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El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
Ranked #6 of 86 Hotels in Palawan Island
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“We hope to return!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2013

We chose Apulit for a unique, relaxing snorkel trip—and it exceeded our expectations. We agree with fellow reviewers: it’s not a 5-star western experience, the food is average (but with plenty of choices), and everything else is a delight!
We were thrilled with the charming staff, beautiful grounds, and fabulous sea life.
We loved the house reef and island hopping tours. So many fish and healthy coral. A dream!
We enjoyed a 2 level “loft water cottage”—with snorkeling directly from our room and leisurely walks to the main eating area (well-lit and paved path).
The other guests we met were happy with Apulit, too. They were mostly from Australia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Switzerland… A great trip!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peace-L4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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563 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

Apulit Island, El Nido Resort is a beautiful resort tucked into a quiet cove surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs. There are lush trees, colorful flowers, thatched-roofed cottages perched on stilts above crystal clear turquoise water. This place was truly the perfect place for a forget-about-the-world-for-a-while type of vacation.

From Manila, we took a 19-seater charter plane exclusive to the El Nido Resorts and it took about 75 minutes to get to Palawan. From the dirt-floored airport, we took a jeepney for a 10-minute ride to a secluded wooden pier for the boat transfer to the island. The boat ride took about 75 minutes and as we docked, we were welcomed by the resort staff singing and dancing. We were given a refreshing drink, rice cakes and a necklace of a palm leaf braided into a fish.

We stayed in 2-storey Deluxe Cottages that opens up to a private deck that has stairs leading directly into the water for you to swim or snorkel anytime of the day. The panoramic view of the sea and the resort is very beautiful and it was so amazing to just look at the water underneath our deck and find colorful fish and baby black tip reef sharks!

Apulit Island Resort offered three buffet meals a day. Everything was so fresh and homemade with the fruits and vegetables grown locally, most on an organic farm. The seafood was caught daily in the local waters. Speaking of food, another must-do for anyone staying at the resort is a private meal. You can chose the day, time, and location! We chose to have a beach picnic. After our island hopping, we were brought to a secluded beach where everything was already set-up and fresh food and cold beverages waiting for us!

The resort was really perfect for what we were seeking – total relaxation. It is completely secluded, no roads, and no distractions. But in spite of that, it was never boring because there are several activities that you can enjoy like island hopping, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, rappelling, etc.

Overall, the resort’s asset is not just the beautiful island but its amazing staff. They are what indeed makes the island so special. I really love their thoughtful gesture of leaving hand-written messages on leaves – always made us smile!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank MJ H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level Contributor
106 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012

food is varied and well presented. Enjoyed the massage and 'special' dinner. Staff work very hard to serve. Had a credit on my reservation and the local resort were unable to process it but head office eventually credited my visa
Manager Franck works hard to maintain a first class operation

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank kcreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon last month (Nov. 2012) and pretty much had THE perfect experience. We're both teachers in South Korea and have traveled Asia a bit. It was both of our first times to stay in an all-inclusive place and the staff were simply amazing. We stayed 7 nights in a Deluxe Water Cottage since it was such a special occasion for us and were impressed by the size of our accommodation, as well as the scenery. You can't beat waking up to a gorgeous ocean every morning, not to mention, having steps right into it from your cottage.
The staff were extremely friendly and went beyond their duties to make sure we were always comfortable and taken care of. We'd like to give a special thanks to August and Mary for their stellar service. We always had activities to do, the food was awesome every day (always changed up a bit so it didn't get old), and August even arranged a private, surprise dinner for my wife one night and ended up comp'ing it since we were staying so long. We really can't say enough good things about this place, so if you're considering it then don't hesitate! It's completely worth the money. The Basic Water Cottages might be better priced for anyone who wants to save a little. We can only hope that we have a chance to experience another one of El Nido Resorts in the Philippines!

Room Tip: It really depends on your preference. The Basic Water Cottages are all in the bay and closer to the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Smize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2012

This was our first visit to Apulit, and we went there as a couple.

Having been to El Nido Lagen and Miniloc, I was prepared to be disappointed by Apulit. I knew it was still being refurbished; it was farther than the other two resorts, and the rooms were significantly older and smaller.

However the serenity of Apulit quickly won me over. Plus the waitstaff practically fall over you in their eagerness to please.

Couples would probably prefer Miniloc and Lagen, but for those with young children, Apulit is a shoe-in. Its beach is more sandy than rocky, making it easier on little sensitive feet. There is a modest infinity pool for the sand-averse. Throughout the year, the sea around the island is also much calmer than Lagen's or Miniloc's, so kayaking with little ones should be a breeze.

For me, the only shortcomings are the non-stop hum of the generator, and the less-varied spread of the buffet.

Overall though, I was quite pleased with Apulit, and we are already making plans to return in 2013 with our family.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cyndayco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2012

I was originally planning on staying at the Miniloc Resort, but they were all booked out. They recommended I try staying in Apulit Resort instead and I was not disappointed at all. I stayed here for 3 days and 2 nights for my birthday and the experience is definitely unforgettable.

Remember that this is a luxury resort and you should expect that everything will be more expensive that the usual resorts in the Philippines.

Getting there:
It can be a bit of a hassle as you will have arrange for a private plane to get there. There are no commercial flights to get to this part of Palawan, so the resort has made a special arrangement for private flights to be provided. The cost of the plane ride is not included in the package. I did not enjoy the plane ride at all as it was such a small plane and it was pretty hot throughout the flight. After the flight, you would then take a 30 minute jeepney ride to the area where you would ride a big boat to get to near the island. From the big boat, you would then need to transfer to a smaller boat to actually get on this private island. This experience was a first for me and although it was a long way to get there, the view enroute was amazing.

The Resort:
Heaven on Earth - this is probably the best way to describe this resort paradise. The whole atmosphere of the resort was very calm and private. The rooms were cute little nipa huts on stilts so you could see the turquoise blue waters when you go out to the veranda. Below your hut, you would all kinds of sea creatures - the baby sharks were my favorite. The room in itself is quite simple, nothing too luxurious, but the beds were very comfortable, airconditioning units working well. There are no televisions in any of the huts, but you won't really need them as there are so many actitivites on the island and most of them are included in the package already.

The Food: The food I have to stay was average for my taste. The food was good, but I was probably expecting more.The selection was quite diverse, but I was a bit disappointed with the seafood. I would have expected tiger prawns and lobsters to be included in the buffet for the price we paid.

The Service: Impeccable. The staff were all very wonderful. They made you feel welcome but at the same time let you feel that you have privacy.

The View: Amazing. This is what makes this resort truly Heaven on Earth. The wonderful view of the sea, the sun and the sand. Snorkeling and Canoeing anytime of the day as you please.

Overall, the Apulit Resort is truly a remarkable haven for people wanting a break from their busy lives. You will truly forget all your problems and enjoy the beauty of Palawan.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank macpao87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

No shoes, no news - very chilled long weekend at the Apulit resort. If you want to switch off and decompress, come here. Having said that, if you're the sort of person that needs to be highly active and entertained, this is not for you. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a small island and variation is limited. Takes a bit of effort to get to, but a long weekend here is about right ... I think longer than, say, 4 nights and you'd begin to get a bit stir crazy.

Some amenities and landscaping were a bit tired and even run-down in a small number of places (paths, steps, public areas). Buffet style food is a bit limited and can be a bun-fight with certain people. In fact on balance, I'd say the landscaping and food are sub-par for a relatively expensive resort such as this. However, the staff were pretty good and made up for other areas.

Don't bother with the picnic on the West beach - disappointing (both the food and the "beach").

Room Tip: As everyone else has said, if you're staying in a small water bungalow, as for the 40+ numbers t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank crippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Nido Resorts Apulit Island

Property: El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
Address: Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island 5322, Philippines (Formerly Apulit Island Resort)
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Palawan Island
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Palawan Island
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Palawan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Nido Resorts Apulit Island 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Apulit Island Resort is nestled within a pristine cove with a backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs. Apulit offers a wide expanse of white-sand beach lined with coconut trees. It has 50 cottages built over the water in traditional architecture mixed with contemporary design. Apulit Island Resort is part of the El Nido Resorts group of eco-island resorts. It is located in Taytay, northeastern part of Palawan. It takes an hour flight from Manila to El Nido, and an hour and a half van ride, or a 4-hour land trip from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan's Capital City). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apulit Island Hotel Palawan
Club Noah Isabelle
Hotel Noah Isabelle
Resort Noah Isabelle

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