El Nido, Palawan, is how I'd imagined an island paradise to be - stunning waters, white sands, deserted beaches, stark limestone cliffs hiding secret lagoons, brilliant sunsets, a place to just be.
The experience was made more memorable by our stay in Ipil Travelodge - from the start, the GM Trish helped us arrange charter flights, van transfers and room bookings, with clear itemised cost breakdowns; laid out tour options we could try within our budgets, recommending good times to go for different places so we would not be trapped with other tourists and even took us to their private beach. She recommended good dinner options about town as well.
Breakfast at their restaurant 360 - as the tallest building in town, you have a panoramic view of the entire bay, and the food is simple but delicious - unbeatably fresh.
The rooms are simple, kept very clean, and the hotel is very new. I'm always afraid of dirty toilets, but theirs was kept very clean and functional. Staff are friendly and helpful overall. Particular kudos to:
a) Richard who was incredibly patient on our snorkelling trip and assisted one of our group who was a non-swimmer the whole way, while keeping an eye out on all of us, taking underwater photos for us too, as none of us could dive unaided.
b) Dennis, for making us a coconut leaf hat!
The personal touches made the trip and the stay at Ipil memorable to me. It felt like it was staying at a friend's place, vs staying at an impersonal hotel. Would definitely go back. Highly recommended.
Note: The whole town has no electricity from 6am - 2pm, so travellers should be aware of this. Bring sunblock and bug repellant for some of the tours, as some of the islands could have mosquitoes.
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- Also Known As:
- Ipil Travelodge El Nido Hotel El Nido
- Ipil Suites El Nido Palawan Island