My husband and I stayed at Miniloc in a garden cottage for 4 nights from March 25 to 29. Prior to arriving at Miniloc, we stayed for 2 nights in Puerto Princessa. For us, 4 nights was the perfect amount of time to spend at this resort.
Since we were coming from PP, we travelled by van to El Nido town, and then took a trike to the El Nido airport to catch the boat to the resort. I was surprised that as soon as we arrived at the airport gates they knew who we were and were expecting us (even though we didn’t pre-arrange this). As soon as we walked onto the pier to catch the boat to the resort, I knew we had made a good decision to stay there. The Baicuit bay is beautiful.
However, because we had already spent a few days in PP we knew the typical prices for things like beer, soft drinks, food. At El Nido, you will pay significantly more for things (i.e. beers will cost 125 pesos compared to 40 pesos etc.). However, on the plus side, at El Nido the water is safe to drink (unlike PP) - hence the title of my review, where I state it is not really like the rest of the Philippines.
On the boat, there was a guest activity coordinator ready to explain the different activities available for El Nido guests. Throughout our stay the staff were always discussing activities, so we made up a little joke that El Nido was like an activity cult (all in good fun though).
We booked through Rates to go so it did not include meals. However, when we booked it we didn’t realize that it did not include any activities because the booking didn't say this (so we had to pay for each activity separately). It seems like guests who book “room only” are a little bit of an afterthought. The resort is really set up to be an all inclusive place, so it gets awkward trying to pay for things individually (and it makes you feel kind of like a second class citizen).
The accommodations were decent, but looked like they could use some freshening up. The bathroom was kind of dingy, but the shower was nice and hot! Also, the air conditioner was quite loud. Somebody in an earlier review complained about the hard bed – for me this was a pro rather than a con.
Since our rate didn’t include food, we could choose to eat the buffet or order a la carte. One complaint about ordering a la carte was that it took a very long time for the meal to come. Overall, the food was decent, but not amazing. Warning: the buffet seems to cater to the Japanese guests - this was not a problem for us, but it was for other guests we spoke to. We had lunch at Lagen one day, and I found the food to be better there than Miniloc. Also, I got sick the day after I arrived at the resort so it kind of put me off the buffet.
Favourite activities for me were island hopping, rock climbing, and snorkeling. Also, the setting was so beautiful it was fun just to lie on the beach and take it all in. I’m not sure if I will visit Miniloc again, however, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip it is worth the journey.
- 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