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Iris Island Eco Resort

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Darab island Busuanga Philippines, Busuanga Island 5316 Philippines
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About

#9 of 134 Specialty lodging in Busuanga Island
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Welcome to Iris Island, a tropical spiritual island that is surrounded by a magnificent coral reef where guests live in symbiosis with their natural environment. An island resort on its own private island, Iris Island Eco Resort features a private beach with on-site snorkeling area and a spa and wellness centre offering yoga classes and yoga retreats during some months of the year. Using solar cooking, and responsible eco-sustainability practices, you will experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform your life as you enjoy yoga & meditation sessions plus opportunities to explore the island and surrounding turquoise waters. The boutique villas at Iris Island Eco Resort are equipped with a fan, a mosquito net, and a balcony where guests can relax and marvel at the island's natural view. Accommodation includes a free daily breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. The property can arrange return transfers by vehicle and boat from the airport or Coron.
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Property amenities
Public wifi
Yoga classes
Free breakfast
Beach
Badminton
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Foot massage
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Wine / champagne
Canoeing
Diving
Snorkeling
Water sport equipment rentals
Full body massage
Massage
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Sun terrace
Laundry service
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Room features
Private beach
Desk
Housekeeping
Seating area
Wardrobe / closet
Clothes rack
Walk-in shower
Bath / shower
Private bathrooms
Tile / marble floor
Complimentary toiletries
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Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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Languages Spoken
English, Czech, Filipino
35Reviews2Q+A6Room tips
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Simon_Man_Of_Mystery_Mitchell wrote a review Mar 2020
Adelaide Hills, Australia3 contributions
I stayed at Iris Island in early March - this is a great time to visit as the weather is very good and mosquitoes negligible. I had a very hard 6 months at work, and in some senses several hard years really, and I was looking for a place that was off the beaten track and would allow me to get back in touch with my old self. The island really provided the perfect place to do this and I would highly recommend it to people who are looking for an authentic experience. Jana and Frank have invested much in this place and its spirit of contemplative renewal and unique character are "5 star" in nature even if the actual "physical" rating might be lower.... if you are after the 5-star air conditioned ultra-modern resort, this may not be for you, but for most people who actually appreciate an authentic and down to earth experience in a unique natural environment (with what I think is one of the best reefs in the area, perfect for snorkeling!) then this might be for you.
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Date of stay: March 2020
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Room Tip: All the rooms have excellent views - you couldn't go wrong.
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Jodie D wrote a review Mar 2020
Cambridge, United Kingdom2 contributions
My partner and I stayed at Iris Island Resort at the very end of our holiday in the Philippines and it was nothing short of perfect. At home, I am utterly hopeless at relaxing. On Iris Island, I completely unwound in a matter of hours to enjoy its peace and beauty for five unforgettable nights. The views of the open water and neighbouring islands are post card perfect from any point on the island. The coral reef is even more beautiful than other reviews had described. I have never seen a reef so pristine and full of life. It was incredible to hop in the water whenever I pleased, only to be surrounded by marine life. We enjoyed a half day trip and a scuba diving trip organised by the hotel, both of which were fantastic. We used the hotel's sea kayak to explore the surrounding area. The water was completely still, which made it possible for a novice like me to explore for hours with no one else on the water. I also indulged in a massage on the island, which was the best I have ever had. Jana, Frank and their team are fantastic. They manage to strike the balance between attentive whilst still giving their guests space to relax in peace. We were so well fed and cared for that I didn't want to leave. They are proud of what they have created, as they should be! I cannot thank them enough for sharing their little piece of paradise with us.
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Date of stay: March 2020
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Vit Grulich wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution
Both me and my partner love nature and travelling and we both work as botanics with an interest in ecology and preserving our planet. We would recommend Iris Island Eco Resort for everyone who is looking for a peaceful vacation in harmony with nature, far away from busy city lifestyle or overcrowded hotels. There is minimal production of rubbish on the island, no plastic packaging, both drinking and non-drinking water originates from a neighbouring island. The energy is used from solar panels and they used them to heat water as well. Some of their food (eg bread or pastry) is actually baked in the sun. They have dry toilets in every island house, which worked very well with. The houses have rooftops from bamboo and local grass and they have a very romantic design with a beautiful ocean view. The owners Frank and Jana have build this resort with love and they have wonderful staff working on the island as well. The resort is quiet, small, you can take beach strolls and walk around the whole island. You can explore the underwater sea life or you can visit the neighbouring islands with a boat. You can practice yoga or other sport activities. Thank you Frank and Jana for this wonderful experience on this amazing hidden gem-of-an-island, Alena and Vitek from Czech Republic
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Date of stay: February 2020
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bestteo wrote a review Feb 2020
Singapore70 contributions40 helpful votes
Before I start, I will quantify that I am a Travel Planner that traveled up to 3 months a year in search of the most authentic experience for my clients. I have no problem camping in tents in Bhutan and Nepal, and in fact am a nature lover. Budget is not an issue as long the service provides is of value. I am also pretty fit and do trekking in high altitudes. For instance, I paid USD$250 per night per person to camp in tent in Dagala Lakes in Bhutan in sub zero temperatures with no complaints. In fact, I do not usually leave a review unless they are extremely good in service or the complete opposite. I stayed one night in Iris resort and was very excited before my stay, to have a truly eco resort and doing my bit for the nature. However, the excitement was short-lived. Upon disembarkation from the private transfer, we had to climb through many steep steps which were not built to standards. At one point, I had to use both my hands to support myself. At the end of it, I was panting and even the manager mentioned it was a hard walk. Hardly welcoming. Next, I had to walk through an unpaved route full of pebbles and stones. The route was built at the edge of the cliff. I was in the wrong gear, strapped in my sandals. It was similar to a typical trekking route. If I missed a step, I would have fallen off the cliff. For USD$300 a night, they could not even provide a decent walking path. Only the path to the restaurant was paved. This was hardly being ecological friendly, it was plain lazy or trying to pull a fast one. The owners did not take into considerations the safety of the guests at all. What a let down. If you had kneel problem or had problem walking, it would be best to avoid this resort. It was interesting to note that most people commented food was good in the restaurant. However, I was terribly disappointed. The dinner was about 3 or 4 dishes and 1 soup. There was fish, but it was overcooked and very tough. Same go for the chicken. Amusingly, there was a dish of sweet corn (not in the whole corn), but sweet corns from canned. And finally the dessert that was a crepe with mango in between. The mango was good, but the crepe tasted like plastic. Being a Travel Planner, I knew that food was something my clients bond with the locals and I always had an interest in cooking. The resort was so proud of their solar oven baked bread. The way of cooking was truly admirable. However, the bread was yucky, not beacuse it was solar baked. Even if it was toasted, it would be yucky. It did not look appetising. If the source was bad, no matter how you cook it, miracles would not happen. For the cuisuine served in Irish, I only had the following comment: The cook was dead in his or her job. It was a job and there was no passion in cooking. I could not find any hint of love for cooking at all. Very disappointing. For a proud eco resort, it was suprised that there was no sustainable garden nor any plants/fruit/vegetables that were grown fresh from the garden. There was also no animals on the island. Food was all imported from the mainland. For the day trip, we paid Php3,750 per pax to visit 3 spots. There were 4 of us. It was another ripped off. There was a boatman and a guide. Unfortunately, the guide could not speak English, so most of the time, the 4 of us had no idea where we were and what we were expecting. Visiting 3 spots and taking 8 hours, we stopped at the lunch place for close to 2 hours chatting because the guide was sleeping, waiting for time to pass. In other reviews, the owner claimed that Coron island hopping was cheaper beacuse there were 15-20 paxes. We paid Php2,700 in total in Coron to hire a boat, that came with a boatman and guide (who could speak good English). You do the math and you would know the profit margin. Food was on own and you could get away with Php1,500 for a good lunch with prawns and fish. Food was bad for island hopping in Irish. I had no problem with the eco toilet if it helped to save the earth. However, I nearly fell off the steps on few occasions. It was just not viable for people with bad balancing skills or people with weak knees. If you were also overweight, good luck. There was definitely not enough space to land on the tiny steps. The room was open roof for ventilation, however that also meant all sort of insects would get in at night. The mosquito net was a joke. I could not tuck it in no matter how I tried. Being in Feb, so humid and warm, I had to on the fan. And the mosquito net kept flapping into the night, creating a mini orchestra. Worse, I had to quickly off the lights otherwise, you would have all the bees, and different insects as sleeping companions. I had slept in mosquito net that was well designed and allowance to tuck tightly so that there were no holes. This was clearly not well designed. If I put it blantantly, it was cheapskate. It was also not a safe resort. There was no form of communication in the room to the reception, no intercom nor phone line. If you had an emergency, the only alternative was to walk to the reception or to the restaurant. If you were unluckly and had the furthest room, it could mean a 10 to 15 minute walk. Eco friendly aside, basic safety had to be in place. In summary, the only thing that worked out was the reef. However, there were no proper channels to get in or out unlike the Maldives. The lady owner was really nice too, showing us around and very welcoming. However for the price we paid and the service and facilities rendered, it was not good value for money. With USD$300, it was more expensive than a 5 stars hotel. Totally not value for money. Give it a miss and look elsewhere.
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Date of stay: February 2020
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Response from Frank N, Owner at Iris Island Eco Resort
Responded Mar 8, 2020
After reading this review I can’t help but come to the brutal realization that no matter how hard you try to please your guests and provide them with a location that most of our guests find paradise on earth, there is always one or two that will write such a completely negative review like this one, by one female couple from Singapore. Now I certainly don’t mind if guests voice their opinions about our resort, they are entitled to do so and we often use their constructive feedback and suggestions to find ways to improve the guest experience, but I do mind when the comments get personal without having much substance and become personal insults and attacks without any real backing. For this reason I will address each of your concerns in detail, so that readers and future potential guests do not get misleading information and so they can make an informed decision of whether or not to book at our resort. Regarding steps and pathways Now there are only about 30 natural stone steps from the reception to get up to the level where the path to the villas is situated and hardly much of a climb, in fact young children and elderly over 80 have been to our resort and no one has ever really complained. You claim you are fit and enjoy trekking, even at high altitudes but your appearance, fitness level and comments suggest otherwise. We deliberately chose to keep the paths through the island unpaved, not because we are “cheapskates" as you insulted us in your review. Being one of the most eco-friendly eco resorts in the Philippines we chose to leave the least footprint we could which included building the villas on stilts, NOT paving the pathways and leaving paths and trails in their natural state. , The pathways are mid way up the island but certainly not dangerous as we have families with young children and the elderly (some even had a cane) and there have never been any accidents or even complaints for that matter. Insulting us with your rude uninformed comments saying we are “lazy and trying to pull a fast one” in other words trying to save money and cheat people with this, is plain ridiculous and wrong. About the food in the restaurant Yes you are right. It is interesting to note that almost all guests in their reviews found time to favorably complement the food and give us high marks in the restaurant and for good reason. Many have even gone to the extent and asked to see our head cook, to complement her. You stayed in the resort for only 2 nights of which 1 full day you were away on a boat trip, so in my opinion not much time to sample what we had to offer. We are not a 5 star hotel, we are a 3 star hotel that offers a small but varied and healthy delicious buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and judging by over 90 percent of our reviews, guests are more than happy, in fact most go out of their way to praise our cook and the food. Having no conventional ovens, we use our solar ovens entirely to bake all our breads, cakes, boil water, cook lasagna and a variety of dishes and we are very proud to do so, being the only island resort in the world to accomplish this. It may not always be perfect but we work hard year after year to make it better and better. We now even have a solar oven from India that can cook 3 loaves of delicious bread, just with the sun. You wrote “The cook was dead in his or her job. It was a job and there was no passion in cooking. I could not find any hint of love for cooking at all. Very disappointing.” This very rude, insulting and unsubstantiated comment really took me by surprise considering the short time you were here and the fact you did not even meet our cook. Sorry, but in this case I totally disagree, Myra our cook is one of the most creative and passionate cooks we have had, she takes pride in her meals and loves cooking and she always goes out of the way to make her meals varied, healthy and delicious. And regarding our mango crepes, these are my personal favorite and everybody loves them and always asks for seconds. But we are always more than happy to offer an alternative or respond to special diet requests, but you did not even inform us that you were not satisfied. About the ecological measures we have implemented on the island You said in your review you “wanted to do your bit in nature” and were excited to be at a “truly eco resort” but I guess that it did not include walking up steps or walking on unpaved trails that leave no footprint through a forest. I guess it also did not include using a composting toilet that saves thousands of liters of precious water each month, not to mention that it does not require septic tanks, so no seeping of toxic material into the earth. By the way, we have had very obese and large people here as well as very tall people, children, elderly and everyone seemed to manage with our slightly raised composting toilets and had little trouble with the step, even with basic coordination skills. You are the exception. I guess your wanting to do your “bit in nature” also did not include open natural ventilation in a villa in a natural environment, but probably expected a sealed 5-star sterile air conditioned room, and it certainly did not include sleeping under a mosquito net, where god forbid a mosquito or bug may once in a while enter. And for that we received another insult that we are “cheapskates” for the way we made our mosquito nets. They are actually custom-made and cost 10 times more that store bought ones. For your information, we designed the mosquito nets first of all so that they are spacious, that they prevent anything from falling from the roof onto the bed and so they can be easily entered and exited and with Velcro tabs can be easily secured. In most cases they keep the majority of bugs out. Our guests have been more than satisfied. Surprisingly, our island has minimal mosquitoes and bugs than you would expect on a tropical island. And finally, I guess your eco resort expectation also did not include a room without an intercom or telephone system. Luckily we have no cables that run under the ground as our solar path lights are independent and each villa has its own independent power system. It seems your fears of safety and desire for comfort are much stronger than your apparent desire to really experience a true eco resort. The ecological measures we have introduced on the island, including the composting toilets, recycling gardens for grey water for every villa, free biodegradable shampoo and conditioner, solar oven cooking etc are first of all, very expensive, time consuming measures to learn and experiment and very labor intensive. But of course it is evident that you have absolute no idea what it really takes to put together a true eco resort. Ecology is our passions and in doing so, we have inspired people all over the world with our innovative eco measures and we are very proud of that. (by the way the Department of Tourism was so impressed with our island that they asked us to speak to their board about ecology and sustainability on island resorts). It seems your main concern was your comfort level, despite its ecological consequences so it seems very obvious to us that you would be better suited at a 5 star hotel with paved pathways and completely sealed off sterile rooms, disconnected from nature and an intercom and telephone system at your disposal. We, on the other hand are a true sustainable eco resort, in a true natural environment where we want our guests to experience nature first hand, but there are always a few small compromises. As you can see from almost all of our reviews here and on booking (9.4 rating), we must be on the right path and doing something right and people are appreciating the great lengths we have gone to make this resort one of the best examples of ecology and sustainability on a tropical island in the world. Even though we are not a 5 star resort many of our guests have chosen to celebrate their anniversary here, spend their honeymooner here and even many marriage proposals. About gardens, plants, fruits and vegetables. Your comment that we have no sustainable gardens or plants, fruits, or vegetable is again wrong, and how would you really know after spending only really a few hours on the island. Had you asked, we offer a free eco tour that we are always happy to give to explain all the eco measures we have implemented. Our island has many cashew trees, bananas, pineapple, papaya, coconut and jackfruit. You say no animals on the island? We have abundant monitor lizards, many bird species, butterflies, not to mention a huge amount of sea life in our spectacular coral reef, where we often see turtles, dolphins and even dugong (sea cows) on occasion. In terms of getting vegetables from the mainland, we do try to get as much local organic produce as possible and even grow some of our own but the islands of Busuanga in general do not have fertile land so unfortunately, every resort here must get some of their produce from the mainland. About our pricing You booked our best villa on the island, which unfortunately costs the most, especially in this peak season, there are other less expensive options you could have chosen. You complain about the high price but your package rate included full board, free coffee, water and tea and free transfers, not to mention the luxury of having only 8 villas on your own private tropical island with a maximum of 16 guests surrounded by one of the best coral reefs in Busuanga. We feel that our pricing reflects the unique benefits our island offers and saying that we currently have a 9.0 rating for Value for Money, one of the highest ratings of any resorts in our area. Yes the day trips from our island can be fairly expensive as we have to hire local boats and drivers. We always recommend if you are passing through Coron town to organize your day trips from there. They are less expensive there because they can put more guests on their boats (sometimes over 20) and some of the locations are closer to Coron than from our island. But our guests often insist our day trips even despite the higher price, so they can have the luxury of a private boat with very few guests directly from our island. Other resorts often charge much more than us. We support the local community by hiring registered boats that have local drivers who are not tour guides and who usually do not speak much English, but most of our guests have found them very friendly and accommodating and get them to their chosen locations safely. Review of the reviewer Did you even notice the beautiful sunrise from your superior villa or the spectacular island and ocean views from your balcony? Did you value the panoramic view from the restaurant and the giant Buddha statues in the bay? Did you appreciate the singing birds in the morning or the sound of the sea from your villa. Did you even enjoy the pollution-free air and swimming in the turquoise water? Did you appreciate the vast beauty of our spectacular coral reef? Did you even participate in our free meditation sessions in the evening in our waterfront shala or yoga in the mornings? Sorry, if not, you just missed the point. Your review unfortunately was full of negativity, insults, false assumptions and in many cases showed a lack of understanding of what we are all about, and according to your other reviews we see that you seem to see things only black and white, giving either a 1 or perfect mark, which is a shame but you are entitled to this of course. We are all about experiencing nature in an eco responsible way, exploring spirituality through meditation and yoga and natural healing. For those of you who are in tune with this concept, we welcome you with outstretched arms and look forward to sharing our beautiful island with you. Regarding this self-proclaimed, experienced “Travel Planner” who wrote this negative review and who claims she has experience in finding unique authentic locations around the world, in our opinion, just found one but didn’t even know it. I would certainly give her travel planning company “a miss” but certainly not us. Namaste.
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JanaHabr wrote a review Feb 2020
Prague, Czech Republic25 contributions
Our yoga retreat was spottless. One of the best holidays of our lives. Jana and Frank,the owners were so hospitable, all their team treated us like queens. We got used to the dry eco toilet and appreciated that their resort is so eco friedly but still very comfortable,all the hotel staff was available for us with a smile 24/7, pampering us and fullfilling any of our unique wishes. The coral garden around the island is stunning and Budha palace is a cherry on the cake...fascinating...thousands of fishes, shells, sea stars...very unique sea paradise. Food in the restaurant was so delicious that we did not loose a pound...that is my only complain. I have used their laundry service as well....massage treatment every day over the 9 days...Jannet had golden hands. There were no mosquitos during February and light wind made the climate of the island very pleasant. My only warning...take crocs with full finger cover...no flip flops, the narrow path around the island is uneven and with stones. You will also need shoes for the sea adventures...the water is clean,but corals and sea urchins everywhere. I would like to return one day with my whole family..so pay a visit as well. Jana
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Response from Frank N, Owner at Iris Island Eco Resort
Responded Mar 8, 2020
Thank you for your kind wonderful review. It always motivates us to continue to work hard to make Iris island Eco Resort even better for the guests. Best regards, Iris island Eco Resort Team
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PRICE RANGE
$192 - $588 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
PhilippinesMimaropaPalawan ProvinceBusuanga Island
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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Frequently Asked Questions about Iris Island Eco Resort
Which popular attractions are close to Iris Island Eco Resort?
Nearby attractions include Pass Island (2.8 miles), North Cay (4.0 miles), and Concepcion Falls (4.5 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Iris Island Eco Resort?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
Which room amenities are available at Iris Island Eco Resort?
Top room amenities include a desk, a mosquito net, and a seating area.
What food & drink options are available at Iris Island Eco Resort?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Iris Island Eco Resort?
Conveniently located restaurants include Ann & Mike's Bar & Restaurant, Marina Del Sol Resto Bar, and laura's garden.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Iris Island Eco Resort?
Yes, guests have access to yoga classes during their stay.
Does Iris Island Eco Resort have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Iris Island Eco Resort offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Iris Island Eco Resort?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Czech, and Filipino.
Does Iris Island Eco Resort have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.