Another Day In Paradise: Club Paradise In Palawan Combines The Nature Vibe With Luxury Ambiance
When you talk about the best Island Resort getaways here in the Philippines, Club Paradise in Coron, Northern Palawan has got to be high up on the list. Owned and managed by the Discovery Group, it has a more homey, rustic charm than, say, their Discovery Shores in Boracay; and being the sole resort on the 19-hectare island, it caters to a more sedate, chill kind of visitor.
Either as a romantic interlude, an aquatic adventure for a family, or as a perfect venue for team-building, island weddings and debuts—here is the resort hotel that creates a perfect balance between sustainable eco-tourism on one hand, and great food, a high standard of comfort and enviable amenities on the other hand. In my eye, it’s like you’re getting the best of both worlds: the nature vibe coupled with luxury resort ambiance at reasonably-priced packages.
Club Paradise Hotel Manager Joegil Escobar and his staff are the perfect hosts, ready to "dive that extra fathom" in making your stay that much more memorable. Island-hopping takes on a new dimension when Club Paradise is handling things, as they’ll prepare stupendous meals with inventive table settings to be served at these deserted islands or coves. Kayaking, paraw sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving are the water-related activities one can indulge in while on the island, and there’s a Yoga area, a Glow Spa, and a hiking trail (to Eagle’s Point, the highest point in the island). If you land at the Busuanga Airport, there’s a 15-minute van ride to their river wharf, and a 35-minute boat ride to the island.
Hotel Manager Joegil Escobar doubling on the F&B duties, always the extra mile
Boodle Lunch for the group while island-hopping
The resident Executive Chef for the resort comes from a tenure at the Asian cuisine outlet of a Manila 5-Star hotel, and he’s Thai. So you can imagine how, on the 3-day Media Fam Tour I joined, Metro Society’s EIC Raul Manzano was doubly excited at the prospect of getting the spicy food he craves—in fact, after two days, we had wiped out the fresh chilies they kept in stock, and the Chef had to rely on Chili Flakes until new supplies arrived.
Sunset cocktails and dinner on a deserted island
The set-up on the deserted island, and someone's hungry
The ABS-CBN Metro contingent at the Club Paradise All-White dinner
Our Scallops and Papaya Salad
Their Sticky Rice with Mangoes that utilizes edible flowers
Located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Club Paradise currently boasts of some 48 Rooms. Depending on where on the island you’d like to be, there are Sunrise Villas, Hillside and Garden View Rooms and Suites, and Sunset Villas. And you can see the development going on as additional Garden View rooms are on the way. There’s an Entertainment Room, and Conference Rooms, as well as a Fitness Centre and a Kid’s Fun Room—where every afternoon, a Scavenger Hunt-type activity is held. And for those who feel the hiking trail isn’t enough, a tree-level Obstacle Course beckons.
The view from the Sunset Villa veranda; note the proximity to the water
Majority of the staff come from the neighboring islands, and so do the roosting fruit bats—one of the attractions of the resort, as every evening, the bats head in a cloud for the mainland to spend the night. And did I mention sustainability? The CP staff are proud to mention that a vegetable, herbs, and fruit garden in Coron supplies the island resort on a regular basis.
My personal highlight was the introductory scuba dive we took, and this was Issa Litton’s very first. The House Reef that lies just a few strokes off the island is an incredible place to visit. Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, Reef Sharks, Parrotfish, teem within the Reef; and a mere forty-minute dive will give you more memories than you can imagine. To snorkel this area is great, to scuba dive this same area divine. Without a doubt, this is a must-do when you visit.
At the House Reef, our new friend.
The bevy of photos of my stay will say as much as these words in making you appreciate why Club Paradise will definitely see me arranging a return trip. It was Mike Huang of SSI who first mentioned how much his family loves the place, and how they keep heading back. It’s now easy for me to understand why.
Here are more photos of Club Paradise:
Photos via @ClubParadisePalawan