We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A real life fantasy island”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
El Nido Resorts Apulit Island
Ranked #6 of 86 Hotels in Palawan Island
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
697 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
“A real life fantasy island”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We spent four days in Apulit in January 2013. Apulit is one of four El Nido Resorts. From our experience, and information we gleaned from the staff, it is probably the best El Nido Resort.
While expensive, we received great value. The island is small; we were lucky to have been there with only 36 other guests (capacity about 140).
The staff was among the friendliest and professional we experienced. The "adventure guides" were to a person knowledgeable with the requisite expertise for whatever activity you chose, from snorkeling to rappelling, etc. There is an endless number of activities to choose from, you just need to indicate your wish.
The food was excellent and varied. A minor quibble was that they did not serve decaf coffee.
The rooms are on the smallish side, but they are private from each other. The cottages are all situated over the water, and waking up to the dawn's first light or watching a lambent sunset, was the antidote to civilization.
Franck, the general manager, was most solicitous of our needs, as was Mary, the resident doctor, who even made a "house call" to our cottage to deliver needed ointment.
The island is situated on the other side of the Palawan peninsula from bustling El Nido, and requires a landing on a dirt airstrip, and then a 45 minute ride to the island. If quiet, relaxation
and being pampered is your goal, you could not choose a better place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RodMcLeod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

562 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    386
    123
    38
    8
    7
See reviews for
120
301
16
5
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
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I have literally nothing bad to say about the island, the resort, the activities and especially the staff. This was the best vacation my wife and I have ever taken (and we've taken a lot) and I am already trying to figure out when I can go back. We spent two nights at the resort, but four nights would have been perfect. We only stayed two nights because the resort is rather expensive, but the experience is 100% worth it.

The Resort is absolutely beautiful, set right in the bay with the cliff in the background and a series of water cottages lining the water's edge. We stayed in a Deluxe cottage directly over the water, with direct stair access right into the ocean. The resort provides all meals, which are delicious, transportation to/from the island (for a fee), and a series of activities included in the price of the room. We received a welcome drink, song and dance when we arrived, and it only got better from there.

We spent our one full day at the island snorkeling directly off the back deck of our water cottage. This was the best snorkeling I've ever experienced: we saw sea turtles, rays, baby black-tip sharks and a school of literally thousands of fish stretching as far as I could see. The reef was beautiful and teeming with wildlife. After snorkeling, we spent some time relaxing on the beach with incredible views of the ocean lined with water cottages and palm trees. In the afternoon, we rock-climbed to the top of a cliff and repelled down to the walkway below - which was one of the best experiences of the trip.

The staff of the resort are incredibly friendly and helpful, much more than I expected even for the price. The owner introduced himself to everyone upon arrival and checked in with us periodically throughout our stay. The rooms were made up beautifully and we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean every night.

I hope everyone has a chance to stay here. We will definitely be back again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lucas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

BOTTOM LINE: Apulit Island is ideal for people who want Club-Med-type activities in an idyllic setting but are not super-fussy about the quality of their accommodation. The climate, at least when we were there, is also fantastic - low humidity and a comfortable 29-30oC during the day and around 23-24oC at night. What's more, there were absolutely no biting insects, which greatly improves the quality of one's stay.

GETTING THERE: The transfer from Manila typically involves a flight on a Dornier 228 19-seater to TayTay airport (really just a dirt track runway in the Palawan jungle), a 10 minute jeepney ride to a jetty and a ~75 minute banca boat transfer to the Island. You realise you are a little off the beaten track when you realise that the boat carries armed security staff in case of attacks by pirates! Before travelling, make sure you have car transport organised to transfer you from Naia airport in Manila to the the Island Transvoyage Terminal - it's only a ~25 minute walk but, with minimal pavements, the heat and hellish traffic, it's not for the faint-hearted. The queues for licenced taxis can be very long (we estimated our wait would take around 30 minutes) and the plentiful unlicenced cabs are mostly operated by rip-off merchants - if you take one, expect to pay around 700 pesos for a journey of around 1 km. If possible, try to restrict the weight of your baggage (including hand luggage) to 10 kg - the airline may charge you for any excess weight. Be prepared to be splashed a little during the boat transfer to the Island.

THE RESORT: We booked standard accommodation and found it to be comfortable but a bit small. All told, the inside of the 'cottage' (really a hut) is around four by four metres and the bathroom is particularly cramped - I'm only of average height but my knees nearly touched the wall when I sat down on the toilet! The resort provides eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner and 'bath gel' (but no bath - only a shower) so, if necessary, you can save a little weight by not packing these items. Because the huts project out into the sea, at times there will be plenty of noise from the waves crashing beneath them. This didn't bother us but some other travellers might find it a little wearisome.
There was no written information on the facilities available so if you don't take in the verbal explanation as you are guided to your hut, you will spend some time trying to find out what to do and when, as well as who to contact.
Service is very enthusiastic, particularly in the dining area - I can readily understand why Apulit won a TripAdvisor Award last year in this category. However, do I really need someone to place a napkin on my lap or to offer to carry my dinner plate from the buffet to my table?
The resort style will be familiar to anyone who has tried Club Med - Apulit even has a French Manager (Franck Merot) and there were plenty of French ex-pat couples and families around when we visited.
The food was okay - buffets had a reasonable choice and were competently cooked. 'Specialty' coffees, by which they mean expressos, cappuccinos and lattes, cost extra (100 pesos upwards), which we thought was a bit mean given what people pay for this resort. On some nights the staff put on singing and novelty dances - not to everyone's taste but I guess they have to cater for all types.
The main attraction is the location, particularly the sea. Frankly, the reefs are not in good condition - the coral is mostly bleached and there was plenty of dead stag horn coral on the house reef. However, there is still an abundance of fish life so it's well worth snorkelling or taking a couple of scuba dives - we saw plenty of nice giant clams and colourful 'christmas tree' worms as well as a green turtle, blue spot sting ray, some cute nudibranchs and a cuttle fish. If you are thinking of going in April and snorkelling is a priority, check beforehand as sometimes the resort suffers from stinging jellyfish around this time. The Dive Club is rated by PADI as 'five-star'. I think this is fair as most of the kit was in good condition. However, there is not much choice - for example, they only offer slip-on fins. More positively, the dive staff, like the rest of the Apulit staff, are very helpful - they really go out of their way to make your dives enjoyable.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ricky_Brent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ystad, Sweden
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We spend one week at Apulit island and really enjoyed our stay. The manager Franck and his staff really took care about us. We still remember the "surprise dinner" at the bech as a great evening. The bungalow was not so big but enough space for two. You can sit on the balcony looking for small sharks in the water. Nice. Very good with wifi in the bungalow. Food was buffet style and very good in our opion. Not too much, good variations and very tasteful. All regards to the chef.
Apulit island gave us a fantastic week.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Olahel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

My heart and my head are in complete conflict in writing this review. 

The journey from Manila by private plane, jeepney and banka boat was fun, well organized, easy and run by numerous helpful and friendly people. The arrival at the island was positive, with a cold towel, drink and staff singing a welcome song. 

The pool and restaurant areas are lovely. The views are amazing and location is idyllic. From the balcony of my cottage, it was fantastic to watch small sharks, angel fish, parrot fish and numerous other sea life swimming below me. There was some great snorkeling (right from the beach) and scuba diving. The complimentary island hop boat trip was fun and was another opportunity to snorkel the outlying reefs. 

The cottages and F&B operation are a completely different matter. My comments are partly in light of the cost and value for money. 

The cottage, to be blunt, has no design, cheap fittings and a very small bathroom. An island resort is not expected to be fitted out to the same standard as a 5* hotel but this is just not good enough. 

The buffet restaurant was fine but had an average and disjointed offering. Lovely rare roast beef joint with gravy and .. spaghetti?! The ingredients were obviously there - this is the Philippines - but the direction and some skills were not. This would seem to be a relatively easy fix to turn ok in to good. Surely El Nido have an executive chef for their resorts?

The team members at the resort were fantastic! Friendly, helpful and ever smiling. A real credit to the GM. 

The natural elements - the location and the people were great, the standard of accommodation was  poor. I don't know if this is down to the property owners or the hotel company but it is a crying shame. 

I am very happy to have visited what can honestly be described as paradise, I don't believe I would again pay the same rates for an average at best hotel offering. 

So, I am left with a happy heart (friendly paradise) and a confused head (over priced hotel and the current waste of a fantastic opportunity by the hotel operator/owner).

I hope for the sake of this beautiful island and the great team, the operators/owners get their product sorted out sooner than later!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DB_HK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

This place has everything you could ever want for from an island holiday. The island is remote and gorgeous. The huts on the water was great our favourite part was walking along the boardwalk and spotting all the baby reef sharks. The staff are amazing and cater to your every need. They are friendly and do anything they can to make your time there wonderful, a special thanks to Angel our activities coordinator and Alan our very attentive waiter. The highlight was a private dinner on a secluded part of the island where we had our own chief, waiter (thanks again Alan) and private boat. We were also there over new years and they organised a great event on the beach with entertainment, fireworks and more. Thank you for a fantantic time!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelsharks1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peace-L4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Palawan Island hotels
25.2 mi away
Qi Palawan
Qi Palawan
#1 of 17 in El Nido
213 reviews
26.9 mi away
Matinloc Resort
Matinloc Resort
#11 of 17 in El Nido
105 reviews
22.0 mi away
Cadlao Resort
Cadlao Resort
#5 of 17 in El Nido
486 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
18.1 mi away
El Nido Resorts Lagen Island
24.1 mi away
El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
21.9 mi away
El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to El Nido Resorts Apulit Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotwire, Agoda, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Booking.com, getaroom.com, Jetsetter, Travel Book Philippines, Inc. and Evoline ltd so you can book your El Nido Resorts Apulit Island reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Apulit Island Hotel Palawan
Club Noah Isabelle
Hotel Noah Isabelle
Resort Noah Isabelle

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing