Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa is the only 5-star resort in Puerto Princesa. Tucked away in its own sanctuary, the resort offers luxury at its best with close proximity to nature. The feeling of solitude and isolation provides an exceptional escape from the city in a place of comfort. This extravagant resort spans over 4 hectares and has its own sandbar, 4 restaurants and bars, catholic church, mini golf course, massive lagoon-type swimming pool, full size ballroom and a number of entertainment and events rooms.
This resort will be your own slice of paradise in Puerto Princesa. The Asian-themed design perfectly blends in with nature. Although it is within the city (just 15 minutes away from the airport), the resort’s unique location combined with lush palm trees dotting the whole place provides that exclusive island vibe very similar to Dos Palmas.
What really separates the resort from the rest is their strong principle on environmental sustainability. Their campaign “Green is the way to go” is palpable in many aspects such as their own wastewater-treatment plant and desalination system. There are also numerous solar panels scattered in the resort compound where a significant portion of their energy for hot water supply is derived from. What is more amazing is that during its construction, the resort used natural materials found in the vicinity in their effort to minimize their carbon footprint. These things and more are the reason why Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa is the only 5-star resort in Puerto Princesa.
Nothing beats a high-class service. The staff of Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa are all very well-trained. They are attentive and their service is just impeccable. From the moment they serve your welcome drinks to your transfer to the airport on the day that you leave, you will feel pampered.
The resort’s age may sometimes be apparent but cleanliness and comfort is always there. The resort’s amenities are built for comfort and convenience of its guests. The surroundings are kept clean at all times. Daily housekeeping is also observed.
Rooms in Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa are all spacious and contemporary. The design is Asian and gives off that wonderful island atmosphere. The bathrooms are of the best design quality as well as the bedroom itself. There are numerous types of rooms to choose from depending on the budget but all rooms have splendid views and most have their own Jacuzzi.
Contrary to marketing ads, the resort doesn’t have a beach. What they have instead is a sea of mangroves where occasionally there will be sea urchins. They have a sand bar reachable by boat or a 10-minute walk and that area is very good for swimming. That said, they do offer the lagoon-type pool which is 1640 sqm, as well as several smaller pools. All the pools are chlorine free as they use natural sea salt to purify the pool water on a regular basis.
The resort is within the city premises and 15 minutes away from the airport. Although it is in the city, the excellent location gives you that feeling of isolation and island vibe. The resort already offers everything you will need so there is no need to venture out but if you do want to get out, the city center is only 3 kilometers away.
The resort is the most expensive accommodation in Puerto Princesa. It has everything you will ever need for your vacation but still considering that there is no beach and it is not really an island resort, we believe going to Dos Palmas for a cheaper price would be a better option. A beach front location in Sabang for example like Daluyon beach resort or the Sheridan which are all 4-star properties would also be a much more practical but equally fulfilling alternative.
As much as it is perfect for families, the resort’s luxurious facilities actually cater especially to couples. The place is perfect for celebrating your honeymoon or anniversary. Their villas on stilts will give you a 180 degree view of the surrounding sea and mangroves. The isolated location and the exclusive ambiance provide for your much needed privacy. There is a wooden lanai with outdoor Jacuzzi and hammock where you can lounge around and view spectacular sunsets. There are also water sports activities that you can do with your loved one like paddle boarding and kayaking (free for the first hour). You can also go to the sandbar when the tide is low and do some snorkeling and swimming at the nearby waters.
There are 4 restaurants and a bar to choose from inside the resort, each with its own distinct specialty. The Rice restaurant is the main dining place where they serve breakfast and a la carte menus of varied western and local cuisines. The Golden Elephant Seafood Village is a restaurant on stilts (close to the villas) and here they serve freshly prepared live fish and seafood and an array of Asian dishes with aromatic herbs from their greenhouse. For Italian food lovers, the Tomato and Basil restaurant sits close to the massive pool and here, you can enjoy wood-fire baked pizzas and different flavored Italian pasta. And lastly, the VIP lounge is exclusive for guests staying at the floating villas. The lounge serves VIP guests with light snacks and drinks for free throughout the day.
Other notable facilities offered by Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa include: free shuttle to and from the airport, free boat transfer to nearby sand bar, beauty salon (charged), occasional cultural shows, free Wi-Fi access in public areas and rooms, fitness center, business center, courier service, valet parking and concierge.
The number of reviews online is not overwhelming but they are mostly positive. Tripadvisor rated the resort 4.0 with 577 reviews. 48% of the reviewers had an excellent stay and only 7% rated it below average. Both Agoda and Booking.com gave a total average of 8.3 which is excellent.
Most guests loved the restaurants, especially the Golden Elephant and Tomato and Basil because of their fantastic seafood options, live fish menu and Italian dishes. However, the prices are so steep that some guests who have a more limited budget opted to go out and dine outside. Breakfast is great with varied western and local options. Amenities like the golf course, pool slides, bicycles and non-motorized water equipment need improvement and updating.
Most importantly, the beach is non-existent. There is only an artificial sand bar and the beach is actually a mangrove area so guests feel like they were misled to believe that there is a beach inside the resort. Dos Palmas, for example, is a real island resort. Other resorts like Daluyon and Sheridan in Sabang are beach front and guests will have real beach experience for a lower price than what they pay in Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa.
What do guests love about Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa?
Some negative aspects that may affect your booking are:
Most visitors to Puerto Princesa only spend a few nights there, before moving on to El Nido and Coron. Those two islands are much better for staying at luxury private island resort, so if your budget is limited we suggest you book this type of hotel there instead. However, For people who do want to stay at Puerto Princesa and keep to the highest standards imaginable, there is no better place than the Princesa Garden Island resort.
This is the most basic room category, and it’s actually quite affordable considering what you get in return. The room is 45 square meters, so it’s quite large and comfortable. Classic rooms come with 2 single beds, and there are no direct pool access rooms for this room type.
The Premier Pool rooms are 70m2 so they are quite large and comfortable. They come with either 1 king size bed or 2 queen size, and an additional single bed can also be added. Located directly by the pool, this is a good choice for small families.
This is a 2 bedroom suite who can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children, with a total size of 75m2. Each bedroom comes with your choice of either 1 king size bed or 2 queen beds. Family suites come with either an ocean view or pool access, with the latter costing slightly more.
The water villa are 90m2 and are the most unique accommodation in Puerto Princesa. It’s the closest you’ll get to the overwater cottages in El Nido’s private island resorts. The Villa comes with 1 king size bed, so it’s a perfect choice for honeymooners. The downside is, these villas are quite far from the rest of the hotel, and you’ll have to walk almost 10 minutes to reach the front desk or restaurant area.
This one is just like the family room, only with one extra bedroom and an extra touch of luxury.