Thanks for all your suggestions guys! I ended up staying at Marina's Garden for 3 days and another 4 days at The El Nido ViewDeck. Good suggestion on not getting an AC room when at el Nido. It was breezy at Marina and even more at Viewdeck.
Marina was comfortable enough but it may get a bit noisy at night since the cottage we got was right beside the Marina Bar. For more peace and quiet, we decided to try out Viewdeck. We met the owner, Mang Rudy, when we were booking a boat for our island tours (took all 3). He was very friendly and accomodating. His place is way better than Marinas in terms of amenities and privacy. Nice bed, very clean bathroom, a veranda that offers a stunning view of the El Nido town and much more. However, since it's not in the town proper, you will need to walk or hail a tricycle from the town proper to get to Viewdeck. You will then have to climb up to the viewdeck cottages. Me and my wife didnt mind the cardio workout but less fit people may not like it as much.
We will certainly be back! For more info, visit
For Reservation, Call: Mr. Rudy Samson at (+63) 916-6076577 /email@example.com.
Again, we also didn't stay here but our boat just passed by the island and the resort.
It's a little cheaper than Lagen and I was told that it's good for families while Lagen is more for couples. But once you're booked in one resort, you can actually also go to the other one any time.
We didn't stay here because it's more than what we can afford. But the place looks really nice from afar. Our boat passed by this island and we also met some of their guides during the cave tour. They are extremely nice and helpful too. I guess you are really paying for the service :)
In it's own island with a pool. I heard also that this is the better resort compared to Miniloc because it's newer and with better facilities.
Overnight camping is fantastic in El Nido, however, many of the islands are private, and thus not available for use unless permission is granted. This makes 'doing-it-yourself' very risky and not very much fun if you choose an island that you end up having to leave after you get set up.
My suggestion is to go with an operator that provides this service. S.E.Asia Kayak Tours offers this service, and delivers basic to luxury camping options. Even the basic provides high-end amenities such as dining tents/tables, showers and private comfort room. The tents are spacious and come with queen size air mattresses, sheets and pillows. Can't beat that!
They are at www.asiakayaktours.com
Hope this helps
Full moon paddles
Rosanna’s is JUST far enough outside the beaten track so it’s quiet but still close to town. The 900 php fan room (or 1500 for A/c) is literally right on the beach. You’ll have the gentle waves lulling you to sleep at night and can see the fishing boats readying themselves for the local catch at both dawn and dusk.
Rosanna and her family were able to arrange a couple of extra services for me, including finding a cobbler to fix my broken shoe quickly and at a very fair price. They are also aware that not everyone is honest and so will watch your valuables and each night lock up the gate to the beach so no one can come along and misappropriate your belongings.
veranda/porch where you can watch the sunset
Rosanna's a VTer: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/de640/
This clean and well-kept place is about half a block from the beach and has just about everything you want, including hot water and (one) cable station that is set by general acclamation in the 16 hours of electricity currently available in town. Probably worth the 800 php / night.
I stayed a couple of days. It’s nice enough and the hot water was the real draw. But given that I couldn’t get the water when I mostly wanted it for a morning shower due to the town’s electricity scheme, I decided to leave to stay in Rosanna’s
rooftop observation deck
Since we arrived with no reservations, we stopped in and visited many different hotels. I would recommend not staying at Gloria's.
The rooms were not that well decorated, the beds were not comfortable and the rooms smelled of something (maybe mold or urine). There was a malnourished and lonely dog chained in the front yard desperate for food and attention that I feel is the typical attitude towards the property.
We arrived late in the night and many resorts were either already full, requested too much money for inadequate accommodations, or many other undesirable things...
That meant that we were tired, hungry and getting desperate to put our bags down. We stayed at Lally and Abet's for a few nights.
The management here are businessmen. They will pay attention to all the little things and will try to charge you for them, all the while keeping a smile on their faces. The rooms are comfortable enough, but they will not provide blankets (only top sheet).
They offer two style cottages. The fist is a typical straw hut cottage with a fan and cold shower. Cost is currently 800P / night.
The second style is a A/C room with an electric hot water heater. A/C and hot water are only available while the town is energized, which typically is 6pm~6am, but there are common blackouts. Price is currently 1800P / night.
This is one of the few places that will accept credit cards.
The bungalow prices are advertised in dollars (approx. 120-200 dollars a night) which means in the Philippines that you can expect a high standard.
The more expensive AC-bungalows were unfortunately not AC. There is only electricity during approx. 18hrs per day in the area and many power cuts during that time. The resort has its own power supply but never turned it on during our 6 day stay.
The bottom-range cottages cost 95 dollars a night. These rooms correspond to the comfort and quality of the mid-range cottages in El Nido town. The only difference is the price. Cottages in town cost around 600-800p (about 10 dollars!).
The food is included and so are the boat trips every day (except first and last days). Be prepared to eat spaghetti and pasta during your entire stay. This is indeed the staple diet here. The wonderful and plentiful array of fresh fish you see on the market will certainly not land on your plate here. If you happen to have friends round for dinner, they will have to pay 500p for the basic food which just about covers your appetite after a day snorkelling. If not you can always order a desert at your own expense. The lunch menu is as scarce and disappointing as the variety served up for dinner. It is also no surprise that the service is nowhere near the quality you would expect as most of the staff are students on placements.
The resort has one or two boats, the rest are locally rented and are small and noisy.
The worst experience we made in the Philippines came at the end of our stay in Dolarog as it was time to pay. The management wanted to charge us with their own exchange rate (about 10% more than the actual exchange rate) on top of a 10% Visa card charge. Luckily, we were with people who lived in the Philippines and we refused the owner's terms. Conveniently he couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone as the arguments went on for over two hours with the people who were simply following his orders.
Overall, a disappointing resort and a very unsympathetic management.
El Nido Resort is one of the top reports in the Philippines. I think its the sister resort of the exclusive Amanpulo. They have two islets resorts, the Miniloc and the Lagen. We stayed at the Lagen resort.
True to the saying- you get what you pay for- staying at El Nido is like close to perfection- that is in terms of resort accomodations.
One minor comment though- the resort claims that they are pretty active in campaigning for the environment- but the environmental footprint of staying in the resort it pretty much big. Power to light the resort, the continious runs of the motorized vehicles, the continious supply of towels etc.- of course El Nido is first and foremost a business and not an environmental group. The way they pampered you- it makes you agree that yes- sometimes, it also good to enjoy the life...
They have rockclimbing, snorkling, kayaking, hiking, scuba diving etc. - including the instructors. They also have some cabanas and huts ont he other islands so if you want a romatic getaway, you can arrange for a dinner in a secluded beach while the sun is setting.
For P800/night (breakfast included) which is about $20 CAD, I got a beachfront fan room with a bed and shower. That's all I needed so I'm not gonna complain.
Location is good since it's the first resort you'll see coming from the airport or bus terminal.
Friendly and helpful staff. Don't start any conversations with Cely. She never stops talking.
El Nido Viewdeck is a newly built bed and breakfast located in the most scenic part of El Nido. It offers absolutely superb views overlooking the seaside, town, as well as the cliffs nearby, and conveniently located 5 minutes walk from the center.
Viewdeck has lovely new bamboo cabins suitable for couples or individuals. The cabins are very comfortable, with an ensuite bathroom fitted with a shower, as well as a fan for the room. They also come with a furnished individual balcony so one can really make the most of the views. The rooms are very clean and nicely decorated, and we have had the most comfortable stay here.
The staff have been fantastic, assisting us with organising boat trips, laundry and internet service, as well as providing breakfast. We highly recommend staying here, especially as a relaxing base to all the snorkel trips!
The view is the best you can get in El Nido! As well as the seaside and the cliffs, it is surrounded by a lovely garden and dramatic birdlife. Everything at Viewdeck is in great condition which is a nice contrast to most of the other guesthouses in town.
The owner Rudy is most friendly and helpful, and seems to knows everything thats happening in El Nido so he is definitely the person to ask if one needs any advice on day trips and transport links. He organised an island island hopping boat trip for us and it was absolutely perfect!
Island Front Cottages is 4 nipa huts on a quiet beach about a 20min. walk from the town centre. The huts are spotless, and face directly onto the beach. The owner Onie is a supberb host. He'll arrange anything you need and we found his prices and advice better than anything in town. He even cooks a nice supper. ..It seems that this is the only place owned entirely by Philippinos, which was a nice touch. His staff are polite, kind, gentle - can't say enough about them...
Deciding to stay on Corong Corong beach means you get better sunsets and a more private atmosphere than in town. The beach is nice to look at, but it is not great for swimming - too shallow and average sand. But for island hopping, or renting a kayak, it's all right there on site.
Travelling is largely about the people you meet and Onie is a first class guy. The kind of person we all hope to bump into on our travels. If you want to feel a bit more alone and don't mind a 10-20 peso tricycle ride into town now and again, then we would recommend this place without reservation.
tandikan cottages -- what can i say, it was terrific. we got a beachfront cottage with a veranda and private t/b for only 500 bucks. best of all, the owner, josephine, constantly provided us with hot water in a thermos, a real treat for someone who can't get going in the morning without a hot cup of joe. the rooms aren't enormous, but they're clean, well-maintained, and breezy. plus they have their own mosquito nets, in case you're worried about getting feasted on by those little buggers at night.
they don't serve home-cooked meals, though, so you'll have to walk to find some food. but really, walking on the sandy shore of el nido town is not a bad thing.
again, hot water in the morning keeps the java junkie happy.
We stayed in Rosanna's cottages for 6 nights this June. Rosanna's cottage has 5 non a/c cottages and 1 a/c cottage. I stayed in the a/c cottage. The a/c cottage has 1 queen and 1 single bed. It is single story with a nice veranda in the front. The cottages are situated in front of the bacuit bay in ElNido and all the cottages have decent view of the bay. The rooms are decent sized and the cottages are well designed and constructed. Rossana keeps the cottages very clean and manitains them well. There is a lack of small pest control in Elnido and I am not sure if it is a local restriction(I heard it is due to the bird's nest). So it is a very good idea to have repellent handy to get the mosquitoes and sand flies off. Rosanna is very attentive and provides laundry service & hot water. Water, beer and coffee are available at a price. They also provide picnic lunches if you pre order them. Overall a good place to stay. As most of you are aware, El Nido currently has power only from 1 a.m to 1 p.m. Rossana's cottages have a generator, but it is used only when there is a brown out (Unscheduled power outage during the regular power hours). So they don't use the generators when the power is out. So this brings the question - Does the a/c in the room really make a difference. To me it did. We typically come back to the room around 6 - 7 p.m after a day of island hopping. I turn the a/c on as soon as we get in. The a/c is a little under powered and it takes about 2 hrs for it to cool the room. After the power goes off around 1 a.m, the room remains nice and comfortable till about 5 when the sun starts to come out. So to me it was worth the extra expense.
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