|sunset as seen from Stunning Vistas resort|
Planning where to stay in El Nido? Besides budget considerations, choosing the right location is important for me. There are three locations to choose from: El Nido town proper, Caalan beach and Corong-Corong. Anything from budget to mid-range are all here. Those seeking luxurious digs will find snooty upscale resorts on some islands in Bacuit bay.
Staying in the town proper itself will find you right in the center of everything, including the inevitable noise. Caalan beach is further down and quiet, about a 10-minute walk away from town. Corong-corong, meanwhile, is on the main road just before entering the town itself, known for its views of the sunsets (something which El Nido town proper is deprived of due to the towering limestone karsts lording over it).
I decided on seeing the sunsets.
So I stayed at Stunning Vistas Resort in Corong-corong. If there's anything true to a name, this one here tells it exactly as it is. In other words, what you see is what you get - stunning sunsets, that is. This is what Brian, an American who manages the resort, is truly proud of. Lucky him he gets to see this every day while living here with his Pinay wife and their 7-month old baby.
|Stunning Vistas Resort|
According to Brian, the whole operation began as a restaurant more than two years ago. Accommodations were added as demand for them grew. There are currently 4 Standard Rooms and 4 Deluxe Rooms, making this resort really very intimate. If plans go well, 6 more rooms will be added later this year.
Depending on the season, prices for the Standard Room range from PHP 1800-2300 while Deluxe is anywhere between PHP 2500-3500 per night. I was booked in a Standard Room which sits right behind the beach-front Deluxe accommodations. All rooms have air-conditioning, hot showers and satellite TVs.
|Hammocks for relaxing...|
|Or massage right by the beach !|
In a town with electricity that runs only from 6 PM to 6 AM, Stunning Vistas Resort provide continuous electric power through their own generator. What's even better for someone like me who needs Internet connection is the complimentary WiFi available. And, since island-hopping is on every visitor's agenda (who wouldn't after traveling this far?), Brian can arrange for it with prices similar to what's offered in El Nido.
"There's a good amount of haze today", Brian announced. What this means is that there's a great chance of seeing a spectacular sunset. The sandy beach out front warmed to a golden glow as the sun began to dip low in the horizon. The water was calm, the islands off shore seducing me. After a 6-hour grueling bus ride, relaxing was just what I needed. And I'm hungry too.
While the town is readily accessible via a 10-minute trike ride for eating out or sampling whatever night life there is, Stunning Vistas Resort cater to their guests (and even non-guests) with reasonably-priced food in their restaurant. They have a deck sitting right over the beach where one can have cocktails, peruse the menu for dinner while watching the sun go down beyond the islands of Bacuit bay.
I can truly say my adobo dinner tasted even better after having a stunning sunset for an appetiser!