I work in the food industry and there are days when life is hectic and I want to escape to a beach, drink tropical cocktails and mentally unwind on a hammock. My fantasy came true when Peter and I flew to Coron, Palawan known for its pristine white sand beaches, clear waters, aquatic life, diving and snorkeling sites and shipwrecks. We stayed 3 nights at the Club Paradise Resort.
When I visit my mom in Manila, we always schedule a beach trip. I am proud to say that the Philippines has some of the world's most beautiful beaches.
Club Paradise was owned by a German gentleman, purchased by Discovery Leisure Company who is currently renovating the property. The resort is not new and has a dated 70's style (I kept on thinking of Fantasy Island) but I like that it is unpretentious, rustic and the beach is spectacular.
Flight: We flew Cebu Pacific to Busuanga, Coron which took an hour and cost less than $200 per person. Travel light because they do charge for excess baggage. We chose exit row seats, which we did not like because they faced another couple.
Price: My cousin recommended Club Paradise because of it's beach plus it is fairly priced compared to other resorts in the area. They had a Christmas special and a beach front cottage was about $180 per night (regular price is $300 +). Other resorts in the area are $400-$700. I don't know if the price will remain the same after renovations are complete.
Food: Resort prices... so the food and cocktails are not cheap although the free breakfast buffet has a good selection. The food is well prepared, but the menu is small and I would have liked to see more dishes. I was told that the seafood selection is limited because the area is a no fishing zone. The place is not overloaded with food if you compare to other hotels and I believe it's because food has to be shipped in and bought in small quantities so it remains fresh.
(The thing about being in the restaurant industry is that you can't help but analyze the system and food.)
Tip: If you have a dish that you want to eat, ask them if they can make it. I asked them to make one of my favorite dishes, kilawin (Filipino ceviche made with vinegar, kalamansi and coconut juice), and it was so excellent I ate it daily. Thank you Chef Andy! They also have the best homemade Ube icecream that I have ever tasted.
Service: The staff was warm and hospitable. At times I felt like we had personal hosts because they were so attentive.
Shout out to Ante the snorkeling guide who led us to see an amazing school of jack fish and a turtle. I felt like I was in an underwater heaven and the experience made our trip extraordinary.
Resort manager Joegil was very nice and made us feel like special guests.
Tours: They have several boat tours but we could not go because the waters were choppy and the Coast Guard gave an alert to stay in the resort. It turned out to be a blessing since we spent our days relaxing on the island and going snorkeling when the water settled. Here is a list of their tours
We were in Coron years ago, stayed at a lodge near the town center and went island hoping to Twin Lagoon, Cayangan Lake, Lake Barracuda and saw a shipwreck. The tours are fascinating.
Best time to go: They say the best time to go to Palawan is in March and to avoid the monsoon season in June. We went in the second week of December. The sun was out, the water was choppy so we could not take the tour, but it was the perfect time for us.
Tip: Book Beachfront cottage #1004....It feels private, has a beautiful beach, yet is a close walk to the clubhouse and restaurant.
"Be Bold, Be Creative, Have Fun!"