If you're looking for isolation, romance, and adventure - this place delivers, and then some. White sand beaches where you can be completely alone, spectacular reefs, amazing views, and memories for a lifetime.
We stayed in the Crimson and it's the most popular for a reason. The bamboo floors and balcony were my favorite features. Nobody was in the Azur below us, so we weren't bothered by any noise (and didn't have to worry about treading lightly). The water pressure in the shower was low, but when you consider the location the fact that there is running fresh water at all is impressive. If something like that would ruin your day then you should probably look elsewhere. We saw all the other rooms available and we definitely liked the Crimson best. The suites in the main house were very fancy - hardwood floors and really nice full bathrooms. The Rosa cottages are sort of set back to the side of the main house and don't have as nice of a view as the others, in my opinion. However, the mud brick construction keeps them very cool and comfortable on the inside.
The food was fantastic. All our meals were served on small tables about 15 feet from the water in front of the main house. Breakfast was my favorite - a coconut with a straw in it, a huge plate of fruit, and a basket of bread/pastry. All the dishes were really well executed and I could only muster one minor complaint if I really tried (that I've already forgotten about). In my book, the food they served ranks just below any 5-star restaurant I've been to.
All the staff were very polite, friendly, and "hands-off" - which was fine by us.
From the negative reviews, you need to know what to expect if you want to stay here. It is not a "luxury" resort, but what they do manage to provide in such a remote location is fantastic. I would especially recommend this for the more adventurous couple. The rooms aren't totally private because of the openings and whatnot, but there was never anyone around. Nobody ever bothered us. We spent our days there snorkeling, kayaking, rock climbing, and swimming. But we also got in plenty of lounging, reading, and napping in various spots around the island. You might have to deal with the occasional bug or wildlife, but that's just part of the experience.
There were a few construction projects going on the island and quite a few workers, but none of it was a nuisance. We were the only couple the first night on the island, and two more showed up over the next two days. We got to dinner early in the evenings hoping to mingle with the other guests over cocktails, but the other couples didn't seem interested. Oh well. We wouldn't have minded sharing a table with the other guests, but we ate separately for all the meals.
Richard was a wealth of good advice and tips for where to go and what to do around the island. He would have taken us around personally, but he was hard at work fixing the desalinator (which they got working just before we showed up). We got along just fine with just his info though. Also, he was good company and makes a darn good cocktail. Helena was nice as well and you could tell she was hard at work behind the scenes making sure everything met her vision of utopia.
Transportation was arranged for us by the island - a van was waiting at the airport to take us to the boat. It was a 30 min van ride and 1.5 hr boat ride. Getting there was half the fun.
We loved every second of our time there and we rank it as the best trip we've ever taken.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mangenguey is truly like no other place in the world. It is intimate and private, a destination that blends the incredible beauty of untouched Nature with culture and art. The island is a perfect location to create a new vision of Utopian living and redefined luxury for the twenty-first century. Mangenguey is an exquisite and remote Virgin Island comparable in natural beauty to the best in the world; it is located in the Calamianes archipelago in Northern Palawan, Philippines. It is right at the center of the Coral Triangle, one of the world's richest marine biodiversity zones. Getting There. Mangenguey is 45 minutes away from Manila, Philippines by plane. There are regular daily flights to Busuanga airport via Air Phil Express, Cebu Pacific, or SKYJET.Upon arrival at Busuanga Airport, guests take a thirty-minute drive in an air-conditioned van or private car (with additional charge) that takes them to Coron Town. In Coron, guests board our native banka for an approximately 1-1/2 hour (depending on sea conditions) beautiful scenic journey to the island. Airport transfers are $65/ trip and include land and sea transport. We recommend a minimum stay of three (3) nights for guests traveling from not so distant locations, and a week for guests coming from far away. Food and Beverage: The dining experience on Mangenguey is like no other: fresh sea air to stimulate the appetite, gorgeous views of the ocean, superb cuisine, warm and friendly service, and interesting conversation. Helena's simple and approachable Catalan-inspired cuisine is definitely one of the highlights of the Mangenguey experience. Gathered around the gracious table for communal dining or "al fresco" in the garden, meals in Mangenguey reflect the distinctive character of Helena. Shaped by her Spanish childhood and her years of travelling throughout different continents, combined with her knack for using local ingredients, each meal on Mangenguey is a unique epicurean adventure and pleasure for the senses. All guests are served 3 gourmet meals a day for a fee per person, per day. We accommodate "Special diets" provided advance notice and at an additional charge per day per person. Guests can also enjoy a variety of classic cocktails and a selection of wines, spirits, and beers. A truly luxurious moment on the island is the pre-dinner drinks at the Big House: sip the house champagne or our Signature Cocktails as tantalizing aromas waft from the open-style kitchen while Helena's cooks. Entertainment. Guests can swim and snorkel in the reef, paddle around the island in native bankas, bird watch, or trek through the forest. They can read on the veranda facing the sea, play pool in the Big House, or watch the sunset while sipping champagne and listening to Maria Callas. The adventurous can dive or snorkel in the magnificent house reef or in the turquoise waters surrounding the island. We customize island hoping and diving tours on our comfortable bankas to fit your desires and interests that come complete with gourmet picnics and butler service. Our private diving trips must be booked in advance with our Dive Master. Experience the beautiful reefs and the Japanese wrecks. We can plan a perfect diving experience based on your skills and desires. Private diving courses may also be arranged. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mangenguey Island Hotel Coron