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“Very relaxing trip; a few days is good for solo travellers”

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Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 47 Hotels in Puerto Princesa
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Very relaxing trip; a few days is good for solo travellers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

I stayed here March 15-18th solo, as I was working in Makati, and wanted to relax and unwind for a few days, and this was the perfect place.
Arrival - person with name of hotel was waiting for me outside the airport. It is about a 30-45 min ride to the dock, and then 1 hr boat ride to Dos Palmas, so it is pretty remote. all in all, a smooth transfer. When I arrived at the resort, i was greeted with a welcome drink, and music welcoming to my resort. Check in was smooth, and I was taken to my villa.
Room - just what you need, it is a little dated, but remember you are on an small remote island so you can't expect the same amenities etc you would find at a hotel in the city (no TV, internet; only at restaurant and it is intermittent. Some improvements could be the water pressure for the shower, i found the beds hard, and key for the door can be tricky at times.
Food - Some food items that i enjoyed. Snacks: Fish roll, i really liked the fries, and Mojitos; Sexy witch on the beach was a bit strong for me. Breakfast (which was included in rate); good variety, able to make substitution (i prefer egg white omelette); I found the fruit juices a little too sweet for my taste. Dinner; 1 night i had the surf and turf which was ok, but in my opinion it was not worth 680 php. I enjoyed the glass noodles with shrimp, chicken and vegetables. Note portions are pretty big, so for one, I was not able to finish.
Spa - I had the massage twice, and both therapists were good, and able to adjust the pressure to my tastes. I tried one outside in the open air by the water, and the other in a treatment room. Between the 2, I prefer outdoor, as the breeze felt wonderful, but keep in mind it is not private, and open setting (a gardener was watering plants nearby). I also had an island fruit facial which was relaxing, but no extraction.
Boat/Snorkeling - from the reviews this is the place to snorkel so I didn't want to miss this. For solo travelers, or travelers in general, the resort can rent to a boat for the day for 4000 php (where I am from, this is a steal), and visit both Pandan, and Starfish island. I choose this option as when I compared rates to go with a group + wharf rates to/from DP, for a little bit more you can go, pay the entrance fees (approx 150 php for both islands) meet people there, and be on your own schedule. I am a non swimmer, so included in this price, I had 1 person drive the boat, and another that accompanied me in the ocean to snorkel (took me to the best areas), took care of my belongings etc. So, to me worth the price when I look at overall piece of mind/efficiency. Tip - my only regret is that i did not bring a water camera - which is a must.
Free boat shuttle to island - at the resort there is a daily boat service that goes to another island. Which is absolutely breathtaking, and nice to go swimming/snorkeling.
Overall - a very pleasant stay. good for families, couples, romance etc. For solos; anything more than 2-3 days you could get bored, as there is literally no nightlife (place shuts down by 10pm)

Room Tip: ask for a villa on the upper floor vs. bottom
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J-LA33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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492 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
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English first
Islamabad, Pakistan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

I had no idea what I was going to do on this day while in PP, and luckily I chose to buy a day pass to the resort. It costs about 1800-2400 pesos. And it turned out to be a great way to spend the day. I walked to their office in PP, and we left for the bay at about 8. In about 2 hours from then you reach the resort including the boat ride, which was extremely smooth. The staff at the resort is "extremely" friendly. I will specially like to mention the marine sports guide Carlos (yes you get a personal MSG as part of the package). Once at the resort, you can either relax at the beach, or go snorkeling to a nearby reef anytime you like. They have a speed boat and they dont mind taking you whenever you want and bringing you back whenever you like. So this guy Carlos, he was tireless (I envy his work ethic, I wish I had such drive and energy). I did not have to ask, he just took me round and around. He'd be like, o there's a plane wreck around here, its like a 2 km swim, wanna see! and off we go there. Gem of a person. And let me clarify, never does one feel that he or other people were being nice for a tip or something- they were just plain nice.

So after snorkeling for hours, I was a little late for lunch. Honestly, I wasnt even thinking of eating- as snorkeling was such fun around this island. The lunch was good. I liked the grilled tuna. The buffet was more continental than local (served right on the beach!). But still good. The resort wasnt crowded at all, you get the feeling as if you had a whole beach to yourself, its a nice feeling.

They also have other sports facilities on the island. But I only snorkeled (a lot!), kayaked (a little!) and slept (enough!). They have showers, lockers, clean washrooms, resturant.

At around 4 they take you back to Puerto Princessa. A fun day!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Waqm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Good resort to stay if you want to stay within Honda Bay.
Very relaxing... good staff... had a good time snorkelling with very good guide.
Food is ok... but limited choices... breakfast buffet is good.
WIFI connection is bad especially during dinner time... and is only available in the coffee shop.

Room Tip: Underground River... make sure you book this tour in advance.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank starjdg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

The pick-up at Puerto Princesa airport is efficient with a 20 minute van ride to the wharf where the resort boat is ready for the one hour trip across Honda Bay to the Dos Palmas Island.
Staff are very friendly and helpful and new arrivals are greeted with a welcome drink and the sound of some staff members playing wooden instruments in an almost musical fashion.
We booked a beach villa with ocean view. The villa consists of four rooms, 2 up, 2 down. We had a room upstairs. The view was of the palm trees in front of the ocean. Had we found a step ladder and climbed to the roof, I suspect the ocean may well have been viewable.
The room was clean and fairly basic. The aircon is wall mounted, without remote control and is quite noisy. The shower room had very basic amenities and the rain shower was weak but at least the water was warm.
The beach is white sand and there are enough palm trees to offer shade. there are also three cabanas with cushions where you can spend a lazy day. Swimming in the sea is quite difficult as it is very shallow and a little rocky in places. The resort pool is good with plenty of seating around it.
You can have drinks or food brought to you on the beach but the hotel staff never came to ask if we wanted anything - we always had to go to the bar. Also, used plates, glasses and food would be left uncleared all day sometimes at the cabanas. It wouldn't be difficult for bar staff to regularly check the beach area and encourage people to drink or eat as well as clear up.
On the first day we had the beach buffet lunch. It was poor and half of the 6 choices were gone and the staff wouldn't replenish them. We ate a-la-carte from thereafter.
The restaurant food is actually good (if you stick to Filipino food) but after a few days the menu seems somewhat limited - daily specials would be a good idea. Breakfast is buffet style with a reasonable choice too.
The resort takes it upon itself to allocate you a table with your name card on it at the restaurant for your entire stay. I'm not sure why and as I didn't like the allocated table; I chose another one. This caused some alarm from the waiter but my newly chosen table became ours for the remainder of the stay.
My wife used the SPA and said it was excellent with a calm ambience and very good masseuse.
There's a free daily 10am trip to a nearby island and kayaking from the Dos Palmas resort is also free. The resort speedboat can also take you to a snorkelling spot just a few hundred yards from the beach. Diving can be arranged for a fee.
We spent four nights at Dos Palmas and it has got a lot going for it. The beach is good, the staff are lovely and the food tastes good. Our daily bill for lunch, dinner and drinks for two was around 50 USD which is good value. To make this place better would take just a bit more effort - daily specials on the menu, evening BBQ on the beach? Cleaning up the beach huts and being proactive in checking guests needs at the pool and beach area. This is not a cheap place to stay and at over 200 USD per night in January, I would have expected better.

Room Tip: Beach villas are number A1, A2, etc.... The villas numbered X1, X2, X3, X4 seemed to be best placed...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Quinnynews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at Dos Palmas for 4 days & 3 nights... we did not want to leave this amazing place!

From the moment we landed in Puerto Princesa, the resort took care of literally EVERYTHING for us. No words can describe how helpful and friendly ALL the staff at Dos Palmas are.

We felt that we were definitely in Paradise. A place where we could relax, unwind and take in the beautiful views.

The food at the restaurant was top notched (a table was reserved for us for every meal of the day), the water activities are plentiful & the spa was amazing!

Will definitely be back there next year!!!

^_^

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank elt123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamaica Estates, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I recently spent 5 days at Dos Palmas. The facility was very attractive and the staff was very attentive. However we were disappointed by the non-availability of many items. Apparently there was only one speed boat available for water activities. Thus, times for scuba diving were very limited. Since the resort depended upon it supplies from the mainland there were frequent shortages. At various times coconuts, coca cola, French fries, premium liquor and club soda were not available. Our room was lacking hot water and it was only on the last day of our stay that we discovered that construction prevented us from having this amenity. We actually thought that it was the "norm" for the area.
Like most we looked forward to visiting the underground river in Palawan. However this turned out to require extreme intestinal fortitude. Initially when we arrived on Palawan we applied for the necessary permit to enter the national park. This cost 250 pesos per person and on several days there was no availability. Then we had to arrange for a van to transport us from Puerto Princesa to Sabang where we could board a boat to the underground river. The cost of the van was 3500 pesos and the boat was 700 pesos (40 pesos=$1). On the day of our journey we had to leave Dos Palmas at 6:30 AM to arrive in Puerto Princesa in time to be at the national park in time four our tour. The underground river flows through St. Paul's Cave, a poorly lighted structure with various rock formations. What a disappointment! We expected much more for all our troubles, but I guess that we can now say that we visited the famous underground river in Palawan.
The weather also seemed against us during our stay. There was little sunshine and we even experienced a small typhoon. The food was average and the service in the restaurant was somewhat disjointed and slow. Frequently we could not locate our waiter. On certain nights, if there were sufficient guests, music was provided in the restaurant.
Our experience at Dos Palmas was certainly disappointing, but the beauty of the grounds and the friendliness of the staff might prompt us to return when conditions were more favorable.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank drfredJamaicaEstates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

We were travelling as a family and did not want to make long hours to El Nido, and wanted something of a luxury beach experience around Puerto Princessa. Dos Palmas was a perfect pick. Its got a great swimming pool, nice white sands, stylish beach villas, kayaking and snorkling facilities. The coral reef is not that great, but the fish specimen is rich. We saw a family of scorpion fish from the pier. What stood out was the customer service. Very professional and friendly staff. It already won us when the boat crew starting amusing us by making rafia toys for our kids on the way to the resort. We also had a new years eve dinner which was wonderful.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ClareS369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa

Property: Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Address: Arrecife Island, Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island 5300, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Palawan Island > Puerto Princesa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Princesa
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Princesa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dos Palmas Island Hotel Puerto Princesa
Dos Palmas Island Resort And Spa
Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa Palawan Island/Puerto Princesa

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