We chose to stay in Club Paradise instead of hotels in Coron Town because we relish having that island feel. For a beach vacation, there is nothing like waking up to a breathtaking view of the ocean right outside your window. Hence, our choice of staying in a resort with its own island. Of course, there are tradeoffs, most significant of which is the higher cost of everything.
The resort is beautiful and well-maintained. We stayed in a beachfront cottage. It was spacious (small recieving area, walk-in closet with vanity, well-functioning bathroom), clean, airconditioned and came complete with hot/cold bath (plus the usual basic bathroom amenities and toilettries you would expect from hotels, save for a bidette and tub). Our bed and pillows were comfortable.
Staff service was good. The guy who met us at the airport also provided us with information on Coron and all its tourist attractions on our way to the resort. Housekeeping always repsonded to our requests in a timely manner and made sure our cottages (we traveled with 2 other families and occupied 4 beachfront cottages) were always well-prepped and clean. On our first day, when we decided to go snorkeling around the resort (Club Paradise is surrounded with marine life...great to explore), we were accompanied by competent and amiable guides who would point us to areas teeming with fish, corals and giant clams. On our second day, we availed of the resort's Coron Island Tour service (Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, Siete Pecados and Maquinit Hot Springs). The hotel packed lunch for us to be taken with the tour which commenced at 8am and finished 5pm. The guy who supervised the tour was very knowledgeable and even served as our swim/snorkel guide. The resort also provided us with free use of snorkel gear, life jackets and even had a first aid kit, which proved so helpful after one of my friends developed an allergic reaction to one of the dishes (smoked fish) in our packed lunch. The kit had life-saving antihistamines! Bravo!
Our package included 3days/2nights accommodation, transfers to from the airport and full-board meals, all of which (save for the packed lunch during the tour) was served buffet-style. Our dinners were satisfying. We enjoyed their Japanese dimsum (sushi, sashimi), grilled prawns with lemon-butter sauce, Korean beef stew, steamed red lapu-lapu (considered class a, as it is usually shipped to HK and Japan and picks up a high tab), fried crablets, Mongolian barbecue, calamari, peach float and halo-halo. The breakfast fare were also satisfying.
The absence of in-room safe in the cottage. This was a first for us as all the other resorts in other places we've stayed in (Cebu, Bohol, Boracay, Subic, HK, Singapore, US) had one. What I usually would leave in the in-room safe I ended up lugging around in my beach bag, even during the island tour (argh! heavy!).
Coffee is only served over breakfast, despite the package including full-board meals. This ain't so in other resorts/hotels. And us adults in the group LOVE coffee, so it was THAT big a downside for us. (moan! groan!)
The Coron Island Tour was expensive (P3K per head for a group of 6 or more). I ended up paying P12K+ for hubby, our 2 teenage kids and I (ouch! said my wallet). In Coron Town, you can easily get the services of a tour operator for only P5K for a total of 8 people (P625 per head!). We couldn't get the services of a reputable and cheaper operator as Club Paradise told us of a new regulation/agreement among Coron resorts that guests can only avail of the services of the resorts where they're billeted. (uh-huh!)
One dinner, we were served tuna sashimi. It seemed that the next day, the leftover sashimi was "recycled" as smoked fish and served as appetizers for our packed lunch. After I tried one slice, I felt a little itchy around the mouth and toungue, so I advised the other members of our group (there were 9 of us) to avoid the smoked fish. Another group who also stayed in Club Paradise and also touring alongside our boat and occupied the same area we ate in also observed the same about the fish. Unfortunately, a member of our group had already taken 3 slices of the fish and started manifesting symptoms of allergy (reddening in the face, headache, itchiness). Good thing our boat had antihistamines in stock. Thank heavens her symptoms subsided a while after taking the antihistamine! (whew!)
The airconditioner in one our cottages broke down twice in one night. My friend (same one who had allergies), whose cottage was the one affected, asked to either be transferred to another cottage or provided with a replacement a/c unit. Replacement was provided the next evening.
Not enough electric fans in the restaurant, especially in the summer (sweating over lunch and dinner...NOT a blissful experience!). This, though, can easily be remedied. Heads up, Club Paradise!
Bathing water is a little hard and salty. No matter how you scrub with soap, you still won't suds up. The tap water you gargle with is salty. Other beach resorts we've visited (in Boracay, Bohol, and Cebu) have desalinators (equipment used to renove excess salt and minerals in water).
CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE RESORT'S CONTROL:
jellyfish blooms/swarms around the resort's waters. My husband got stung on our first day, when we went off for snorkeling. He didn't even see the thing but just felt a sudden pain on his front leg. The 14-year-old son of my friend (same one who had an allergic reaction and whose aircon broke down) was also stung in the cheek! (ouch!). As soon as they returned to shore, the resort physician bathed the affected areas with vinegar. The discomfort had fully subsided the next day.
Our jeepney ride almost broke down on our way to the airport for our return flight to Manila. Problems with the clutch, they said. We were traversing a long dirt road where there was no cellular phone service coverage (scary!) when that happened. The jeepney was huffing and puffing all the way to the airport. When we got off it, we were so covered in dirt and aching for a shower. (yuck!)
Our flight (via PAL Express) was delayed for 2 hours for I-dunno-what-reason. Good thing we had good company and managed to while away the time snacking and chatting.
Club Paradise is a little more basic than other high-end resorts. It's still a gorgeous place to stay, though, and the staff are very endearing.
Would I consider staying there again? Damn straight, I would!
- Also Known As:
- Club Paradise Palawan Hotel Coron
- Club Paradise Palawan Hotel
- Hotel Paradise Palawan
- Resort All Inclusive Paradise Palawan
- Club Paradise Palawan Coron, Palawan Island
- 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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