Qi Palawan resort is one of El Nido’s best kept secrets. For more than 7 years now this small and peaceful resort is still ignored by most tourists. Located 45 minutes’ drive from the town proper, it offers couples the ultimate privacy and seclusion. With great attention to small details and personal service to each guest, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay at Qi Palawan.
There are only 7 villa type rooms in the resort, and they are all just a few meters away from the private beach. Due to the distance from town, staying here usually means you won’t leave the resort too often and focus on all inclusive stay instead. Luckily, the food there is excellent and the resort offers a wide variety of special tours and activities.
This is a small resort with a family vibe. Each guest enjoys a real personal service, owners and staff are always present and they are all extremely friendly and approachable.
The resort is fairly basic with no lavish structures or facilities. The common areas are fairly basic, but give a sense of home. That said, everything is meticulously clean and well maintained, especially the gardens surrounding the rooms.
Rooms here are much larger than their counterparts in El Nido town. They are also very modernly furnished and keep a good balance between luxury and a basic, homely feel. The bed is especially comfortable, and the fact you have Wi-Fi inside the rooms is a huge plus as well.
The pool is centrally located and even though it's a bit small, that doesn't hurt too much since there are not too many guests there. The private beach is wide and very quiet - fantastic for relaxing all day on your own.
We feel the remote location is perfect as long as you know where you are going in advance. It does make it less convenient to go on tours, and you can't go out for drinks in the evening.
The resort is similarly priced with other 4 star establishments closer to El Nido town, but here you get a lot more in return.
It will take 40-45 minutes to get from the airport to the resort. Once there, you’ll be greeted by the staff who are all super friendly and will make you feel right at home. The beautifully kept garden, the pool and of course the huge private beach will all make you realize immediately you have arrived to heaven on earth.
There are only 7 rooms in Qi Palawan, which allows it to maintain a very exclusive and private atmosphere. The resort is built over a fairly large piece of land, so rooms are separated from one another and you’ll basically feel like you have the whole place to yourself. Even the smallest room is 50m2 and modernly furnished.
The reception area is small but cozy and everything is kept in meticulous order. This is where you’ll have your meals and there’s also a well-stocked bar. They brew their own coffee, and it’s one of the best in Palawan. The owners, Bettina (US) and Ismael (Barcelona) are always present and are extremely friendly and helpful. When we had special request regarding our trip back to town they did everything they could to help us out.
Even though the resort has been around for a long time, its remoteness and limited capacity means not too many people got a chance to stay there. This is a big part of the reason why we went to El Nido and made a point of spending a night there ourselves.
There’s never been any person we sent to Qi Palawan who came with something bad to say. Sure, it is not for everyone since the resort is so far into the wilderness, but that’s why we make sure our guests know that in advance. If you are looking for peace and quiet in a beach paradise then Qi Palawan is a great option.
There are only 76 reviews on Agoda.com and the average rating is a whooping 9.2 out of 10. Guests really didn’t save praise for the resort, calling it paradise on earth and praising everything about the place. There weren’t any concrete complaints, and the service, quality of food and peacefulness of the resort received wide acclaim.
We also found 278 reviews on tripadvisor with a perfect overall score of 5. 82% of guests gave the resort the highest rating possible and not even one gave it the lowest. This means Qi Palawan is currently the top ranked hotel in El Nido. Some people complained about having a lot of bugs, but this is to be expected when staying in such rural areas. Again, the service and overall quality of the resort were highly praised here as well.
Why do guests love Qi Palawan?
Here are some things you should be aware of:
Even though there is just 1 restaurant there’s no need to worry – you won’t have any trouble finding what to eat. Everything we tried was absolutely delicious, even if slightly overpriced. What really surprised us was the Wi-Fi Quality – we had pretty good signal even in our rooms. This is quite special for resorts in El Nido and Qi Palawan deserves praise for it.
Even though the pool is quite small it’s not really an issue since there aren’t many guests and it usually stands empty. In any case, the beach is only a few steps away from your room. Qi Palawan’s beach is large and as private as it gets – you are very unlikely to see anyone else while you stay there. During low tide the waterline recedes quite a bit, meaning you’ll have to walk a fair amount into the ocean if you wish to swim.
Qi Palawan is also the best place in El Nido for kitesurfing. This is an activity which is offered to resort guests, as well as paddle boarding and snorkeling. You’ll have a licensed guide watching you the whole time and it’s a lot of fun. The resort also organizes its own private tours which are pretty similar to the popular island-hopping tours in El Nido town. You won’t see the popular tourist spots, but instead go to much more secluded locations so it is a very nice experience.
Another really cool feature is the free daily yoga class, with Bettina serving as an instructor. It usually starts around 7 or 7:30 AM so it’s a great way to start up the day if you like to wake up early. Qi Palawan also has an inhouse spa – we didn’t have time to try it out but it seems clean and professional. One downside we did notice is the amount of services offered there which is quite limited.
Overall, Qi Palawan really exceeded our expectations in every possible way. That said, we feel like if we have stayed for more than 2 nights we might have gotten a bit bored since there’s nothing to do past 9PM. Still, the resort is a perfect escape into paradise which is ideal for couples who want to spend some quality time together.
We highly recommend you spend 2-3 nights here, either before or after you go to El Nido town itself to take all the popular island hopping tours. Similarly priced resorts in El Nido town include Buko beach resort, Mahogany and El Nido Garden but they all don’t come close to level of service and overall quality offered at Qi Palawan.
This is the basic room at the resort and its size is 50m2. There are ocean view cottages as well as beachfront cottages, with the latter costing roughly 20$ more per night. Each cottage comes with either 1 king size bed or 2 single beds.
The Villas are twice as large as the cottages and are similarly designed. They also come in 2 versions : either ocean view or the slightly more expensive beachfront villa. Each villa has 1 king size bed and 3 singles – so it can easily accommodate a family of 5.