From the moment you land at El Nido airport you can forget all your cares and let the staff take you by the hand for your entire stay at THE most beautiful location in the world – an undiscovered gem of both beauty but also service that we have never experienced anywhere else…
It’s clear from the beginning that Miniloc is a special place, nestled in a secret cove of Bacuit Bay, the scenery on the way is spectacular, the scenery from the resort – even more so. So to spend each and every day with that on your doorstep is heavenly before you even begin. But that alone wouldn’t be quite enough to make it so fantastic; in fact it’s really the staff that help glue all of this together to give you one truly wonderful resort that you will never forget. Fillipions are known for their warmth and humour but the staff here are so incredibly genuine, effortlessly friendly, happy and thoughtful. On so many occasions the restaurant staff would bring me my English tea at breakfast or my favourite banana cake in the afternoon. You would mention it once that you like it and they would remember, so much so that we arranged a special anniversary dinner on a private beach which was outstanding and the staff remembered our favourite desert from the island..Mango madness! All these little touches are what make a holiday special and memorable. We constantly felt at home there, always greeted by a smile and sadly a wave off at the end of our trip.
As I’m sure you’ve probably gathered by now, Miniloc also has a sister island, Lagen and many other small islands that you are free to travel to and explore on your trip – do it! Make the most of free boat transfers and trips, wake up early to watch the sunrise (it’s beautiful) over the bay and kayak round to the small lagoon before 8am when all the other boats and tourists start to arrive. We did this and had it completely to ourselves; we’ve never seen mint green water or had such tranquillity like it! We also did the same for the big lagoon and stayed for the day on a raft there in complete privacy with a picnic lunch – all arranged by the resort. Where else can you do this and not pay any extra or have to worry about times, transport modes?! It’s all taken care of. If this was Jamaica you would feel the need to say ‘don’t worry, be happy’.
Choose from lazy or active days surrounded by so much wildlife that you feel you begin to learn more and appreciate the world and all its beauty. The resort actually give you a checklist which really gets you actively into finding monkeys (we saw them!), reef sharks (them too!) turtles (no such luck..) and many more. Keep an eye out for the huge sea eagle that swoops down most nights over the bay. You really do feel grateful for the opportunity to visit a place still rather undiscovered and even now whilst writing this review makes me feel desperate to return to island life.
I should also mention to enjoy the spa whilst the waves lap under you and send you off into a deep relaxing sleep, the facial was a total treat and nice after so much sunshine. And for those all-important room choices, I would suggest the beach cottages as they are smack bang on the beach (obviously) and central to the resort, even though it’s very small. We actually made this trip for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary and were very fortunate to be given an upgrade from a garden cottage. We only booked one of those because that was all that was left but if you can afford to pay the extra then do it, they didn’t look so great compared to the water cottages or beach cottage like we had and for our room (43) was on the 2nd floor and had fantastic views over the beach and the bay. Every morning I would rush to open the blinds and just lie in bed looking out watching the boats and people go by, it never got old. Bear in mind there are no tv’s on the resort but we never missed one instead you while away hours playing dominoes at the beach bar, walking the boardwalk to watch the jackfish, snorkel, sunbathe, relax, love it!
Although we visited Miniloc for our wedding anniversary it wasn’t just the anniversary day itself that was spectacular or special, the whole trip was! But for our special day the staff arranged for us to be taken to a private beach and private it was! Speedboat drops you off at a place that reminded me of something out of a Bond movie (or think more like the recent Bourne Legacy shot there in the bay) and you were left for hours to explore at your leisure before they return to serve you lunch. The same at night, we were taken to a different beach and had a full on staff cooking and catering to us, another special touch was we had told a Chef that we would love to try some Filippino Pork Liempo and that is indeed what they served and after dinner we were serenaded by guitar which was just wonderful, not cheesy at all – fun!
300 photos and even more memories later, we would like to extend a special thanks to Noel, the manager who runs Miniloc like a breeze and has all his outstandingly helpful staff around him. They really excelled themselves when I unfortunately dropped our camera and being on a remote island where am I to get another? So the resort lent us there one..no hire fee, no security deposit just lent it to us without any concern. This idea never even occurred to us but there they were with a solution. It was like this so many times for plans we made regarding the weather, on our anniversary it began to rain so we worried our special beach dinner could be cancelled, they simply moved it under a romantic canopy. They really were always one step ahead of you with an idea, with a plan, with a solution right up to the day you leave the staff come to take your luggage before you even think about how you will pull it through the sand!
We also want to thank all the staff especially Vokz on the boat trips for his knowledge, stories and tales. He gave us a tour around his hometown of El Nido which the resort do not promote but you should ask about it, hire a banca for the day and go see a traditional town. Also, Joel at the beach bar. Everyday we loved our daily happy hour watching the sunset, slurping a coconut and Joel was always there with a smile mixing my favourite cocktail (bluebird bay – try it!)
Miniloc is a wonderful resort, quirky, traditional and totally homey. If you want to try somewhere a little undiscovered yet clean and somehow familiar then this is the place for you. We felt Lagen was a little too ‘hotely’ for us. We have travelled alot but can honestly say this was our best ever holiday in the most beautiful location in the world – GO before the rest of the world catches on...
- 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