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Tapik Beach Park Guest House 2.0

El Nido, Palawan, Mimaropa

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Set right on a peaceful sandy beach
  • Secluded setting away from tourist spots
  • Bamboo- and palm-filled rooms all face the sea
  • Romantic cottages have private bathrooms
  • Filipino restaurant and bar open all day; 
  • Dinner service along the beach is available
  • Staff can arrange massages, plus excursions around the archipelago
  • Kayaks and motorbikes are available for rent

Cons

  • Not all beach huts have bathrooms
  • Spartan and a bit ramshackle rooms
  • Electricity only runs during the daytime
  • There is no hot water on-site
  • Wi-Fi is virtually non-existent

Bottom Line

The nine-room Tapik Beach Park Guest House is light on conventional amenities -- including hot water and 24-hour electricity -- but it's a charming and secluded property with budget rates. Located along a sandy beach far from the tourist traps of El Nido, this two-pearl hotel is way off the beaten track. Guests can stay in spartan, but romantic, huts and cottages. All rooms face the sea, but not all have private bathrooms. A bar and restaurant serve Filipino fare, and water sports are available for rent. The staff can arrange excursions around the archipelago, as well as massage treatments. Guests looking for a quiet but more traditional hotel may want to check out the El Nido Cove Resort, set on the other side of the island.

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Scene

No-frills tents and huts on grassy grounds sloping down to the sea

The Tapik Beach Park Guest House might well resemble the hotel of some guests’ dreams -- or indeed, their nightmares, depending on how they feel about no-frills rooms. In addition to budget tents, the hotel consists of a number of huts and cottages, made of bamboo and palms. A small reception and open-air restaurant continue the same design, and they're all set along a winding path that leads down through to a sandy beach that gently slopes into a crystalline blue sea. Other than that, there isn’t much else -- which is entirely the point. Understandably, the hotel tends to attract a young and adventurous set who are willing to overlook a lack of creature comforts in favor of ample opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and peaceful relaxation. 

Location

A retreat far away from civilization, but with some great snorkelling spots

Set on the other side of Palawan from the tourist traps of El Nido, the Tapik Beach Park Guest House is well off the beaten track, which is part of its charm. It is a five-minute drive to Cuyonon Heritage Museum and a five-minute boat ride to Bubog Island. There are a couple of hotels in the nearby vicinity for dining outside the hotel, but options are limited. The area is best known, however, for providing some spectacular sites for diving, snorkeling, and island hopping, as well as hiking through dramatic jungle terrain. El Nido proper and its airport are over an hour’s drive away.

Rooms

Sea-facing rooms built to varying degrees of comfort, but all without hot water

The Tapik Beach Park Guest House has nine rooms made out of bamboo that has been hammered, woven, and otherwise coerced into rooms with varying degrees of sophistication. The largest of these are the Beach Cottages, which have a double bed and sink in the room, and a private slate-tiled bathroom with a flush toilet and shower. Smaller Beach Huts have room for a mattress on the floor, and have shared bathroom facilities. All huts have a balcony out front with views of the beach. There are also a number of raised bamboo platforms on which tents can be pitched so that they’re away from the sea when the tide comes in at night. Understandably, the rooms do not have air-conditioning, nor any amenities aside from bottled water, insect repellent lotion, and a swiveling fan -- when the electricity is on, that is. There is no hot water, meaning guests will have to be happy taking cold showers.

Features

Beachfront restaurant serving fresh seafood and Filipino fare

The Tapik Beach Park Guest House is undeniably lacking in home comforts, but it makes the most of its location. The staff at the park organize and run tours around the archipelago for a fee, including snorkeling trips, fishing, island hopping, hiking trips through the jungle that covers Palawan’s interior, and firefly watching. The open-air restaurant and bar serves traditionally cooked Filipino fare and fresh seafood, plus cold drinks are available all day. At night, the electricity turns off, and staff put out tables and chairs along the beach for a romantic setting. Guests can also hire motorbikes and kayaks to explore the region on their own. While there is theoretically a Wi-Fi connection in some areas, guests have found that it is virtually non-existent, for better or for worse.

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Address

Brgy Sibaltan, El Nido, Palawan Province 5300, Philippines

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