The beach front and surrounding property is always spotless, with a staff member or two cleaning away the seaweed that makes it to shore. The rooms are relatively clean, though one can see signs of aging in the wood at the balcony and the concrete inside. The bathroom smelled somewhat like muggy, wet towels (mostly due to the curtains I suspect) but the shower and toilets were nevertheless clean.
Due to its remoteness, the electricity went out nightly to be taken over by the property's generator, which means air conditioning can cease to work. The bed and sheets though were comfortable. With sea-facing views, we woke up to the sunrise. Air conditioning was weak in our room so the direct light from the sun into our room proved to be quite hot during the day and even through the night; we supplemented it with the fan provided. Mosquitoes abound, especially during dinner time, where you eat the buffet outdoors so be sure to bring insect repellent with you.
We were swayed from swimming at the beach in front due to jellyfish or rays but you can lounge for as long as you want at any of the little huts available. There are a few snorkeling opportunities, especially near the dock.
Snacks are available at the main dining area although ordering from the restaurant was restrictive. We had to wait for meal times, which was fine, considering how much you ate and how full you feel throughout the day. These meals are also charged to your account. Breakfast was P350 (AUD 19), lunch was P500 (AUD 28), and dinner was P650 (AUD 36). In a single day, you will rack up P1,500 (83 AUD) for food, per person. These are buffet meals with a variety of local soups, salads, and meats. They are also rife with seafood. As a Filipino, they were delicious and comforting. Inform them of any dietary restrictions way beforehand as they market daily.
A boat is available for free with regards to transfers to and from the airport; however, the caveat is that you pay for van hire for transfers from the port to Coron town or the airport which should set you back around P2,250 (62.50 AUD). If there are other guests on the van, then the cost is divided among you. Island hopping will set you back around P2,500 (70 AUD) for each outing but this is for the entire boat. It's best to find companions to share the fee with you so be sure to befriend any other guests on the property to see if they're either interested in island hopping or joint travel to Coron town. Picking up soft drinks from the cooler anytime during your stay will cost you P50-P65 (2.80 to 3.60 AUD) for each drink so keep an eye on your consumption.
Steep stairs to and from rooms won't help dodgy ankles and knees so be prepared to do quite a bit of hiking up and down. This place is not wheelchair accessible.
When we stayed, there was no mini fridge, no WiFi, no television, nor was the front desk open 24 hours. There is no way to do laundry here so washing your own clothes may be necessary.
Transactions after your stay can be difficult if you do not bring local money beforehand. ATMs are found in town and is a 45 minute boat ride, 1 hour van transfer away. They are, however, open to PayPal transactions. Be sure to discuss your options prior to your stay.
This is a beautiful home-turned-resort cradled in a sheltered cove in remote Busuanga. Though accessible by dirt road, the best way to travel here is by boat from a nearby pier. We were treated to the most spectacular sunrises and clear, calm waters prior to the arrival of the amihan. We were keen to unwind, and quiet days reading or napping at the huts were interspersed with other activities like kayaking, fishing, hiking, and island hopping. This is the best place to disconnect, commune with nature, and enjoy the immense tranquility of being away from civilization and technology. Be mindful that La Estancia is truly remote and any medical help, or even a chance to buy groceries is more than an hour and a half away.
Filipino hospitality is legendary and the staff reinforce this with their smiles, their warmth, and their readiness to attend to your needs. Carvings in the compound were created by one of the staff members, which makes their many talents even more impressive.
Value For Money 8
Though lacking many facilities one would expect in a resort and meals are restricted to only the buffet, this is more than anything else a home away from home in a part of Coron that is largely untouched, and the staff makes this felt every step of the way. It felt very much like visiting a relative who opened their home to us, pampering us to no end, and treating us to hearty, filling local meals that we would never get in a city restaurant. It was the taste of home we wanted and needed, and the kind of soul-filling quiet we rarely experience any more.
As this was off the beaten path and very much away from civilization --they also state quite clearly that there is no reception here --there was no WiFi or a mobile signal. This proved to be both a burden and a blessing as it was very hard to get in touch with loved ones due to the remoteness of the property but at the same time, it provided the kind of isolation we craved.
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