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“Our dream place in Palawan”

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Golden Monkey Cottages
Ranked #18 of 104 Specialty Lodging in El Nido
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
“Our dream place in Palawan”
Reviewed November 7, 2013

Treat yourself to a stay at the Golden Monkey, a short walk out of the typical noise and bustle of El Nido. If you came to soak up the beauty of the ocean and impressive islands, you have it there because that is your view from your private patio outside Cottage #1. You wake up from a sleep deepened by fresh air and the rhythm of the waves; your day starts with coffee/ tea served on your patio. You sip while deciding from a delicious selection of homemade, local, nutritious and fresh items - like homemade calamansa marmalade for breakfast. One morning it rained after breakfast, so we read on our covered patio and waited for the glorious rainbow to appear over Cadlao Island before embarking on our island hopping tour. Rose can arrange your excursions with a boat captain, Petang, who lives nearby. This place embraces beauty and the concepts of sustainability. The setting for the cottages is artfully designed using indigenous materials recycled, local, and native species. From the gardens, to the walkways, central gazebo, and including all of the construction details, Rose and Kevin have created a sense that they enjoy sharing their home and lifestyle with their guests. If you are looking for a place that is not owned by a distant corporation and is not a big, impersonal, overly groomed resort, this is it! It is real. It is in a village of families, gardens, a coop, and a little variety store. The best restaurant in El Nido was at the Cadlao Restaurant and Resort, which as almost next door to the G.M. We are seniors who appreciated the walk into town for some dinners and evenings of music. If you need a ride, call and they will send a cart to transport you and your luggage to and from the cottages. The G.M. was accommodating to every request. More than anything, we had fun with the staff during our stay and will remember them with fondness and best wishes always. When we were leaving, Rose said, “Have a good life.” Thank you, everyone at the Golden Monkey, for reminding us to always take the time to be good to each other. We loved our good life with you.
Mike and Donna

Room Tip: We loved the beach cottage we stayed in.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Donna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
Geneva
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2013

SUMMARY: Location is great with proximity to ocean. Staff treats guests with kindness and not just professional courtesy. Pitong and his crew gives an unforgettable tour of the islands – tip them well. Will I be recommending this hotel to my friends? Are you kidding me? After seeing my photos, they were begging for the directions to the Golden Monkey.

Upon our arrival, Rose met us at the gate and told us that had we called, a shuttle would have picked us up (tip #1). Nevertheless, the best surprise was the view of beachfront cottages (tip #2, book those). It took us a 30-minute stroll from there to find a secluded beach where you only needed to stick your head in the water to find fish.

For this review, it would be best to show what we did every day:

Every morning, hotel staff came at 7am with coffee and would take breakfast orders. We ate while watching the tide and the sky. At 9am, Pitong would pick us up for a day of island-hopping. He charged the standard El Nido rates for each tour. We enjoyed private tours (of 2-4 people) every day. We island-hopped and snorkeled. For lunch, we went to quiet beaches. While we snorkeled or beach-combed, the crew would then grill the food, prepare the salads and slice the fruits. Then we went back to the serious business of island hopping.

Back at the Golden Monkey, we took showers and then asked Rose about restaurants. (tip #3: The Alternative Café.) After dinner, we walked back from the town, through dark and unpaved streets, beside a cemetery. (If you see how noisy El Nido town can get, this can only be seen as a positive. ) Before bed, logged on to the internet (oh the wifi is terrible, but it is enough) to send messages to our friends and family. They in turn expressed their jealousy at our photos. Back in our rooms, we fell into bed with the sound of the ocean lulling us to sleep. We needed to recharge for another day of adventure.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZoeGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed October 26, 2013

This was my second visit to the Golden Monkey and I enjoyed it just as much this time around as the first.

It's rustic, simple and unassuming and situated such that the seafront cottages have a quite jaw-dropping vista of Cadlao and Helicopter Island.

I spent most of my holiday sat on the veranda, reading, watching the weather shift on the horizon.

AMAZING.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Louise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Golden Monkey  has found its niche on the Island - it fuses (like its owners) East and West seamlessly. The cottages are an authentic Palawan construction with clean and comfy furnishings, the views are fantastic (as my 100s of sunset photos will show!) and they made us feel very welcome. Upon arrival in El Nido domestic airport we called Rose and Kevin - they instructed us to make our way into town, and from there they’d send Don Don in his yellow ‘Golden Monkey’ tricycle to pick us up.

We stayed 10 days: We went snorkelling, fishing, island hopping - spotted turtles and millions of fish and coral (if you fancy diving, it's really easy to organise in the town). Though part of me wished I had explored the island more, the allure of drinking tea on the porch reading, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views and just simply relaxing was what I really needed from my holiday!

On a practical level, the Golden Monkey, has delicious food (Rose’s chicken adobo was particularly memorable as was Kevin’s indian cucumber & cashew nut salad), good WiFi, air con, mossi nets, showers, snorkelling kit, lovely staff and it is a great distance from town - near enough to be walkable (don’t forget a torch) but far enough to have peace n quiet. (I def sound older than I am!) 

Highly recommended - I will upload some photos if I work out how to; it will probably be a dozen of my lovely view from Cottage 2 where we stayed..Don't judge me: the sunset honestly looked different every night!

Thanks Kevin & Rose... looking forward to my next visit already!

Room Tip: The beach cottages are my favourite - breezy & private with lovely views
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

For traveler who are thinking to book this hotel, please read this review. We will not exert our effort to write this personal experience we had.

Going to El Nido is tough and not easy, from Puerto Princesa, you will travel 4-5hrs. land travel full of rough road and the town is quite frustrating, it is ugly. Roads are narrow, the whole area looks slum. No proper zoning for lodging resort and residential area and proper size of roads. And the electricity is only from 4pm-7am. Day time you cannot do anything to work.

This is the worst experience we had in Palawan. Attracted by the pictures and the review of Trip Advisor and Agoda, my fiancé booked this 2 mos. in advance. Since Golden Monkey doesn't care for their visitor, they don't have any service trike to pick you up from the van terminal, you have to find a way how to get to their resort. We hire a tricycle but too bad that the trike cannot fit in the narrow road that leads to a lot of resort including Golden Monkey. Imagine how bad the other resort owner as well that they did not give proper right of way going to the resort so that a van or a normal size of the tricycle can fit to that narrow road.

Since the trike cannot fit, we walk with our heavy luggages on a muddy road for 20mins. Too bad for us, it was raining while walking, my slipper worn out because of the mud and I also feel sorry for my fiancé for carrying gallons of water. Based on my research, the water in el Nido is salty including in Golden Monkeys (which is so true after our stay, even shower is salty).

Picture this, going to the lodging hotel fronting the beach is walking on a muddy road near residential area. The whole beach coast is locked and you will not enjoy your walk towards the Golden Monkey and Cadlao Resort, you will pass by a public cemetery.

Upon arrival in Golden Monkey, we are not happy with the room we booked. We are negotiating with the owner to give us the air-con room in discount price since we booked it early. The resort is ugly, they said that you can swim in front of the Golden Monkey but it is not true! The beach is surrounded with reefs, how can you swim with it? The view is nice since fronting the ocean but swim, no!

We are frustrated in the non-aircon room we get: the walls are made of nipa palm, windows are jalousies, the toilet doesn't have towel bar, and the worst, they are using "industrial fan" that is so noisy and loud. No wi-fi, no generator. While my fiancé is taking a "salty" shower, the electricity went down, good that I bring my own flashlight.

We are so stressed and tired from walking in a muddy road, the shower is salty, then the electricity shut off, no wi-fi. then even worst, the owner is not helpful. I asked him politely if they can cook brown rice for us bec. we don't eat white rice and this is what the foreign owner said in a loud angry voice, "what do you think of us? A restaurant?" I was hurt by his foul attitude! I am sure they also treat other traveler so bad that did not waste their time to write a review here.

With these kind of resorts made of Nipa Palm, You cannot sleep properly at night, since the walls are made of thin leaves, you can hear the dogs barking and hauling. And the security is insufficient, You won feel safe since the only lock of the room is only the door knob, no extra bolt to secure the door. The noise at night is horrifying, seems a ghost is chasing the dog since the resort is very close to the cemetery. Then you will hear different bugs and insects, it was like you are in a jungle.

After spending a night, my fiancé and I decided to go back to Puerto Princesa. We did not get any reimbursement for the 5 days we have paid.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank FollowyourBliss23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Golden Monkey Cottages was the last station of the Youth Workcamp organized by www.adra.ch.
After two weeks of hard labor the perfect highlight. Very friendly and helpful people. Thx Rose for your support. Nice an tidy cottages, delicious breakfast, perfect view and very peaceful.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Taad78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jakarta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

i stayed for 2 nights at this resort last week when me and my 2 friends went to el nido. i enjoyed to stay here even the wifi wasnt really good when we were there :( but Rose is a really nice host and very helpful with us. the place is far from the crowded area, so its pretty relaxing for us to stay there. we feel like we are at home, the room is really nice and clean. the breakfast is nice and staff are very friendly. we did hoping island with mr pitong ( the cuteness guy that i ever met ) rose recomended us to go with his boat, mr pitong is so lovely and his staff is also an honest person ( cause theyre gave me back my phone which is left on the boat when we finished hoping island on the 2nd day ).

if u want to find a place which is near from the beach and far from the city, i would recommended golden monkey hotel to stay :)

Room Tip: choose to stay in a room in the front beach, they have hammock to relax :)
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank oshinhernis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Monkey Cottages

Property: Golden Monkey Cottages
Address: Ca-alan Beach, El Nido, Palawan Island EN234, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 104 Specialty Lodging in El Nido
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Golden Monkey Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Golden Monkey Cottages are situated on Ca-alan beach, just 10 minutes walk from El Nido town. We offer quality accommodation with comfortable fan rooms and clean modern bathrooms. Each cottage has a large veranda and a spectacular view of the islands. Since we are located just outside of El Nido, away from the noise and bustle of town, we benefit from the peace of the surrounding forests and you will be free simply to relax and absorb the atmosphere. You could hire a boat and be taken to a secluded beach to soak up the sun, have a picnic, swim, snorkel and enjoy the magnificent scenery. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Golden Monkey Cottages Hotel El Nido
Golden Monkey Cottages El Nido, Palawan Island

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