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“Wonderful scenery, terrific hosts 2 stars for food and accommodation”

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El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in El Nido
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We spent 5 night in Miniloc Island over the Chinese New Year. Let start with the positives. The location is fantastic. Wonderful scenery, plenty of well organised activities buy the staff. If you are looking for helpful friendly staff then this is what you get. After talking to them over a week you do understand that El Nido resorts do value and look after there staff. They are payed well, have paid health insurance and are evening given free flights to see the family. What disappoints is the the price you pay for the accommodation and food, the price to quality is appalling. We both got food poisoning and even though you are surrounded by the sea, the seafood was terrible. Laden food and accommodation was far better. It surprises us to here that miniloc is better we did not see this.

Room Tip: Choose lagen
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Tim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 7, 2013

The staff at Miniloc is amazing. Noel, their manager was extremely helpful and sincere. The island is beautiful and had a lot of natural surroundings to boast of. Miniloc is one fine place to build good memories with your loved ones.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
4  Thank lexbonife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We spent 6 nights on Miniloc and what an experience, the staff were phenominal they took a genuine interest in you and provided excellent customer service. Staff in the resturant took the time to get to know what you liked and always tried to ensure that the food was available.

The resort organised all day tours this meant you could do as much or little as you pleased. All tours were proffessionally organised and most included lunch in a buffet or picnic style.

Snorkelling gear was provided and swimming with the Jack fish in the resorts reef was a definate highlight. Kayaks were available to explore the islands, the small and big lagoon is well worth the trip.

We stayed in a water cottage, we loved the quirkyness of the cottages, and watching the fish swim below while we were relaxing on the balcony. We found the staff could not do enough for you we enjoyed coming back to our room each evening to find a good night message, a tradittional story and a sweet on our bed - what a great touch!

The manger was outstanding, he took the time to have a conversation about our experience at the resort and organised a dinner for the three of us on a private island... he even knew our favourite wine ! he was very passionate about the island and our experience and took the time to get to know us !

We can not speak highly enough of this place and look forward to returning for our honeymoon next year.

Room Tip: There was no pool or fitness centre.... with all the activities and islands to visit we did not feel...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Terri J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Miniloc for 8 days over New Year.

Firstly, the positives – the outstanding thing about Miniloc is the staff. The main reason I’m giving the island a 4 rating is because of the quality of the fantastic people who work there. From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave (both with a song) you are treated to first class customer service. The people are amazingly friendly, cheerful, warm and helpful – without the interaction feeling forced. Every day your activity coordinator will come to find you to arrange something for you to do the next day – if you wish to be active! I liked that we didn’t have to chase people up to organise things. All activities were run with the utmost of professionalism and the guides were fantastic. The staff all work incredibly hard – the effort put in to the New Year’s Eve celebration was phenomenal. The bar staff, waiting staff, guest relations staff and front desk staff were all exceptional.

The location of Miniloc is obviously incredibly beautiful and it has a huge advantage in that you can visit so many other lovely islands and beach clubs. Our main priority for choosing El Nido was because of the opportunities for snorkelling. Staying somewhere with an accessible house reef is always a privilege. The snorkelling on the house reef was good. We didn’t feel that there was a huge variety of fish life but swimming alongside the jacks was fun. Perhaps it was unfortunate that visibility was not great during our stay. Some of the snorkelling trips we did were also good; with some very impressive coral. Not the best snorkelling we’ve experienced but some of the best scenery.

Our main problem with the resort (and one reason why I can’t give it a 5 star review) is the quality of accommodation in relation to price. Obviously we visited at probably the most expensive time of year and we also stayed longer than a lot of guests. Most guests seem to stay for about 5 nights. Perhaps if we’d stayed for a shorter period the room would not have been an issue. We stayed in a Garden Cottage. If you can afford it I would definitely recommend paying more for a higher standard room. The main problem was the bathroom – it was in desperate need of renovation. The room is tiny and quite dark and really has no comfortable seating area outside. Some of the garden cottages’ views are completely blocked by other two storey accommodation buildings. We got the impression that the island had been slightly overdeveloped in terms of fitting as many rooms in as possible. However, saying this, the island never felt crowded even at a busy time. If the standard of room is very important to you then Lagen may be the better option. The pool area there is lovely. However, the dining area and bar is far better at Miniloc.

Staying for 8 nights the food also got very, very repetitive. I admit I am a fussy eater. I don’t really eat much fish or meat so my choices are limited. However, my husband will eat anything and everything and he also agreed that the buffet got very monotonous. At first I thought, “Well it’s a small resort so you can’t expect much choice” - but in comparison to similar sized islands (in terms of guest numbers) in the Maldives, it didn’t compare well. We’ve visited far smaller islands in less accessible places which manage to produce a greater choice of foods – using very similar basic ingredients. Most lunches and evening main meals were a choice of meats or fish in a sauce, rice and a choice of the same fish and meat each day to be grilled or stir-fried. The desserts were generally fruit and a choice of two cakes, usually one being, what appeared to be, a defrosted pre-made cheesecake. As a previous reviewer has said we also did not realise that you could order a la carte. Had we known that we might have done so. I also would have liked to have been able to order a snack for lunch rather than eating in the buffet. If this is possible then the island should advertise it more.

In a way it pains me to only give 4 out of 5 because the people were so wonderfully hospitable and the location is gorgeous. Although 8 nights wasn’t too long a stay, perhaps if we had only stayed 5 the negatives I have mentioned would not have had such an impact. But, ultimately, even when taking into account the excellent trips which are included in the price, the island is still overpriced for the quality of accommodation and food. We were left with the impression that guests at Miniloc have maybe been over-charged and renovations have been neglected in order to help fund the newer developments of the Apulit and Pangulasian Resorts. Although Miniloc is a beautiful island with wonderful staff we would only return at a different time of year when water visibility is usually better and, more importantly, if the accommodation were totally renovated and the price remained similar.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank cakestin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

The hotel has a great location . Kayaking distance to big and small lagoons which are stunning. Recommend early morning paddle to the lagoons which are about 30-40min paddle away- check the tides as big lagoon access cannot be paddled on low tide. The resort itself is a little old and could do with a bit of TLC. We stayed in a a 2level seaview room with our 2 small kids,room was a little musty, stairs were a bit dodgy and aircon drowned out any sounds of the sea. Food was ok but was surprising the resort had run out of mangoes, pineapples and coconuts on a Friday before the weekend- food and beverage planning needs some improvement. The snorkeling in front of resort was great and sealife was amazing. The service was exceptional. It is a beautiful location and some prefer the more rustic appeal but after visiting Lagen resort we moved straight away as we found the accommodation there more comfortable and the resort was much quieter.
Make sure you take advantage of the boat shuttles to the beach clubs- Entalula is fantastic.
El Nido is certainly one of the most stunningly beautiful locations we have ever visited. Miniloc is a great location for experiencing the beauty of El Nido but if you are after more up market luxury would recommend paying a little extra and staying at Lagen.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Alena&Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

The resort didn't have a pool, nor TV in the rooms, but these did not make it any less than perfect. The beach was good for the children to play in, and also good for snorkeling as there are corals and lots of fishes could be seen in the shallow waters. One did not have to go to the middle of the deep blue sea just to see marine life. Also there was jackfish feeding times at the pontoon which was a sight to see. We were able to swim with them and that was a great experience. We stayed at one of the water cottages and had great views of the resort as well as the sea and the limestones.

Room Tip: If you would like access to a swimming pool, visit Lagen Island Resort.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank kapresto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

My husband and I spent four nights at Miniloc to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and had the most amazing time. Having enjoyed the scenic approach to this beautiful resort, we were greeted very warmly and provided a briefing of all the activities which awaited.Stayed in the Deluxe Seaview, which I would recommend highly above the water cottages. It felt a lot more private and the view was outstanding. The service is beyond excellent - the resort staff are so friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful going to every effort to make your stay pleasant. Attention to preserving the environment and the resort's recycling initiatives are also very impressive. As this is an all inclusive resort, activities are very well organised and the coordinator will spend time with you to discuss and suggest options which would suit your preference. A really hassle-free service for a very relaxing holiday.
Highlights from our stay included:
- Snorkelling and sunbathing at Entalula island
- Kayaking at 5.30am to catch the sunrise across the bay, followed by exploring the lagoons. Breathtaking!
- Excursion to 'snake island' and the caves
- Relaxing massages at the resort spa. You may hear people walk past the treatment room which may sometimes be disturbing, but the therapists are very good and you may easily doze off!
- Snorkelling at the Miniloc resort reef. At certain times of the day, you can see so many varieties of fish just below the surface of the clear waters, including huge jack fish. Absolutely amazing.
- Private picnic lunch at our very own cove, everything was nicely set up and we were dropped off by boat. You can arrange to be picked up at your chosen time or be adventurous and kayak back the short distance to the resort. We also had a private dinner one night at another island. Having known we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, the staff really made this time very special for us.

Meals were fine, nothing out of the ordinary as we thought a lot of buffet items lacked flavour and the fresh seafood could be cooked with a chouce of sauces / seasonings rather than just being grilled with no flavouring. But that's just personal preference. The very jovial chef Mike was ever willing however to accommodate requests and his creations were delicious!

We were so sad to leave Miniloc and spent days talking about our holiday and longing to go back. Go without hestitation, you'll have the time of your life!

Room Tip: Deluxe Seaview room was a great choice.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DRinlondon
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 Miniloc Island

Address: Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan Island 5313, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in El Nido
#3 Spa Hotel in El Nido
Price Range: $549 - $851 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Miniloc Island is a rustic and charming hideaway reminiscent of a coastal village. Miniloc Island is located in El Nido, in northwestern Palawan. It takes a 75-minute direct flight from Manila to get to El Nido or a 6-hour travel by land from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan's Capital City).Miniloc Island Resort is tucked within a beautiful cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and a vibrant coral reef. It is a gateway to popular activity sites in a breath-taking location known for its high biodiversity. The resort has 50 cottages and rooms built in traditional Filipino design over the water, beside the beach, or surrounded by garden and limestone cliffs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Nido Resort Miniloc Island Hotel El Nido
Hotel El Nido
Resort El Nido
El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island Palawan Island

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