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“Excellent stay !! A very courteous staff !!”

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El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in El Nido
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Excellent stay !! A very courteous staff !!”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

I'll start with how awseome the trip was to Miniloc island and i'm definitely visiting again.. we went there on our honeymoon and we could not have picked a better place, it was perfect! as we reached the resort the staff welcomed us with the local song and dance along with the welcome drink (coconut based). then we were escorted to the dining area for buffet lunch and the food was excellent.

we were the only vegetarians on the island but the staff and the chef made sure we never went hungry, they always had vegetarian options made for us specifically. Also a special thanks to our chef Benjo who made the tastiest vegetarian food for us everyday. They also packed us vegetarian sandwiches for the flight back.. It was very nice of them to remember that, we were very touched by the gesture and how they went out of their way to take care of the guests. they were genuinely some of the nicest people and never said no to any requests. The hospitality is the biggest USP of the resort IMO.

Coming back to the island , its a piece of paradise and we never wanted to leave after a five day trip.. We stayed in the cliff cottage which was a duplex and very comfortable for the two of us. I would suggest you opt for the cliff cottage instead of the garden cottage as the price is same but its much more spacious. But its a bit of a climb to the cliff cottage so you might wanna consider that keeping your age in mind.

The activities were very occupying and fun, we never got bored at the island inspite of no tv. They have enough activities for everybody's liking. Raymond, our activity guide taught us snorkelling since we had never snorkelled before and he went out of his way to help us. A special thanks to him.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank shagun_sp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bath, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

We stayed at Miniloc Island for 3 nights following a Tao Philippines boat tour from Coron to El Nido (Tao Philippines was fantastic, please see my other review). There are a lot of positives about Miniloc Island and if it was priced and advertised more realistically we would have scored it much higher.

The resort itself looks very attractive on arrival with a small white sandy beach and thatched cottages. It is set quite deeply into an alcove on Miniloc Island and therefore loses the sun quite early in the afternoon and you can't see the sunset from the resort. The resort is absolutely tiny but it still manages to pack in a lot of rooms and guests, although the day tours mean the resort does not feel crowded. The price we paid included a selection of day tours to snorkelling areas, mangroves and the other El Nido Resort hotels. It also included use of kayaks and other sports equipment. This seems like an attractive deal when you book, but you quickly realise the resort needs to do this because it does not have the space to accommodate all its guests during the day. Having said that, the kayaking was a lot of fun and it is nice to be able to explore by yourself. The resort seems pretty flexible regarding the activities, for example they offered to drop us off at the small lagoon if a speedboat was free. The beach at the resort is stony and small but you can easily kayak off to find a deserted beach of your own, and the resort can make you a packed lunch. Other activities available are diving, table tennis and snooker. The massages are reasonably priced and the Swedish massage I had was really good. The massage area is attractively positioned at the end of the water bungalows so you can hear the waves below you as you get massaged.

We stayed in a garden cottage (number 11) and it was hugely disappointing for the price we paid. It is in desperate need of updating, especially the bathroom which was small with ingrained dirt, a toilet which wouldn't flush properly and brackish water for showering and brushing teeth. We stayed in a lodge in Coron with a nicer room for literally a tenth of the price ($30) so we were just devastated that our long-awaited luxury was such a disappointment.

Three meals a day were included in our package, plus tea and brewed coffee all day. The tea and coffee was great, especially because it rained one day so we just sat in the restaurant and bar area all afternoon reading and playing snooker and other board games. The food was a decent selection so it was always possible to find something nice to eat. The Chinese New Year celebration on the beach was decorated beautifully. It was disappointing to see "Spanish" sardines and other imported products though - on the Tao boat we had only local fresh food (fish, crabs, prawns etc from the markets) and the quality and taste was phenomenally better than on the island. It is hard not be is disappointed when you come from almost perfection into mediocre.

Finally, a word about the "green" aspect of the resort. It is absolute nonsense. For example, we were told on arrival that if we wanted water to carry with us e.g. to the beach or on the trips we had to purchase an aluminium water bottle from the shop. There were no other bottles of water available on the island and the water bottles were so small you would need one each at least to stay hydrated on a deserted beach for a few hours. This is purely a mercenary initiative - if they truly wanted to save the environment they would ask you to BRING a water bottle with you. Not to mention the air miles involved with flying imported food to the island, the environmental cost of making the aluminium water bottles, and the wasteful printed sheets of paper in the room with information, stories, etc - why not make a reusable booklet which could be used for months?

If you get a good deal on the price, I would say go for a few nights but definitely do not pay the rack rate or go for more than 3 nights.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank leilawalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2014 via mobile

Myself and my wife stayed here for 3 nights in December, here's are quick review.
- always fly with ITI from Manilla is possible, the flight and car journey via Puerta Princessa takes 10 hours all in, it's a ball ache. Miniloc is 10 mins drive and 15 mins boat ride from the very small airport in El Nido, El Nido resorts make everything REALLY simple
- we took the last ITI flight from Manilla, which took around 40 mins, so there was just be and my wife on the boat from El Nido to Miniloc.
- when we arrived a group of smiling workers formed a makeshift traditional band to welcome us to the island, my wife started crying in around 3 seconds, very sincere and touching
- we stayed in a water bungalow, with the waves washing under the bungalow. The view out to sea along with the vertical rocky backdrop, all covered with dense forest which contained wild monkeys was an image that will get me though many crap days in the office, I have goose pimples thinking about it now
- the breakfast and evening meal was including in rate, (£400 per night) and was varied and of a good standard. Although they are no Michelin star restaurant, we ate everything they had on the buffet and was more than please.
- drinks are not that expensive
- the trips that are included in the rate are excellent, the staff who take you out are fun and very helpful, (small lagoon was our favorite)
- they have a basketball court next to restaurant in the middle of all the accommodation, people playing basketball at 8am pissed me off, seriously who plays basketball on one of the most naturally places
- the free kayaks take you to some great inlets around the island, we loved this when we could tear ourselves away from the private mattress laden sunbathing pagodas on the beach
- the massage hut is at the end of the water bungalows. Massage are cheap and I can honestly say, the lady who did my massage had the strength of an ox put used it professionally, it was one of the best massages I have had
- you can dive with resort staff, we didn't do this, wish we had

Finally the best things where the staff, (they waved us off the island for 10 minutes when we left, again my wife was crying all the time along with the 3 other woman on the boat) the setting and the attention to detail. Yes it's £400 per night and yes that's expensive, but you won't stay anywhere quiet like Miniloc in your life, Along with all of the above the island itself has some of the best dive sites and boat stops in the Philippines, which granted you can visit from El Nido town by a 30 minute boat transfer, but there's nothing quiet like the feeling of being on a small island with that setting with good people when the sun goes down!

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank TheCoreys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We were married just before Christmas but spent our honeymoon and new year in El Nido resorts. Perhaps unusually in comparison to other reviews we stayed in both Lagen and Miniloc, 3 days in each. I will start by saying that both are excellent resorts and if you are deciding on whether they are worth the money, don't, they are. The whole experience from a private check-in and a classic vintage waiting lounge to the red carpet that leads you to the chartered plane, the incredible location with limestone cliffs soaring around you and unobstructed views across the sea from your balcony. This is pure relaxation in luxurious yet simple style. The day trips are wonderful, you can explore the area in private boats and have beaches and lagoons almost to yourself. While I am sure development and popularity will soon change this, right now it is perfect and I encourage you to visit.

A running debate I have seen on these reviews is whether to stay at Miniloc or Lagen, having stayed at both I feel well placed to answer this question. If I was to return to El Nido I would stay at Miniloc. There are a number of reasons we favoured Miniloc above Lagen, One reason was the service, while both deliver a high level of service, things are just done that much better in Miniloc, everyone knew our name and our room, our checkout dates etc, where we had been that day etc. This wasn't forced it just came across as interest. At meal times, water was poured in advance of your seating and your seat pulled out for you. At lagen this level of service just wasn't present, it was more functional, not bad, just not special. Additionally while the rooms are arguably better at Lagen, more modern and spacious. What really counts is the feel of the resort. At Miniloc you had your meals practically on top of the sea with clear panoramic views and the restaurant was made of natural materials, in Lagen it was set back behind the trees which made the view non-existent and lacking in atmosphere in comparison. Lagen has a swimming pool but no beach and anyway on this holiday you should be taking as many boat trips as you can.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ronan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
151 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

What a lovely lovely mini-vacation at Miniloc! Fresh coconuts at the beach bar, outdoor couch on your seaside deck/balcony, and easy access to kayaks to Big and Small Lagoons for on-your-own-adventure! Don't forget to order the foot massage directly in your room. Excellent breakfast buffet, but dinner had limited veggie options but the chef made me something de-lish! Some of the front staff were a little grumpy. Amazing time all and all!

Room Tip: Def get one by the water, although the actual over-the-waters were reported to be shabby?
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank wandersmuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The staff is excellent, so friendly and helpful. I rarely had such a good experience in that respect.
The activities proposed are great and you can actually save a lot of time and get a more personalized experience if you plan ahead and talk to the activity organizer.
The location is probably the best in the area. The beach is small but nice (compared to Lagen island which has no beach). The snorkeling is also good and you have access to the surrounding lagoons by kayak anytime.
The El Nido Resort gives you access to Lagen Island (and its pool) and two other beaches where you have other activities proposed.
The rooms are still rather basic but the resort also promotes sustainability which is very well appreciated.
The food offered is also excellent.
We had a great experience and will definitely come back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sylvanito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

Given the reputation, the reviews and the price of Miniloc Island resort, I turned up with high expectations, perhaps too high.

Upon arrival, there was a very warm welcome with singing and welcome drinks and the location itself is idyllic. Things were certainly off to a good start. The boat transfer from Palawan to Miniloc was also very well organised.

The room itself was very poor considering the cost of a stay at Miniloc. Had the cost been about 30% of the total price, the review score would have probably been very different. Miniloc is on its own island and has to bring all of its supplies across as well as run all the services (electricity, water, sanitation, communications, etc), so it is somewhat understandable to expect an inflation in the room rates, however the room itself resembles that of an average two star hotel.

The bungalow style property was dated, the bathroom is in desperate need of attention, the fridge is rusty and the the wooden flooring has gaps in it so you can see the sand below and anything can crawl in. Having said all of that, the room is clean, the shower is hot and the air conditioning works well. There is also a charming turn down service in the evening.

If you are staying at Miniloc, you'll probably find that you have to go for a full board package, it isn't like you can go for a wander around and find a restaurant. The food quality is average and not particularly tasty. It is adequate for a day or two at most but will get boring very quickly!

There is plenty of snorkelling to be had off of Miniloc and you'll also have the opportunity to be shuttled on a courtesy boat service every hour or so to one of their club houses. These club houses are worthwhile going to as the beaches tend to be much better for swimming and are generally a bit more relaxing.

The activities such as island hopping and snorkelling as well as visiting the nearby lagoons will certainly make your stay far more enjoyable.

The service and hospitality throughout my stay here were incredible. The staff are all very helpful and friendly and the spa services are also very good. Unfortunately the room condition and food quality are what severely let down Miniloc Island, the review score reflects this given the cost of a stay at Miniloc. I'd highly recommend trying out one of the other El Nido resorts instead, such as Lagen Island.

Room Tip: Try to get a water cottage, the view will be best from one of these rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Invisible_Shadow
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

Property: 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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in El Nido
#2 Spa Hotel in El Nido
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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