The upscale Club Paradise Palawan is the only outpost on Dimkaya Island, a slice of paradise that's teeming with wildlife. It's a nature lovers' dream, from the beach to hiking to world-class diving and snorkeling. The 55 rooms are modern and spacious, with tropical flair, and some have furnished porches with hammocks. Fresh caught seafood is served at the beachside restaurant, and the outdoor pool is a lovely place to relax. Land activities include tennis, hiking, and biking. For a less expensive stay on the Palawan mainland, El Rio y Mar Resort is close by, though it's not quite as stunning or secluded.
The only property on Dimkaya Island, guests arrive at the resort by boat after a van ride from Busuanga. They then step onto the stunning property, which has a white sandy beach, blue waters, and abundant plant and animal life all around. A sign hanging from a palm tree welcomes guests to Club Paradise Palawan, and a giant sea turtle statue stands guard. Guests check in at the wooden front desk in the Clubhouse, a handsome building that's essentially the picture many travelers have of a casual tropical getaway -- a soaring thatched ceiling covers a polished wood floor while hanging lanterns add a bit of ambience and bamboo poles up the authenticity. Overall, the vibe is laid back, and guests gather in the Clubhouse to play pool, table tennis, or darts, for a drink at the Dugong Bar, or to just hang out and relax. From the hotel to the beach, the property is a true tropical escape, and draws families, couples, and groups of friends.
Sole resort on Dimakya Island with world-class diving and snorkeling
The hotel is located in Coron, Palawan, on Dimakya Island. It is the only resort on the island, which features an abundance of plants and animals such as lizards and birds in their natural habitat. Some of the shore is powdery white sand other spots are rocky. The island is surrounded by Palawan's clear aquamarine waters, and it's a destination in itself, with stunning views above and below the sea. Guests can dive and snorkel right off the beach, and turtles and dugongs make the occasional visit. Kyokuzan Maru, a World War II wreck for diving, is 30 minutes away by boat. Apo Reef Natural Park, the second biggest contiguous coral reef in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is 90 minutes away by boat. Trips to dive sites and nearby islands, as well as to a wildlife sanctuary, can be arranged through the hotel. Manila International Airport is about an hour from the resort; guests fly from Manila to Busuanga, then are transported by van and boat to the resort.
Spacious island-style accommodations, some with porches and direct beach access
Guests are welcomed on arrival with a mini foot massage and a note in their room saying, "Welcome home." Room decor is island style, with wicker and rattan or local-wood furnishings, an abundance of white, wood laminate floors, and splashes of orange in the bed runners and decorative pillows. Fresh flowers are a nice touch. All rooms are spacious and modern, and come with air-conditioning, minibars, a kettle for making tea and coffee, iPod dock alarm clocks, and safes. Some come with flat-screen TVs, but some have no TV at all -- guests should check ahead. Bathrooms are tiled and offer shaving and toothbrush kits plus toiletries in large eco-friendly bottles. Some bathrooms have been freshened up, with modern square sinks plus updated tiling and fixtures. Others are a little dated, but still quite nice. Cottages add more space and have lovely porches with wicker chairs and a hammock. Beachfront cottages step out directly onto the beach, where cushioned wicker lounge chairs and an umbrella are set up. The views are breath-taking. Guests are treated to a wine and cheese platter in their room on the last night of their stay and are given ginger cookies as a going-away token.
Pool and gorgeous beach, a seafood restaurant, and plenty of nature
For a resort on its own island with relaxation in mind, there's plenty here to keep guests busy. The outdoor zero entry pool is surrounded by cushioned wicker lounge chairs and umbrellas; drinks and snacks are available. Just beyond the pool is the gorgeous white sand beach with aquamarine water and majestic rocks in the distance. Shells, coral, and big and small rocks dot the beach, and trees provide shade. Water sports are available on the beach, as well as an on-site dive shop -- snorkeling and diving are available just off shore.
Ocean Restaurant serves fresh seafood and local produce in an open-air space by the beach. Cultural shows with local performers are held there on some nights. The Clubhouse has a bar and activities like pool and Ping-Pong. There's also a tennis court on site. A hiking trail leads to the island's highest peak, the Eagle's Point, and a viewing stand provides unbelievable views that are especially beautiful at sunset. Rental bikes are available for those who would like to explore the island on wheels, and water tours are offered on a paraw sail boat. Guests also book fishing tours and have their catch cooked for dinner. Glow Spa offers a variety of treatments in a cabana on the beach. The hotel also has a library and a TV room with seating. An on-site shop sells clothing and accessories. The kids' room is a colorful space with children's toys and games that keep the little ones entertained. The hotel has free Wi-Fi, but it doesn't work well at all.
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