Corto Del Mar is a 3 stars boutique hotel oozing with charm and character in the heart of Coron, Palawan. It is perfect for budget travelers who want to be close to everything because it has a perfect location. The experience of immersing into the real Filipino culture right at your doorstep is a unique opportunity and it is what makes Corto Del Mar different from the other properties in the area.
This Mediterranean-inspired resort is full of intricate wooden sculptures and carvings that add warmth to the rustic ambiance. The owners of the place have done an excellent job in choosing local-made products that showcase Filipino craftsmanship and ingenuity. There are currently 32 bedrooms and each have an inward view of the magnificent swimming pool. Each room has the same country feel which makes you feel at home instantly.
Contrary to what online travel platforms state, Corto Del Mar is not a 4-star hotel. It is only 3-star but it doesn’t make it any less appealing. Not only is it one of the best 3 star accommodation in Coron, but it also exceeds most 4 star resorts on the island. Considering the comfortable rates, this makes Corto Del Mar one of the best value for money choices in Coron.
The staff of Corto del Mar are attentive, friendly and warm. They are all very eager to help with your needs like booking tours, arranging transports and they will even pack breakfast for you in case your tour or your flight starts very early. However, it would have been excellent if the enthusiasm is felt all throughout. Unfortunately, some staff at the reception lack in proper training and they come across as unfriendly when they are just really shy and less confident.
The design is what makes the entire hotel a standout. It gives it character that you will not find anywhere else. The swimming pool and other public spaces are regularly maintained and there is daily housekeeping available.
There is nothing to complain about the rooms. They are all very spacious, homey, airy, clean and smell nice. The beds are comfortable and there is ample wardrobe space for storage. Room amenities are sufficient. Bathrooms are spacious and functional although warm water is sometimes hard to come by. Some AC in the rooms also makes a bit of noise but other than that it is perfect.
There is no beach. The hotel is in the middle of a community and although it offers views of the sea, the beach is far from the property. The swimming pool is superb though. It is big and clean. As part of their eco-campaign, the water in the pool is purified using salt instead of Chlorine.
You can walk to the center of town from the hotel. It is really close to everything and so it is easy to find other restaurants and bars. It is also very close to the jump-off point for island-hopping tours. Since it is within a community, you really get a close glimpse of the local lifestyle and it can get noisy early in the morning although it is not intrusive in anyway so that’s fine.
It is cheaper than most properties with 3-star rating and it is a great property so you get more for your money.
It is also important to note that bedding is not changed on a daily basis but on request and twice a week only to avoid using excessive detergents. All wood used in the furniture and the building were all from second hand lumber from auctioned properties and so not a single tree was cut to produce them. The fruits and vegetables served in the restaurant are all locally produced and are 100% organic. On top it all, the owners only employ locals and source local products.
There is one restaurant at the property where they serve local and western cuisines. Right across the restaurant is the saltwater swimming pool. There is also a cocktail bar located by the pool where you can order from their numerous cocktail options. If you love to dive and you have a certificate, the sister resort, Corto Divers will take you in their diving adventures.
Apart from that, there aren’t any facilities at the resort. Don’t expect a spa or a gym, or any other type of facilities to be honest. This is a recurring theme in Coron, and even top rated 4 star hotels such as the Funny Lion for example don’t offer these. If having these extra services is important to you, you’ll have to cough up a little bit extra and stay at the Two Seasons Bayside Resort.
Corto del Mar is rated first among the budget-friendly accommodations in Coron by TripAdvisor. It is not the cheapest but it is a solid value for money option. Reviews online are mostly positive although there are also negative ones that need to be looked into for further improvement. In Booking.com, the overall score is 8.2 and there are 185 reviews. TripAdvisor gives it 4.5 with 368 reviews of which 49% of their guests had an excellent time. Finally, Agoda.com registered the most number of reviews at 749 and the average score is 8.5 which is excellent.
The rooms are constantly in the spotlight - Guests all loved them. Second runner-up is the pool and third is the food. The menu selection is very limited but whatever they serve to their guests is really delightful. The staff were also complimented many times especially the fact that they take time to pack breakfast for guests who are going away early in the morning.
On the negative side, Wi-Fi is the main complaint. It doesn’t work even in the hotel lobby where it was supposed to work. Some customers also felt frustrated with the reception staff as one or two do not look happy and proactive. Minor issues were also mentioned like noisy AC, difficult to operate showers and the view of the shanty area. Some guests were happy to see the shanty because it is different and unique and they enjoy watching the locals go about their daily life while others complained about the dogs barking early in the morning.
What do guests love about Corto del Mar?
Some issues worth considering are:
This room can accommodate 2-3 persons. It is equipped with either a queen bed or 2 twin beds, a dresser, safety deposit box, AC, desk, 32 inch LED TV, separate bathroom and a ceiling fan. The room size is 26-sqm.
Similar size as the standard room, it can accommodate 2-3 persons. It also has the same amenities like the standard room but it comes with a private balcony and views of the sea or direct pool access.
Slightly bigger at 30-sqm. There is a queen bed, AC, 32 inch LED TV, dresser, safety deposit box, a desk, and a ceiling fan. It also comes with a large balcony and views of the sea. It can accommodate a maximum of 3 persons.
The Executive suite is equipped with a queen bed and a single bed, this room can fit 2-4 persons. There are AC, 40 inch LED TV, a sofa, dresser, a desk and a ceiling fan in the room. The room size is 39-sqm.
Junior Suites have their own living room and private balcony overlooking the Coron bay. It is equipped with a queen bed and a singled bed that can easily fit 3-4 persons. Room amenities include: 40 inch LED TV, AC, ceiling fan, safety deposit box, desk, and a dresser. Room size is 52-sqm.
The Presidential Suite is the biggest and most luxurious of all the rooms, and has a floor area of 110-sqm. It has its own living room, a bar, lounge and a spacious bathroom with shower and bath tub. There are 2 bedrooms. One has a king bed with private balcony and ensuite bathroom and the other one has 2 twin beds. Aside from the massive room size, there is also a massive terrace with floor area of 120sqm. Room amenities include a Jacuzzi on the balcony, AC, 40 inch LED TV, dresser, safety deposit box, sofa, ceiling fan and a desk. It can accommodate a large group.