Going to Apulit Island, El Nido Resorts in Taytay, Palawan! (former Club Noah)

Of all the provinces in the Philippines, Palawan is one of my favorites. Coron and El Nido occupy a very special place in my heart because my experiences there and encounter with nature were truly one of a kind. The crystal clear water, lagoons and the limestone formations are just some of the things that take my breath away.


I believe that the Underground River in Puerto Princesa is only one of the many wonders of Palawan and I have yet to discover for myself the charm of Culion and other lesser known areas like Taytay. Here's an aerial view of Palawan from our previous flight.


This post is an introduction to Palawan Resorts and a future guide for myself when I go to Apulit Island in Taytay, Palawan! Check out my 3D2N Apulit Island escapade here.


THE Resorts in the Philippines
Have you heard of Dos Palmas, Dakak, Eskaya, Amanpulo, Pearl Farm, El Nido or Club Noah? I have longed to visit these places and to know where they were when I was young. Some of these have been "the places to go to" and where "the happy memories are" since my mother's time. (Some are included in Lakwatsa de Primera's 10 Most Expensive Resorts in the Philippines.)


Today, thanks to the internet and thinking about research for my future travels, I can actually pinpoint where they are in the map and actually include them in my Guiltless Getaways itineraries for the Philippines.


Palawan Resorts
I've been to El Nido twice and was clarified that "El Nido Resorts" was different from "El Nido" town. When I think of El Nido though, I can't help but think of the exclusive and wonderful El Nido Resorts.


I've been to Coron once and I think of the secluded Coral Bay Beach and Dive Resort where I had such an awesome adventure by the South China Sea. 


I know that a trip to Amanpulo (in Pamalican Island) also takes off from small private A. Soriano Hangar (slash airport) in Manila. Today, I just learned that Club Noah Isabelle has been resurrected a year ago as Apulit Island Resort in Taytay. 

El Nido Resorts Holiday
I've been dreaming of another "El Nido" holiday ever since I got back from the last one (November 2011). 


I've spent weeks raving and writing about that second time here, even creating a 3D2N suggested itinerary when staying at El Nido Resorts. I wasn't a blogger then, back at 2007 when I first experienced their Miniloc Island Resort. That second time that I wrote about in this blog, also in Miniloc, was as magical as the first time. 


To date (2012), El Nido Resorts has a resort facility in each of the Miniloc, Lagen, Pangulasian and Apulit Islands (all in Palawan). Click on the image above to enlarge the map.

Apulit Island Resort
logo from website

My spotlight is now on the Apulit Island Resort. Miniloc, Lagen and Pangulasian Islands are located close to each other on the left side of the map and Apulit Island Resort is the only one on the right. Obviously, I'm very intrigued to go there because it used to be well-known as Club Noah. I've read a few articles on Club Noah and they put so much emphasis on eco-tourism in the Philippines, on rehabilitating the area and protecting marine life (as early as 1995). I've experienced El Nido Resorts and one of the things I love about how they run their resorts is that they are very aligned with this. Read all about my short post on the El Nido Efforts at Conservation that I experienced here. They have been the protectors of El Nido for more than a decade (since 1998) and now, they are taking care of Taytay as well.


What I loved most during my stay was how they enjoined the guests in their efforts too while making sure that we have the best value-for-money luxury holiday

Apulit Island Resort is a great addition to El Nido Resorts so if given the chance to stay there, here's what I would be excited about

  • finding my way to another part of Palawan (El Nido check!, Coron check!, Puerto Princesa check!, Taytay _____!, probably fly the same chartered plane that has a carbon offset program)
  • watching baby black tip sharks, blue spotted sting rays and moray eels at the base of my water cottage (if Miniloc has jackfish, Apulit has ____, come to think of it, i haven't tried the El Nido Resorts Water Cottage yet)
  • making "babad" at the heated infinity pool (if available) and stare into nature
  • having a closer encounter with limestone cliffs  
  • doing some caving at accessible caves in the island itself
  • going on nature walks and doing some light trekking (find out if there's really a bamboo forest or walk to the cross that can be seen anywhere in the island)
  • appreciating the tranquility and seclusion
  • having a beach picnic by the west beach (kayak all the way there first to balance haha)
  • trying windsurfing (if it is still available)
  • napping along the beach (probably find a shade or risk being nognog, I don't really like sun-bathing) 
  • reading a travel book in a cabana
  • having a candle-lit dinner in a cave or on a sailing boat (find out if this is possible)
  • parting with my usual television shows and enjoying my time away from my laptop (free WIFI is tempting though..)
  • playing with board games like a child
  • taking in the view or take in the wind at the octagon pier
  • watching the sunset from my room (I heard rooms 40-51 have the best views, no need to ride a boat like in Miniloc and Lagen Islands and at happy hour too!)
  • having another encounter with a school of fish like in Miniloc! (see our video here)
  • stargazing (camping on the beach might be a bit too much)
  • watching a movie in the beach (I heard they have a big screen now in Miniloc, I wonder if they have it here as well)
  • taking a peek at the garden where they grow herbs (if available, I will appreciate a cup of tarragon tea after every meal like in Miniloc)
  • swimming with the turtles and fish (free snorkeling gear! haven't quite gotten over my fear of scuba duba yet haha)
  • finding out if there's really a Billionaire's garden (I read it in a review)
  • exploring the other islands (there's 1700+ of them in Palawan alone, maybe it's near Helicopter Island hehe)
  • visiting the historic Taytay Fort, find out more about Taytay and trying out other food
  • meeting that hotel manager Frank or Franck Merot that a lot of Apulit Island TripAdvisor reviews are raving about (if he's still there, maybe he can tour me around the resort for the best views and allow me to pick my room haha)
  • having buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • having another taste of El Nido Resorts hospitality (and request for help with the fish again with the manongs and kuyas, I love watching fish - from a distance)
  • entrusting my holiday to El Nido Resorts
  • (then again, I might never leave my room or resort compound and forego some of these and still feel like a queen haha)

And finally, being part of the people who "leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures and fond memories of this piece of paradise" again. 


Here's an excerpt from my last post on my last El Nido Holiday:
The same welcome manangs (old ladies) were waving goodbye as I was walking towards the plane. They were singing a song that captured my sentiment about this trip and leaving: They sang "Puso ko'y nabighani" (my heart was charmed/captivated/smitten with El Nido) and the line after that roughly translates "El Nido will forever be etched in my heart na lang (only/like that's all I can do for now) if I had a great time". 
Like a turtle that instinctively comes back once in a while, I shall return to Palawan soon.

You can book here or find out how to go to Apulit Island Resort at Official El Nido Resorts Website. This is the El Nido Resorts Facebook Page.

Tell me below: Given my list of activities to do in Apulit Island, which experience would you try out if given the chance? What other islands in the Philippines would you recommend for an R&R?