Built to resemble a classic Filipino coastal living, Miniloc Island Resort is perfect for families with kids and small groups of friends. It is situated in the best location where the most famous El Nido spots are readily accessible. The Big and Small Lagoons are practically just around the corner and can be visited with a kayak in less than 20 minutes. The resort will be undergoing renovation from July 2018 until December 2018. They plan a complete facelift, make the rooms larger and also install a swimming pool. We will visit the resort as soon as this is complete to provide and up to date impression. In the meantime, availability might be limited but the upside is promo rates might apply – please contact us directly for more information.
Miniloc is the most rustic and laidback out of all El Nido island resorts. There are currently 50 cottages available and each is decorated with classic Filipino style with walls made of woven bamboo slats. Miniloc is only slightly more expensive than its sister resort Apulit but in terms of luxurious designs, it is the most understated of the 4 fancy resorts. There is no swimming pool at the moment and the cottages are a bit smaller compared to the other resorts but the rustic vibe gives it that charming character that you cannot easily find in other places.
Miniloc’s location and close proximity to the most important tourist spots in El Nido gives it an edge over Apulit island resort. Lagen and Pangulasian islands are definitely more luxurious, but also much more expensive. Lastly, Miniloc is the only private island resort with rooms that are suitable for families and small groups – the other island resorts are designed primarily for couples.
Miniloc Island Resort employs excellent staff that are very good in English and very professional. They are efficient and very friendly, and always go the extra mile to deliver an excellent quality of service.
The beach area and the rooms as well as other public areas are always kept clean and organized. There is daily housekeeping. Because it is an eco-resort, they also use clean energy sources for lighting and ceiling fans. That said, the whole resort is in need of a slight facelift - which is indeed scheduled to begin on July 2018.
The room design is rustic and comfortable. The beds and pillows are top notch quality and standard amenities are provided. There are however no cabinets or storage area provided for clothes and luggage in most rooms. No TV as well. There is a private balcony with amazing views. The rooms are smaller than other resorts but it may be enlarged once the renovation is completed.
The beach is of course excellent. It is clean and is teeming with healthy marine life. There is no pool at the moment but they will add one during the renovation project.
Miniloc Island’s location is its strongest point. From the airport, it only takes 45 minutes to reach the island and the central location makes it the best base point for island hopping in the Bacuit Bay. You can also reach the famous Big and Small Lagoons in less than 20 minutes by a kayak and what makes it more appealing is you can visit the spots first before it opens up to outside tourists and that means you can enjoy it all to yourself before the first boats arrive.
Considering the fact that the price per night is expensive, you would expect to get more for your money in Miniloc. Although island excursions and full board meals are included in the price per night along with the use of non-motorized water equipment, the size of the rooms and the fact that there is no swimming pool makes it less of a value for money. And once the renovation is completed, surely the prices will go up and hopefully the rooms will be significantly expanded.
There are numerous activities to be done on the island as well. The activity coordinator will orient you on the number of activities and you can choose how much or how little you would like to do. They will help you plan all your activities on a daily basis. Most of the excursions are free apart from diving. They also follow the strict policy of no C-card no diving policy.
Some of the activities that you can do are: snorkeling in the house reef a few meters from the beach and you can swim with the resident jacks and hundreds of sergeant majors; kayak or ride a boat to the nearby big and small lagoons; sunset cruises; spelunking at cathedral cave; unlimited island hopping to nearby islands like the Entalula, Lagen and Snake Island with prepared picnic lunch; hiking to the forest and watching some birds and monkeys; other water sports activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, water biking, and wind surfing.
The most special and popular activity is the Jack fish feeding. All guests try it out just because it’s something you’ll never have a chance to do anywhere else. This fish reach a size of 1.7m and weigh up to 80kg – and you get a chance to swim and snorkel around them as they are fed by the house staff. This activity is available every day.
There are also in-house activities found in the game room like billiard, darts, video games and table tennis. There are also beach volleyball, badminton and Frisbee. Lastly, kids will find entertainment in their Kids Activity Center.
Similar to Lagen and Apulit, Miniloc Island enjoys excellent reviews online. In Tripadvisor, the rating was 4.5 with 74% of the guests saying it was excellent and only 1% terrible. Booking.com has the highest rating for Miniloc at 9.1 with 179 reviews. Finally, there are 335 reviews in Agoda with a total average of 8.8 and 91% of the guests said they will recommend it to their family and friends.
Guests complimented the staffs for their world-class quality service and they also enjoyed the stunning location with great views of the surrounding islands. The food served daily in the clubhouse also got rave reviews in terms of taste, variety and presentation. The numerous activities and the healthy dive spots also were very much appreciated.
There are very few negative remarks but none that can’t be improved. Some guests noticed that the septic system doesn’t work very well and the smell can sometimes be troublesome but surely it will be dealt with during the renovation project. The size of the room is also something that guests weren’t very happy about considering the price that you pay per night but the view and the rustic ambiance make up for it.
What do guests like about Miniloc Island Resort:
Some negative aspects to be aware of:
But what really sets Miniloc Island apart from the others is the fact that its location allows you to easily hop from one place to another. Guests of Miniloc Island are always the first to arrive and the last to leave which means that you can easily visit these beautiful places before the tourists arrive and after the crowd has gone; something that Lagen, Pangulasian and certainly not Apulit resort can offer.
The Garden Cottage is surrounded by tropical plants, and is slightly farther from the beach. Room size is 27 sqm and is equipped with either 2 twin beds or 1 full bed. It can accommodate a maximum of 3 people.
Cliff cottages are built on the cliff side of the island a bit further from the beach but with amazing panoramic views of the whole island and the Bacuit Bay. The rooms are very spacious at 43sqm and can accommodate a maximum of 4 persons. There are 2 double beds in the room.
Built right in front of the island’s white sandy beach, this cottage can accommodate a maximum of 3 persons and is equipped with a double bed and a single bed. The room size is 30 square meters.
Built on stilts over the water beside the dramatic limestone cliffs of Miniloc Island, water cottages are currently at 25sqm and can accommodate 2 persons. Each water cottage has its own private walkway and veranda and is equipped with a King-sized bed. These are the rooms in the most dire need of a face lift, but their unique setup over the water makes up for that.
The Sea view room is similar to the water cottages but a lot bigger at 40m2. it can fit a maximum of 4 people. The room has 2 levels, a veranda and a spectacular view of the sea. It is also equipped with 2 double beds.
The seaview deluxe offer the same style but slightly bigger at 44 sqm and more modern. It can only accommodate 2 persons with a queen-sized bed. It has a veranda and the solar panels on the roofs provide energy for lighting and ceiling fans.