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“Our Best Family Holiday”
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Ekhaya
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Ekhaya
Pool with a view Private Kitchen, Bar & Infinity
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Excellent
45 reviews
Ekhaya
Pool with a view
Private Kitchen, Bar & Infinity
Pool, bar & kitchen
Infinity
The T Room
The T Room
View Patio
The J Room
The J Room
View Patio
Gourmet Kitchen
Fresh
Greek
Watermelon & Feta
Mango Chicken
Sunset
Delivered to your door
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Overview
Villa -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 4
Busuanga Island, Palawan Province, Mimaropa

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 45 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
English first
Japanese first
Any
English first
m0g22
Hong Kong, China
1 review
“Our Best Family Holiday”
Reviewed May 11, 2015 for a stay in April 2015

All the reviews have pretty much captured the essence of Ekhaya. Peaceful, stunning, homely, welcoming, enchanting, spacious, luxurious and fantastic value.

We went with our 7, 5 and 3 year old boys. Mel and Arnold accommodated all our needs - nothing was a problem. Arnold had to leave early but Mel held the fort with her wonderfully attentive staff. Mel was so kind and patient with the boys - taking time to interact with them and they adored her. As we landed back in Hong Kong our 3 year old cried ‘I don’t want to go home, I want to go to Mel’s house!!’ The rooms are fantastic and perfect for families - interconnecting rooms with a terrace outside… the kids would sleep and we’d lie on the terrace watching the stars.

We went out on their boat most days to visit the the local islands which were like nothing we’ve ever seen - clear, green water, white powdery sand, palm trees, hammocks… and we were often the only people there. The staff loaded and unloaded the boat - towels, fruit, water, beer, snorkels etc. All we had to do was enjoy ourselves. The most stressful thing we had to do all week was apply suncream to the children!

As stated in all the reviews, Mel’s cooking is wonderful. Like me, she’s not keen on sugar and processed food - so everything is made with excellent quality produce… she makes all her bread - including doe for pizzas. The kids loved it all and she would accommodate any of our dietary requirements.

Mel and Arnold are the perfect hosts and are open to all feedback… they simply want you to have the best holiday ever.

It all seems too good to be true… We cannot wait to go back.

Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Jan 2016
Hello Simidian Family!
It was indeed a pleasure hosting you and your lovely family. The boys were fantastic and i look forward to hosting you again and to find more Mythical creatures in the future!
Best Wishes for 2016 from Mel,Arnie & The Ekhaya Family xx
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieHatt...
Darwin, Australia
1 review
“Jackpot!!”
Reviewed April 28, 2015 for a stay in April 2015

What a holiday destination! We had 10 days with Mel & Arnold with extended family, we were treated like royalty and every need was catered to. The best part is you enjoy all the facilities to yourselves without having to worry about any other guests. We took a couple of optional day trips to the outer islands and the beaches & snorkelling was some of the best you will ever come across. The locals are very friendly and not at all in your face.
Thanks to Mel, Arnold and their friendly staff - we will definitely return & recommend anyone looking for a holiday in the beautiful Busuanga Bay
Julie & Dudley Hattingh

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Exclusive guests
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Jan 2016
Hi Julie & Doug - Thanks so much for choosing us & we hope to see you again in the future.
best wishes for 2016 from Mel,Arnie & The Ekhaya Family
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moiralynn...
Somerset West, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“An outstanding, exclusive, relaxing holiday with a view of note and brilliant service.”
Reviewed April 26, 2015 for a stay in April 2015

This wonderful venue exceeded all of our expectations. The hospitality was second to none. To be able enjoy such wonderful cuisine cooked from fresh organic ingredients or cook for ouselves was an absolute bonus. Wonderful exclusive venue. Perhaps a little quiet for teenagers but perfect for young children and those adults who would enjoy a place to relax and wind down. Honestly cannot say a negative thing about our 11 night stay. Would recommend a visit soon as this venue will grow in leaps and bounds within the next 5 years. Mel and Arnold, our hosts made us feel like we owned the venue, we felt so at home. Thanks to you both and all of your wonderful staff.

Albert and Moira Hattingh
South Africa

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Risskov, Denmark
Reviewed March 12, 2015 for a stay in February 2015

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Charlie S
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ekhaya, hillside paradise”
Reviewed March 12, 2015 for a stay in March 2015
3
people found this review helpful

Ekhaya is Mel and Arnie's intimate hillside dream retreat. It's remote and that's what makes it so great. Here's our experience and some pointers if you choose to stay there. Which you should.

We flew from Hong Kong which took us longer than expected given our travel agent's misguided advice regarding transfer length. (It took us about 11 hours door to door. On the way home we had a shorter layover and it took 9 hours.) My recommendation? Splurge for airjuan.com's sea plane. It takes 55 minutes from Manila Intl Airport and lands in the bay within feet of Ekhaya. Tada!

If you choose to fly into Francisco B. Reyes Airport it's about an hour drive to Ekhaya. You can fly either Philippine Air or Cebu, although I've heard Philippine Air is more reliable. Make sure you land early enough as planes can't land after dark. The benefits? During the dusty, bumpy drive you can see the real Philippines. (Small villages, bamboo huts, brahman.) The downside? It's a dusty, bumpy hour-long journey.

If you're like me and my family, Ekhaya's remoteness is precisely what makes it such a great destination. There aren't many tastefully-designed spots on earth that front both the bay and sea, boast killer sunsets, have infinity pools and offer a wide range of tasty (and affordable!) food. Oh, and aren't surrounded by high-rises and millions of people. At Ekhaya you feel as though you're a guest at Mel and Arnie's (which you are as they live on the premises) not just some number who gets whisked in and out. They make you feel right at home.

We spent the majority of our time shuttling between the property's three wind-kissed hammocks and, as we're not big drinkers, sipping mango-banana smoothies by the pool. We had the whole place to ourselves. Plans call for a modest expansion, but you may be lucky and be the only people other than Mel, Arnie and their friendly staff. Ekhaya currently sleeps six although one recent group rented the WHOLE place out. So if you bathe in greenbacks that's an option too.

Recommendations:
1. Jet ski for an hour or two around some smaller islands
2. Snorkle off one of the nearby islands (excellent coral, tropical fish, chances to see rays and turtles)
3. Scuba dive (didn't do this, but hear it's good)
4. Visit the village of Concepcion (3km away) and experience a more modest Philippines (45% of the country survives on US$2/day)
5. Chill in the hammocks
6. Watch the sunsets
7. Disconnect (wifi is confined to the rooms and is slow and spotty, but, really, if you're looking at your phone the whole time you should just go somewhere else)

Or just lounge by the pool and gaze into the South China Sea contemplating how you can get time off again to visit again.

Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel S
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Little piece of paradise”
Reviewed February 15, 2015 for a stay in January 2015
1
person found this review helpful

What a great place! Beautifully finished, this tiny resort (Arnold and Mel sell it as a private villa, but it's more a resort: you share common areas) is jaw-dropping. You really feel like you are in paradise, Arnold and Mel are great hosts and you would miss an opportunity if you don't try Mel's food! Definitely a place to recommend, you'll feel like a VIP.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Travelling group: Friends
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TKO_2015
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“TRIP OF A LIFETIME”
Reviewed January 13, 2015 for a stay in December 2014
3
people found this review helpful

Arnold and Mel are terrific hosts. Their son Tommy also helps out and he was great too. Sharing this property is definitely a passion of theirs and they made us all feel extremely welcome. Mel is a fantastic cook and supervises the staff which are very kind and attentive. The food is delicious and Mel included us with their Christmas dinner which was terrific. The property is on Busuanga Island (Coron) and is a little over an hour from the airport. Arnold took care of arranging the pick up at the airport which cost about 3000 pesos. Keep in mind that the airport doesn’t have night flights (no runway lights) so if you have a late afternoon flight that gets delayed after 1730, it will likely be cancelled to until the next day. There aren’t any taxis that run from the airport to the property which is by BBL (Busuanga Bay Lodge).
The rental portion of the house is two master bed rooms each with a bathroom. One of the master bedrooms as a kitchen too. Arnold and Mel live upstairs, but each room has a separate entrance and privacy was never an issue. (I think some of the pictures on the website may be of the upstairs area) We traveled with our two kids (ages 9 and 12) and my sister’s family who also had two kids (2 and 4) and spent 3 nights here. The rooms each had a large queen or king bed and a comfortable pull out couch.
The house is on the top of a hill with stairs that lead to an incredibly beautiful infinity pool, eating area, sandy area, and of course the beautiful bay. The view is breath taking and it is an incredibly experience to awaken to that view each morning. Our kids spent hours upon hours in the pool each day. They have kayaks which can be used freely to explore the bay and the mangroves. There are jet skis for rent as well. Next door at BBL, you can also pay to rent bikes, paddle boards, water skis. BBL offer massages as well that aren’t too expensive.
Arnold arranged for some diving trips for us as well. The dive boat can pick up and drop you off from the dock at the house. There are a couple of Japanese shipwrecks from WWII which are just a few minutes away in the. There are a total of 11 Japanese wrecks which were sunk by the US in WWII around the island.
Arnold also set up an island hopping tour which was a fun way to spend the day and see some nearly deserted islands (there are some caretakers that look after the islands, but that is about it).
Mel and Arnold will tailor your needs to help plan days filled with scuba diving and island hopping, or simply lounging by the pool sipping cocktails. In fact, the only thing you need to do is show up.
Mel runs an open air kitchen by the infinity pool, and she and her staff will cook a variety of reasonably priced and delicious meals. They offer fresh, local catch, and the kitchen is stocked with excellent wines, organic fruits, and just about anything else.
The house overlooks a semi private bay. It is quiet, off the beaten path, yet luxurious. The wifi is good and the cable TV options are great too.
Our families loved staying here and it was the highlight of our Philippines trip (way better than Boracay). Highly recommend visiting here… it is a unique, peaceful, and relaxing destination. Great place to rejuvenate and enjoy the beauty of the Philippines.

Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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