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Cadlao Resort 3.0

El Nido, Palawan, Mimaropa

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Oceanfront property a 10-minute walk from El Nido town
  • Private beach on Matinloc Island (located a 45-minute boat ride away)
  • Clean rooms with terraces and air-conditioning
  • Two pools, including an infinity option with stunning bay and Cadlao Island views
  • Excellent Filipino restaurant with striking ocean views
  • Small spa wth an outdoor pavilion and a wide array of treatments
  • Beachfront bar with cocktails and a selection of beers
  • Free (but spotty) Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free tricycle service to El Nido town
  • Island tours and airport transfers for a fee

Cons

  • On-site beach is rocky
  • No in-room TVs, electric kettles or mini-fridges
  • Spotty Wi-Fi (almost nonexistent in rooms)
  • Some guests find food overpriced
  • Most rooms are smallish

Bottom Line

Cadlao Resort is a quiet mid-range property located on a rocky beach a 10-minute walk from El Nido town. Its 25 rooms have cute traditional Filipino decor and terraces overlooking the lovely tropical grounds, but some may find the lack of TVs, minibars, and electric kettles a little underwhelming for the price. There are a small spa with outdoor cabanas, a solid restaurant, and two pools, but the property’s best selling point are the striking views of Cadlao and Helicopter Islands that can be had from a few rooms and most common spaces. El Nido Cove Resort offers a similar experience at lower rates, but its location a 20-minute drive from the El Nido town may not be as convenient to some. 

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Scene

Quiet family-run boutique with striking Cadlao Island views

Although it is only a 10-minute walk from busy El Nido town, Cadlao Resort feels serene and relaxing due to its location off a tiny street only accessible to tricycles and motorbikes. All rooms and the restaurant are housed in low stand-alone buildings with pitched roofs, white exteriors, and large floor-to-ceiling windows, making the property feel intimate. The grounds are tranquil and peaceful, with stone paths running along manicured lawns dotted with tropical plants and flowers, and straw hammocks hanging between palm trees. The on-site beach is rocky and not ideal for swimming, but Cadlao Resort also has a private stretch of sand on Matinloc Island, which is a 45-minute boat ride away.

The property is no-frills overall, with simple island decor and basic amenities, but the views make it stand out among the rest of El Nido town hotels. Cadlao and Helicopter Island are right across the bay, and the restaurant, the infinity pool, and a few of the rooms offer unobstructed views of both. Rates are steep for a mid-range hotel, but many guests find the views and the serene atmosphere worth the price. 

Location

Oceanfront location a short walk from El Nido town

Cadlao Resort is located on a tiny road a three-minute drive or 10-minute walk from central El Nido town. The hotel offers free tricycle rides to the city center and the beach, but those looking to take a cab instead may want to note that the street is too narrow for cars and the last stretch back to the hotel will have to be done on foot. The hotel’s beach is rocky and not quite appealing for swimming, but there are a couple of nicer, sandier ones a short drive away, in the area closer to the airport. El Nido Airport is a 16-minute drive away, and the hotel offers transfers for a fee.

Rooms

Clean rooms with simple decor, basic amenities, and furnished terraces

The hotel has 25 rooms, all clean and featuring wooden decks with wicker furniture, and garden, pool or ocean views. Decor is simple but charming, with traditional wooden furniture, colorful bed runners, and throw pillows with bamboo stick designs. Rooms start at 270 square feet (terrace included), so most are smallish, but sliding floor-to-ceiling windows add some visual space. Safes, air-conditioning, and thermoses are provided in all rooms (guests can get hot or cold water at the restaurant), but with no TVs, mini-fridges, or electric kettles, and free but mostly nonexistent Wi-Fi, in-room amenities are a little too basic for the price. Bathrooms are spacious and clean, with wet-room-style showers, contemporary round sinks over wooden counters, and a wide array of toiletries. Seafront Bungalows offer ocean views, and Poolside units (added in 2016) have direct access to the hotel’s second pool. 

Features

Two pools, a restaurant, a spa, and free shuttle to El Nido town

The hotel has two pools, including an infinity-edge one overlooking the bay and Cadlao and Helicopter islands. It has several padded loungers, and palm trees for shade, and is a favorite among guests for watching the sunset. The other pool was added in early 2016, and is located in the Poolside Bungalow section. The restaurant serves tasty traditional Filipino and international cuisine in an open pavilion overlooking the bay and the islands, but some guests consider it overpriced. The adjacent bar offers cocktails and a selection of beers. The spa has indoor and outdoor facilities, and a long treatments menu that includes several types of massages and salon services. The hotel also offers island hopping day trips, and airport transfer services for a fee. Free tricycle rides into El Nido town are offered several times a day free of charge. 

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Address

Caalan - Masagana, El Nido, Palawan Province, Philippines

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