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La Estancia Busuanga
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Reviews (56)
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All reviewspiece of paradisela estanciaseafoodbbq pitvan transferbanca rideprivate islandcommune with naturevia emailisland hoppingother guestspeaceful locationboat captainevery guestbeds were comfortableair conditionedfresh fish
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Reviewed 8 May 2016 via mobile

We had the great pleasure to spend three nights at this jewel in the Filipino archipelago. This place had a location and an atmosphere that made you relax the second you entered the dock and the days were filled with great nature, awesome food and extremely service minded staff. This place is a great bargain. You get the feeling of having your own island and you are surrounded by everything that you need at all time (not Internet which was a blessing). Dinners at the dock, lunch in the garden, barbecue at the top of the mountain, fishing trips, paddling, relax in the library etc etc

This is a place that we warmly can recommend to everyone.

Stayed: May 2016, traveled with family
Thank the_curious_one
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corazon G, Owner at La Estancia Busuanga, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2016

Thank you so much for your kind words. It warms our hearts to hear that our efforts are appreciated.

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Reviewed 21 March 2016

La Estancia Busuanga is a place where you want to be, to re-energize and refresh your spirit. The island is quiet, peaceful and magnificent. It is a new upcoming resort in Palawan and does not have the 5 star hotel setting yet. But the staff are amazing, very helpful and you will get royalty treatment from them. The garden and flowers are lovely and well maintained. They have hiking trails to go around the island. While hiking you can drink and enjoy fresh young coconuts straight from being picked from the tree. Other activities you can do are island hopping, kayaking and snorkling. Seafood is always available around the mangroves and the island. Thus, you will always get fresh seafood catch from the sea. It takes a 30 minute boat ride from the main island of Coron, Palawan. So if you want to go to somewhere with no crowd, this is the place to go. This is the only resort in the island.

Room Tip: Choose Bataraza for better view and for more space for family.
  • Stayed: February 2016, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank BenjaminV587
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 March 2016

The place is magnificent. The staffs are great. If you have it both, it's beyond amazing. Lester and Aurelia will make sure you are enjoying your stay. The " Banca " crew, the ground keepers and the food servers makes you feel you're the owner of the Island.
My wife and I spent a little over a week and wish we could have stayed longer. Thanks to Boots and Tony for letting us experience this outstanding place. Definitely will be coming back.

  • Stayed: February 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Service
1  Thank LennDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 29 January 2016

La Estancia Busuanga is situated in a beautiful spot, with tropical flower gardens and magnificent views of small islands and quiet, sandy coves.
We were the only guest during our stay, but because none of the rooms in the new building (that's the building you see in all the pictures) were ready, we were put in the old cottage which had a very large room and a terrace with a table and two plastic chairs. The room was very clean, the bedding and towels were high quality. The room did not have a fridge or a kettle, so they brought thermos with cold and hot water when you asked, which it's not the same as having an electric kettle and being able to make a cup of tea at 3 am if you want. Our room did not have a safe, although the rooms in the new building did. The bathroom was clean but dark and VERY dated (the new building has nice bathrooms but slightly smaller rooms and terraces) with cracked tiles and rusty pipes, no mirror and NO HOT WATER, and the beds were so hard that after the first night we both had a bad backache, so the staff added a foam layer over them, which helped. In retrospect we should have insisted on staying in the new building, but we did not want to make the staff prepare a room in the evening when we arrived: make sure you do, because we feel we were overcharged for the accommodation we were given.

It was not made clear to us that the place did not have Internet: apparently the last typhoon has knocked the tower down and service had not been restored. If you need to be connected to the world, make sure you check: we were supposed to meet friends on the next leg of our trip but, after 4 days of not hearing from us, they gave up and went elsewhere. The TV / movie room likewise was not working and, after inquiring about it every day, we gave up.

Much has been said in previous comments about the food. We felt the meals cost too much (US$31 per person per day), not because of what was offered -which was very plentiful and good- but for what we could possibly eat. Since La Estancia is an isolated place and there is nowhere else you can go for meals, we wish we had a better choice than what was offered: both lunch and dinner consisted of soup, a cooked vegetable dish, a fish/seafood dish, and two meat dishes and bowlfuls of rice, followed by dessert. Breakfast had also many courses, most of which we could not eat. We felt it was wasteful to pay for so much food that we could hardly touch, and in such a warm climate we did not feel like eating rich meat stews, roasts and hot soups: all we wanted was a salad and some grilled fish and fruit! The cook (Indai) was so lovely and she tried to please (we asked to skip dessert and have fruit instead and she did, she also managed to produce some cucumber/tomato salad by the last day), but the place sorely needs guidance by a professional who has traveled to high-end resorts and can offer the food and comfort level that world travelers expect to find at the prices La Estancia charges. How else would you explain the total lack of lounge chairs in the entire place? There was no place to lie down and relax: you either had the choice of hard plastic chairs on your terrace or cushioned chairs in the library or the deck: no lounge chairs by the pool, terraces or the "beach", so if you wanted to lie down with a book your only choice was your bed.
The beach is a tiny strip of sand that gets eaten-up by the tide in the afternoon, but we noticed that boatmen were bringing sand to a wider, protected area near the dock, which we were told was going to be a volleyball court: we hope it will be turned into a sandy beach with plenty of lounge chairs instead! During the time we were there there were jellyfish in the water so we wished that at least the water in the pool was clean, but it was not, so we could not use it.

Busuanga island does not have beaches to speak of, so what visitors do in the Coron area is island-hopping: La Estancia is near a beach you can kayak to 15-20 minutes away, or you can hire their banca boat to go snorkeling or go to any number of little beaches nearby: in this La Estancia really shined: we were taken to some of the best snorkeling we have ever experienced in our life, as well as white powder beaches and a fishing village. A previous reviewer commented on the high cost of these forays, but in fact their prices were very comparable, if not better, than what Coron town has to offer (but the entry fee of each island should be built into the cost of each outing-your guests should not have to bring a wallet) and the luxury of having a boat with a captain, two skippers and a cook at your disposal was a wonderful experience. The food for these outings was again a heavy five-course meal, so it was fun on our first day out when the cook bought some just-caught fish from a fisherman we just encountered, hopped on an island, grilled it there and then, and proffered it to us for lunch. Yum! This is how we wished every day was! If you are a family or a group of friends, the shared cost of island-hopping will make it all the more worth it, and we highly recommend it, especially because this part of the island is much quieter than Coron town so at the most you encounter another boat or two. Go before the jet ski crowds discover this area. Another enjoyable food experience was when Lester and Shakespeare (his real name!) took us to the top of the hill and skewed some meat onto 6-foot long skewers and we roasted it ourselves over hot coals in a giant BBQ pit and voilà: delicious BBQ pork!
IN CONCLUSION:
We feel la Estancia is overpriced for what it is and we do not see it as the high-end resort the price would indicate.
Basically it's $170 per night for 2 ( $108 for the room with Agoda and $31 x 2 for food) So you might compare it to other all-inclusive hotels nearby.
1- La Estancia is probably better value to families and small groups that can eat a lot
2- insist on staying in the new building
3- make your food preferences very clear before you go. Because we don't have dietary restrictions we made the mistake of thinking that there would be a good balance of fruits and vegetables in our meals...not!
4- inquire about internet connection
5-Remember to ask if there is hot water in your room
6-ask if they have brought in lounge chairs!

Room Tip: Demand to be in the new building
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank DomusLulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corazon G, Owner at La Estancia Busuanga, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2016

HI Thank you for your comments.

Yes, we are not Club Med and neither did we claim to be one. We are proud to be a family-owned small resort where our claim to fame is our location, service and giving a private-island experience where our guests are treated like friends or family.

We are sorry that you did not like the native inspired cottage. Some of our guests in fact prefer it as it is made of wood and native materials. Had you notified us that you prefer to be relocated to the modern building we would have gladly given you another room. By the way, you only booked a superior room and the rooms you preferred to stay in fetch for higher prices.

As regard the beds, we deliberately furnished the rooms with Orthopaedic beds, they provide better support (firmer) and are better than soft foam. Again sorry that you did not like it but we wanted to provide the best.

For the food, we want to showcase Filipino hospitality where none of the guests should go home hungry. We would rather err on more, than less servings. As we do not know the particular preferences of each guest, we provide a variety of dishes that we hoped will satisfy most if not all. With 5 or more course meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and charging only $30 for the 3 meals we are just practically covering costs. We had to employ cooks, servers and cleaners and being in an island we have to transport all the materials from town and other places. We are also dependent on the daily catch and harvest . You mentioned about World Class if you go to such resorts or hotels $30 will only buy you breakfast.

We do have a hot water heater. To walk the talk on being an eco-tourism site, we invested on a more expensive Solar water heater. The mixing however is done centrally such that the water going to the rooms are neither too warm nor too cold. Perhaps for people who prefer their shower steaming hot, this will not suffice and we are thinking of getting electric shower heaters for some of the rooms.

As regard WIFI, we are dependent on the TELCO starting their new towers. Once they have this, which they say soon, we will be able to have free WIFI.

Lounge Chairs. We heard you the first time you mentioned this to our people, and we now have these.

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Reviewed 12 January 2016

People especially Boots, Tony, Lester and Auerilia were outstanding and very friendly. Enjoyed multiple day trips with lunch and drinks on the island.

However canoeing and seeing the dugongs on our last day was the highlight. Saying that having a midnight feast with fireworks on New years eve wasn't bad either. ;).

I would recommend to anyone wanting a true island paradise experience and will definitely be returning very soon!!

Contrary to another review all the food we had was outstanding especially the fried kangkong and crab and coconut bake.

Room Tip: Top floor offer the best views but the longest walks!!
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LukeHindson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corazon G, Owner at La Estancia Busuanga, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2016

Thank you. We feel honoured to have guests like you. We look forward to having you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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