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“A phenomenal family vacation”
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Ekhaya
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Ekhaya
Pool with a view Private Kitchen, Bar & Infinity
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Excellent
46 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 46 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
igelharry
Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A phenomenal family vacation”
Reviewed January 10, 2016 for a stay in January 2016
1
person found this review helpful

We had a fantabulous time at Ekhaya with Mel, Arnold, the fantastic staff and Tula! We took the Seaplane (suggested by Arnold) and reached their place without a hitch, landing right next to Ekhaya. We ate 3 meals a day every day made by Mel for 6 days and still did not eat all of the food on the menu. That's how extensive her repertoire is. Amazing taste and variety (total cost of the food came to about US$1200 with two teenage boys and two grown ups for 6 nights stay with a bottle of wine every night). We also did several trips, including scuba, snorkel, island hopping, and lakes and lagoons in Coron island. They were all planned and booked by Mel and things went very smoothly. Of course, for our boys, 17 and 21 years old, jet skiing was one of the highlights of their stay. We also kayaked out to watch the sun set, swung in the hammock to catch up with some reading, swam in the beautiful eternity pool to cool off and at the end of the day, enjoyed nice chilled wine to top it off. All of the rooms have A/C which we used only a couple of times at night after a bit of suntan, but during the day the nice sea breeze kept us perfectly comfortable. Rooms were very clean and comfortable, the staff was always available and helpful and the best part was the hosts' thoughtfulness. Their thoughtfulness to give us privacy as well as thinking ahead about our day's schedule and getting things ready before the thought even crossed our minds.
All in all we had a nice and relaxing yet active vacation. Thank you Mel and Arnold for being such gracious hosts!!

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
Liked best: Hosts
Liked least: Neighbor
Travelling group: Teenagers
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 a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Jan 2016
Hi Maki & Family
It was a real pleasure hosting you and your lovely boys! thank you for the beautiful Japanese stationery and we hope yo you again some time in the future.
Best Wishes - from the Ekhaya Family
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
emsc1007
La Palma, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous Rental”
Reviewed January 5, 2016 for a stay in December 2015
1
person found this review helpful

Located on Busuanga Island in Palawan, the residence was a place of the utmost relaxation. My family and I stayed a few days, getting away from the hustle and bustle in California as well as Manila, enjoying the most delicious homecooked meals, fun boat rides, and sleeping in a residence that felt like home. Because the residence is just getting started, the wifi connection was not the best, but being that we were on an island away from technology, it was nice to just be at peace. Arnold, Mel, and the staff were great at welcoming us and making us feel at home and part of their family. Tulah, their dog, was also precious. Thank you for a fantastic holiday!

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: Mel because her fantastic cooking and the location of the property
Liked least: The wifi connection was on and off
Travelling group: Large Group
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 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 Carlos & Family
It was indeed our pleasure in hosting you and your lovely family . We hope to see you again.
Best Wishes from The Ekhaya Family.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jenndj
Taichung, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Look no further!”
Reviewed January 4, 2016 for a stay in December 2015
1
person found this review helpful

If you are looking for the perfect getaway, to detach from reality and spend quality time with family and/or friends, this is the place! The pictures only tell a fraction of the story. The grounds are immaculate and a true extension of the naturally beautiful landscape. From sunrise to sunset, the views are stunning from almost every vantage point. Mel, Arnie and their entire staff are incredible people who make you feel at home the minute you step onto the property. We stayed with another family (4 adults and 4 kids total) in the main villa on the first leg of our Philippines Christmas vacation and looking back, we wish we could have stayed at Ekhaya the entire time. The villa is fully equipped with everything you need. The food, what can I say about the food? Simply amazing! It is one of Mel's many passions and we had incredible meals every day. We recommend doing at least one of the island hopping trips (or all, it's worth it!) and order the whole fish to bring for lunch. The staff is there when you need them, but also give you as much privacy as you want.
The time flew by so fast, but we all felt recharged and refreshed when we had to say goodbye to paradise. We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and stay with Mel and Arnie at their Ekhaya, "home." Our families have so many wonderful memories and we cannot thank them enough for their hospitality and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure we had one of the best vacations ever. Hope to go back sometime soon!

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 Jen & Family
It was a real pleasure hosting you and your lovely Family! We hope to see you all again soon.
Best Wishes from The Ekhaya Family
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HappyAlbe...
Southern Alberta
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Absolute Paradise”
Reviewed December 8, 2015 for a stay in November 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We arrived at this tropical paradise after a week in Manila. What a relief it was to breathe clean air! Arny and Mel made us feel right at home. The beauty of the property is hard to put into words. It is easy to see that the construction is a labor or love. The resort is truly unique, with each stone laid and each nail driven having been done by hand. The suite is well appointed with everything we need. Towels, bed linens, shampoo, conditioner and soaps. It has a fully equipt kitchen too, but we only used the fridge. Mel's cooking is to die for. The food is fresh and primarily organic. She even has homemade yogurt! The house dog, Tula, made it even more like home for us. She is sweet and playful and loves to join guests in the pool.

Due to the APEC summit in Manila we were stranded on the island for an additional 4 nights. Thankfully the suite was not booked so we easily extended our time at Ekhaya. Arny and Mel helped tremendously as we were forced to extend our stay and re-book multiple flights.

While here we enjoyed kayaking around the Bay, sunset happy hour across the bay at Al Faro (avoid drinks with ice), a boat trip to Island Hop and snorkel (take 200 pesos per person per island for entrance) and a day trip to Coron. Swimming in Kayanga Lake on Coron Island was a definite trip highlight.

Some tips:
1 - Bring cash. The food, booze and excursions are all to be paid in cash. There are no visa machines onsite and the only bank machine is 45 minutes away in Coron. We spent roughly $125 USD per person per day for food, drinks and excursions.
2 - You are advised not to swim in the ocean near the resort. There are poisonous jellyfish. Although the resort is waterfront there is not a sandy beach. There is a lovely (and safe) white sand area one level up from the water where children could play for hours, and the infinity pool is so welcoming that there is no need for swimming off the docks.
3 - Stock up on snack food and sunscreen before you arrive. The nearest 'convenience' stores are also in Coron.
4 - plan to scuba dive. We did not, but should have! There are many shallow wrecks in the area and the water is like a bathtub.
5 - the wifi and cell service are unpredictable. We were able to connect at times, but it was choppy at best.

Ekhaya is true paradise. I hope that I can return with my family one day.

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: Friends
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 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 Tanya & Friends
It was a real pleasure hosting you all! We hope to see you again soon.
Best Wishes from The Ekhaya Family
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kate B
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful relaxation”
Reviewed November 22, 2015 for a stay in October 2015
2
people found this review helpful

I was lucky enough to stay at Ekhaya for 5 days in October 2015.
From the warm welcome to the sea plane departure it was really a perfect holiday.
We never felt the need to leave by road- just boat and jet ski trips- out into the beautiful bay or further beyond to dive with sea turtles and over Japanese WWII gunboats.
Everyday moved slowly and peacefully through delicious meals ( Mel's cooking is divine and she managed to cater for a 14 year olds wish for burgers along with my vegetarian needs with consummate skill) a beautiful natural environment and swimming in a pool with one of the best views imaginable. A fresh mango daquiri in the pool watching the sunset over the islands is a standout memory for me, as was having a massage in the pavilion out in the sea,
The air is so clean and fresh and helped me to sleep so deeply that I felt ten years younger after 5 days.

If you are looking for a holiday full of bars and clubs and wild times this is not the place for you.
There is no shopping and no crowds. Simply a place to be at peace and connect with those you are travelling with. Very highly recommended.

Travelling group: Friends
Your age range 35-49
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
Hi Kate B - it was indeed a pleasure in having you stay with us. We thank you so much for your kind attention to our 4-legged babies & the mango margaritas await your return.
Much Love - from Tula and the Ekhaya Family xxx
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sally D
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Welcomed to Paradise with Open Arms”
Reviewed November 17, 2015 for a stay in October 2015
1
person found this review helpful

Mel & Arnie have called their property "Ekhaya" (Zulu for "our home") and it's the perfect name. It captures the spirit of the place and the hosts to perfection. They open their home and their hearts to every guest - not to mention the treasures of their private kitchen and excellent wine cellar!
Reflecting their South African roots, the property is built to blend into the hillside, using local stone, earth tones, and wonderful cogon grass roofs. The site has solar power and beautiful artesian spring water, perfectly complementing Mel's food made almost exclusively from her homegrown organic garden combined with local produce, including wonderful seafood.
The infinity pool is a jewel, looking west to the most amazing sunsets over the bay. Surrounded by the deck, kitchen and bar area, it's great place to relax, read, swim and then challenge the wonderful kitchen staff to whip you up a sunset cocktail. The site is steep, but terraced and all the villas and studios are well-designed and equipped so you can relax in comfort and enjoy opening the balconies or patio to the bay's breezes (though there is a/c, fans, etc). Beds are super-comfy, bathrooms are great. Everything is comfortable, very clean and has a cool island style that allows the colours of water and the hills to speak loudest.
Internet is a bit patchy and slow - but that is part of the bliss. You can really leave the office behind here and take advantage of Mel & Arnie's local knowledge to go island-hopping, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle-boarding, jet-skiing.
But don't forget to eat. Eat a lot. Mel's food is WONDERFUL and although you can self-cater, you probably won't want to! Arnie knows his wines and the cold local San Miguel beer is delicious.
We had a wonderful week - as did our teens - and we'll definitely be back.

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: the hosts, the food, the pool
Liked least: occasional internet irritation
Travelling group: Teenagers
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 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 Sally D - it was indeed a pleasure having you ,Eliza & Flynn stay with us. Our arms and hearts are open to you and your lovely kiddos anytime. Please come again soon!
Lots of Love
Mel ,Arnie & The EKhaya Family xxx
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sylvester...
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wow! A secret Oasi - Highly recommended!”
Reviewed July 13, 2015 for a stay in February 2015
1
person found this review helpful

When we arrived in Busuanga bay we actually booked on Ekhaya by accident. What a surprised they had in stock for us. This place is set up by a lovely South-African family with a excellent eye for detail. The big pool is beautiful by day and night (you can manualy set the colors!!) and the hosts of the place are so nice, they make you feel at home, and (!) let you alone at the pool/bar at night. How genius is that. The apartment itself is luxurious and very clean. From the hill you can see the sunrise and sunset, which are both beautiful! Never seen such great hospitality before. The hosts set up everything for you, from waterscooters to trips to various islands. Last but not least, they have the best spot of Busuanga bay. Highly recommended!

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: The pool
Liked least: there was nothing to not like about this place
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
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
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