Soaring limestone cliffs, secluded white-sand coves and translucent turquoise waters: El Nido in encapsulates everything you could wish for in a Philippines beach getaway. Want a place to stay that’s as blissful and beautiful as your surroundings? Get inspired by our pick of the best luxury hotels and resorts in El Nido.
The modern, minimalist suites at this adults-only boutique in Corong Corong are magazine-worthy – as is the dinky garden pool overlooking the private beach. You can rent kayaks and bikes from the hotel for do-it-yourself adventures or arrange island-hopping tours and yoga classes. The oceanfront restaurant serves excellent Filipino cuisine; try the binakol (spiced chicken soup) and buko (coconut) pie.
The nest-like, coconut-shaped cottages at Panorama have high ceilings, rainfall showers and traditional Filipino textiles and are just a few steps from the pool. The lantern-lit beachfront deck is superb for watching the sun set over the bay – it gets very busy with restaurant customers, but, as a hotel guest, you can reserve a seat in advance.
Wake up to a breathtaking beach view from a luxury villa at Cauayan Island Resort. Hit the infinity pool for calm afternoons with views of the waves, or take a closer look with the kayaking, snorkelling and sunset cruise adventures available from the hotel. The resort is also near the Small Lagoon, Hidden Beach and the Secret Lagoon Beach – perfect for island-hopping adventures.
Sitting between forested slopes and a private beach, Matinloc Resort is wrapped in El Nido beauty. Peaceful suites come with garden or sea views, while the more luxurious private villas come with more space and views over the water. Dine al fresco at the regular beach barbecues, or, for an extra special evening, book a private dining experience on the sands, surrounded by lights and torches. And, if a short hike around the nature trail doesn’t satisfy your need to explore, the island-hopping tours and free kayak and snorkelling rentals will.
Part of the El Nido Resorts group, this Lagen Island outpost has been named their “eco-sanctuary” resort, as the island is home to a variety of winged and furry critters. Come face-to-face with the island wildlife by embarking on a birdwatching or mangrove exploration from the hotel. There are also hiking and biking trails, spa services, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling, should you crave further adventure.
The Miniloc Island branch of El Nido Resorts is their “eco-discovery” getaway, where you can enjoy al fresco dining with a beach view. At first glance, it looks like a coastal village set in a beautiful cove with crystal-clear waters. But enter your lodgings, and you’ll discover a retreat that hits the luxury spot with contemporary white-washed walls warmed with dark wood furniture and stripped flooring. You’ll hardly spend any time there though, with a bevvy of water sports (kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving and snorkelling) and a beach bar to distract you.
With just six rooms (each with a private sea-view terrace), Vellago Resort is the ideal private retreat for honeymooners and couples. It sits on Seven Commandos Beach, with loungers and Bali beds lining the sands. Breakfast is served to your room, while a romantic beach dinner with torches and candles will ramp up the romance at dinner time. Kayaks and snorkelling equipment are free to rent, and you can book island-hopping tours or a speedboat, should you wish to travel further.
This is an updated version of an article originally written by Ronica Valdeavilla.