For me travel is all about budgets and backpacks. For my husband, it’s about air-conditioned hotels and fluffy pillows.
As much as I’d like our El Nido experience to be a wildlife adventure, I had to compromise and embrace our differences. I wanted him to enjoy the trip too and I know how his sleep positively correlates to his mood.
Cadlao Resort is perfect for couples like us. It is an intimate getaway with deluxe bungalows surrounded by beautiful landscapes.
The 5-minute ride from the drop-off (main road) to the resort was anti-climactic though. The tricycle had to pass through narrow cracked pavements, uneven dirt path and a cemetery. The entrance to the resort was nothing grand.
But then we entered the gates and this amazing garden welcomed us.
The resort was not a big place. In fact, I could run from end to end in less than a minute. But the grounds were well-maintained and we loved walking around barefooted.
While the bungalows were modern and spacious, the wooden floor and furnitures gave a touch and smell of nature.
The glass doors opened the whole room to the view of the green gardens.
There was no TV in the room but who needed a digital screen when the outdoor was so vibrant.
The fan automatically turns on when the air conditioner is shut down during the day. Electric power is available only on specific hours for the whole island.
The cleanliness of our room was impressive.
The housekeepers cleaned our room everyday, even when we leave it locked. At first we were a bit shocked to come home to a clean room when we knew we locked it for the day. But lying down on a made-up bed after a tiring tour was so relaxing, we let it be. We didn’t lose any of our valuables for the duration of our stay.
My husband’s must-have item for an acceptable bathroom: a handheld bidet. Check.
The pool wasn’t big but just right for an after-sea dip.
If we stayed longer, I would have tried their spa.
The view of the restaurant from the pool area
Ocean view and open-air dining
This was my favorite spot.
There are 3 major downsides to this resort:
1. Beachfront is rocky. If you want to enjoy the sun and sand, you have to do it during your island hopping tours.
2. Their complimentary breakfast was very disappointing. Portions were too small and the variety did not suit a picky eater. I had to drink 5-7 cups of coffee just to feel full. I have a tiny frame compared to my husband so imagine how hungry he was all morning. He lost weight during this trip.
For the price we paid, the quantity of breakfast was not worth it at all.
3. Service wasn’t bad but wasn’t exceptional as well. The staff members, in general, were courteous. However, while they were extra nice to the foreign travelers, there was no extra effort to connect with their Filipino guests.
No, I did not want a red carpet treatment. My mom, sister and I would have enjoyed more if they made us feel just as important as the others.
There is one staff worth mentioning though.
This is Chris and he was the only one who made an impression on us.
You see, my husband has this habit (I guess it’s more of a culture) of not ordering any food unless he knows what it is made of. Chris knew the menu by heart and passed the ultimate test when he was able to explain the contents and ingredients of the dishes – in English! I couldn’t even do that.
Once, without hesitation, he offered to exchange a meal which my husband ordered and didn’t like to a dish that suited his taste more. Talk about going the extra mile. He made a fussy-eater very happy that night.
All in all, Cadlao Resort and Restaurant is a good choice if you can’t afford the luxury hotels in El Nido but want a better place than the average hotels.
We paid more or less 7,300 per night (twin-sharing).
For the price we paid, I felt something was missing and things could have been better.
But I have high hopes for this place. Their facilities are promising. I hope they take their reviews seriously.