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Reviewed 19 December 2010

El Nido translates to “The Nest” – and that’s exactly what this 5-star ecolodge is…a wondrous enclave nestled on the side of Lagen Island in Palawan, surrounded by flora, fauna, LIFE. The secluded El Nido resort consists of only 50 rooms, and my husband and I were lucky to get a spacious, 2nd story Forest View room that showcased vistas of the ocean and pool from our balcony, and the mountainside and foliage from our front door. No TV and no Internet in the room (to my husband’s dismay), but I reveled in it, as I enjoyed the very best sleep I had on our 2 week trip in the Philippines.

We stayed only 3 nights and 2 ½ days, but that was enough, since we took advantage of almost every activity the resort offered (which was included in the price) within that timeframe, without feeling rushed or pressed for time. On our first night, we enjoyed Happy Hour at the pool bar, massages from their outdoor spa hut, and dinner served on the balcony. On Day 2, we took the Island Hopping tour to a cave, “Snake Island”, and the Miniloc Resort for a buffet lunch and snorkeling. On Day 3, we took a challenging hike (where we were lucky enough to see a family of monkeys), kayaked around the island, and rode a Hobie Cat on Dibuluan Island. We even tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) coconut leaf hatmaking! On our last night, we enjoyed a game of pool and watched a traditional Filipino dance show. The only activities we didn’t do on the list were the sunrise and sunset cruises, but we feel we didn’t miss out on them. Our activities coordinator, Daisy, was very helpful putting together the itinerary for us. What wasn’t included in the resort fee was the food, which you could order a la carte or go to the restaurant’s buffet ($40 pp US.) For the resort’s relatively premium cost, it should have!

However, El Nido’s service and hospitality were top notch. Upon arrival to their waiting area from the airport, we were greeted by singing “lolas” (grandmas) and were serenaded by hotel staff on our departure as well. Room service was quick, arriving at our door in 10 minutes or less. Tour guides were friendly, staff walking the grounds always smiled and said “hello”, and turn down service was always a treat (leaving little goodnight messages written on leaves and a bed time story on our bed.)

Prior to our trip, all our friends and family who’ve been to Philippines before were wowed when we told them we were staying in El Nido, because it was a playground of the stars in the PI. We now see why….even though we aren’t “stars”, with the resorts’ service and amenities, we sure felt like we were :)

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lala and Jules C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2010

I just returned from spending 6 nights at Lagen Island Resort. I consider this vacation the be the most enjoyable of my life. Everything about this resort and area is simply outstanding. Every detail is taken care of so all you have to focus on is having relaxing vacation. The short flight from Manila and the boat transfer to the island are organized and very enjoyable. Upon arrival you are welcomed with a cold drink and greeted by song and dance. We stayed in a water cottage and loved it but there are no bad room choices here. The service at the resort really stood out. I was always greeted by name even from resort staff that I had yet to meet. The daily activities director always had our next day activities planned out for us so we didn't even have to think about it. Everything was just so organized and handled very professionally. This El Nido area is simply one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. It is called the final frontier for a reason. It is still very undeveloped which makes for a very peaceful and quiet vacation. Don't come here looking to party or for the nightlife. Boracay would be a much better choise for the club scene. This is more the dinner, drinks and romance kind of place. We had several outdoor evening massages and it was pure heaven. If you are trying to pick between Lagen and Minolic trust me it is worth the extra money to stay at Lagen. It is much newer, romantic and luxurious. I would be glad to provide any additional information on this resort. Lagen Island Resort is simply outstanding.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank AustinTexMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2010

It was a celebration to our 9th wedding anniversary, and turned out to be one of the most memorable trips in my life.

There are variety of activities you can do during your stay. To me, the highlight of the trip was the private candle light dinner on a sand bank in the middle of the sea, under thousands of stars on a cloudless and moonless night. It costs something, but worth it as there is no where you can enjoy a similar environment if you are like me who live in a city.

The resort helped us to organise our activities efficiently. We really relaxed and enjoyed the stay.

Having said that, there was a hassle in our booking. We booked a water cottage, but the hotel “upgraded” us to a forest suite without our permission. Since all water cottage were fully occupied, we had to stay in the forest suite for two nights, and finally successfully moved to a beach front cottage for the other three nights.

I would recommend El Nido Resorts to anyone who want to have a relaxing vacation in Philippines, enjoying sun and beaches and some out door activites.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank uglyduck2070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

There is nothing much about to say about El Nido. It is paradise and so far the most amazing place we have ever been.

The whole trip is compared to other locations in the Philippines not so cheap but the whole trip is so well organized. Everything is planned and all wishes will be fullfiled by a incredible friendly staff.

Try out the wonderful day trips the resort is offering and just enjoy yourself.

We stayed there for 4 days which was a perfect duration. I am not so sure if I would stay there much longer since the possibilities of activies are just restricted if you are at such a lonely place.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dg0209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2010

The people at Lagen provided excellent service during our stay there. Their guides for the day trips they arrange were extremely helpful (especially Mr. Chris and Ms. Dhally). It was obvious that their goal was to let their guests have the best time possible. The people at the restaurants were also very attentive and tried to go out of their way to give in to their guests' wishes. We even got a complimentary cake on the night of our anniversary. It was a pleasant surprise.
Lagen appears to be a place frequented by honeymooners and couples. (Miniloc seemed to have more families.) When we were there, we seemed to be the only family with a young child. Their staff paid special attention to our little boy though and this made the trip more fun for him.
Our beachfront room was quite spacious and very comfortable. Housekeeping did a good job at keeping it tidy and clean everyday. The mini bar in the room did not have a lot of choices for snacks though (but they had sunblock lotion and waterproof cameras), and food in the resort in general, although okay, was not as good as what you would expect for the price you pay for it. Lunches at the beach clubs were excellent though.
The one thing that got us disappointed in the beginning was the fact that Lagen does not have a beach of its own. Since we are the type of people who enjoy sitting by the beach for hours and appreciate having easy access to the beach from our resort (something easily done at Boracay), we were somewhat disappointed when we realized that there was no beach at Lagen. Their day trips to other beach clubs and their beautiful swimming pool somehow made up for this though. And unlike other beaches like Boracay, Lagen is a very peaceful and not crowded place that you would love to visit if you are looking to have a relaxing and quiet getaway.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank megurogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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