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El Nido Resorts Lagen Island 4.0

El Nido, Palawan, Mimaropa

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Secluded location on a largely uninhabited island in northern Palawan
  • Elegant rooms with lots of local charm; some have stunning water views
  • Private beach with a diving center, free non-motorized sports, and a bar
  • Large pool with panoramic bay views, towel service, and a bar
  • On-site restaurant serving buffet for all three meals
  • Small fitness center with cardio and strength-training equipment
  • Serene spa with treatment rooms for couples and outdoor facilities
  • Kids’ club and game room; kids under six stay free
  • Free Wi-Fi, plus breakfast buffet and daily activities included in rates
  • Fully equipped meeting spaces, plus a business center with computers
  • Wedding chapel with panoramic bay views
  • Numerous eco-friendly practices

Cons

  • Difficult to access (air and sea transfers required from Manila)
  • Restaurant gets mixed reviews
  • Rooms near the diving center may get noise in the morning

Bottom Line

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island is an upscale property set amid lush tropical forests and stunning limestone cliffs on a remote island in northern Palawan. There are plenty of outdoor activities available here, including non-motorized water sports, hiking, and island-hopping tours, but the property also offers a quiet beach and a serene pool for those who just want to relax in the sun. Its 50 spacious and elegant rooms have plenty of local character and solid amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. The spa, fitness center, and kids’ club allow for a relaxing vacation away from it all, but the restaurant, though serving a varied buffet for all three meals, gets mixed reviews. Sister property El Nido Resorts Apulit Island offers a similar experience at lower rates, but Lagen Island is more upscale. 

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Scene

Upscale island retreat in a gorgeous tropical setting

The second most upscale El Nido Resort in the region, Lagen Island has a gorgeous setting on a largely uninhabited island in northern Palawan. The only way to get to this intimate tropical retreat is by boat, which allows for breathtaking views of the thick tropical forests surrounding the property and the stunning limestone cliffs dropping into the crystal-clear waters. The lobby, housed in a large open pavilion with thatched roofs, features simple but cute island decor with rattan couches and armchairs that stand out against the stone floors and white accents. Most of the wood used throughout the property is reclaimed timber from old Filipino homes that has been polished and treated, and the use of nipa, bamboo, and rattan adds local charm. This elegant indigenous decor style continues throughout the resort, including rooms and common spaces, most of which have an indoor-outdoor design that makes the most of the stunning surroundings. 

The property has an intimate atmosphere, with low traditional Filipino buildings tucked away amid lush forests, and small clusters of villas and thatched huts on stilts located right on the beach. Most guests here are outdoor enthusiasts and honeymooners, but the spacious villas and numerous kid-friendly activities also draw families with young children.

Location

On a secluded island a 45-minute boat ride from Lio airport

The resort is located on a sandy beach on the western coast of Lagen Island, a largely uninhabited island in Bacuit Bay. Other than the on-site facilities, there are no restaurants, bars, or shops here, but island-hopping tours can be booked at the diving center. The property offers free boat transfers to sister property El Nido Resort Miniloc Island, which features a lovely private beach, a restaurant, and a bar. A forest trail with stunning views can be taken directly from the hotel, and there are several gorgeous beaches within a short boat ride. Getting to the resort from Manila requires a 55-minute flight to Lio Airport in Palawan, plus a 45-minute boat ride to Lagen Island. The hotel provides free roundtrip boat transfers to/from the airport.

Rooms

Clean, elegant rooms with traditional Filipino decor and balconies

The hotel has 50 rooms, all traditionally decorated with polished wooden floors, rattan and nipa accents, and sliding wooden shutters that open onto furnished terraces. All are spacious and feel uncluttered, with just the right amount of furniture to make them comfortable and elegant, yet not overly ornate. Flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, stocked minibars, electric kettles, and pitchers with purified water are all standard amenities. Forest units are housed in two long two-story buildings located amid thick tropical gardens, while Water Cottages are 570-square-foot thatched huts built on stilts above the clear bay waters. Beachfront Cottages are directly on the sand and feature stunning panoramic bay and sunset views. Bathrooms are spacious and clean, with beige tiles, wood and rattan cabinets, large mirrors, and wet room-style showers. Forest Suites have double sinks and separate deep soaking tubs. In an effort to reduce waste, toiletries come in large containers. Units near the diving center may get noise in the morning.

Features

Non-motorized water sports, a pool, a restaurant, a kids’ club, a fitness center, and a spa

The hotel is located directly on a sandy beach complete with padded loungers and a bar serving drinks and snacks throughout the day. Non-motorized water sports such as paddleboarding, sea kayaking and snorkeling are available free of charge at the beach, and there is a diving center offering trips to nearby beaches and islands, as well as diving courses. Additionally, the property offers a wide array of free outdoor activities, including ping-pong, hiking trails, beach volleyball, and badminton. Island-hopping tours and sunset cruises are also available. Located right by the beach, the pool is a quiet spot for a lazy day in the sun, and it is also a favorite among guests for watching the sunset. The Clubhouse Restaurant serves a varied buffet spread for all three meals, but it gets mixed reviews and the outdoor area is a little basic for a hotel in this price range. A nice breakfast buffet is offered here every morning free of charge. 

A cute kids’ club offers games, toys, an indoor playground, and daily activities, while the game room has pool, ping-pong and foosball tables. Kids under six stay free. The fitness center is small but well-equipped, and the spa offers treatment rooms for couples as well as traditional Filipino massages. A beachside chapel, fully equipped meeting space, and a small business center with two computers are also available on-site. All rates include Wi-Fi and roundtrip boat transfers to/from Lio Airport. 

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Address

Lagen Island, El Nido, Palawan Province 1229, Philippines

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