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El Nido Resorts Lagen Island
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Reviewed November 7, 2013

I initially have reservations of booking in a resort with a price tag of more than PHP15K (US$350) per person per night. Not only do I consider the cost but I doubt if it was worth it. However, because of the good reviews, I read about El Nido Resorts, I decided to give it a go.

I chose Lagen over Miniloc as my choice of destination since I've already visited Apulit (Club Noah) before and heard that Miniloc is of similar character - rustic which uses indigenous materials or bamboo shoots/leaves on the facade but seems to be made of cement inside. And, I wanted to have a hotel-like ambiance in a secluded island. The swimming pool is also a plus for me since I'm bringing my 5-year old daughter with me. Anyway, if you're staying in either resort, you'll still see the other as part of the package.

Since we came from Puerto Princesa after our underground river tour, we spent a night in one of the lodging houses in El Nido town. We were picked-up by their pump boat in the town pier the next morning. We were given life-jackets customized for El Nido resorts. Seeing these minute details makes me feel the luxury of the experience already. Every staff was very warm, accommodating, attentive and helpful to each guest. We were welcomed by a song and dance by staff, drinks and a short briefing.

We stayed in Lagen for 3 days and 2 nights. We encountered some inconvenience on the 1st day since some of the equipment in the room were not working properly. The management, however, attend to this promptly. It was raining on the 2nd day as it was reported that a super typhoon was coming in the Philippines (Local name:Yolanda/ Haiyan). The 3rd day was generally sunny.

I would say that the price I paid for this trip was really worth it! There is so much things that you could do in the resort that even during inclement weather you don't have to stay in your room. This became handy on our 2nd day. We spent sometime playing table football, table tennis, billiards, darts and others. My hubby and I also enjoyed some flexibility and privacy since they provided babysitting and have a kid's center to keep my 5-year old daughter preoccupied. We also enjoyed kayaking, using their boat pedal, snorkeling, diving, and of course, swimming. All the equipment are provided for by the resort and they have sizes and for kids as well. It's really great!

They provide buffet meals during your stay. It's an array of intercontinental, american and Filipino. However, I think it lacked some Asian cuisines, and the choices of cheese is limited (would have been perfect for wines). I hope they would improve the variety of their menu. For me, it's enough. I'm not a picky eater anyway and I eat fruits only in the morning. Drinks are for additional fee.

We brought our own drinking water because I have a 5-year old kid but I learned that bottled water in the hotel is for additional fee as well.

We had picnic lunch in Entulala, visited small and big lagoons, caves and other interesting places, took the sunrise cruise, hiked the Lagen trail. Took pictures of the many marine life and biodiversity surrounding the place.

During our island hopping, all our things were water proofed and we were provided with many towels, umbrella and others to keep us warm. We commend our marine coordinator (Paulo) who was very patient with my kid - carrying her in every stop and playing with her during the trip. They also accommodated our request to be brought at the pier instead of to Lio Airport since we're going back to Puerto Princesa for our other itinerary.

I will definitely go back to this place!

Room Tip: Room 201 (Forest Room) had faulty water heater, aircon, glass door. Skip this room if you can.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank ByGodsGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We spent part of our honeymoon at Lagen Island, and had a truly unique and wonderful time there. The island is remote enough that you can appreciate the solitary beauty of the surrounding environment - whether you're ocean kayaking, hanging out at a secluded beach or just enjoying the sunset by the pool - while the facility still provides the creature comforts of a top-notch hotel. The staff was unfailingly attentive and helpful, the food was terrific (tip: in the dining room, if you're having the buffet, always check out the last serving tin before you hit the carving board on the far left, for some reason the tastiest dishes are always there). Expensive, but worth it - you don't need the full all-in package to really enjoy yourself either, there's a lot of terrific stuff to do around the resort, no special accommodations needed.

Room Tip: Three words, bro: Water Cottage 109. Best view of the sunset at the resort (and is so recognized by the staff as the best room on the property).
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Aubrey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We spent 3 days/nights here on a two destination visit (we went to Pangalusian Island afterwards) and Lagen Island is paradise. The all inclusive was very good as the kitchen staff changed the menu daily. The breakfast was a combination of Pilipino & Western with a cook preparing pancakes, waffles & omelettes.
For lunch & dinner, the cook started preparing barbecue items from fish, shrimps to pork, chicken and beef dishes. They also had a pasta bar.
As for the island activities, I suggest people do the hike trail, island hopping, visit to one of the islands for lunch & snorkelling and a visit to Miniloc where you can snorkel amongst a school of large jackfish. Pretty intimidating but very cool.
As usual, the Pilipino hospitality came thru during all of our stay.
Everyone says hello with a smile and they make you feel at home.
A special shout out to Richard. He was very helpful and knowledgable.

Room Tip: Garden villas are worth it. I couldn't say the same for the Water Villas because there is no access to the water from your room. So why stay there?
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ShanghaiArnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We had our honeymoon in El Nido island, we thought of Miniloc & Lagen.
We tried to find out why there is a difference in price, and we knew when we went.
We stayed at Miniloc and went for a day use in Lagen.
Lagen is expensive because it is a luxurious resort and excellent for honeymooners.
Miniloc is best for families, rooms are really basic and need renovation.
Food in Lagen and Miniloc is almost the same.
Lagen has less access to close activities but Miniloc is central to activities.
Its your choice at the end :)

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Ramy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

I was very excited for my first trip to el nido in palawan. Got to book el nido resorts lagen island. Although it was october, so it wasnt the perfect time to go island hopping, el nido proved to still be a sight to behold. A chartered flight (the easiest way to FLY there) brought us to El nido, where they apparently had their own little airport complete with security check. From there, we were ushered into a jeepney with high ceiling, which i love, so more crouching required. We were then moved to a small speedboat then off to a larger boat. As you can now infer, there are a lot of boat transfers in Palawan. This is the difference between Boracay and Palawan. In Boracay, you step out and voila, the beach is right there. In Palawan, you skip, hop, jump and transfer to get to islands/beaches.

Anyhow, el nido lagen is isolated and ideal for those seeking quiet getaways. Fortunately, for my sanity, El nido resorts now have televisions! I remember hearing about El nido and it always used to come with another warning- "better be ready, there is no tv."

It was a bit cloudy when we got there but we were greeted by this lovely rock centerpiece with a transplanted little plant in it. So adorable. We were welcomed by the manager and staff warmly with their song, then briefed about the resort and activities available. We were upgraded to a beach front room without asking. Although I did attempt to get us upgraded to a water villa. :)

El nido resort Lagen, unlike its Miniloc counterpart, has a pool so that was a really nice welcome each time we came back from island hopping. THis is where we hung out most times when we were in Lagen. The first day, we went to Snake island and a cave which was nice. Our guide, Paolo, was very nice and accomodating. We spent the rest of the day by the pool and retired early-- at 8 pm, even with the tv. El nido seems to be giving us exactly what we need- rest and relaxation.

The 2nd day, we woke up early to go to Miniloc island for breakfast. Miniloc seemed bigger than the lagen resort and more open/less isolated. There were many dive sites and islands to visit near miniloc. Breakfast was slightly better here than lagen, but that is negligible. They also had a a lagoon with so many sea creatures. . . nice to snorkel and swim around. Again, I mention, that there is no pool here. So your only option would be to go into the lagoon to cool off. Miniloc vs lagen would really depend on what you want to do. Either way, island hopping is definitely going to be on that list. we then went on to see the big and small lagoons which were so nice and peaceful- perfect for kayaking.

The food in the resort is not amazing. In fact, it is substandard for a high end resort. Breakfast buffet options are limited, and the dining area itself needs renovation. If the place cannot be renovated, then at least, the little details such as table napkins and place mats need to be replaced. The napkins had holes and stains that should definitely not be seen by guests.
Service was inconsistent- some servers were attentive and always had a smile, while others looked like they wanted to kill us when we asked for tocino or sunny side up.

I love the fact that El nido resorts are trying to preserve the environment on which they built. They promote eco-friendliness in the hotels/resorts, and even in their own airports by showing videos and tutorials.

The clouds enveloped the island in el nido when we went, lending it some mystery, which was also nice. I can also imagine how nice it would be in the middle of summer or when the rain clouds arent there.

The last day, the sun showed up in full costume and we had a great time just hanging out in Lagen. It was a nice trip. El nido islands are beautiful-- the boat transfers are a small price to pay for such sights.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Ant0inetteL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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