My group stayed at this resort August 11-17. I traveled with my husband and my 7 year old daughter in addition to 2 other adult friends. We stayed in the Kalaw villas - We had 3 separate rooms in addition to our own large private pool and an additional common pavilion area. We had 2 solid days of typhoon weather so having the pavilion area was a life saver. We opened all the glass doors and let the wind whip through while we enjoyed adult beverages and played cards, dominos etc... We brought our own vodka and purchased fresh juices from the hotel each day for mixers in addition to buying beer from them. They were super helpful in keeping the coolers they provided us with stocked with ice in addition to a variety of glass/plastic ware to use.
The service at this hotel was amazing. All four adults in my group are in the hotel industry and we are all pretty well traveled. We have high expectations of hotels and are somewhat demanding. We don't mind paying a decent price but we expect to be receive something in return for that price. We were not disappointed at this hotel.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Jim Boy - little did we know at the time that he was essentially assigned to be our guide throughout the length of our stay. Everytime we left the resort or got into the water in front of the resort for snorkeling he came along with us. He escorted us on the hotels complimentary lagoon tours and snorkeling trip. He came along with us when we rented a private speed boat to take us to dinner at the Lagen Resort one evening. He spent the day with us when we went to El Nido's private beach club on Miniloc Island (I think that was the island) and he spent an entire day with us when we rented a boat to do a private island hopping tour. He was our concierge, guide, paramedic (I am super clumsy and pretty much scrape something everytime I get in the water), and babysitter. Everytime I turned around he was playing frisbee, snorkeling, kayaking, playing air hockey etc...with my 7 year old. She was head over heels for him.
Kate the activities director was so much more than that. While she helped set up our activities she also was our front desk contact and just a jack of all trades with helping us with any needs we had. She was also there to greet us personally with cold towels and a refreshing drink every time we returned to the resort from any activity. She actually came to meet the boat every single time!
Our butler Jess was also awesome. We had brought along a large number of movies and a small projector to watch them. We were planning on projecting them on the outside of one of the villas and setting up our chairs to enjoy a fun movie night. Jess stopped in while we were setting up and we told him what we were doing. He disappeared and came back about 10 minutes later with the hotel engineer. They brought a large white sheet with them that they hung up in our pavilion as they thought it would be a better quality "screen" for us to project upon - they were right. They also brought us a sound system to hook up to our projector. This was all completely unsolicited!!
Martin and Ian were 2 additional butlers that we interacted with. 2 warmer more genuine friendly and helpful people would be exeptionally difficult to find.
Our villas are the farthest from the main lobby area - a 7 minute walk to be exact. I personally liked to walk back and forth as the walk was beautiful. But I promise you, there was not a single time that I walked back and forth that I was not offered a ride by every hotel employee that I encountered. Additionally when we would walk out in the morning to go catch the boat for our actvities or to head to breakfast a buggy would magically appear to offer us a ride. The staff to guest ratio must be expceptionally high!
I used the spa once (massage and facial package) and some of my friends used it as many as 3 times. The services were wonderful and VERY reasonably priced compared to what I am used to in the US. Probably about 1/3 of what I would pay in the states and so much better than what I would get in the US.
The health club was very nice especially for such a small resort. It was perfect for what we needed.
My only complaint about the experience was the food. Admittedly we are spoiled when it comes to food -my husband used to be a chef so I am used to getting what I want. Breakfast buffet each day was really quite good but lunch and dinner left something to be desired. The service was exceptional but the food was merely ok. The salads were quite good but the hot dishes were not that great. We ordered room service dinner twice and they came and set up in our pavilion beyond what you would traditionally get in hotel room service - it was lovely!!
We had dinner on the beach one night and I was blown away by how much set up they did for this. They landscaped for the dinner including uplighting in the small trees thay planted for the dinner. All this in addition the scores of luminarios made for a gorgeous setting. My jet lagged 7 year old fell asleep at the dinner table - they brought her a pillow!!! I cannot say enough about the servers in the restaurant and room service and the man who cooked eggs to order in addition to french toast etc...each morning. All the staff knew our names by the end of the 1st day in within 2 days knew our preferences. (lattes for 2 of us in the morning, cappucino for one of us and diet coke for me). They also knew our drink preferences at night. We could not open a single door or push in a single chair the whole six days without being assisted!! I have definitely had better food but I don't think I have ever had warmer or more hospitable service.
While on the island I was thrilled to see a troop of monkeys, gorgeous Palawan Hornbills, and a Monitor Lizard. I was also delighted to be able stand on our deck and watch baby black tip reef sharks "playing about 5 feet off shore. I swear they were chasing each other around like puppies. Amazing!!
To summarize - I highly recommend this amazing resort for couples, friends, families with kids. If you have a group I highly recommend the Kalaw villas for your accommodations! The huge pool and great common areas are awesome. I cannot wait to return to this amazing place!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pangulasian Island is El Nido Resorts’ eco-luxury island hideaway in Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan. The resort is set fronting a pristine beach and against a backdrop of tropical forest. Also known as the “Island of the Sun”, Pangulasian has breathtaking views of both the sunrise and sunset. Frolic in the 750-meter stretch of white sand beach and be amazed by the marine sanctuary right at its doorstep. Discover diverse flora and fauna thriving in its forest.Discerning guests will be treated to luxurious amenities and impeccable and personalized service at Pangulasian Island. The resort offers a total of 42 deluxe accommodations built with contemporary Filipino and cutting edge “green” design. Resort facilities include a boutique, library, restaurant and bar at the Clubhouse, an infinity pool with beach bar, gym, spa, hiking trail with view deck, Scuba Shack and marine sports center. Located just minutes away are vibrant coral reefs and El Nido Resorts’ Beach Clubs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island Palawan Island