El Nido Resort – Miniloc Island

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February, 2018

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We transferred from the El Nido Resort on Apulit Island to a second hotel in the El Nido chain, this time on “Miniloc Island”:http://www.elnidoresorts.com/miniloc-island/.

On approaching by boat, the resort appeared to be a mish mash of accommodation styles. We were welcomed on the jetty by staff playing instruments, offering cold flannels, welcome drinks and a leaflet outlining the fish and animals we could spot. As we’d arrived at 1pm and we were on a full board package, we were invited into lunch. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready at the check in time of 2pm as a large group had just left, and after a little prompting, we were offered a complimentary drink at the bar.

Our room 9 was situated on a quiet corner on the beach and had five small, narrow and difficult to navigate steps up to it and then another step into the room. It was compact, and the ceiling and walls were lined with bamboo making it a little dark. There was a regular double bed and a single bed which we used for putting on our suitcases and clothes as there was little shelving and hanging space. There was a safe, hairdryer on request, tea and coffee making facilities, flask of cold water and an empty mini bar with a sign telling us we could fill it with drinks bought from the gift shop. The room had two bedside tables and lamps and good accessible plug points and complimentary wifi was available all over.

The bathroom was small and quite old fashioned with a walk-in shower and a lower than usual loo and no loo roll holder. However, the mirror was good and there were plug points for the hairdryer.

The resort was not as well designed as Apulit, and there were various room styles ranging from our type of garden cottage, to water cottages on stilts, to modern apartments to places up lots of steps. It looked as though they’d kept adding on to it.
There was a man-made beach area with six large square thatched cabanas each with two heavy wooden sun beds with comfy cream leather cushion pads, table and chair and then a row of lower rattan sunbeds in front. As the hotel has a huge mountain behind it, the sun was lost from the beach by around 3pm. Down a few steps was a narrow strip of sand leading into the water, but it was very stony, rocky and shallow and not ideal for swimming and there was no swimming pool.

To keep us amused there were a range of inclusive activities ranging from sunset and sunrise cruises, snorkelling etc and kayaks and paddle boards available. We did little more than watch the daily feeding of the huge jack fish.

The bar with thatched roof, had happy hour from 4pm to 6pm. Having seen G&T listed during the day as a happy hour drink, it had been replaced by the time happy hour arrived. We prevaricated, and the barman said we could have a happy hour G&T if we had local gin and this became our nightly drink. On our final night, there was only one can of tonic left, but the barman made sure he saved it for us! That’s service.

The restaurant area was dark with a thatched roof and as before, all meals were buffet style. For breakfast there was the usual range of hot and cold, western and Filipino dishes, but the chilled fruits etc, were contained in low, glass-fronted containers with sliding doors which were not the easiest to access. There was always a good selection at lunch and dinner and something for everyone with evenings including a daily changing live cooking area.

This was our last stop in our two-month itinerary and as the resort was set in a small bay, surrounded by high mountains, we felt slightly claustrophobic and were pleased we’d only stayed for 4 nights.

Helen Jackson

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