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“Hidden gem - and yet close to El Nido”

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Caalan Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 112 Specialty Lodging in El Nido
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 9, 2013

My girlfriend and I spend 3 nights in one of the spacious Taiyo Cottages. We originally booked 3 nights via Agoda at Hadefe - but they said they never received our reservaton (I have read about the same issue prior travelling, so it seems to be common). Luckily we got moved to Taiyo which was absolutely gorgeous. We received a spacious cottage. It was basic but clean, big enough for 4 adults. The entire resort is very green and quiet.

The American-Japanese landlady Naoko is absolutely lovely. She reminded me of an elderly and strict but yet caring grandmother. She'll organise everything for you - transport to El Nido (especially with luggage a big plus! Maybe give her a call a few days in advance to not stand by the trishaw drop-off point like an outcast), island hopping, snorkeling etc.

All the staff were very friendly and even remembered our names. They brought us breakfast to our room when my girlfriend was sick with dengue fever. Breakfast hits the spot with a good mix of fried eggs, bacon, fruits, toasts.. you name it. We never had proper dinner there as we wanted to go to town. However, one night some Danish guys cooked amazing meatballs for everyone. It's like a big family - if you want to cook yourself, do so. Just cook enough so others can join in. Naoko will most definitely buy and offer you the food - as long as she gets a bite too :) The staff will also happily do your laundry for a small fee depending on the weight.

Don't forget to bring a torch / flashlight to walk to and from El Nido in the evening or at night. It's a 10-15mins walk since the cottages are out of El Nido town - which is a good thing (even if you like to party - a little walk after all that rum will sober you up a bit). I always enjoyed the walk. There's a few small shops on the way where you can buy water and snacks. All very friendly people in the area (and apart from a few dog fights at night, it was very quiet). Also, the often mentioned cemetery is not scary at all. You don't walk across it but past it... it's a beautiful actually.

A few last things, there's hot water, it's right on the beach (you'll love the breakfast!) and for some reason there's no mosquitos back there. I also never saw any other creepy crawly thingies back there - it's all very clean and neat.

Would I go back? Definitely yes!

Room Tip: Try to get one of the spacious cottages (we had number 1 - which we loved).
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pazame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 - 169 of 216 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

This is one of the best places we have ever stayed in, the owner is wonderful - very friendly and helpful, the position delightful - just a 20 minute walk from the charming but busy el Nido. Free kayaks and bikes are available, the food is great and imaginative and the sunsets unbeatable, well cared for gardens and 2 lovely dogs.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank susan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I found this place after having stayed one night in El Nido town and it was a relief to find a somewhat quieter place not to far from town and with way more value for your money. The breakfasts are the best I had during my 5 weeks of traveling trough the Philippines and the included kayak and bikes are a nice perk to. The beach here is rocky but the private area with lounge beds overlooking the cliffs of the island across the sea definitely make up for it! The Japanese owner (Naoko) will make you feel right at home and cater to your every need. She even got me a new complimentary charger for my phone when it broke down! Awesome place to stay, awesome town, awesome country...

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Marcel v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I've never written a review on TripAdvisor before, but after spending 11 days at Taiyo Village, I resolved to tell everyone about how wonderful the place is.

When I first arrived in El Nido, I spent one night at a hotel in town. The next morning, I went searching for a more quiet place to stay, hoping to find a beachside hotel that was within my backpacker's budget. I stumbled upon Taiyo Village, about fifteen minutes away from town (the walk to get there winds along the beach, through a local community, and past bright green rice fields - it never gets boring). I was greeted by Naoko - the crazy-in-a-good-way owner - who was busy cooking breakfast, and her offer was too good to pass up: a spacious room, free breakfast, free use of the two kayaks (which costs at least 500 pesos in town), free bicycles, not to mention several hammocks around the sprawling garden and lounge chairs overlooking the sea.

My stay was better than I could've hoped for. I made many friends over the next eleven days there (I only intended to spend a couple, but couldn't drag myself away), because everyone tends to hang around the garden together. We nicknamed Taiyo Village "The Sanctuary", and considered ourselves very lucky to have found it. The breakfasts - served right on our own porches by the always-friendly staff - were huge and different every day: tuna cakes, pancakes, bacon (but REAL bacon!), eggs cooked in many styles, and always fresh fruit, toast and coffee. The view from the hotel is the best in town: the graniet is directly across the sea, it takes about 30 minutes to kayak across, and from there you can head to whichever deserted beach paradise you fancy. You can walk for ages along the sand (beware the sandflies!) to find your own swimming spot, or lie on the warm sandbar right outside the hotel gate.

And Naoko - what to say about her? She is a matchmaker, a Mum to all her guests, a great cook and conversationalist, and it's easy to see that she's in this business for love, not money. She might bring out a platter of tuna sandwiches for lunch, or invite you to try the Japanese treat she's just whipped up, and one day, seeing us lying on the sandbar, she walked all the way out with two tubes to make us more comfortable. She, her lovely staff, and her beautiful hotel absolutely made the trip for me.

Sure, you get woken up at 6am by roosters, there is constant construction, no electricity during the afternoon, and sometimes the water doesn't work. That's island-living for you ... and there's nowhere to enjoy it more than Taiyo Village.

Room Tip: You can hear the roosters and dogs from all the rooms - no avoiding that!
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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5  Thank AndyMac57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

the place is locatet a bit away from the crowdet elnido center. In a very nice and quiet neigbourhood. most apartmets on 1st floor have a wonderfull view of the limestone cliffs at the bay. The room are big, and many have 2 doubble beds. The garden are beautiful. But the best is the exstremely nice and helpul owner.food is great to.
Close to the hotel is a small comunety where our kids found a lot of friends. This is a very good and safe place for kids, where they can play unatendet

Room Tip: choose a room with a view off the bay
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jesper N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed at the Tayio resort from 20-26 of December 2012 and enjoyed it very much.
Since we booked long time in advance, we got the room with the most beautiful view to the ocean and islands. The resort is run by Naoko, a very passionate and helpful woman, which is concerned about the well-being of her guests. As standard, you just get breakfast in the resort, but on request they also prepare good dinner and lunch at very fair prices. In general the price level in the resort is extremely fair.
We are a family with two children at age 8 and 6 and Naoko arranged toys for them and special swimming gear - nice. She even gave them christmas gifts!
The beaches in El Nido are not good (stones and rocks), but 100 metres north (to the right), there  is a small opening with the finest sand. It worked well for us.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank TravelsafeAarhus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

it's quite strange here are only 2 reviews about, even if it's a resort cited in Lonely Planet too as a midrange accomodation
anyway, here's my very recent experience there
the place is 10 minutes walking along the beach outside El Nido ( no tricycles access there, only the moto guys so it's better having a backpack )
it's surely nice (scenographic seafront but there's no beach and can't bath there, too dirty and low tide ) but too expensive / overpriced for what they offer

The owner, Naoko, tries to be a character (or she's just full of her own character ). An old charming to be Japanese American lady, apparently she's ubiquitous but the impression is the situation there is out of control

we had one of the 4 rooms beachfront . even if the official price is 1500 pesos / night for double occupancy , she asked us 2000
to embarassing trying to negotiate the price, it's not about money but paying the right for what a place worths.
as said, way too much for a room where the shower doesn't work ( and no curtain anyway ) , the sink doesn't work either (lack of water pression ) so you have to rely on the good old filipino style water bucket for all the toilet
add the dripping water on dirty walls , no aircon unit (just a fan ) and a lot of electrical problems. ( the ceiling lamp ... fullfiled with water and burnt out twice )
the room beside is the same, i saw it because had to enter when we had a heavy water leak the third night there and had to change the room in emergency
changing the room, we slept in the family cottage behind. quite big and more airy than the rooms seafront and there is running water too
but has some other problems : the mosquito nets are old and full of holes and the bathroom ceiling has an opening on the roof.
the result is we had a kind of wasps invasion at midnight in the room, had to kill a couple and to attire the others outside with a torch ( i know , sounds very funny but it's true )
add to all this the noisy generator nearby you can hear late every night

another weird thing: the building with the reception and the rooms above run out of electricity before others, around 22 p.m. every night even if she assured the guests there there's power until 23 p.m. and even if the generator is on and the other rooms continue having light

genuinely the lady confessed me it's an old electrical mistake of the implant and she doesn't have a solution

Room Tip: for half that price, just walk El Nido main street and I'm sure you can find a better accomodati...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank fabryus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caalan Beach Resort

Address: Barangay Masagana, Taiyo Village, El Nido, Palawan Island 198273, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > El Nido
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 112 Specialty Lodging in El Nido
Price Range: $33 - $44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Caalan Beach Resort is a small, family-run resort right on the ocean, with a great view of downtown El Nido, Cadlao Island and Caalan Beach. We're located a 10-15 minute walk from downtown El Nido, away from the noise and bustle of town. We have our own boats so we can arrange island-hopping tours for our guests. All of our rooms come with free continental breakfast, free wifi, air conditioning, private bathrooms and hot showers. We have 12 rooms, and have been open since 2006. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Caalan Beach Resort El Nido, Palawan Island

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