Our Stay at The Alternative (El Nido)

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Who wouldn’t want a view like this just outside your bedroom?

I never realized that I could have a perfect view of the beautiful limestones of El Nido, Palawan just outside my room at an affordable price. Many say that the Alternative Inn has the greatest view of El Nido limestones along the shoreline of El Nido town proper and they were not wrong. Good thing also that we reserved a room last Jan 2013 before our trip last March 8th.

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Alternative Inn is located at the El Nido Town proper so it’s very accessible to restaurants, travel and tour agencies, grocery stores and many more. We really enjoyed our stay here and when we come back, we will definitely be staying here. Primarily, the architecture and interior design are remarkable. The concept of the whole place is not just for aesthetics but also for function. Most of the interiors and furnitures are made of wood.

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The Nest

On my way here, I’ve already read blogs about the “nook” which everybody who stayed here or has dined there is enthusiastic about. So after checking in, we immediately went to the second floor (which is also the restaurant) and from that moment on, I was already keen on having my breakfast there the next day. It’s always occupied by guests so we decided to wake up real early (6:30 am) so that we can stay there for breakfast.

The 2 nooks are supported by sturdy tree trunks which you can see from the first photo above. It actually felt scary at first because there’s a feeling of you might fall off but I saw that there were groups of 8 people who stay there so it was fine. I couldn’t get over the feeling of joy having my breakfast infront of the beach. The view really is breath taking. While having breakfast, I was seeing boatmen cleaning their boats and getting ready for the tourists ready to go for island hopping. It was quite warm, perhaps due to the large limestones that is surrounding the place.

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The Dining Area

Food in Alternative Inn is fantastic as well although it’s a bit expensive (ranges from PHP 250 – PHP 500 per meal). They have big servings anyway and they use organic fruits and vegetables. Their kitchen is at the first floor and you can see (and smell) what is being cooked and prepared. (Will post our food review in our foodtrippings.com soon! 🙂

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The Rooms

We stayed in a room for 2 people – basic bed, toilet and shower. It is just a stone throw’s away from the beach. One can hear the waves crashing the wooden barriers. I immediately felt the calmness in my spirit and said to myself, “This is beautiful. The Philippines is beautiful. I could stay here forever.” I was eager to share this view to my social network. 😀 The entire place has wifi which is a big plus plus plus factor to us!

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Just outside our room

Room rate for a beach front fan room is PHP 1,500 per night which we got from Agoda.com. You can get a cheaper rate (around PHP 1,200) if you just go there directly but we couldn’t risk it as summer is fast approaching. Here are their room rates (as published in their site:

Beachfront rooms – fan room, private toilet and shower, wifi:

  • The Healing (where we stayed) – PHP 1,500 per night
  • Wisdom – PHP 1,500 (double), PHP 1,800 (triple) per night
  • Light – PHP 2,000 (double), PHP 2,300 (triple) per night

Standard rooms (street side) – fan room, private toilet and shower, wifi:

  • Harmony (single / double) – PHP 900 per night
  • Strength (triple) – PHP 1,200 per night

Shared Toilet

  • Hope – As low as PHP 600 per night (single / double)
  • Love – As low as PHP 800 per night (triple)

Electricity in El Nido is turned off from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm but Alternative Inn’s wifi connection is round the clock.

How to go to The Alternative?

First you need to go to El Nido, Palawan. You can ride the plane Manila – Puerto Princesa route (around 1 hour 45 minutes) and then land travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido.

Puerto Princesa to El Nido by bus: Around 6 – 7 hours travel time. Fare is around PHP 200+ only so it’s the cheapest however the catch is that you will need to travel to the bus terminal by tricycle (about 30 minutes away from the airport).

Puerto Princesa to El Nido by van: Around 5 – 6 hours travel time with 2 stop overs. Fare is from PHP 500 – 700. You can book this way ahead or you can just book at the Puerto Princesa Airport. It is also advisable to buy the return ticket ahead.

Once you arrive at the El Nido terminal, you will need to ride the tricycle going to the Alternative (about 15 minutes travel time). Tricycle drivers already know where this is so you don’t need to worry. We paid PHP 50 for the two of us.

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