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El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in El Nido
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2011

Great place in a great location. I stayed one night as part of a sea kayaking tour, we camped otherwise. Nice pampering in between, nice rooms and extremely friendly staff. Food buffets were tasty and outdoor bar was nice with good happy hour.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank OtterWynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2011

We stayed in one of the sea cottages at Miniloc Island Resort, the room itself is basic, but comfortable, and when you walk out onto the balcony you are reminded of why you are there--the view is beautiful! At night you can sleep with the windows open, listening to the sounds of the waves. The beds are a little hard, but the daybed on the balcony is great and there is enough of a breeze at night that you could sleep there if you wanted.

There are many activities included in your stay (snorkeling, kayaking, sunrise/sunset cruises) or you can have a picnic at Entalula (don't miss! Absolutely beautiful), visit the sister resort at Lagen Island, or just laze on a lounger in the sun or under a cabana and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. If you go to Lagen Island Resort there is a pool, plus an indoor air conditioned dining room (not needed during our visit in January/February), and you can take a guided nature hike, which ends at a gorgeous private cove.

Snorkeling is great, with several locations to choose from. Of course, you don't have to go any further than in front of the resort and there is a reef there which attracts a variety of fish. Or have them drop you off at one of the small coves nearby and snorkel your way back. The water is the clear and incredibly blue, making for great kayaking, diving and snorkeling.

If you choose full board, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food can get repetitive, but there are always lots of choices. This is a wonderful place to escape to, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Kenzor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2011

All the good things about El Nido that you read are probably true. I got a first hand El Nido experience for about a week and it was magical. My boyfriend and I needed to redeem our Palawan experience (had a bad experience in Coron) so we decided to go to Miniloc. We weren't disappointed. The experience right from the airport to the docking area to the boat to the walk towards the resort to the welcoming committee (with song) was well worth the trip back to Palawan. I think the only draw back we had was that our room was too far and high up (Room 20) so we practically had to treck going to and from our room. All activities were planned by the staff so we didn't have to worry about what to do. Don't forget to bring sunblock and your own medicine as it would be difficult to get meds on the island. Best to bring an underwater/waterproof camera as well.

I prefer Miniloc over Lagen since Miniloc had a more "beachy" feel. But either way you will won't lose since you can stay for a day on other islands (Miniloc and Lagen included) depending on your itinerary.

Another thing I like about El Nido resorts is they care about sustainability. They recycle and reduce waste and even encourage all their guests to do the same. They even have a brief talk about what to do with trash that you see whilst snorkeling or hanging out at the beach.

Overall, you won't go wrong with El Nido - so go ahead and pick an island and book your next holiday!!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank manilamoongoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2011

You choose to go to El Nido because it is the more remote, removed, and isolated than the other cities of Palawan. The airport is only served by two airlines, so you know that the population is controlled and the quiet peace is well kept. Palawan is known for its marine biology, environmentalism, and sacred prehistoric karst landscapes made of limestone and marble, eroded and corroded by the environment.
Everything on your trip will be well organized. The staff meets you at the airport and guides you to your boat that brings you to the island resort which is around 30 minutes away. At the resort you'll be greeted with some cheesy singing, drinks, and briefings.
As you can tell from the price, this isn't roughing it. You will not get any local flavor UNLESS you request a day trip to the village of El Nido. Just relax. Do not feel like a prisoner of luxury, but allow yourself to be pampered. Lodging isn't royal standard. Neither is their beach (it is quite small), but the service and tours are TOPNOTCH.
All the tours are well organized. You can fill up your own schedule with different lagoons, islands, beaches, caves, and snorkeling spots. It is quite flexible. You can always spontaneously hop onto a tour if there is space. They are open to everyone, and you'll probably find yourself with other tourists. They do offer private tours with village-based guides and boats, but it'll be more expensive. You can have your lunch at an beach buffet on an island, or back at the resort (in between activities)... And if you make friends with the organizers and guides they'll be very willing to take you out to do special things at your request in their free time and if a boat is available, but only during sane hours.
The resort is framed by limestone cliffs, lush jungle, an littered with palms, flowers, and native botany. Monkeys and the endangered hornbill species come to visit sometimes. All the way from the dock to the shore, schools of fish swim around. Big black ones come at 8:45am daily to get fed. The beach is very small, and isn't a jewel. Miniloc doesn't require an amazing beach because their tours bring you to several spectacular white-sand ones (a variety of great beaches on different days). Lodging is clean, simple, and modern-indigenous, using native materials and architecture. The bathrooms have hot water; there are only two clay bottles of bath gel and shampoo+conditioner. Handle them with care because they can break.
Food is excellent and the bar is great! Their cocktail mixes and fruit shakes can get quite creative, and everything can be served to you wherever you are. You can even ask them to pack food for you for your tours.
Like I said, the staff is what makes Miniloc world-class. They are well educated, and are great communicators. If you ask them questions, even personal ones, they do not take it as an invasion; they feel enthusiastic about getting friendly and chatty with guests. PLEASE do not treat them rudely. They are so well trained and good natured that they will never show that they're offended or saddened, but they DO notice... In fact, one of them was telling me that some tourists don't treat him like a real person with a name (they have name tags). Unfortunately, he also said that the rudest people are mostly from his own country (Filipinos). Tsk tsk tsk.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank jennagenio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

The main reason for staying here was to be close to the islands for boat trips, and for a bit of a rest after staying in El Nido town. The room was very spacious and quite elegant, and the bathroom was huge and clean. The bed was super-comfy, and most of the touches I'd expect from a high-end resort were there (turn-down, little personalised handicrafts), although it's not uber-luxe/recent design as it was built a while ago. In my room (beachside room), you had to have the A/C on at night, because there were no windows that opened to let the breeze in. I found my room more modern than rustic.

The beach in the resort was a little disappointing (although the water cottages are very pretty), and one end of the resort consists of a block of rooms which visually jars with the rest of the low-key, cabana-type setting. However, you can easily get a boat to other islands for beautiful beaches and scenery - the islands nearby are wild and gorgeous. I expected to see dinosaurs at any moment! Matinloc in particular has lots of areas to explore and almost-empty white sand beaches. The staff were helpful and the guides that took me out on trips were courteous, professional and knowledgeable. They were willing to cater to my specific requests.

One thing I didn't enjoy was seeing how "beach clubs" and new hotels are being built on many of the nicest islands by the group that owns Miniloc and Lagen (the sister resort). In most places, areas of outstanding natural beauty like this would be designated as national parks to preserve their ecology and character.

Other tourists were Philippino, Russian and Korean, and were all either couples or families. It had an element of being a bit "package" - the other guests were not accustomed to doing anything for themselves, and nobody I met there had ventured to El Nido town to get a taste of the local character and way of life. It's not a place for the independent traveller in my opinion.

Kudos though for great music in the evenings, and live acoustic music one night. Prices for water, meals and incidentals were more then double the price than on the mainland, but they have to ship everything out there, so this is not unreasonable.

Miniloc Resort certainly is peaceful, pretty, and close to some amazing islands, but in my view does not compare to, say Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi in terms of its beach or many other Caribbean / SE Asian resorts for hotel design. Go there if you really want to explore the Bacuit archipelago in comparative luxury.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank sydneyseine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

My trip to El Nido Miniloc was one of those last-minute things. I was waiting for my passport to get renewed in Manila and flew to Palawan to kill time. After a 65-minute flight and a 30-minute boat ride, I got to El Nido Miniloc, and I knew this trip was going to be amazing.

I got assigned to garden cottage 9, which I think was the best option after the water cottages (if you can afford those, go for it!). This garden cottage had a view of the ocean from the front porch, and the sound of the waves lull you to sleep. It's also farthest from the resort restaurant where they sometimes have evening programs, so cottage 9 was very peaceful. The beds were much too firm for my taste, but the sheets smelled super fresh everyday. There was no TV, which turned out to be a very good thing. Housekeeping did a great job in cleaning up the room everyday... everything was very very clean.

The menu in the resort is quite limited and pricey, with surprisingly sparse seafood options. I'd suggest management offer some lighter, healthier fare in the future. Most of the food choices were good, but heavy. It might be a good idea to pack your own little snacks to nibble on, and maybe a little thermos for going hiking, because they'll charge you P60 for a tiny bottle of water.

There's a bar in the resort area, but the music isn't loud and can't be heard from my cottage. Nice, laidback vibe. Pool table. 160 pesos for a local beer, but you get another free during happy hour (yes, there is a happy hour!).

Had a swedish massage twice in my room. P1,400 an hour (bit steep), but it's nice and relaxing.

I'm not a big fan of beach activities, but this is different. The sea life is amazing in Palawan, so I found myself thoroughly enjoying snorkeling and kayaking around the islands. The rock formations were beautiful and calming. The guides really helped me appreciate what I was seeing too. These men seemed to enjoy what they do for a living (how many of us can say that??) and were comfortable chatting away with everyone. They rock, and the guests totally bonded with them.

People are torn when they have to decide on El Nido Lagen vs Miniloc. Lagen is more modern and polished, Miniloc is rustic but its nipa hut vibe is still luxurious. Lagen has a beautiful pool, and a jungle for a backyard. Miniloc feels more uninhabited and closer to nature. So I guess you choose based on your preferences, you can't go wrong with either.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled solo
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Thank BKK83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2010

My wife, 17-month old daughter, and I stayed here for 4 nights in late November. We stayed in one of the Water Cottages. Overall, we had an enjoyable stay and I highly recommend staying/visiting this island resort.

Some reviewers have stated that the rates for Miniloc are high or even overpriced. I was skeptical about coming to Miniloc because of it. But friends and family who have been there convinced me to go ahead and try it. I am so glad I did! It was worth the time, and turned out to be an excellent value for the money.

If what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to pay for is to experience beautiful, nearly pristine natural surroundings-- quiet white sand beaches, picturesque lagoons, unique flora and fauna, and any other element that defines paradise, then this place will not disappoint. Along with all that, the service provided by the genuinely friendly, happy and professionally earnest staff justify the rates as well. They were always attentive to ours and other guests’ needs and very prompt and responsive with requests, all in spite of or maybe because of the resort’s no tipping policy.

The resort offers enough activities (all included in the cost) for everyone of all ages and to meet your preference for how busy or easy you want to spend your time there. In general, the activities are eco-friendly, focused on “treading lightly”, intended to help you appreciate and commune with nature. So, don’t expect to do any power boating, jet skiing, shopping, or any loud partying on the beaches. Go to Boracay for all that.

Miniloc may not be a place for those on a backpacker’s budget but on the other hand, It wouldn’t be fair to judge Miniloc’s rooms/cottages against 5-star hotels like a Ritz or Shangri-la either but I think you’ll sleep in them just as soundly and comfortably.

Accommodations at Miniloc are clean, very comfortable, and charming. I highly recommend the water cottages, the sound of waves lapping beneath our cottage every night was priceless to listen to. If you can’t get a water cottage, the water side and garden cottages are recommended too as they are freestanding and seem to offer more privacy. Besides, with its surroundings, you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time in your room or cottage anyway!

The resort’s facilities (incl. bar, restaurant, docks, etc.), grounds, and beachfront, are clean and well maintained. The beach and house reef are easy to get to and is teeming with fish and other sea life. I think the size of the resort is proportioned well to the number of guests they can accommodate. I never felt that there were too many people around. Compared to Lagen, its sister resort, Miniloc is more intimate, less “glitzy” but comfortably rustic “chic”.

As for the food, you get a better deal if you choose to have it included in your room rate. All meals are buffet style and offer a wide enough variety to please every palate. The quality of the food was very good; the seafood and fruits were especially always fresh. Being that one of our days in the resort coincided with Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., they served a whole roast turkey for dinner that evening! As other reviewers have noted, some of the dishes were repeated, not a bad thing if you like those dishes.

Overall, Miniloc is a wonderful place AND experience. The way I see it, we paid for a unique and increasingly rare experience of being in and enjoying a well-conserved natural environment (after all, El Nido is in a marine reserve area). The resort seems well-run and managed; the staff provides friendly, courteous, competent service.

Although the resort has been around for 20+ years, it is well-maintained and aging gracefully. It is not sleek and modern but it has its own authentic charm that seems consistent with its surroundings. I’ve been to many other resorts around the Philippines and I would rank Miniloc among the few that I would consider worthy of recommending to anyone globally. This is a hidden gem of a place.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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Thank x2fr
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 - $850 (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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