It was sweltering hot when my colleagues and I arrived at Sea Cocoon Hotel one Friday last summer. None of us complained though as this was all our first time in El Nido. We did not mind the heat of course and the 5-hour van ride just to get here. This is El Nido after all, home to world-famous towering karst formations, secluded islets and spectacular sunsets. The long journey will be worth it.
“Are the chow-chows around?” I asked one of the cordial front desk staffs who facilitated our check-in that afternoon. I knew about the adorable canine residents while browsing the hotel’s Instagram account.
“They’re island hopping at the moment sir,” she replied.
We were then accompanied by another hotel staff to our assigned accommodation. He quickly walked us through the facilities of our room- from the electronic safe to our very own private balcony with beautiful views of Bacuit Bay.
We stayed by the way in a triplet room, which was spacious, clean and well-appointed. Aside from the sea view, I also noticed the open shelves which was more than enough for all our stuffs and gadgets. This enhanced the ‘spaciousness’ of our room as we didn’t crowd our backpacks on one corner or beside our fluffy beds.
The en suite toilet and bath has a working hot and cold shower with good water pressure too. I’d also like to highlight that we did not experience any power interruption during our entire stay since the hotel has its own stand-by generator.
We took our complimentary breakfast at the dining hall which overlooks a dipping pool. The menu changes every morning but the staples are the cereals, fruits, eggs cooked to your preference and proper coffee.
Wi-Fi is a challenge in all of El Nido. But I’m pleased that the management upgraded their system already. It was fast but it could still be blazing fast if only the telcos would also upgrade their infrastructure and increase the bandwidth allocation in the area.
While we would have wanted to snooze the afternoon away on our first day, I received a text from Northern Hope Tours that our trike driver who will take us to Nacpan beach has been waiting for us at the hotel lobby.
On our way out of our room, there is a signage that gently reminds/encourages guests to turn off the A/C when they leave. We followed the reminder of course as energy is a precious resource in El Nido.
We can confirm that our room quickly cooled every time. This is only possible because the rooms are well-insulated and that the building is designed with a smart ventilation system that allows cooler air to continuously circulate through the corridors and all the way down the lobby and dining area.
A strategic location
To be honest, we were supposed to book at a different hotel for our weekend adventures in El Nido. But one of my friends who is now based in these parts, advised us to avoid the accommodations along Serena and Hama streets as some of it have plumbing and sewage issues.
I then looked up in Google Maps for a midrange hotel that’s not that far from these popular backpacking spots.
This was how we ended up staying with Sea Cocoon Hotel. It is located at a quiet corner in El Nido town but everything or everywhere else is still within walking distance – the port (for all our island hopping tours), the restaurants (Mezzanine and Altrove just to name a few) and the town’s only two ATM facilities.
At the hotel’s roofdeck you could still see a 360 degree perspective of El Nido town. There’s Cadlao and the slew of white bangkas moored along Bacuit on one side, the Taraw cliffs and the vast green fields of an elementary school on the other. We wouldn’t be able to savor these views if we pushed through with our original plan. I’m glad I heeded my friend’s advise.
Our brief vacation in El Nido was relaxing, hassle-free and more memorable. This was largely in part because of Sea Cocoon Hotel’s modern comforts and conveniences (they are one of the very few establishments in El Nido that accepts credit card payments).
An evening at Sea Cocoon is not dirt cheap but it’s not obscenely expensive either. But when you factor everything else – the location among many other things, you’ll realize that the few extra pesos you’ll have to shell out will be very, very worth it.
Sea Cocoon Hotel
Calle Real, El Nido, Palawan, 5313 Philippines
Tip: book through their online website for the best rates:
For seasonal discounts and other inquiries, contact them through:
+639176741024 and +63 9189116670
Disclosure: The blogger would like to thank Sea Cocoon Hotel for the complimentary stay. Even so, he maintains full editorial control of this hotel review.