I must say, the idea of El Nido being expensive come from the popularity of the El Nido Resort Islands of Miniloc and Lagen in Bacuit Bay. While a lot of people lately know that there are cheaper alternative to the destination already, there is a good reason why their resorts cost either an arm or a leg (or both). El Nido Resorts have set a good standard in terms of quality resorts hand in hand with good eco-tourism initiatives on their managed islands. They have upped the game again when they opened their new resort, Pangulasian Island late last year. Their most expensive resort yet.
Finally! A long Beach Island
Pangulasian Island is a departure from the usual stilt cottages over crystal clear ocean waters hugged by towering limestones which can be found on their other islands Apulit, Miniloc and Lagen. This time, we have beach-side villas (some with their own pools called the Pool Villas) where guest can enjoy the 750-meters long beach and the sea right at their doorsteps. In place of karst formations is a lush forest hill guest can climb on an established trail to enjoy a 360 degree view of Bacuit Bay. Pangulasian Island used to be on the island hopping curcuit but when El Nido Resorts bought the island, it was made exclusive to guest, even the waters fronting the island which is home to several sharks and turtles is off limits to the public.
The contemporary Filipino designed interior of the villas is the standard among the 42 villas of the resort. They villas just vary on the added amenities like the attached pool on the Beachside villas or the Canopy Villas high up on stilts blending along with the lush forest vegetation offering a commanding view of the sea and other islands of Bacuit Bay.
I really like the heavy use of coffee colors on white and bare wood making the villas look so elegant. The use of anitos in the design infuses a touch of Filipino culture. The palm-thatched roofing with well-though out accentuated lighting brings out the warm cozy mood of the interior. And you have to see the the posh bathroom which looks like a room in itself. I’m sure girls would swoon over in its lavishness.
Each villa is serviced by their own butler. For the far-off villas, buggy rides are available.
I also noticed there’s a slew of activities here, aside from the island hopping, there’s the wind surfing, diving, snorkeling, swim to observe the black tip sharks
feeding, sunset or sunrise viewing to mention a few. They didn’t skimp on facilities as well from a gym, spa and library as well.
Pangulasian Island is no doubt expensive but if you can afford it it’s definitely a priceless experience. I only stayed there for a day trip as a media guest but I saw how beautiful the island is, how top-notch the facilities are and more importantly how the Filipino hospitality shines here from the friendly and amiable staff.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.