If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
[ Asia ][ Destinations ][ El Nido ][ Philippines ]

Over-water huts at El Nido Apulit Island Resort

When we were planning our week in El Nido, Philippines, a stay at the El Nido resorts was a must for us.  It was a given we would be staying at El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort but we quickly had to decide whether visiting another one of their properties should be added.  There were a few features of El Nido Apulit Island that caught our attention: it was on a different side of the island than the other 3 El Nido Resort properties, the rooms were huts on stilts, meals were included in the rate and the snorkeling was highly rated.  Did the resort deliver on these features?  We’ve outlined the experience below.

Location

Apulit Island is the furthest from the airport.  After arriving via our flight with Air Swift, we had roughly a 2 hour van ride to Taytay Town.  From there, we boarded a boat for roughly a 40 minute trip to El Nido Apulit Island Resort.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Boarding our boat transfer in Taytay

There is no way to sugar coat it, it’s a long trip.  However the views of the blue water upon arrival, you quickly forget about all the hours spent to get here.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
View of El Nido Apulit Island Resort upon arrival from the boat

El Nido Apulit Island Resort staff definitely know how to welcome its guests!  The crowd greeting us with song and welcome drinks was the perfect way to start our stay.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Welcome drink!

Room

We were quickly taken to our hut for the next 3 nights.  The huts are close together from the walkway.  Not surprising to us as we found the same in Bora Bora.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

As we entered the room, we were surprised at just how intimate they are.  They are very small in fact our knees touched the wall as we sat on the toilet.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The tight quarters were felt on the deck as well.  While the views were stunning, we felt a bit cramped.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

We panicked a bit when we saw there was no coffee in the room, but that quickly subsided when we realized we just called and fresh coffee would be delivered!  Due to jet lag, we woke up around 5am every day of our stay and within 15 minutes of calling we’d have a fresh pot of coffee delivered.  Excellent service!

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Sunrise views from our hut

Food

One feature that makes this property unique versus other El Nido Resorts is the fact that the meals are included.  The resort is so secluded that it would be quite a feat to get the mainland for alternative dining options so I suspect the property wanted to encourage guests to stay for meals.

First off, the dining area is gorgeous! It offers amazing views of the water surrounded by brightly colored flowers/bushes surrounding it.  There is even a spot to dine with your feet in the sand.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The breakfast was fantastic with a wide variety of hot and cold items. We’re a big fan of properties that include breakfasts and really appreciate the ones that put on elaborate spreads.

Lunch was great as well.  It was also offered buffet style with a mixture of salads, traditional items and made to order grill.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Cooked to order meat/seafood station

Dinner was not bad but after 2 meals each day served buffet style, it would have been nice if they switched it up and offered a traditional menu service.  The food was good but on day 3 we were a bit bored with it.  While there was an incredible variety each meal as part of the buffet, the selections did not differ much day to day.  In saying that, the food was always good and we left the dining area full each meal.

The one feature that we didn’t get bored with was fresh coconut juice as our beverage!  This was a must at lunch and was super refreshing on these hot days.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

Happy Hour

Beverages were an extra charge at the resort, although not too overpriced in our opinion.  They did offer a happy hour each evening which we always attended!  In addition to beer and wine, they had cocktail specials each night.  A great way to begin the evening!

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
The bar offering happy hour specials
If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Nightly cocktail specials during Happy Hour

Romantic Extras

If you are looking for an opportunity for a romantic, sit-down meal, for an additional fee you can have a private dinner setting. This was the best meal we had during our time at El Nido Apulit Island Resort!  It was 5 full courses of fresh seafood and local dishes.  But the setting…..it was just dreamy!  The uplighting was incredible and we really felt like we were in a secluded spot with just the two of us.  Great way to celebrate a special event or create a romantic evening.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Romantic dinner set-up

The fresh flowers, uplighting and fabric draping made for such an elaborate setting for a dinner!  A row of luminaries led the way to the platform and 2 servers helped to ensure the drinks were plenty while the courses kept coming.  We highly recommend including this dining option when booking your stay with Apulit Island resort.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

Lounge Spots

There are no shortage of areas to relax throughout the property outside of your room. There are many hammocks spread along the beach, perfect for siesta in the afternoon!

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The pool offers the next lounge area with several loungers all around.  Additionally the pool is smartly designed with several shelf area seating all around.  This enables a comfortable stay in the water during the hot days.  A great place to enjoy an adult beverage!

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The entire beach is lined with comfortable loungers throughout the day.  The resort also offers complimentary umbrellas or cabanas to relax in the shade.  We took our afternoon nap here each day!

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The Spa

There is a simple open air space where you can purchase a massage.  We found the prices to be quite reasonable and quickly booked a couples appointment during our stay.  It was fabulous!  The setting was not as luxurious as others however the quality of the massage more than made up for the simple setting.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

The Tide

In summary, the tides are quite drastic.  While I know the managers cannot control this, if we were to return, we would request a hut furthest away from the main areas to minimize the impact and be farther from the shore.

This makes it difficult to swim in the afternoon as you need to walk quite a distance to get to the water.  Additionally, the views from the huts become drastically different during low tide.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

Excursions Included

There were snorkeling, rappelling, boating, sunset cruises and a few other included activities.  This was a nice way to fill up the afternoons.  The staff was extremely friendly and we loved spending time with them each evening.  Speaking of the staff, we committed an electronic foul, we did not have a back-up memory card for our Go-Pro(amateur hour over here)!  Upon arrival we realized it was corrupt.  The staff helped us by sending their boat out the next day during pick-up and getting a new memory card for us!  We were extremely grateful and were able to capture the second day snorkling.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
View from the top of the cliff before we rappelled down
If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Colorful coral views

Overall we were happy with our time at El Nido Apulit Island Resort but we were ready for the next adventure.  We were happy to see this part of the island and definitely visited in the right order of here first and Pangulasian Island second.

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.
Staff send-off as we were leaving

If you are looking for paradise, a visit to El Nido in the Philippines is a must. El Nido Apulit Island Resort offers a unique location with rooms that are huts over the water.

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EatWorkTravel

In constant pursuit of luxury, adventure and romance outside the office. We work hard at the office to support our luxury eating and traveling adventures inspiring others to make the most of their time off.

9 Comments

  1. This sounds like a good resort if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation. I’ve always wanted to stay in an over water hut. #weekendwanderlust

    1. It was definitely relaxing! The over water huts are such a fun experience.

  2. I love your website guys! I’ve already been catching up on your adventures. This sounds like a lovely way to spend a few days. I would love that private 5 course dinner.

    1. Aw thank you for the kind comments about our website! The dinner was so romantic, we highly recommend!

  3. This all looks fantastic and luxurious! I’ve heard El Nido is a must see part of the Philippines but this confirms it. Would love to visit here one day, so pinned for future reference. #WeekendWanderlust

    1. Thank you David, it’s a seriously stunning place. Hope you make it there some day soon!

  4. That’s kind of a bummer about the tides, but what can you do? We’ve never stopped to consider that those over-water bungalows aren’t always over water. Also a shame that the room was so small, but I suppose you’re not in it most of the time. The rest of the resort looks great! Been looking for an island adventure…this might be the ticket! #WeekendWanderlust

  5. Gorgeous setting and great advice on the tide situation! I would definitely travel all that way for something so beautiful and you are right, they must offer meals as it would be too far to go out for food. It’s a shame the huts were a bit small, but I bet the snorkelling would totally make up for it at least for me! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  6. My wife and I have been looking at Apulit Island for a couple years now and I’m excited to say we are finally booked for 4/3-7 2018.
    Can’t Wait. Will spend a couple days in El Nido beforehand doing some Island hoping.

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