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All reviewswater cottageel nido resortschef carlossmall lagoonprivate dinneroverwater bungalowlimestone cliffsour honeymoonall inclusive packageboat ridesong and danceprivate airportsunset cruiseresort staffactivity coordinatorsdive mastermarine life
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Reviewed 19 December 2012

My family and I started going to Lagen in 2003 (if I'm not mistaken). Whenever the whole family is free for a local vacation, El Nido is always included in the list of potential vacation spots because of the great service and the activities included in the trip. We've done all the activities but we still do the same each time we go back.

Our recent trip was the last Halloween/All Saint's holiday. Lagen has renovated a bit but the resort and the service is still up to par with previous visits. Food is good, although I would say it would be nice if the cuisine was more beach-y (freshly grilled meat and seafood and the like) and less continental/fancy (fancy dishes with sauce) during island lunches at Entalula Island and Dibuluan Island. The buffet does have a grill station every time though.

Pros: The activities, island outings and lunches, service. The accommodations are not as fancy as more recent resorts but they are comfortable. There is now a flatscreen tv in the rooms.
Massages from the spa are allowed in the room. The guides and activity coordinators are conscious enough to make sure there is a cooler in the boat for drinks in case anyone gets thirsty. The snorkeling spots are amazing!

Cons (not really a con for Lagen but for El Nido as a whole): This trip, we realized how touristy El Nido has become. When we used to tour around El Nido, there were no boat-loads of tourists waiting in certain special spots and there would only be 1-2 outrigger boats in the area and we would be able to see sting rays and green turtles swimming in the water. It is now just so crowded that we did not see a single turtle in the lagoons. Boats from the El Nido resorts and the town have to wait in line (and during this trip, the boats from town did not wait and just forged ahead into the lagoons and allowed their passengers to jump in the water). Perhaps a policy needs to be implemented that only a number of boats per day should be allowed in the famous spots - keeping in mind conservation efforts.

Other points of interest:
- The gym is currently being built and the library currently being renovated.
- Activities (including island hopping, hobie cat, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, snorkeling), accommodations and buffet meals are included in the package (though one may opt not to avail of buffet meals).
- Enjoy an island lunch and engage in activities at Entalula Island or Dibuluan Island. There are decent bathrooms on location. :)
- Diving is offered by PADI and is a separate cost. For beginners or those who wish to try out diving, Discover Scuba is the program to inquire about.

Jolly, a former Lagen guide, was our favorite since we started going to Lagen. He taught my youngest brother how to swim in the Lagen pool when he was little, and really took care of him. He is now the sports/activities coordinator for Pangalusian - El Nido's new resort across from Lagen. The other guides and activity coordinators are also attentive and informative. Look for Arnel or Joel as your guide in Lagen.

Room Tip: We personally like to stay at a Water Cottage. Stay away from the Forest Rooms located on the ground floor if you want privacy because the pathway to the clubhouse passes by all the Forest Rooms whose veranda faces the pathway. To get to the 2nd floor Forest Rooms, the stairs are at the back, going towards the chapel area.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank travelinmanila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

I came from Manila and a friend came down from Hong Kong to join me in a water cottage at Lagen for a long weekend. The connections by ITI and banca were smooth, the service was very good and accommodating as you would expect for the caliber and price of the resort without being obsequious or over-the-top. I was happy lounging poolside but my friend preferred to take advantage of the activities including island hopping, they were able to keep us both happy. I did quite enjoy the hike up and over the cliffs to a white sand beach cove about 20-30 mins; they brought over to the cove a kayak for us to take back which is the way we made the return trip to the resort. I was also a fan of paddleboarding and the snorkling near the resort and on the island hopping trips was nice with coral and lots of fish. Buffet was very good with fresh fish and seafood, local organic produce, and chicken and beef stirfry. While the salad bar was a mainstay, the other items were varied and flavorful so it never got dull. All in all it was a delightful stay in a breathtakingly beautiful spot in lovely, sturdy, modern, comfortable accommodations where you feel taken care of but not smothered. My only regret is that I didn't stay a full week instead of just a long weekend.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank N_bay_tk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

It is a wonderful place to have all inclusive vacation. All the food and activities are paid for. Staff are friendly and there are a lot of activities you can choose from. We have a big group with kids ( 8 and 10) and parents (in their late 70th) and had a great time.

If you are looking for a remote, secluded place to relax and enjoy. This is a right place for you. It is like a paradise with great food.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2012

This is one deserted island you won't be bored in. El Nido is a very organized group of resorts that is well managed and has a lot of activities to keep you and the family busy.
Rooms - the cabanas over the water are the way to go. The rooms do need updating as they are old and dated, the ammenities are basic.
Food - the hotel meals are part of the package and all meals are buffet. The food is good, not great, but they do try to offer variety for the stay.
Activities - definitely sign up for the different activities they offer - from diving, snorkeling, fishing, picnic in another island, cayaking, boating in a lagoon
Beach - Lagen itself has a very small beach, with a small shore line but the hotel has activities where they bring you to different islands in the area to see nicer beaches, take advantage of this.
We also went to a wedding here during another trip and it is the perfect place for a small wedding.

Room Tip: Get the cabanas over the water
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank angypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2012

This is an amazing hotel with a beautiful location. The service is top notch, they make sure you are comfortable and taken care of, with many activities to choose from. The snorkeling, kayaking, and surrounding islands are beautiful. The food is also very good at the hotel. It is not an easy ride from the Puerto Princesa airport. 5.5 hours by private van, with a very windy road. We are seasoned travelers and usually have no problem but this trip made us all quite carsick. However the hotel and area are well worth the trip. Lagen is probably a better choice for honeymooners, couples or families that must have a swimming pool and/or air conditioning in the rooms. For families with young children (who don't insist on a swimming pool) El Nido Miniloc is probably a better choice.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank MELISSA M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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