We stayed at the Greenviews Hotel in El Nido for 4-nights in mid-March (P2200/$55). We travelled from Puerto Princesa with Daytripper Vans, a new company that has larger vans with more leg room (P800/person; 6 hrs).
The Greenviews is an older hotel (the first in Corong Corong) situated on a long narrow lot running from the busy El Nido road to the waterfront. The back of the property is undeveloped (parking, storage, generator) and buffers road noise. The cottages are in closely packed rows boardered by gardens, with a narrow path providing access to the main building (kitchen, common area with seating, TV, and a book exchange, bar/restaurant/office upstairs) and the beach. There is a palm tree shaded seating area at the front of the resort (bamboo-weave hammocks, driftwood-style chairs and tables, shower) that is separated from the beach by a fence. The hotel is at the center of Corong Corong Beach, which has soft white sand but is very shallow for a long way offshore. Its location is the hotel’s best feature. There are fabulous views of the Bacuit Archipelago, and the sunsets are breath-taking (best seen from the 6 loungers on the beach because the fence partially obstructs the front seating area, as does the thatched roof over the bar).
The cottages are fronted by narrow verandas furnished with rustic chairs and a burl table; ours faced the water and had a beautiful view. Inside, they are moderate in size but feel small and claustrophobic (despite the 5 windows) due to low ceilings, dark plywood panels on the lower walls and rattan thatch panels on the upper walls and ceiling, and limited lighting (half the ceiling bulbs removed, no bedside lights). They are furnished with a double bed, side table, large built-in clothes cabinets and a long, narrow open cabinet for storage; no refrigerators or safes, and no complementary water or glasses (unlike almost all other Philippines hotels). The bathrooms have large showers, but the water pressure is very low. Our cottage had a tired and dated feel, with worn hardwood floorboards, cheap plywood panels and scuffed wood trim and doors.
The bar/restaurant on the second floor of the main building is nicely furnished with the varnished driftwood and burl furniture that is a trademark of the Greenviews. It also serves as the office, and has a board where you sign up for tours the next day. The tours are a good deal – great lunches, and the same price as in town (A: P700; C: P900) but the convenience of leaving from the hotel. Free WiFi is available, but only from late afternoon when there is electricity. Breakfasts are expensive at P200-275, with juice, coffee or water costing extra. Dinners also seem expensive (P250-400); however, they are actually 3-course meals with a soup, main course with salad, and dessert, and are very well prepared. They advertise live entertainment with dinner on Fridays, and seem to attract a large local crowd on Sundays. I understand the attraction of outside revenues; however, they really should warn their paying guests because, if you don’t have reservations, you don’t get in.
There are no restaurants or bars nearby except at a few other hotels. We went into El Nido a couple of times for drinks and appetizers (with the large tour lunches, that’s all you really need) and to enjoy the crowded beach scene. There are plenty of tricycles; if you bargain, expect to pay P10/person into town and P15/person for the later evening return. There are no ATMs, but the Palawan Pawn shop near the Art Cafe advertises a currency exchange. There is a small store across the street from the hotel for water, rum, juices and snacks.
The staff (except the manager, her assistant and the boatmen) at the Greenviews are aggravatingly ineffectual. The simplest request has to be repeated several times before they get it right – if they do at all – and empty bottles and glasses are left in the restaurant and front area for hours.
I found it difficult to provide an overall rating for the hotel. Despite its deficiencies, it does grow on you and it is probably not a bad pick for Corong Corong. The bottom line, though, is that at the price charged, I expect greater value than what they provide.
- Also Known As:
- Greenviews Resort Corong-Corong Hotel El Nido
- Greenviews Resort Corong-Corong El Nido, Palawan Island