Review: Panorama Resort El Nido

By Joli Switzer 

Growing up in the Philippines, the very mention of El Nido, Palawan always seemed to conjure up images of idyllic pristine beaches, but also of exclusivity and unattainability.
After all, most of the press releases we heard back in the 1990’s and 2000’s, spoke mostly of the numerous Hollywood and foreign celebrities that frequented the island paradise. The buzz was always all about the exclusive island resorts which can only be reached by chartered planes and private boats.
el nido, helicopter island, palawan
Dipkissing at Helicopter Island — Paradise at an affordable price? Sign us up!
But it seems times have changed – for the better. These days, El Nido, specifically the main town, is welcoming more and more mid-range and budget travelers from all over the world.
So as we were planning our epic Palawan trip, we decided we would focus on finding a beachfront hotel with local Filipino character, while still having all of the modern creature comforts. We were going to the Philippines so we wanted to splurge a bit and have that island resort feeling — while still being close to the main town, the port and local beaches.
Luckily, we stumbled upon Panorama Resort – a place that met all of our requirements. It’s a true hidden gem, which we suspect won’t stay hidden for long.

 

 

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Enjoy that exclusive resort feeling without the outrageously exclusive price tag

THE BASICS

Located on Corong-Corong beach, about a 5-minute tricycle ride outside the center of town, this new boutique hotel is owned by 3 young entrepreneurs from Spain.
At the time of our visit a few weeks ago, the hotel had only been opened for less than 3 months, yet it was already quite sought-after and fully-booked!
While the place was still very new, you could see how the owners and staff certainly knew how to run their business, as displayed by their warm and personalized service.

 

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We lovingly nicknamed our room the “cozy coconut cocoon” during our stay there

OVERALL AMBIENCE

We absolutely fell in love with the design of the place. It’s easily one of the most stylish hotels we’ve stayed at in Asia.
We are impressed at how they ingeniously utilized native Filipino design without sacrificing any of the modern comforts.
In particular, we love the uniquely-shaped rooms, inspired by the ubiquitous Filipino coconuts. It also has impressively chic landscaping, which makes you feel like you’re in a true green tropical oasis.

 

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Stylish combination of modern Filipino design with all of the necessary modern comforts

 

RESORT ROOMS

Panorama Hotel El Nido boasts of 8 rooms sprawled over its strikingly stylish complex. Each room is detached from the others, which gives you that feeling of privacy in your own comfy retreat.
The design of the rooms is uniquely ‘modern Filipino’ and we absolutely love the use of indigenous materials such as rattan, bamboo and local wood. Even some of the pillows showcase designs inspired by traditional Filipino weaving. The bed was very comfortable and huge – a true king size. It was actually hard to get up in the morning since it was so comfy! The floor to ceiling windows are perfect to let natural light in, but there are also ample curtains if you want more privacy.
All rooms are also complete with a private bathroom, while some rooms at Panorama Resort also boast a seating area. The bathroom was exceptionally clean, incredibly spacious and had enough storage space. Each room also has a pool and garden view, WiFi, minibar, tea/coffee facilities, luggage closets, quality toiletries, soundproofing, safety deposit box, air conditioning, a fan and a spacious work desk. Electrical sockets are also plenty.

 

SERVICE

This is no exaggeration: the service is nothing less than top-notch. Even before we checked-in, we were already very impressed at their responsiveness via email.
From the moment we stepped into their hotel, we quickly felt how they put their guests first, even treating us like friends and family. Full disclosure: we stayed at another local hotel while in El Nido and its service paled in comparison with Panorama.
Their staff was very friendly and attentive while still giving you space and privacy. The resort is also well-staffed and it feels like they are able to give ample attention to each guest at the hotel. Special thanks to Nani, Ivan and co-owner Borja for their exceptional service and for going above and beyond for us.

 

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Sunset on Corong-Corong Beach – hands down, the best sunset views on the island

 

LOCATION

Before our stay, we searched for the hotel and based on Google Maps, it looked that the beach was close but not too close to the resort. However, we were quite surprised – it is actually a beachfront property on Corong-Corong, one of the quieter beaches on El Nido!
The beach is not visible from the rooms, but it is only a few steps away, less than a minute walk from the rooms. They even have a private walkway going to it. There is some construction currently happening on this walkway during the daytime. But it’s not too bothersome since it’s far enough away from the rooms. There are also bars on the same beach, but we never heard any of the music or noise from our rooms.

 

El Nido’s lagoons and islands are easily accessible via the different day tours offered on the island. Tours can also be booked at Panorama’s front desk.

 

WHAT’S NEARBY

From the airport, you can reach the resort in 35 mins via tricycle, for about Php 300 – 350 only. From the center of town, you can reach it within 5-10 mins also via tricycle, for about Php 50 – 100 only.
Closest landmarks
  • Corong-Corong Beach – onsite, beachfront
  • Las Cabañas Beach – 1.8 km
  • El Nido Port – 3.4 km
  • Big Lagoon El Nido – 4 km
  • Small Lagoon El Nido – 6 km
  • Matinloc Shrine – 3 km
Restaurants and markets
  • Republica Sunset Bar – 1 km
  • Farmacia Comprendio – 5 km
  • El Nido Public Market – 2 km

 

Relaxing pool area, perfect for lounging around after a day on the beach

AMENITIES

They have their own bar and restaurant in the middle of the complex, right beside the very inviting pool area.
At the restaurant, there’s a fair selection of local and foreign cuisine on the menu. The bar is also well-stocked and offers the usual bar drinks and cocktails. During our visit, we tried the pasta and cocktails for dinner. Rob thought the penne pasta with sausage was fantastic – and that’s saying a lot since Rob’s usually pretty picky about food.
They also have free onsite WiFi, too. However, we’ll admit that it was weak and even non-existent at times. Though to be honest, it seems like weak WiFi is standard in El Nido so please take note if you plan on being on the internet often. Then again, you’re going to El Nido for the beach and not the internet, right?

 

The resort entrance from the main road. Source: Panorama IG Page

THE BOTTOMLINE

Turn-ons: The stylish ambience, beachfront location, large beds, relaxing amenities and the friendly staff
Turn-off: WiFi was slow during our visit
Overall, we absolutely enjoyed our stay in Panorama. We couldn’t stop raving about the place to our family and friends. They more than exceeded our expectations – highly recommended!

 

 

CONTACT PANORAMA BEACH CLUB & RESORT

 

DISCLAIMER:

We were invited as guests by Panorama El Nido. However, all opinions are our own and based on our honest personal experience.

 

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Comments

  1. Himanshu

    Your first image took my heart away. What a place!!!
    Helicopter Island is a true heaven. Beautiful shot again. Very nicely maintained resort and you have given a very detailed review. El Nido, Palawan looks stunning specially its Lagoons. Will visit this famed island someday for sure as Philippines is high on our wish list now.

  2. Sandy N Vyjay

    The El Nido resort looks really dreamy. It must be a fascinating experience to wake up in such a place. The room or the “Coconut Cocoon”is so cute and lovely. What I really loved about the place is that it has been integrated so seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The structure and the decor seem perfectly in harmony with the environment.

  3. Suruchi

    The helicopter beach is beautiful. Beach front location is a big plus for the Panorama Resort. It really looks comfortable and nicely built. We are surely going to check this out while traveling to Philippiness.

  4. Alli

    Helicopter Island looks absolutely stunning – wow! The beaches look absolutely heavenly. It is so interesting because this is like the 5th blog post I’ve read today about the Philippines and in particular, Palawan! Sounds like it is definitely a trending hot destination 🙂

  5. Tala Valino

    Panorama Resort El Nido looks like a nice retreat. Love the simple chic and minimalist interior of the rooms. Will definitely consider booking this hotel when we visit El Nido. ❤

  6. Danik

    Yes! yes! yes! I can see myself staying here, not just because of the resort (which looks totally awesome by the way) but the landscape of the area is my kinda place. Will add this to places I want to check out in philippines soon 🙂

  7. Danila Caputo

    El Nido has always been so high on our bucket list! It’s good to know that they are getting cheaper and that we can find more mid-range accomodations! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Megan Jerrard

    Fabulous to hear that El Nido is welcoming more and more mid-range and budget travelers from all over the world. I have long wanted to visit Palawan, and Panorama Resort does sound like a hidden gem! Definitely says something about it if it’s only been open for 3 months and already fully booked!!

    Love the beachfront location – it’s a stunning area. And knowing in advance that the WiFi is a bit slow I would probably just use it as an excuse to disconnect and turn everything off 🙂 You make the best memories that way afterall!

  9. Brian

    What a beautiful resort, love that they use materials that are indigenous to the area! I really respect hotels that offer amazing service, I find this sets apart properties more than anything else. El Nido is fantastic, we visited a couple years ago and can’t wait to return!

  10. Tamara

    I love this hotel! It looks like it has a very serene atmosphere, between all the green. I love the fact that the accommodation is very small with its 8 rooms, it makes it more personal; which I like. The rooms also look very modern and stylish, you can really see that the accommodation opened yet for so long. That means that everything is still clean and new. 🙂

  11. Vibeke

    That looks amazing. Must be a perfect place to stay. I have wanted to visit El Nido for a really long time. Would love to stay at a resort like this. Great you also included what is nearby and how far it is 🙂

  12. Gregory Panosta

    Wow, very stylish hotel. Kinda makes you feel like you’re in a tropical rainforest. And that sunset, just WOW.

  13. candy

    Wow! What a gorgeous resort and interesting that it’s owned by young Spanish entrepreneurs. I think it’s great that they have opened their doors to a range of guests as I’m sure tons of people would love to stay here.

  14. Anda

    Those beaches look absolutely fabulous! No wonder the Panorama Resort looks so beautiful if it’s so new. I’d love to visit the Philippines sometimes. I’ve heard it’s spectacular and not very expensive.

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