Travel Blogs from Palawan
By the time Sunday had rolled around we were glad to see the back of Manila. It's unlikely that Lucy will ever recover from the sight of a dead cat/dog in the gutter- not helped by the spotting of a 2nd dead cat/dog in the gutter a few minutes later. For the rest of us, there was too much rain and too many people sleeping for our liking so hearts were far from heavy when we boarded the plane to Puerto threat of a bout of 'travel discomfort' imminent, we ...
Naia is a no wang wang zone: Feeling tired and scumpy we managed to navigate our way through the no wang wang zone, despite Eva's many public declarations that she wished she was wearing her strap-on. Exiting the airport, loaded up like cart horses we were met with a wall of 100% humidity and the residues of ...
Our excitement at boarding the plane was short lived, thanks to a technical issue and some rather inconvenient aviation rules. We were in fact so late, we had missed the cut-off for night time take-offs so had to wait another hour while air traffic control decided whether we could have special permission to wake up the residents under the Heathrow flight path. Presumably they decided we'd ...
... about this interesting country, and are even talking about making a return trip here to help serve with Habitat for Humanity in some of the cyclone-ravaged areas. But, we digress from the current trip…
We are currently at an El Nido (local company) luxury resort on a small private island in the Bacuit Bay marine reserve. The plethora of small islands, with the sheer rock cliffs rising abruptly from the ocean creates a beautiful panorama in ...
... that I am getting old.
So I went on, buckled up and went straight to Puerto Princesa airport armed with very little knowledge about the place which I carefully printed out using our office paper.
Flying wasn't so bad after all. I had the best time enjoying the altitude.
As I nervously went inside the city proper, I realized that I'd better work fast or I'll miss the trip heading to El Nido which is my first agenda. So I hailed a trike ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Amanpulo Palawan
Not so peaceful at the peaceful island
Although this was my first visit to Amanpulo it was my fourth experince of an Aman resort. I therefore feel that i have some degree of insight to be able to write this review as i am aware it may upset some of those who have experinced this resort and think very highly of it. I was looking forward to an amazing experience similar to those that i had encountered when visiting other aman resorts. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be. I will not return to what is a beautiful setting which aman so brilliantly excell in. However, my partner and i experienced annoying problems and issues. Some of these problems were not the fault of the mangement as it involved other visitors to the resort, but some issues, i belive were. Two of the large villas on the island with 4 bedrooms each had been rented out to three families with lots of children. Before i continue, can i say that i am not anti children or anti children being at the resort. I infact come from a large familiy with many children. However, the 13 children ranging between 9 and 16 spoilt the atmosphere on many occaisions. Mainly as a result of the parents simply not being there to supervise activities. I can accept noise and fun around the pool. But at times this was excessive, shouting for drinks and cocktails, dive bombing into the pool, shouting for the waiter, screamimg at each other. At times the pool area looked and resembled a public pool a strewn with inflatables. The children were under 16 but clearly drinking acohol. They were driving around the island on the golf carts throwing stones and trying to run over the birds on the island. I can imagine these buggies being seen as some sort of excitement for the children, but the resort information clearly states no children under 16 to drive. One evening at the beach club we were having dinner. The cost of this came to around £130 british pounds. However, it was spoilt by the unsupervised children running and screamimg through the beach club shouuting for drinks. The parents came later, one of the few times i saw them with their kids, obvioulsy slightly drunk, with towels wrapped around themselves rather than shorts or clothes, shouting and screaming encouraging their children to take their clothes off and go skinny dipping. sitting on the bar, not at it. Not what i wanted to experince while having a 5 star meal. Now, i really don't mind if the parents want to let their kids drink, i don't mind shouting and screaming or even skinny dipping as long as it is around their own villa and not in the public area at dinner time when we're trying to eat. The poor waiter apologised, called for the manager. We were given a free beach side dinner the next eveining, but i am afraid that wasn't really the point or what i expect from this resort. I will concede that one could argue that this was not the fault of the manager. Unfortunately, there were other issues. We booked late for this holiday and all the beach side casitas were full, so we opted for a hill side casita. This was great with fantastic views over the sea and island in the distance (better view than from a beach side to be honest). However, the resort was full most of the 10 days we had there and i am afraid amanpulo didn't do full capcity very well. One huge problem came when during the day we went to the beach club, unfortunately, there are only 6 beach beds for those guest who don't have a beach casita (beach casitas have access to the beach and there own beds and umbrella) If you look on the aman web page and find the photo of the beach club with white sand and blue sky you will see the beds and umbrellas in the picture and also see how close they are to one another. They are extremely close together and not at all private. Anyway, private or not, they were all full. So here i am on this lovely 5 star island with no where to sit on the beach. We did seek the manger out who arranged for sunbeds to be set up on the beach, but i didn't expect to have to get up early to bag a sunbed. Also, the beach club had this irritation of palying 24 hour music. Now i can understand the 'chill out' music could be played to get you in the mood, but slience would have been nice at times. However, i didn't expect or want Doris Day singing 'what ever will be will be, our future's not ours to see.....' and some other crooner singing 'moon river' . In other aman resorts the staff were in - obtrusive. Friendly, gracefull and gracious. If you left your villa etc by the time you returned your villa would have been cleaned ready for your return etc. You simply didn't feel there was any intrusion. However, this was not the case in amanpulo. The staff were friendly, so please don't get me wrong, but although this may sound pedantic after experincing other aman resprts i really don't want the staff knocking on my door asking if they could turn the bed down or change the fruit. I just don't feel amanpulo did 'full capcity' very well. There was no greetings of hello or goodbye by name as is the tradmark of aman, by any of the staff, probably due to the fact the resort was full and staff simply couldn't remember names. Again, this sounds rather lame, but maybe not when you are paying for a different level of service. The bedtime snacks you recieved on your return to the casita at night , apart from being not very apertising, were dressed on a plain saucer (used for cups) and covered in cling film!! very 5 star (not). similarly, I appreciate it is an island, and i can accept 1 or even 2 items of the menu not being available, but when it got to 3 and 4 times it was just silly. To summarise, it is a lovely setting, but not the exclusive retreat i had hoped for. The maldives do this style of holiday and resort so much better, especially if you look at the top end of the market. I believe the resort was built in 1993 and to be honest i think it looks a little tired and dated. I appreciate the philosophy of aman and using local and traditional workmanship etc, but it really could do with a face lift and given the cost of staying there i am sure they could afford to do this. As for the amenities i do not mind or care if the casitas have TV's and DVD's or not, but if they are advertising caista that come with this facility and technology i just hope they update to fit more in line with 21st century technology and be less intrusive and obvious. I didn't enjoy this huge black blob of a TV been stuck on the end on the bench with another stack next to it for the DVD and CD, it just didn't look or feel classy- less obvious would be good. I was an avid fan of aman and have never minded what some critics say are somewhat inflated costs for what you get, but this has certainly scarred me and has left me feeling that aman can get it wrong. I will look more closely at what other hotels have to offer next time beofre simply heading for an aman hotel.
My husband and I stayed at the Amanpulo on our recent trip to South East Asia. We had just come from the Four Seasons in Langkawi, one of the most beautiful hotels we ever stayed at, and were curious about the Amanpulo.
first of all, we have never seen a more beautiful island, the water, and the beach are just paradise. You cannot get enough of the turquoise sea. We spent many hours snorkelling, swimming and diving in the perfect water.
As for the hotel, the Amanpulo is really nice. I wouldn't say it's wonderful, as you can see that it is aging a little bit. But the service was excellent most of the time, and the setting is just superb. The food is ok, but again not excellent. Would we go there again? Absolutely, but for the water, not for the hotel. If the Amanpulo wasn't set on this paradise island, I don't think we would go back.
ive been to many beaches and amanpulo one of the very few that captured my heart. the sand and the ocean is just breathtaking. i cannot wait to be back in amanpulo. it's a bit sad that only few people ever heard this paradise.
From the moment you check into the Aman lounge at Manilla airport you know you are in for something very special.On arriving on the island you are greeted by the staff and are whisked away on your "golf cart" for a quick tour of the island before arriving at your "casitta"We had a beach "casitta" which had its own short private path to the beach, and what a beach, the whitest sand I have ever seen and the water glistened from the palest green to the deepest tourquois, you can walk to the reef and snorkle, and in places it is like being in a glass of water its so clear.The "casittas" each had wall to wall windows,giving a spetacular view of the water and neighbouring island.A king bed and seating area, a huge bathroom with dressing area and seperate shower and soaking tub, fresh fruit daily, water, and wonderful toilet products ,fluffy towels and a great cotton robe to lounge about in.Outside a large deck with two day-beds and a hammock, all in private surrounds. With-in being on the island for half an hour ,all the staff know you by name and their sole purpose is to make sure you get your every wish, with-out being in your face. The food was great ,an al-carte menu and daily specials but also the chef would cook anything with-in reason ,that you desired.You can eat at the restaurant, on the beach or be taken to some deserted spot for complete privacy. There were only 30 people staying the week we were there, so at times it felt as though you had the whole island to your self.Diving is good, the snorkling great, you can wind surf and do as much on the water as you want or just "veg" out and enjoy. If you want lots going on this isnt the place for you, for total relaxation on a beautiful island, then go for it. The spa is wonderful, I had the best massage given by Irene and a pedicure which sent me to sleep.I could go on and on but I think you get the picture....
A little taste of Paradise
As seasonal travellers who have been privileged to stay at some of the finest hotels and resorts in the world, we treated ourselves recently to a 10 day stay at Amanpulo, which for us has been way and beyond the best experience we have had.The island itself is picture postcard perfect- the sand, the sea and the lush vegetation coming together in perfect harmony to make tropical swimming at its very, very best. The resort compliments this perfection by being nestled in largely unobtrusively and providing a standard of accommodation and general facilities without peer at the highest level.Add to this a dining experience at every meal that by any definition is gastronomic. (Chef Craig deserves so much praise) and you have true paradise.
As if this were not enough, the greatest highlight of all was the unbelievable level of service from the warmest, most gentle people we have ever met. The word impeccable simply does not go far enough.For sure we must give all the credit to the staff, but in the same breath one must acknowledge the vision and work of the Aman founders and trainers who have harnessed the beauty of the Philipino staff and developed them and the resort to a level that frankly is beyond perfection.
We can only say to all those who made our stay there a truly memorable experience, thank you, thank you, thank you - we will be back !!!!
PS By no means an afterthought, the fact that we could eat whenever we wanted, wearing shorts and cool, comfortable clothing also helped to create this perfection.
What an amazing experience! From the moment we arrived in Manila, everything was great. We were picked up to the airport and taken to the Aman lounge to wait for our private plane. short plane ride to the resort. once there, we were taken to our beautiful casita (beachfront). highly recommend the beachfront casitas. walking right onto the beach is amazing. the highlights: wedding blessing, beach bbq, sunset cruise, powder beach, crystal clear water, the warmth of the people, perfect service, beautiful atmosphere, great food. the cons: can't think of any. it was the best trip we've taken. we are so spoiled now!
I must make comment on this, because i saw a comment that almost made my wife cancel this trip to the most fantastic island resort we have ever experienced. Actually from the moment we arrived at Manila airport, which is not that modern at all, we were met by an Amanpulo staff and taken straight to our hotel in Manila which was arranged by the resort - it was the Peninsula Hotel, a 5 star which was absoultely fine for our overnight stay. We were collected in the morning in a car that had a baby seat for our new born and safely taken through the crazy traffic to the waiting area that was very pleasant and we were looked after well with coffees and juices until we were ready to fly to Amanpulo. Amanpulo, we were met by the GM off the plane and his staff, shown to the Casita, we had time to swim and chill out on the beach, no problems with the sand flies that we were warned against and then had the most memorable first night as our baby was baby sat by a local nanny. We didn't expect this, but we made the most of it every day at dinner, we had a live fish for our first dinner, a Beach BBQ for our second, a Filipino Feast for the 3rd and room service most nights after that as our days were so busy with skiing and massages and too much sun. The resort was almost full they said but i doubt it because we really didn't see more than about 10 other couples around. We were showered with hand written cards from the Aussie GM Shawn and given flowers (we were on honeymoon with our baby)! Also chocolate strawberries and afternoon tea one day as a much needed surprise. All up in two words - Awesome Experience. We have been to Lizard and Bedarra in Australia and as good as they are, this place is far superior. We recommend highly this amazing island and its ever so friendly staff and manager. Try it, you will be amazed!
Amanpulo is the Ultimate Private Island Retreat.
Perfect beach with powder white sand
Very exclusive and private resort
Private golfcart to bring you around the island
Have breakfast served on the beach if you wish
Very Peaceful and relaxing.
Island resort less than 1 hour from Manila.
Possibly the World's Best Private Island Retreat.
We spend our honeymoon at the Amanpulo in October 2004, at the time of the 2 day power cut. The only thing that annoyed us alot, was that we were not provided with more candles, so we had to shower and get dressed more or less in the dark, and we did complain about this to the management.
Dinner was a buffet on the evening without electricity, the choices were limited, but due to this, dinner was on the house, the guests did not have to pay for this meal. The hotel management repeatetly apologized for the inconvenience, and we received a complimentary bottle of champagne - i guess because it was our honeymoon.
We did take their offer of moving to a treetop casita for the first night, as the power was working in those rooms,even though we had booked the more expensive beachside casita. On checking out, we discovered we had not been charged at all for this night!
We had booked the dive package,and even though the dive center is a bit run down (for such an expensive resort), the boats and the dive instructors are wonderful and so were the dive sites.
The beach and the ocean are breathtaking, and even though the hotel was pretty busy, we hardly ever saw anyone else - except at meal times -perfect fo a honeymoon.
We did have a wonderful honeymoon, despite the power cut, and the management did their very best to compensate for the inconvenience.
We would definitly go there again and we plan to celebrate our anniversaries at a different Amanresort each year.
A beautiful paradise upon arrival. The Casitas are wonderful-however our power was cut for 2 days. Management offered to move us into the tree-tops for the night, but we chose to not endure the inconvenience. Minimal food was available, but adequate-not for the price we paid. Our package included 2 massages and my husband opted out-quite possibly the worst massage I have ever had (not to mention the mosquito bites I received in the Spa Casita at the time.) Since we declined the
2nd massage I obtained a manicure-again, the world's worst. Not the proper implements or skill. Completely unacceptable for the prices charged.
The trip to the neighboring island of Manomac was nice for the sandbar lunch, but we really question the visit to island itself. 2000 Inhabitants, 1000 of them children. No running water, electricity, Catholocism preaching no family planning-5,6,7 children per familyl Only a midwife-no doctors. Other than Amanpulo, fishing and farming are the only sustenance. Without Amanpulo, this would be far more destitute than it is.
Skip the trip to Manomoc-just have the lunch.
The food from Craig here is spectacular (be careful of the "Beach BBQ's) where some of the waiters burn your food beyond recognition.
All in all, not a good value for the prices charged.
We would not return nor recommend the Aman Resorts. We have travelled the world-wide and were sorely disappointed.