Club Paradise is located on a private island in Palawan in the Philippines. The eco-resort offers an amazing array of adventurous activities for active travelers - plus seclusion, a full service spa, and mouth-watering food!
Sometimes they perform on the beach. Sometimes they perform in the restaurant. Sometimes they perform in the lobby.
The song they sing – Welcome to Club Paradise – was, in fact, composed by one of the musicians that work at the resort hotel.
I heard Welcome to Club Paradise sung several times during my six-day, five-night stay at the environmentally friendly hotel. It was one of the highlights of my visit to be secluded island.
The musical welcome follows an exhilarating voyage by catamaran, which departs from a wharf on Busuanga Island, where the airport and main city of Coron are located.
The 45-minute voyage takes adventure travelers along a lengthy waterway, whose banks are lined with fishermen's huts and mangrove forests.
The leisurely trip continues into the sea, whose azure waters are dotted with verdant islands.
There in the distance an island appears, and it slowly gets larger as the craft moves straight toward it.
Guests alight on the beach, with waves sometimes lapping at their ankles. Waterproof shoes or bare feet are recommended!
Following their musical welcome, a welcome drink, and check-in procedures in the lobby, guests are taken to their rooms or cottages.
Guests having booked their accommodation on line are entitled to a complimentary 10-minute foot massage on their front porch.
Club Paradise is an environmentally friendly resort hotel located on Dimakya Island, a 19 hectare private island in Palawan.
Palawan has been in the spotlight recently because of its pristine beaches, stunning scenery, fascinating culture, friendly people, and fabulous array of ecotourism activities.
Palawan has also been highly ranked recently by several tourism publications.
It was, in fact, rated the world’s best island for 2017 by Travel + Leisure magazine.
It came in second place in a similar ranking by Conde Nast magazine.
Other Philippine islands to make the magazine’s top 10 list include Boracay, which came in second, and Cebu, which came in sixth.
By coincidence, I visited all three of these island during my one month stay in the Philippines last fall.
Snorkeling, scuba-diving, fishing, trekking, island-hopping, and kayaking are among the many activities on offer in Palawan.
The region is also home to an important scuba-diving site, where several Japanese warships were sunk by an American air raid during World War II.
I spent six adventure-filled days and five blissful nights at Club Paradise. The first two days were as part of a familiarization trip organized by Travel Blogger Exchange (TBEX) Asia (see below).
It was by pure coincidence that I had independently arranged a three night stay at the hotel through my contacts at with the Discovery Leisure Company.
Club Paradise is situated on Dimakya Island in Coron on Northern Palawan in the Philippines. The island forms part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The resort hotel is the only property on the bucolic island, which is home to several monitor lizards, which can usually be seen in or about a secluded lagoon.
And, no, the lizards are not pets in a zoo-like enclosure. They roam the island freely.
On my second morning at the hotel, in fact, a six-foot long monitor lizard had found its way onto the outdoor terrace of the hotel’s restaurant, which caused quite a stir – and talk about photo opps!
None of us could figure out how the lizard, which seemed to be on in years, had made it up the steps.
But it seemed anxious to get back down onto the beach and back to the lagoon.
Was the lizard in search of food?
Squirrels also populate the island’s sylvan patches, while fruit bats nest in the island’s trees, flying overhead at dusk and returning at dawn.
They do make for a creepy sight as they chatter noisily among the leaves!
Rufous night herons, Asian glossy starlings, black naped orioles, turtle doves, and king fishers also frequent the island.
Club Paradise is popular with eco-tourists and green travelers, and with good reason. There is a “house reef” off shore in front of the lobby.
Barracuda, sea turtles, reef sharks, parrot fish, giant clams, sting rays, and cuttlefish are among the 550 species that populate the waters surrounding the island.
The island also serves as a turtle sanctuary from December to February. During this period, endangered species lay eggs on the beach at night.
Owing to the eco-hotel's commitment to the environment, these areas are fenced off. When the eggs hatch, the baby turtles that emerge are escorted to the sea with the help of resort guests.
The best spots to go snorkeling are in front of the hotel’s restaurant and from the clubhouse to the last beachfront cottage.
But beware of the coral! Aqua shoes are highly advised.
The hotel has 56 units, including 20 beach-front cottages, four sea-view cottages, four garden-view cottages, eight hillside rooms, and 20 garden suites.
Beachfront cottages range from 20 to 34 square metres. They have double or queen size beds. Extra beds are available.
Sea-view cottages and garden view cottages measure 35 square metres. They have king size and pull-out beds.
Two-storey hillside cottages measure 38 square metres. They have king size beds and pull-out beds.
Many of the cottages were under renovation during my stay.
I stayed in a 27-square-metre garden suite, which had a front porch overlooking the garden. It had a table and chairs.
The room itself had a double bed. Twin bed units are also available. There was a comfortable work space, but I had to take my computer to the lobby or restaurant to get on line.
I had an unexpected and welcome surprise when I entered my home-away-from-home for the next five nights.
Someone had found one of my favourite pictures of myself – the one I have imprinted on my name cards – and had a copy blown up and put in a wooden picture frame.
It was placed on the work space. And it has become the most treasured souvenirs of my four week-stay in the Philippines.
Food and Beverage
The hotel has four food and beverage outlets.
The all-day dining Ocean Restaurant serves buffets at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Diners can also order from a la carte menus, which include both local and international favourites.
Despite all of the hotel restaurant's exotic offerings, I particularly liked the Filipino style spaghetti bolognese, which I ordered several times during my stay.
So what sets Filipino-style Spaghetti bolognese apart from its Italian equivalent? It's a bit sweeter than the Italian original.
Fresh seafood is sourced from a nearby fishing village, and fruit and vegetables from nearby farms.
Organic herbs and spices are grown in the hotel’s on-site garden.
Signature cocktails and snacks are served at the indoor Dugong Bar. Located on the beach, the Sand Bar serves wines, beers, and spirits.
Overlooking the swimming pool, the Shack Bar serves shakes and healthy refreshments made from tropical fruits. It was under renovation during my stay.
Both the swimming pool and Shack Bar were under renovation during my visit.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, not to worry. Staff make rounds serving decadent – and complimentary – desserts from time to time during the day.
The hotel has a 700 metre stretch of white sand beach, which wraps around the front of the property.
There are also secluded beaches. We had a picnic lunch at one of them during our stay, feasting on Filipino style finger food.
The hotel has a clubhouse with a billiards table, darts, a library, table tennis, and a television. There is a small souvenir shop and an entertainment room with karaoke equipment.
There is a chapel, a playground and activity area for children, and a tennis court.
The hotel has a spa, whose signature “four hands” treatment features two therapists simultaneously working their magic.
A one-hour massage with four hands is much better than a two-hour massage with two hands. The sum is definitely greater than its parts!
The hotel’s swimming pool keeps exceptionally long hours, opening at 7 am and remaining open until 11 pm. Unfortunately, the pool was closed for renovation during my stay.
There is also a hiking trail through the island’s flora and fauna to Eagle’s Point, the island’s highest point. It affords a breathtaking view of the island itself and the surrounding seascape, which is dotted with islands.
A variety of activities and excursions are offered.
Included are snorkeling, kayaking, scuba-diving, parsaw sailing, and banana boat rides.
There are half and all-day island hopping voyages to nearby islands, where guests can go snorkeling, swim, sunbathe, fish, explore, or enjoy a picnic lunch.
There are nightly sunset voyages around Dimakya Island, with a complimentary snack and beverage.
A typhoon swept through the Philippines during my stay. Busanga did not suffer a direct hit, so the impact on Club Paradise was minimal.
Nonetheless, torrential rains and stormy seas caused the cancellation of many of the activities.
I was, however, able to enjoy two half-day island hopping tours and two sunset cruises.
Various tour packages to Busuanga Island and the adjacent and somewhat smaller Coron Island can also be arranged.
Featured points of interest include Coron Town, the Twin Lagoons, Cayangan Lake, and Maquinit Hot Springs.
All of these points of interest were covered in our TBEX familiarization trip before our arrival at Club Paradise.
I had gone to the Philippines to attend Travel Blogger Exchange Asia Pacific, a.k.a. TBEX Manila.
A conference for travel bloggers and travel industry professionals, TBEX organizes pre-event and post event activities for travel bloggers attending the conference.
Pre-event activities include sightseeing tours of the host city. Post-event activities are usually familiarization trips to other parts of the host country, such as my trip to North Palawan.
They usually run two to four nights and are arranged by local or regional tourism boards.
I signed up for the Northern Palawan Eco Adventure tour along with eight other bloggers from around the world.
Arrangements were made by the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board and Intas Destinations Management.
We were flown from Manila to Coron by Cebu Pacific Air. See: Manila to Cebu flight review.
With its rustic charm, friendly staff, secluded setting, mouth-watering food, commitment to the environment, and excellent array of adventure activities, Club Paradise embodies Green Travel at its best.
What are you waiting for? Check room rates now at Club Paradise/TripAdvisor.com
Club Paradise, Dimakya Island, Coron, Northern Palawan, Philippines. Telephone: +63 2 719 6971.
How to Get There
Francisco B. Reyes Airport is the nearest airport. It is served by Cebu Pacific Air, Air Juan, Philippine Airlines, and SkyJet.
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