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“Amazing service on a beautiful island”

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El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in El Nido
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing service on a beautiful island”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

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!!

Room Tip: Kalaw Villas are awesome for small groups!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank Ann R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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534 reviews from our community

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Pembroke Pines, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Our whole experience from beginning to end is first class. The island is beautiful and very private. We stayed in pool villa, huge room and bathroom, incredible view, upscale furnishings. The staff is the icing on the cake, kudos to the manager Frank. They treat us like family, attend to all our needs and anticipate our needs as well. Food is incredible ! Definitely worth the big bucks. We enjoyed our stay very much and we feel sad leaving the place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank Garry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hollywood, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We came in early June of this year, 2013. To have a relaxing vacation in our native homeland, Philippines, and also to visit relatives.
It's been 8 years since my last visit to the Philippines, in 2005, we stayed in Manila Hotel on Roxas Blvd., Boracay, Cebu/ Lapu-lapu and Villa Escudero Resorts.

We heard so much about El Nido that this is the place to visit now to have a relaxing , stress-free vacation. The Resorts comprises of different Islands, Miniloc, Lagen, Cove,etc.. To get there from Manila, we have to fly to Palawan, take a bus ride to the boat, then cruise to the island. Starting from our flight to our destination, the service was excellent all the people who greeted us were very friendly and hospitable, when we got to the airport there's a beautiful lounge where we had our continental breakfast while waiting for our flight. It is very elegant.

We arrived in the Pangulasian Island and were greeted by the entire staff from the Manager Franck Merot, a Filipina Doctor, the Chef, the cooks, the server,the water activity/boat crew. The resort can only accommodate 100 guests. While we were there , there were only 45 guests. My other sister says, most of the guests there are models, movie stars or heads of state.You have 3 or 4 choices when you book for this resort, you can have a Villa/cottage by the sea/beach, a convention/huge family Villa/cottage w/a large swimming pool or up on a hill were you can see all the Islands and some occasional visits from the monkeys...ideal for younger couples, honeymooners or a young family.

We opted for the Villa/Cottage w/ infinity pool. Our activities were mostly boat rides to the other islands ie, Miniloc Resort (snorkeling, feeding the jackfish,huge and seen a lot of tropical fish w/ our snorkeling),Entalula Island, Lagen Island, the Small lagoon and the Big lagoon, Snake Island. We had our lunch in the islands, did some water sports, kayaking, snorkeling,etc. It was the most relaxing vacation I have with my sister and her husband in a long, long time. I highly recommend this place to my family and friends. We stayed there for a week, when we lef,t the same group of people that greeted us when we arrived, bid farewell to us w/ a background music. My sister and I have tears in our eyes. It was just like saying good bye to a family.

Room Tip: We had the villa/cottage w/ infinity pool, great vista of the other islands from our bedroom, The su...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Travel_LOver32348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2013

The experience of Pangulasian Island Resort will be forever remembered as the most relaxing and carefree vacation I have ever experienced. From the impeccable service, quiet beach resort ambience, stunning vistas and the aquatic activities, one could not ask for more from this slice of heaven on Earth. As a family of three, we stayed here in mid-July in a beachfront villa. The villa was spacious, upscale, air conditioned, wifi and cable TV equipped, with a large bathroom and shower area, including various sundries and mosquito repellant. Of note is that I did not see a single mosquito in the five days that were spent at the resort. The room was attended to twice a day, the staff wearing headsets to communicate and coordinate so as not to be in your way and to clean up when you are at dinner or out on an activity. You are well taken care of with a minimum of inconvenience to you. The resort has 42 villas, can probably hold over a hundred guests, but at the time we were there, there were only about 20 guests at the resort. We felt as though we had the entire resort to ourselves. Buffet breakfast was included with many of the usual breakfast items, Western style, fruits, and rice and hot local entrees. Lunch and dinner were purchased on our own, and many of the lunches we had served while at the fresh water infinity pool. We had dinner every night on the veranda outside the main dining area on the second floor
of the clubhouse. Breads were served promptly and the staff went out of their way to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. The dinner selection as others have mentioned is limited and the variety did not change much, and if one were to stay for an extended period of time, could get a little old. 4 star dinners in a 5 star resort. Every day we were greeted by an activities coordinator who helped to plan the itinerary for the following day which included trips to the Small and Big Lagoons; Snake Island; Miniloc Resort to see the feeding of the Jack fish, lunch and to snorkel; scuba diving; windsurfing; riding the Hobie cat; and kayaking. Some of the activities required an extra charge for the boat rides and for scuba. These activities were in blocks of 2-3 hours and could be done in the mornings or afternoons, with return to Pangulasian for lunch and dinner. Time was also spent snorkeling in the house reef, and a few afternoons were spent just lounging around the wonderful swimming pool. Entalula Island, an activities center for Miniloc was closed for renovation, but there was so much to do that it was not missed. From Pangulasian, looking across the bay, one can see the main island of Palawan about a kilometer away. Apparently plans are underway to develop an activities center for the guests on the beach across the bay. The wilderness path to the viewing deck at the top of the island forest was closed for renovation during our stay. Although our trip was during the rainy season, we experienced it only briefly on several nights and a slight drizzle on the trip to Miniloc. There is a physician on site just in case one gets a little too much sun or for any true emergencies. To sum it up, Pangulasian is expensive, quiet, with world class service and stunning vistas and postcard beaches and sunsets. We will be back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank SirGeo57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
laguna, philippines
Level Contributor
441 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2013

we were told that the hotel could only accommodate a 100 guests at any one time; so its very private and very luxurious. staff went the extra mile by offering to go kayaking with me; he paddled while i mostly took photos. also included daily activities: yoga, island hopping, etc. the house reef was also amazing- saw blue spotted stingrays; barracuda; puffer fishes etc. the bathroom was huge! ipod and tv in room. refrigerator. two units air conditioning that's why its so pricey but worth it.
but food needs help. needs rice dishes: I hope they add filipino, japanese, korean food in the menu.

Room Tip: the canopy rooms are quite high up about 2 flights of stairs for the highest canopy room; beach fro...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank mamabelz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Level Contributor
118 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2013

We went back last week because our April trip was cut short ( pls read my april review ).

This time around, stayed 3 full days. Had wonderful weather, very little rain and breezier morning and nights, which was perfect. April was very hot.

This time also, did more snorkeling in front of the resort, and did the island hopping too.
The highlight had to be the small and big lagoon trip. Just simply breathtaking. As good or better than Phi phi islands in Phuket. Darren, our guide was funny and really helpful.

I would like to praise all the staff in this resort. They are simply amazing. Everyone is so warm and helpful, and really really go out of their way to make all customers happy and satisfied.

A few examples:
-when I lost my fedora hat ( i suspect it fell off my villa into the trees and bushes underneath ), the management sent a team to search for it...but to no avail. Mike the manager met me
while I was having dinner to apologize for not having found my hat.
-when I complained about my salmon being overcooked, Darell ( from Canada ) came out and
apologized and offered to redo it. Another chef had overcooked it, but Darell wanted to personally cook me salmon the following day. He very modestly told me that Salmon is his specialty, hes even written a book about the many different ways of cooking Salmon ).
-All the staff would talk to you while you're having lunch or dinner, asking if we've don't any trips, asking if we're enjoying our stay, etc etc.
-Darren, who spotted my wife struggling to swim while at the small lagoon. He jumped in the water with a float board tied to his ankle and helped my wife swim about 300 meters.
-Rosalyn, who arranged all my trips, just so nice and warm.
There are also others who's done little things that all in all, made our stay totally enjoyable.

The only reason why is rate this 4.5 out of 5 is the price of good and drinks and the lack of food selection.

Room Tip: Due to lack of food, might be wise to bring own food. Cheese / snacks, etc Big lagoon- MUST VISIT...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tony c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The staff were very friendly and very accommodating to our needs. It really is a true paradise except if you're used to dining at upscale restaurants, you can tell that they tend to overcook their food here at this resort which was very disappointing. Considering we paid quite a bit for our vacation, we expected to eat excellent dishes not overcooked fish or dry desserts such as their banana bread pudding. Who can mess up a recipe for banana bread pudding when you mix all the ingredients and bake it. It's called pudding NOT BANANA BREAD. Their breakfast buffet was excellent though! The chefs that cooks for lunch and dinner need to be retrained to avoid further complains. It's a waste when it's an excellent vacation place... Overall, the view and the activities were very memorable.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank NY Reporter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

Property: El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island
Address: Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in El Nido
#3 On the Beach Hotel in El Nido
#3 Top resorts Hotel in El Nido
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island 4.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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

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