Best Beach Hotels in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

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El Nido is the jumping-off point for exploring the beautiful islands of Bacuit Archipelago. Many beachfront hotels in the area have only narrow, rocky waterfronts, but these four have beautiful beaches and water sports (often free), plus boat tours for exploring the region's incredibly dramatic and remote islands.

  1. While many El Nido beach hotels have thin strips of sand, El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island has a beautiful wide beach that's the biggest in the area. Aside from the hotel itself, there isn't much on the island besides untouched forests, pristine white sands, and clear azure waters. The secluded and luxurious resort offers a variety of activities such as water sports (many included in the room rate), hiking, and island tours.

  2. Accessible only by boat, the 50-room El Nido Resort Miniloc Island is set on a Palawan island surrounded by dramatic limestone karsts and crystal-clear blue waters. The all-inclusive rates include many activities, like snorkeling, kayaking, and island visits, and a marine sanctuary on the beach teems with sea creatures such as jack fish, sergeant majors, and damsel fish. The beach itself is set up with cushioned lounge chairs, palapas for shade, and an adjacent beach bar serving snacks and drinks.

  3. 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. Other than the on-site facilities, there are no restaurants, bars, or shops here, but island-hopping tours and diving courses can be booked at the diving center and free boat transfers to sister property El Nido Resort Miniloc Island are available. Non-motorized water sports such as paddleboarding, sea kayaking, and snorkeling are available free of charge. 

  4. This seven-room boutique hotel is located on a remote beach in northeastern Palawan. Getting here requires an hour-long shuttle ride from the airport (sometimes on unpaved roads), but the tradeoff is an empty beach, absolute silence at night, and virtually private island-hopping tours. Some travelers may find the property a little too remote, though in general the free morning yoga classes, small spa, and long sandy beach make it a great pick for those seeking peace and relaxation. The beach is too shallow for swimming, though great for non-motorized water sports (free). Motorized water sports are also available on-site for a fee, and kitesurfing is particularly popular during the trade winds season (generally between October and May). Also, sandflies are common in this part of Palawan, but the hotel provides effective natural repellent in all rooms, and regularly fumigates the sand with natural products. 

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