Las Cabanas Beach Resort

El Nido, Philippines
#10 of 15 hotels in El Nido
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 2 reviews
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Beaches Romantic Travel and Honeymoons Kayaking
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Las Cabanas - relaxing away from El Nido town

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 11, 2011

This is not a bargain option. Current price is P9800 for two (at time of writing this is over US$200), but it includes 3 meals a day.

The selling points are that the place is extremely relaxing. Very few people in the area. The resort only has 5 rooms. There are neighboring cottages, and the pretty beach attracts some daytrippers, but for the most part it is quite and you have a lot of space. The meals are very good. Ordinarily I wouldn't like to be forced into paying for 3 square meals a day in advance, but these are home cooked meals from scratch (which has downsides: you order from a menu and need to put your meal request in in advance; some items will be unavailable on given days). So I think it's ' worth it', and your only other practical feeding option would be to tricycle into town (a 30 minute journey by combo of walking and tricycle for 150 pesos), or bring your own food (no self cooking facilities). The owner also has a restaurnt in the town where you can eat for free as part of your package -- this is a good deal because it means you can go into town during the afternoon or evening and not feel like you are "wasting" one of your meals. The staff are good -- very responsive to your needs but stay out of your way otherwise. The owner, Dan, is a French Canadian who has lived most of his life in Asia and is an interesting guy to chat with. The groundskeeping/gardens are very nice and are what to help create the relaxing charm of the place.

Downsides are that this is a remote location. Power is provided by generator. You can only charge items for a few hours a day during the evenings. Your lights and fan are powered by a solar charger. If it's a cloudy day, you won't get a good charge, which means you might not be able to run your fan all night. Other than the good food, there are no frills of staying here. It's a basic (but comfortable) cottage. Mosquitos and - much worse- fleas, were a problem when I visited in February 2011. The fleas were the worst for me at dusk, and bit me relentlessly. I used Deep Woods Off but got bit my mosiqutos and fleas on nearly every square inch that I forgot to spray. There are no fleas in the room, and the staff is good about setting up the mosquiot net over your bed each night. Another downside to some is that there may be 8-10 inch geckos in your room. They are completely harmless and won't bother you, and actually help by eating insects. But if you're not accostomed to them, it can be disturbing. Luckily they tend to not move around much (they stay very still to suprise their prey), but they call out in the night and you will occasionally hear them climbing into the walls and roof of your cabin. They will get into your room. But you have a mosquito net that they cannot penetrate, and they don't want to come near you anyway. Another issue, which I wouldn't call a downside, is that you are far from El Nido town. You will need to walk 15 minutes (on a pitch black beach and wooded path) at night (bring a torch!), and take a tricycle for 15 minutes into town. As for swimming, the beach outside the resort is great, but the water is very very shallow and rocky in many places. I was never able to walk out far enough barefooted to get into a deep area. There is a good swimming spot but you need to walk 500 meters or so down the beach.

Something to keep in mind is that you can stay in El Nido town for much - MUCH - cheaper. However, the town just feels depressing. From what I could tell from the outside of most places, they are very basic and probably dirty inside, and definitely noisy. The beach in El Nido town isn't so great. We walked along it and were somewhat dismayed that one of the beachfront hotels ran its wastewater down the beach into the ocean. I think if you're in El Nido with a few friends and on a budget, then staying in the town rather than Las Cabanas makes sense. But there is a reason Las Cabanas can charge so much even though it doesn't have steady electricity -- it's location is just so much better.

Directions: 3km south of El Nido. If you hapeen to be coming from TayTay/Puerto Princessa, it is before you hit El Nido, so ask to be dropped off directly rather than going to El Nido town and backtracking.

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Best resort in El Nido

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on December 23, 2006

Las Cabanas is a small resort south of el nido town. It is owned by Dan and Bhing, who are most hospitable hosts. It currently consists of just three beach huts, with another planned. We stayed for four nights in December 2006. We had a great time, and I would recommend it to anyone (see below). It is not officially open as yet so has not advertised at all and does not have a website, but can be booked in el nido from Bhing's shop opposite the catholic church (Bhing's Bizz) or talk to judith at the arts cafe who will ring them. In advance you can email Dan on Las_Cabanas_resort@yahoo.com.

Dolorog looks posher (we walked past), but I am very glad we chose las cabanas, as we had a really memorable trip. I've stayed in a lot of beach resorts at this level in south east asia, and this is now probably my favorite (up there with sailing club in mui ne, paradise resort on long beach phi phi and sensi lodge on koh tau). Overall, this place feels like a labour of love. They ar elucky to have had the freedom to design a resort exactly as they would like without having to pack in huts, and I dont think I could have done better myself.

Also, no mosquitos! At least when we were there, there we no mossers at all. It gets worse in the rainy season, but I put it down to the cleanliness of the resort and the lack of people in the area.

Unique Quality: 1. Location: The plot is at the headland of two beaches. There is some coral off the beach which is easy to swim to, and fish stocks are growing because they have banned fishing in the area. The area is very lightly populated and the beaches are more or less deserted. We walked a way along the beach in both directions, no hassle, a few friendly local kids, just the right atmosphere.

2. The hosts: Dan and Bhing were charming hosts, made us most welcome and were interesting and friendly to chat to. They get exactly the right balance between giving you the space to do your thing and the attention and conversation to make your trip great. Attention to detail was superb. For example, one evening I was chatting to Dan about my liking for spicy food. The next day on our boat trip, some spicy chilli sauce has been added to the picnic. Staff are also very friendly and helpful.

3. The huts: While not as high specification as dolorog (no A/C or hot water), the huts are widely spaced apart and nicely fitted out. Each has a balcony and hammocks near by, and is solar powered giving light even when the generator is off. The beds are large, shutters block out all light and the surrounding area is very quiet (no dogs or cockerels!). We slept very well.
4. The food: The deal is all in, and Bhing cooks the food. She is a great cook, and the food was gorgeous and plentiful. Think I put on several pounds in the four days!
5. The resort: There are attractive benches set on the beach and the huts and raised dining area are set in lovingly cared for, well maintained gardens.
6. The trips: They will hire out a boat with a guide and a driver to let you construct your own trip. Whilst this is (relatively) not exactly cheap (2-3k per day for two people) it does offer tremendous freedom. The guys will pitch up at any beach you want and cook you a gigantic lunch of fish, port, chicken, salad and rice. It feels like true luxury to have that freedom. We also hired a Kayak and went accross the bay, great fun.

Directions: They will arrange airport transfer, or they will pick you up by boat from el nido and take you directly there (500 peso iirc). Alternatively get a bike and take a short walk (150 peso).

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Nearby Las Cabanas Beach Resort

Las Cabanas Beach Resort

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  • Las Cabanas Beach Hotel El Nido

Address: El Nido, Philippines

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