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Cooper's Beach Resort
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Reviews (75)
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Reviewed April 21, 2012

Overall, after a long week in Palawan, Cooper's Beach Resort is a nice stop and place to put your feet up. I don't know why people have issues with this place, maybe they (like us) didn't know what type of trip or place they were looking for. It's brand new, so yes there are a few kinks-but don't let this sway you! The great owners are working hard and very receptive to feedback, as well as super nice.

Pro's
-It's small and yes, in the middle of nowhere. Who cares! That's the best part. You can walk up and down the somewhat messy beach (not dirty-just not clean sand), and only see friendly locals.
-Island hopping tour. We loved it, it was a good value. Not all the islands were what we wanted to stay on for long, but it was a good way to get the flavor of the area. As another reviewer noted, the first 'resort-like' island was a bit too touristy for our liking, but they take you to many other islands that are not as crowded. Our favorite was Starfish Island. AMAZING! They also don't have much control over where they can take you based on which are open during that time of year to control the damage to the eco-system. Snorkeling is fine-nothing great, but it's was a very fun day
-The owners are extremely nice and friendly. Lydia is awesome. We had some travel issues, and they went above and beyond to help us-you can tell they are really committed to helping their customers but not pushy to try to be in your face. This place is small, and that attitude is what you except in the Philippines-but don't always get genuinely.
-Food/drink. Surprisingly decent. The pancakes in the morning were the highlight for one of my friends who couldn't get enough! They also have a bar near the beach that we love, love, loved. You could just grab a drink and sit there talking to other people and relaxing.

Improvements
-They don't take credit card. Most things in Palawan don't-so make sure you bring lots of cash. Plus, this resort is no where near a town.
-Arrange transport ahead of time. We got caught in this but luckily Cooper's helped us out a lot to figure out our issues
-Shower pressure. In the room it was minimal, so we just used the outside pool shower. Honestly, the place is tiny so we never felt like the whole place was home!
-More hammocks or chairs around the resort. To be fair, we were there when it was fully booked, and they just opened-but a few more would have been nice. They did make sure everyday the lounge chairs were clean which was nice since there was a lot of foliage.

Overall, we stayed a few nights and think that would be enough. Palawan is huge, so make sure you travel around and see different parts of it! Many travelers use this as a stopover to El Nido (my guess), but I recommend staying and enjoy a day or two.

Room Tip: One of the larger family rooms-they are closer to the restaurant
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank jwm_8282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2012

I booked 2 nights at Coopers Beach resort and ended up staying for 8 - that´s how much i love it.

When I arrived (as a solo traveller) I was upgraded to The honeymoon suite - which was fantastic.
The resort is new, so everything is in perfect condition and very very clean.

This place is beautiful and quiet but with all the possibilities to explore the wonders of Palawan. It has it´s own diving school, island hopping, private beach, massage and everything else you can dream of.

The food is mindblowing and the coffee is mindblowing - Frank adds vanilla ;)

But i have to say that the true wonder of this place is the people... Frank and Lydia have done a perfect job, making Coopers at place that feels like home. All the staff and everybody at the resort are simply magnificent people and the all have a very special place in my heart.

Thank you Coppers for one of the best times of my life - I miss you so much.

I wish you all the best and eternal sunshine.

Hugs and kisses from Cecilie.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Cecilie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

First off, I am not afraid to go off the beaten path. I personally do not like crowds
so I do tend to go to smaller places and do not have problems with that. Additionally I have been to the Philippines several times and I know what to expect.

The Good:
The place was small and quiet and secluded. The staff was incredibly friendly
and tried their best considering the limitations that were placed on them by management.
Food there was good, they tried to have traditional Filipino dishes for those
that wanted it, while also trying to have some things for those that were less adventurous. I loved their Filipino pancakes. The ability to go check out Honda bay was nice. Did I mention the Filipino staff was really nice and friendly, really can't say that enough. Management put some restrictions on the staff so they didn't have much ability to solve problems, but they tried and wanted to do the right thing. The owners were not there and getting hold of them by phone seemed to be difficult as things seemed to take over night to solve.

The Bad:
This place is litterally in the middle of no where. It is an hour and a half drive to anywhere. Before we went they told us via email that they accept credit cards, we arrived late at night to find out that they don't take credit cards. Kiss one day goodbye to go to town to get money. We thought about going somewhere else, but it was late at night, pouring rain, and the week before Holy Week and most places were booked, plus an hour and a half drive. Turns out they actually charged us the "city tour" rate to go get money to pay our bill when they didn't take credit cards but told us they did. The place is small enough that unless you want to live in their swimming pool, there isn't much to do on site. While this might not be a problem for some, if you are there for more than a 2 or 3 days it gets pretty boring there and I like boring. I did the island hopping tour, and while it was nice we did it in the afternoon, no one suggested that it would be better to wait till morning to do it until after I got back. It was nice, but had I known how much better it would have been, I would have done it the next morning and spent the day on one of the islands. If staff would have provided more information about this my trip much better. The city tour, was OK, if you like hitting the tourist spots, there were some neat things to see there, but I was stressing about paying my bill and the ATM's will only dish out 10k pesos per day per card, not so good if you need to pay a 40k bill. Oh, beach, uhhh what beach?? At low tide there is about 10 to 15 feed of beach before you hit the water, then its about ankle deep for about 100 to 200 feet. At high tide the beach is non existent and the surf is pretty strong, forget swimming there, you want to go swimming, take the island hopping tour which costs money, the pictures on the website were taken somewhere else, we got confirmation of that from the staff.

Wildlife:
Keep in mind this place is effectively carved out of the jungle with rice patties here and there. While there were locals living in the area, I would say it is a little small to call a village, not really any kind of a store anywhere close by. Mosquitoes were a problem, but I usually am the most bitten in any group I attend. I did worry about malaria, but I haven't gotten sick yet. The real problem is ants, they are small they are black and they bite hard about half as painful as a bee sting. I got bitten probably 20 to 40 times over the course of 6 days I was there, this basically. Feet swelled up to the point I could not wear regular shoes and had to wear sandals which were open and allowed me to get bitten more. The ants seemed to be in the area where the beach was, so had to avoid that area, but wasn't that why i went there for the beach? I did see a few Horn-bills flying around and the geckos were cool, they had a big one there, this freaked out some of the guests, but I list this as a plus. They did have some coconut rats running on the roof and eating the coconuts, these look like American red squirrels btw, so for me that was a plus. Didn't get to see any monkeys but we hear that they are there, supposedly you have to get up early and hang out on the beach with the ants to see them, early would be about 5 am (pre dawn).

Things to do:
City Tour:
The things that the hotel seemed to want us to do was to hang out in town and hit the tourist shopping, maybe others thought this was great and there were some things that were of interest, but this was not my highlight. We asked the driver to take us to "Bakers Hill" This is a major tourist trap, but if you just go for the bakery which is right up front, they have good filipino baked goods there, yum! We went to the butterfly garden, this was pretty cool, it seemed almost like it was an individuals attempt at informing people of the local butterflies and was pretty neat. They also had some wildlife that hunts butterflies and a few other things that they managed to get. There was a Palawan BearCat there that you could pet, as well as some other things. Grab some water while you are out, we picked up 6 liters of water for about 60pesos. FYI, Banks will only give you 10k pesos per person if you don't have an account at the bank.
Crocodile Farm, uhh if you only go see the crocodile farm part that is ok and takes about 20 minutes at the most. DO NOT bother to go do the self tour of the other animals, first its jungle and the humidity is intense, even by Philippine standards, secondly you are on your own and its easy to get lost on the trails. Additionally there is little or no information regarding the animals and half of the cages we saw were empty if not rusting appart. I know its a jungle and most things don't survive jungles for long, butt he place looked like it was old and decrepit, if you are expecting more, pass on it, if you are ok with this kind of thing then spend a few minutes, most people gave up after about 5 to 7 minutes, and so did we. I did have the crocodile Sisig, and I can recommend that, it was a bit spicy though so if you are sensitive you might want to pass on that. It tastes like a cross between chicken and ultra lean pork, I liked it and would try it again, so did my wife.

Underground River: I can now take this off of my list of things to do. I live and have lived where there are some really impressive dry caves, lots of formations and such, so I have pretty high requirements of caves in order to be impressed. This one did not impress me. I have seen a couple of caves in Indiana and Kentucky that were much more impressive. There were some really large vaulted rooms there, but since you are stuck in a boat and can't really check them out at all, its just a vaulted room. The entire tour takes place in the boat with a tour guide that knows nothing about caves, and doesn't really speak english. You have a large flashlight to shine on the things he wants you to see, its a cave so its pretty dark without the flashlight. "lift your light" means shine it to the left, "forward your light" means point forward, lots of comments about bat guano dropping in your face... Lots of comments about "rock formations" but aren't we in a cave??? I have done it now, don't plan to ever go back. Oh I forgot, from Coopers, its a good hour drive, plus you have a 1 hour line to wait in to get on your boat, then its a 2 to 3 hour wait to go on the actual tour, kiss a whole day goodbye to see this. I did get to see some monitor lizards and a monkey family, they were long tailed macaques btw, that was kind of cool, that was the highlight of my experience unfortunately.

Island Hopping:
Had I known to go in the morning to go snorkeling I would have, I didn't so I went in the afternoon. The water was a bit choppy because the tide was in, but we knew that before we went out. The fish seemed to be in hiding due to current and waves so instead we just swam around, it was still fun but not as much as it would have been if we had been able to see lots of fish. There was one island, I don't recall the name that has a park on it, this would be a great place to spend the day have a picnic and go for a swim in the ocean or play volleyball or whatever. You will not see fish here, but its still a beautiful little island. There are lots of people here though, so if you are trying to avoid people this is not the place to go.

Comments:
I was one of the least well traveled people at this place and there was at least one other person there who complained about not being able to take credit cards. Had Cards been taken and had there been no false advertising on the website and had there been more information upfront about what to do, this could have been a thoroughly enjoyable stay. As it was, it was more about, avoiding frustrations and trying to make the best of it. The other visitors were very nice, got to meet 1 Filipino mother and daughter, 2 couples from the UK and another from Germany and one couple with a child from Australia. I didn't have a terrible time, but I was trying to make the best of a not the greatest situation.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

This is really one of the worst place I have ever been.
It is far away from city and very isolated as well.
Transportation is always an issue. If you want to roam around different places then transprtation is an additional cost to you (Apart from airport transfer which is free)
You dont have any option other than having food at this resort only as there are no outside restaurnats available. So you will have all your breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same place.
If you have any resort book nearby city then transportation as well as food becomes more comfortable.
It is owned by a German man and his Pilipino lady, which lacks the professional and proper management of hotel as well as the hospitality.
The water pressure for shower n flush is very poor.
The beach is not clean.....

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank JustInTime950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2012

After our excellent stay just outside El Nido we moved on to Coopers Beach Resort. This resort is fairly new and the location is quite isolated.

The Good:
+ New resort with big rooms and airconditioning.
+ Very quiet.
+ Pristine nature surroundings.
+ Kind hosts (Frank and Lydia).
+ Good food quality.
+ Free shuttle service to PP airport.
+ Good materials for diving and snorkling.
+ Big pool.

The Bad:
- Pray for sun as there is very little to do with bad weather.
- You are completely dependend on the services of the resort: you cannot organize your own cheap tours (tricycle, bangka etc.)
- Buffet style diners means limited choice.
- Pricey drinks compared to other parts of Palawan.
- Dirty bathroomfloor was only broomed. On request the bathroom was cleaned wet.
- Massage was mediocre.
- Personel was sometimes hard to find. E.g. if you wanted to order a drink on the beach you have to walk 50 meters to the main restaurant while the beachbar was empty.

We would recommend this resort if you are looking for some solitude with an occasional trip to Honda bay or Underground river.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pearlfinder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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