, Club Paradise offers a wide variety of activities to choose from. Sunbathe, dive, plunge, snorkel, or even hike Dimakya Island! With courteous staff, Club Paradise Resort guarantees you a perfect getaway for romance, relaxation and adventure! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Club Paradise Palawan Hotel Coron
- Hotel Paradise Palawan
- Resort All Inclusive Paradise Palawan
- Club Paradise Palawan Coron, Palawan Island