Ayala Land’s El Nido Resorts, Apulit Island is an eco-adventure destination located on the eastern side of Palawan. The resort recently underwent a facelift; their second major renovation after acquiring the property from Club Noah Isabelle. The property closed down for 6 months to complete the full renovation. Everything from the rooms, the materials, and even the furniture were included in the renovation. Here’s my experience on the beautiful island of Apulit: El Nido Resorts Apulit Island Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island 5322, Philippines Contact Nos.: +63 (02) 902 5994 / +63 (02) 902 5995 or +63 (917) 843 7903 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: El Nido Resorts Instagram: @elnidoresorts Website: www.elnidoresorts.com/apulit-island [booking_product_helper shortname=”apulittaytaymap”] GETTING THERE https://flic.kr/p/22EHfyN The fastest way to reach Apulit Island is through the El Nido airport. Airswift flies daily from Manila to El Nido. The flight from Manila won’t take more than an hour. https://flic.kr/p/FLpwET A one-hour van ride from the airport will take you to Taytay port where food and refreshments await that can serve as your quick breakfast before finally riding the boat that will take you to the island. https://flic.kr/p/22EGrVs It all seems tedious and tiring having to constantly transfer vehicles… https://flic.kr/p/25mQYBN …but all those thoughts fade away as the view of the resort appears on the horizon. https://flic.kr/p/25qvQh4 A welcome drink and dance from the staff mark the start of an awesome experience at Apulit. https://flic.kr/p/22EGndG A staff member explains the eco-sustainability practice of the resort and the roles the guests play to achieve this. In every room, an eco-bag is provided for trash that they cannot dispose of in the island. This includes plastics, sachets, and other packaging that do not belong on the seas. https://flic.kr/p/FLoMtn The weather forecast and daily activities are listed on the board. Most activities are complimentary, save for stuff like diving. All it takes is a call to the reception and your slot is booked.
CLUBHOUSE https://flic.kr/p/HhPpZ3 Breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet are all served at the clubhouse. https://flic.kr/p/24JQ9hj The clubhouse is not enclosed, which I really like as I prefer fresh air over stuffy air conditioning, especially in a place as beautiful as El Nido. https://flic.kr/p/FLoyNx The clubhouse serves an assortment of local and international dishes for all three meals. https://flic.kr/p/22EF6QQ On some nights, dinner is served on the beach. https://flic.kr/p/25qunTz The beach looks just as magical at night as it does in the morning.
ACCOMMODATIONS The resort offers only two types of accommodation: the water cottage and the loft water cottage. https://flic.kr/p/HhNy7C The water cottages are ideal for couples as they’re smaller and more intimate. https://flic.kr/p/FLnT3F While the loft water cottages are ideal for families. It has a separate living room on the first level and the beds are on the second level. https://flic.kr/p/25quJaB The water cottages have been renovated from the ground up. The old cottages were demolished except for the flooring and expanded to accommodate more fixtures. https://flic.kr/p/FLoKqz Each cottage has its own private walkway. The sight of all the water cottages looks like a view straight from a postcard! https://flic.kr/p/HhN9Ny The cottages are now bigger at 34 sqm. compared to the old 24 sqm. https://flic.kr/p/25L43Hw One of the major changes also is the size of the bathroom. https://flic.kr/p/22EFUwW Consumables are placed in dispensers to reduce plastic waste. https://flic.kr/p/HhNWgN Standard coffee and tea amenities are provided. https://flic.kr/p/FLoiAP A woven eco-bag is given to the guests to carry their stuff around the resort. https://flic.kr/p/25mPFC9 A guide to the island activities and a checklist of animals you can see at the resort is also included. I was able to tick off seven! https://flic.kr/p/24kREMo The queen-sized bed fits two people comfortably. A fresh coat of white paint gives the room a brighter feel, compared to the previous dark wood accents. https://flic.kr/p/244y9HX The best part of the room is the balcony where I spent a few good minutes every morning just listening to the waves and staring at the pristine waters of El Nido. https://flic.kr/p/25qv2nc The resort is really meant for those going on vacation, so there’s no work desk in the room. But for those who need to answer a few e-mails and get some work done, the balcony isn’t such a bad working spot. They have really good Wi-Fi for a place that’s so isolated. https://flic.kr/p/24kRoXh The loft water cottages have their own private staircase leading to the waters. https://flic.kr/p/22EFqgs It also has an additional daybed, which is perfect if you have extra kids with you. Albeit being at the far end of the island, its location is ideal if you’re looking for less foot traffic and noise.
Island Hopping https://flic.kr/p/HhLYBU As part of the package, Apulit Island also offers island hopping and snorkeling to two of the nearby islands. For those who haven’t snorekled before, Apulit offers a short tutorial session. The tutorial is held close to the loft water cottages. I was even able to spot a stingray during our session! Isla Blanca https://flic.kr/p/HhM9Mo Isla Blanca is a small island 20 minutes away from the resort and exclusive to the guests of Apulit Island. https://flic.kr/p/GaFmpc I highly recommend snorkeling in Isla Blanca just for the variety of corals alone. There are stacked tabletops, brains, and branching corals, and others I can’t put a name to. Nabat Island https://flic.kr/p/HhLdAh Boats can’t dock on Nabat Island as the corals are closer to the shore almost reach the surface of the water. https://flic.kr/p/25mMAm1 Rather, the boat stops at just the right spot and guests swim carefully towards the corals in order not to hit them. Nabat Island has far more fishes compared to Isla Blanca. While I can’t name all the fishes I saw, I remember them vividly. From large angelfishes and the colorful parrotfish to the common clownfish, Nabat Island’s fishes are a sight to behold.
Other Activities https://flic.kr/p/25L44qd Aside from snorkeling, you can also try your hand at rock climbing on the island. The wake-up call is early to ensure you don’t get burned by the scorching sun. https://flic.kr/p/FLnQzK Or just spend your time in the pool overlooking the beach. It’s not a massive pool, and it’s such a waste to spend hours at the pool when the sea is just right in front of you. https://flic.kr/p/25qsJWF Apulit is also popular among divers (Japanese, mostly), and they follow a No C-Card, No Dive policy. https://flic.kr/p/25qsWMp The island has a great view of the sunset from the eastern cottages and the pier. Try your hand at kayaking while admiring this view for an added bucket list experience. https://flic.kr/p/22EF9JW The cottages at the western side give a view of this cross that’s been there since the island’s Club Noah days. Stories say it was placed there to remind the staff that the beauty of the island is God-given and should be revered as such. https://flic.kr/p/25qsPWv https://flic.kr/p/22EDCHf On our last night on the island, we were treated to a dinner on the raft. Having candlelit dinner underneath a sky full of stars is a memory I won’t be able to forget for a long while. This is a popular setup for guests looking for a more secluded dining spot that’s not their cottage or the beachfront.
Some tips if you decide to stay at El Nido Resorts Apulit Island:
- Check your flight time to see if it matches their arrival schedule
- If possible, ask for a room on the eastern side of the island if you enjoy sunset-watching.
- Take part in their eco-friendly advocacy and practice sustainability by bringing your own tumbler during island hopping and disposing of your trash properly
- Book a private dinner on the beach or on the raft on your last night
- Look out for the animals in the area, and try to complete your checklist
https://flic.kr/p/25quTHK Overall, I really loved my stay at Apulit Island. Their eco-friendly efforts, the tremendous biodiversity, idyllic scenery, and the friendliness of the staff all contributed to a memorable stay. https://flic.kr/p/25mM4zb As we were leaving, the staff broke out into a farewell song at the pier. I’m already thinking of the perfect occasion to use an excuse to return to Apulit Island. El Nido Resorts Apulit Island Apulit Island | Taytay, Palawan Island 5322, Philippines Contact Nos.: +63 (02) 902 5994 / +63 (02) 902 5995 or +63 (917) 843 7903 E-mail: email@example.com Facebook: El Nido Resorts Instagram: @elnidoresorts Website: www.elnidoresorts.com/apulit-island [booking_product_helper shortname=”apulittaytaymap”] Live an Awesome Life, Monique of Team Our Awesome Planet https://flic.kr/p/GaFooc Disclosure: We were media guests of Ayala Land’s El Nido Resorts Apulit Island. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.