As you can tell from my previous blog posts (click here and here), I’ve been going through some sort of early midlife crisis. This reached its peak right before my 35th birthday. To combat the where-did-my-youth-go blues away, I wanted to do something different. Traveling alone seemed like a I’m-a-strong-independent-woman-who-embraces-life kind of activity, so I figured, what the hell, right? I watched “Eat Pray Love”, even read the book. I could do that.
There was just one small dilemma; I am a pansy. Although seeking out mystics in a strange land looked awesome on film, it looked quite risky in real life (at least for me, Little Ms. Sheltered whose only semblance of street- smarts comes from Google).
I refused to be deterred by my personal limitations however, so I decided to go for it. I just needed to modify the trip a little (well a lot). I figured I could do “Eat, Pray, Love: The Pansy Version”, so I looked for a destination that hit the following requirements:
- Must be within the country: Unlike Julia Roberts, I had limited time and resources. Plus, it would be easier to ask for help in my own language just incase I get kidnapped.
- Must be at the beach: Beach trumps cities and mountains any day!
- Must not require driving, preferably in a resort that provides airport transfers: Did I mention I also don’t have any sense of direction?
- Must have nice accommodations: I’m a creature of comfort. I do not enjoy roughing it. Don’t judge me.
One of my best friends, who was well aware of my pansy ways but loves me anyway (Hi Caleen!), recommended El Nido. In the course of our Viber conversation, she told me, “Gusto ko wala ka nang iisipin. El Nido’s perfect because they’ll take care of everything for you.”
She had me at “they’ll take care of everything for you.” (Ok, fine, this is not turning into a strong, independent woman kind of trip. I’m embracing life though!)
So, after poring through dozens of other suggestions, we had ourselves a winner.
Since most of you probably don’t care about my life goals and would rather read about the resort, I will spend the rest of the post talking about it:
ON EL NIDO RESORTS
El Nido Resorts is composed of four luxury resorts in Palawan (three of them are actually in the municipality of El Nido but Apulit is in Taytay). Each one has its own charm and caters to different types of travellers.
Pangalusian is the swankiest and most exclusive; Lagen is the most modern and is popular with families; Miniloc is for adventure-seekers and people who enjoy a lot of activities; Apulit is the most secluded and is ideal for quiet getaways.
I zeroed in on Apulit because it seemed perfect for my purposes (also, I couldn’t afford Pangalusian. I may be maarte, but I’m also a pauper. Not a great combination).
ON BOOKING & PACKAGES
Ok, it wasn’t exactly cheap. Staying in Apulit cost me more than 19K a night, and that was their promo + non-peak rate. BUT that package included pretty much everything; airfare, transfers, accommodations and even board meals, so it was actually not bad. Plus, all you had to do was give the resort point person your preferred schedule and they’ll book everything for you. Very efficient.
Traveling was also stress-fee. You just have to get to their private hangar and you can wait in the guest lounge while they check you in. They even feed you while you wait.
When you get to Palawan, the same thing. You wait in a lounge for your land transfer while they feed you. Then, another stopover to wait for the boat transfer and they feed you again. It was a hedonistic lifestyle that I could definitely get used to.
Apulit is the farthest among all the resorts (60-minute plane ride, 30-minute land transfer and another 50-minute boat ride. Manager told me though that they just acquired a faster boat, which will cut that part of the trip in half); but because we were well taken cared of, it didn’t really feel like it was two and a half hours.
Service, as you can probably tell, was impeccable. The strong, independent woman in me cannot emphasize this enough: They take care of you.
The room was my favorite part of the trip! They have these charming cottages built on stilts, right above sea. And because the water in Apulit is so clear, every morning I would go out the terrace and watch all the colorful fishies swimming around. I even saw a shark once. (Not inventing, promise!).
The bathroom was pretty small & basic (yup, I’m that prissy. I scrutinize bathrooms), but I think all of us would take breathtaking view over grandiose bathroom any day.
(Oh, another thing: Smokers! You cannot smoke in the terrace. They have designated smoking areas. This set me on a nicotine-withdrawal panic attack).
ON FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES
Basic water sports and recreational activities are free. But, because I’m a lazy, lazy girl, I cannot comment on any of them. I seriously did not do anything but read and lounge around the entire trip. I didn’t even snorkel (which appalled my nature-loving friends). Their beach though, is peaceful and pristine; perfect for my languid, contemplative purposes.
ON THE FOOD
This was the only thing I was ho-hum with. When I was there, they had a buffet set up for every meal and there was a wide selection of dishes to choose from. The food though, was just alright. It wasn’t not bad, but wasn’t forget-your-name scrumptious either.
So that’s pretty much the lowdown on Apulit and why I went on a solo vacation. But because it was such an awesome experience, I decided to write another blog entry on why I would totally recommend traveling alone (even if it’s just for a short, pansy trip). Hope you guys stay tuned!
To find out more about Apulit Resort click here
To contact any of the El Nido Resorts click here