We had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines this year as part of a work trip for Amanda. As a way to maximize our vacation time and stretch our travel budget, we always take advantage of international business trips and tagging on some extra days. When we found out the Philippines was an option for us in 2016, we wasted no time in booking a trip to El Nido! I mean, have you seen any photos of El Nido? We were anxious to experience the beauty for ourselves and quickly booked our stay at El Nido Pangulasian Island.
Because we only had 1 short week before Amanda had to get to work, we knew we wanted to indulge for this trip. We found El Nido Resorts which offers multiple properties around the area. Travel in the Philippines can be long so we were happy to see El Nido Resorts partners with Air Swift airlines, therefore, we were able to book airline tickets through the resort from Manila. When you are getting a break from the office with limited time, these types of services lessen the planning time!
We chose to stay at Pangulasian Island for 5 nights! It seemed to be the most luxurious resort of their 4 properties and was on its own private island. Not to mention, you have the option of a private pool or beach front property. We were sold! So what did we think of the property? Let’s check out the areas that really stood out to us.
We were really impressed with the coordination of arrivals. Once we landed at El Nido airport after our flight with Air Swift, we were greeted with drinks and snacks. We were given stickers to indicate which property we were going to be staying and given the small group we would be traveling with to our property. Since Pangulasian Island is it’s own island, we had a private boat transfer to the property. Upon arrival, the staff was waiting with a welcome song and cold towel compresses. Really nice touch!
There are 4 villa options at El Nido Resorts and honestly you can’t go wrong with any of them. We’ll share our perspective of each type.
The canopy villa is surrounded by greenery with a view of the ocean in the distance. You would be looking past the other villas if you chose this option. Additionally there are several stairs to get up into the villas so be mindful of that.
A beach side room which has it’s own private slice of the pristine beach.
Once we saw the incredible colors of the water and sugary sand beach, the beach villas definitely offer a bonus!
The pool villas feature their own private plunge pool on the deck. If you are considering these, be mindful that the beach is a bit of a walk away. The sugary beach ends and becomes quite rocky. This is the area of the island where the beach villas reside.
Lastly, we stayed in the Kalaw Villa. This is a 4 villa area with separate dining area, veranda and large private pool. It was fabulous! Lucky for us we were the only ones in the villa area therefore we had this incredible pool all to ourselves. This would be an excellent spot if you are traveling with other couples or other families.
It’s important to note that the villas are relatively the same size therefore when deciding on a room category, you are really choosing between outside location.
The rooms were extremely spacious and comfortable. Truly a relaxing oasis!
Can I just say, the bathroom….I didn’t want to leave!
We truly loved our stay at the Kalwa Villa and look forward to our future trip with our friends and renting out the block of 4!
Ok, we are huge fans of included breakfast when we stay at a property. El Nido Pangulasian Island may be our most favorite of any property! They offered something for every breakfast type: eggs, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, pastries, cereals, cooked-to-order meat bar, traditional Pilipino dishes and much more!
When you arrive, each guest is given his and hers hats and flip flops. This was such a nice touch! We wouldn’t have brought our own hats so we had so much fun getting a break under the scorching sun with these on our heads. In addition, the flip flops were a great treat to wear on the boats for the excursions and around the island.
Excursions are Included
There are a variety of excursions that are included with your stay. The lagoon tour, island hopping tour, guided snorkeling and guided sunrise/sunset tours are included. The great part is that it ensures small groups. We never had more than 8 people on our tours! When you pull up to some of the popular spots and see the large boats overflowing with people, you quickly appreciate the intimate service of El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort!
The other great part of having these tours included, you can take them as many times as you wish! We had a slightly overcast day during our first lagoon tour. Luckily we had room in our schedule to take it again and the weather was spectacular!
Additional Activities Available
There are additional activities that you can enjoy for a small fee. Our favorite? Renting a private boat for the day! We were able to see some of our favorite spots around the islands including secret beach and hidden beach. Best part is that we were on our own schedule as we had the boat for ourselves during the day. The fee included the boat, guide and security. It was fabulous!
El Nido Resorts also has another island where you can enjoy private lunch. Entalula Island is exclusive for El Nido resort guests. You have a fabulous fresh seafood lunch and time to relax on the picturesque beach. True paradise!
One of the other ways we indulged was with a private, romantic dinner on the beach. The resort set up a gorgeous table just steps away from the ocean. It’s such an intimate setting to be away from the main dining area and enjoy dinner with the sound of the crashing waves with sand on your toes.
Being on an intimate island is paradise in itself. We just couldn’t stop staring!
While the beach is stunning and we preferred to soak up every second we could there, it’s important to note that El Nido has created a luxury oasis within their pool setting.
Right near the pool is the second bar and grill of the property.
Overall we were blown away with this property. The setting was stunning, the staff was attentive and friendly. We were able to truly disconnect and relax for a few days. We would highly recommend this oasis to anyone traveling to El Nido. We definitely found paradise at El Nido Pangulasian Island Resort! We can’t stop dreaming about the blue waters and stunning view, can’t wait to return!