Palawan is arguably one of the best islands in the Philippines, and people are starting to notice. Between white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and unbeatable sunsets, this province at the southern part of Luzon has become a must-visit in the tropical islands.
Home to one of the world's best beaches, there are many areas in Palawan to discover. El Nido is the most popular destination right now, known for powdery white sand, clear waters, and luxurious hotels. Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital city, is the most common starting point in exploring the rest of the province. It is also home to one of the country's most popular attractions, the Underground River. A little off-the-beaten path is Coron - small in size, but big on adventure with diving and trekking experiences.
There are many more undiscovered areas of Palawan, which is why it is known as the last frontier of the Philippines. No matter where you choose to travel, however, there are many accommodations in this province for any budget that will make your vacation even more memorable.
We've rounded up some of the best places to stay in Palawan so you can enjoy literally every single minute you spend in this magical island.
Nothing says luxury better than the El Nido Island Resorts. It's a group of four ultra-luxury, ultra-exclusive resorts hidden in bays of private islands. This is the kind of resort where staff greets you by name as you step off the boat and practically rolls out a red carpet from the dock all the way to the reception and throughout your entire stay.
The most popular among the four is Miniloc Island Resort. While every corner is oozing with luxury, it's more modern, relaxed, and young than its sister resorts. The design also pays homage to the rustic and traditional Filipino design, giving guests a more authentic Philippine vibe.
There are a total of 50 rooms in the resort, all with thatched roofs, wooden floors, bamboo walls, and private verandas. There are standard rooms that sit on the cliffside, but the more luxurious rooms and villas stand on stilts right in the crystal clear water of the private bay.
Cadlao Resort is known for its homey vibe close to nature as well as its restaurant visited by guests even from other resorts.
Built in 2011, the eco-friendly resort is powered by solar panels attached to the villas' roof. They filter grey water through a natural reed-bed, which is then used for gardening. Furniture is made with local materials, and ingredients are all sourced from local markets.
There are 25 rooms at the resort, all featuring private verandas and facing either the garden or the sea. Each room is also fashioned in traditional Filipino style and materials.
There are two pools for guests to enjoy, the better of which is an infinity pool that faces the West Philippine Sea.
Peace and quiet is this resort's specialty. El Nido Cove Resort and Spa is 15-20 minutes away from the town proper, which can sometimes get a bit rowdy at night. People looking for a very chill and easygoing vibe will enjoy a stay at this resort.
Its location on the beach also makes the perfect spot to watch the sun set. Their beachfront lounge chairs and infinity pool will almost make you spend your entire day at the resort. They, of course, arrange island-hopping activities and town tours for their guests.
As a mid-range resort with only 20 rooms, El Nido Cove Resort is almost always fully-booked. Guests can choose between a Garden Room, a Beachfront Loft, or a Forest Room, all designed with warm and inviting tones. The resort also has solar panels to supplement their power consumption.
Spin Designer Hostel is no ordinary run-of-the-mill hostel. While it features dorm and sharing rooms, the hostel is exquisitely designed with minimalist flair, industrial fixtures, and warm Filipino hospitality.
You can opt to secure your privacy in a private room or a private bunk, or be sociable and book a bed in mixed and all-female dorms. Their shared spaces are fun, quirky, and designed to create interactions between guests.
There's a laundry area and a basic kitchen free for use for every guest. Each booking also comes with a free continental breakfast. The hostel also occasionally hosts events, mini concerts, and group tours to further help their guests make new friends and connections.
Dos Palmas Island Resort sits on the shores of Honday Bay, which is one of the most popular island hopping destinations in Puerto Princesa.
One of the very few Puerto Princesa resorts with beach front access, Dos Palmas is in a 20-hectare private island for complete serenity.
The surrounding reefs and corals are teeming with fish and there is a healthy mangrove forest to the south of the island. The entire island supports an ecosystem of 300 species of reef fishes, corals, mollusks and crustaceans, at least 95 species of migratory and non-migratory birds and a nesting site and feeding ground for three species of sea turtles.
They offer many activities and water sports, including diving the surrounding reefs and those in neighboring islands. The sprawling property has 76 beach villas and four executive villas that can accommodate up to five people. They also have an Arts Center where they exhibit traditional Filipino art and sell handicrafts created by the local community.
Princesa Garden Island Resort is a luxury resort that takes environmental sustainability seriously. Natural and local materials are used as decors and furniture, solar panels power water heaters, natural sea salt is used to purify their swimming pools, and they have their own wastewater treatment facility.
They offer tour packages bundled with room bookings, with each room ranging from 31-50 square meters. There are several room options to choose from, whether you prefer to have direct pool access, beach views, or a pool of your own. The Asian-inspired decor gives off a warm but relaxed ambiance.
They also have an impressive array of facilities, including daycare centers and playrooms for children. The property is big enough to fit in a mini golf course, bike paths, four restaurants, and three bars.
Caniguiran Street, Barangay Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City 5300
Canvas Boutique Hotel itself is an artwork. From the light installations to the murals on the walls, this modern and quirky hotel was created to bring art to life. The paintings on the walls seen in the hallways and in the rooms were created by local artists. These paintings are interpretations of Palawan life and culture.
Their wide, spacious rooms are always flooded with natural light, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and well-appointed locations. The rooms come with the usual bells and whistles, but also has a Loudbasstard media dock - a natural sound amplifier made out of hollowed out bamboo.
Their in-house restaurant called Painted Table is known for unique local dishes. There aren't much in terms of facilities other than a 20-meter pool, but the vibe and the energy of the hotel keeps making guests wanting to come back.
Palawan North Road corner San Juan, Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City 5300
+63 917 807 1360
Located within the city center is Hibiscus Garden Inn. This tropical garden hideaway is just 10 minutes from the airport. It's also located near some of the city's more popular restaurants.
The rooms are decked out in a combination of traditional Filipino and Spanish decor with red clay tiles and wooden furniture. There are no beach views or skylines, but the rooms have their own private gardens that muffle out the sounds of the city just a few steps away.
Because of its relaxing vibe, convenient location, and affordable rates, Hibiscus Garden Inn is extremely popular with both locals and foreigners who visit Puerto Princesa.
This island paradise is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and forests. Their house reef is also teeming with fish, but what sets it apart is that the island is a turtle and giant clam sanctuary. The west side of the island features a 200-meter beach, while the east side has another 200-meter beach with mangroves.
There are 42 luxurious bungalows spaced out around the island for absolute privacy. There are six kinds of bungalows you can book, each featuring different views and surroundings, but all having easy access to the beach. The natural materials used in each accommodation paired with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that you feel one with nature.
The 600-square-meter pool is a highlight of the resort. Two Seasons also has many facilities for both kids and adults, and offers a lot of outdoor activities and water sports.
Sophia's Garden Resort is located within Coron Town Proper. The 5,000-square-meter property is a sanctuary within the busy town with its manicured lawns and gardens. The resort is built in a modern Spanish style, evident in the structure of the resort and the choice of furnishing.
Guests rave about the good food and service at their in-house restaurant, El Comidor. They offer different dishes that can cover quick snacks, fine dining, or grill nights.
The spacious rooms are a mix of modern comfort and Spanish nostalgia. It comes with free breakfast as well.
The resort has an adult and kiddie pool and a jacuzzi for a relaxing stay in. They also offer the standard tour packages around Coron.
The Funny Lion is a contemporary boutique hotel only 30 minutes away from the airport. This very modern but chic hotel is quite popular among the younger crowd. Since it sits on an uphill part of the town, it features sunset views and looks over mangroves and the tranquil Coron bay.
Their Cub, King, and Pride rooms can accommodate 2-3 adults in the 20-25-square-meter space.
Facing the bay, they have a pool surrounded by lounge chairs for a quiet moment with nature. They also have package tours around Coron. If you're traveling with children, babysitting services are also offered for more tedious outdoor activities and packages.
There aren't a lot of options when it comes to dining around Coron, but there's no need to look outside The Funny Lion. Their restaurant, bar, and grill offer good food and entertainment with reasonable prices.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!