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Reviewed 23 May 2011

We stayed at Lagen in April 2010 and had an amazing time. It was worth every penny we spent! The food was delicious, and I loved the ambience at dinner with the musicians playing. We booked almost half a year in advance and the water cottages were already booked. We ended up in the forest room, and it was still exceptional...no complaints at all.

The wonderful thing about El Nido resorts is that they own a small number of surrounding islands, so depending on your planned activities for the day, you might end up getting a whole island for yourself. That happened to us one afternoon, it was so special to be able to enjoy the beach all by yourself.

For the small price difference between Lagen and Minoloc, Lagen is definitely more worth it. I was not impressed with the look of the facilities at Minoloc when we had breakfast there one morning.

Room Tip: Book way in advance!
  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carmesan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

We visited Lagen Island Resort(LIR) in 2001. That time i was already impressed with its service, facilities and food.

I have stayed at shangrila, le meriden, etc and to say the least, the overall experience is at par with these 5 star resorts. LIR is a 'green' resort. Meaning conservation, taking care of the natural environment are their priorities.

Food was good. From mongolian, indian(curry and masala) to local dishes. Fresh shrimps, squid were served every meal.

We visited Pinagbuyutan Island and it is truly stunning. The sheer height and formation of the limestone cliffs and the calm water are its glory. As far as i know it is the island that is featured in the cover page of Lonely Planet Philippines few editions ago.

LIR offered many activities such as kayaking, wall climbing, hobie cat, wind surfing all are free of charge. Although intro dive was taken out from their activites which we had when we visited in 2001, it was still good. We also trekked the trail behind the resort to the other beach of Lagen. I was surprised that their is a forest behind the resort and is home of some of the birds living in the island. There were even monkeys and 100 yr old tree along the trail.

We loved the local folk stories that the staff placed on top of our bed everynight and the 'sweet dreams' note with pili nut on our room. I believe that details like these separates LIR from other resorts. I also like the fact that there were no tv's in the room. Somehow i believe that LIR is suggesting to enjoy the sounds of nature surrounding the island. (bringing a book is highly recommended)

Even LIR doest have a swimmable beach, the 25m pool and sunbeds make up for it. We paid for the full rate and i think its worth it for the whole exprience. I highly recommend it for family, honeymooners.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Gala_sa_Pinas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2011

We went to El Nido Lagen for our second honeymoon and there's no other way to describe our trip but perfect, just perfect! I would highly recommend this place for couples like us and even for families who want to get away from the hustle and bustle and simply enjoy nature at its raw and beautiful state. I should say the Lagoons top the list of the scenic sites we went to. Some seasons though will make it impossible to get inside the lagoons, so better check this with the resort first before you book your vacation.

We got one of the bay cottages which are built on stilts above the water. The room was lovely in itself and well kept. And with our bed and our own veranda facing the beautiful green waters and the row of the other bay cottages with limestone cliffs just above them, waking up to this view every morning was just an outrageously wonderful experience!

The quiet surroundings within the island also make the beautiful sceneries more enjoyable. There is actually a sign near the pool that doesn't allow unnecessary noise and guests are requested to put their cellphones in silent mode. Aside from the unstable cellphone signal there is also no TV in the rooms, but I could say both works well for guests like us who wanted to get a taste of isolation even for a few days.

Staff service was par excellence, considering the no-tipping policy of the resort. From the minute we stepped down from the plane, we hardly didn't need to lift a finger at all. The staff were very accomodating and very very friendly. They arrange everything for you, plan your daily activities, and take care of the things you need for your day's activity, including lunch if you're set to have it in another island. Really makes your stay hassle-free up to the tiniest detail.

The food was superb as well, offering a wide variety of great choices at the buffet, from appetizers to the main course, down to the dessert. Being a Filipino, I skip appetizers and go straight to the main course so I can't really tell about the appetizers. But I love shrimps and you can have as much of it as what you want in the buffet, and they have a Mongolian bar which have this noodles that the chef can cook deliciously so we enjoyed the food all the time. I'm not even fond of sweet food but they have the best cheesecakes and chocolate cakes. I ended up eating not just one, but both cakes sometimes.

All these put together in one place makes a dream vacation come true, and ours did! It more than makes up for the lack of a beach right in the resort. The experience was just way too beautiful, I now have no idea where to go to for a better vacation next time.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank karen_tan_888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2011

My wife and I finished off our honeymoon with 6 nights in El Nido (3 nights MIniloc and 3 nights Lagen) after 10 days of more active sightseing elsewhere. The El Nido area is simply breathtaking. Wonderfull beaches and scenery, very friendly people who will go out of their way to accomodate. The overall experience was great and the beauty of the place rewarded us for the cost/hassle of getting there.

Particularly great was the fact that the hotel rate included various activities that could be arranged with the hotel activity organiser including trips to nearby islands. One can simply ask the staff to drop you off on one of the nearby deserted islands to enjoy the beach for yourself for a few hours and pick up was always prompt and curtious!

Overall our stay was fantastic and we would recomend it without hesitation. However, there are a couple of things to note. Firstly, this is not the Maldives. We went to the Maldives (Baros Island Resort) a few months earlier and it is important to note that although both places are wonderfull, ones expectations should be different. In Maldives everything is about pampering and luxury whereas in El Nido the main attraction is the landscape and therefore the rooms are relatively simple. This is combined with great efforts from the hotel and staff but it is not comparable to our experiance to Maldives. It is however more rewarding on many other ways and the memories and photos of the place are unforgetable.

A few more specific issues:
- rooms in Lagen were newer and nicer than in Miniloc. The pool was also nice and made up for the fact that there is no real beach in front of the hotel (Lagen) to swim in. There was however one on the other side of the island which one can get to by boat or by trekking through the island which was also enjoyable. In general Miniloc landscape is nicer and closer to the dive sites, but Lagen is newer, more luxurous and closer to non diving excursions. A new hotel is also underway which should provide an even posher option.
- meal supplement: the buffet offers many options but seems to be the same every day. given one can opt to buy the buffet option on a meal by meal basis (at a slightly higher price) and dine ala cart the rest of the meals, we found it would have been better to have avoided the supllement. However this is an issue of preference. We tend to have a large breakfast and dinner and eat lightly at lunch so the full borad was over the top

Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank panlou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2011

By far the best vacation experience we ever had. Travelled with my wife for 3 nights / 4 days. The waiting area in Manila for the plane was pleasant and set the tone for the trip. Short flight and landing on a dirt runway at El Nido Airport... got the sense this was an eco-environmentally conscious vacation. The boatride from the airport was amazing, crystal blue waters, amazing limestone cliffs and islands... it was awesome. The staff was hands-down the most friendly and attentive we have ever experienced. It was all couples / honeymoon types. Our itinerary was jam packed but we never felt rushed and there was no need to socialize with other guests which is what we liked. Hats off to our dedicated guide Voks who was so attentive to our needs.

Unlike other crowded resorts like Boracay or Batangas, this one was so unspoiled and uncrowded. Very few other boats other than the resport boats and no vendors or peddlers anywhere. No need to carry around money.

We had an on the water room at the far end of the Lagen lagoon which was amazing ! No need for air conditioning and no mosquitoes or bugs as the cool ocean breeze kept the pests away. We had this amazing view of 500 ft + limestone cliffs like something out of Jurassic Park. The food was awesome and always different. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So many activities, snorkling, ocean kayaking, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, sunset cruise, sightseeing. I highly recommend visiting the various islands for day excursions and picknicking on the beach. Ate lunch on palm fronds with freshly grilled squid and beef which on the beach with excellent servers.

Recommend the day hike on Lagen with a kayak back to the resort. Swim with the Jack Fish was fun. Be sure to bring sunblock and water shoes.

In room massage for two was amazing also

On the water rooms were the best, leave doors open all night so you can hear the waves as you sleep.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PalawanLarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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