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“Family Trip to Coron”

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La Estancia Busuanga
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 23, 2017

We stayed here last January. I wasn't able to write this earlier because of my schedule. Anyway, this place is not for Senior Citizens. I know that I shared that beforehand in my long email correspondence with Boots. We booked 2 Elite and 2 Superior. When the first batch of our group arrived there, they were told that we were transferred to the top most rooms, the Casa Principal. Again, I repeat, we had Senior Citizens with us and as expected they complained right away. The reason, we were told, was the rooms were full. Note, we booked the rooms as early as October 2016. To be told that the rooms were full was a great first impression, not to mention that we even cancelled one of the Elite rooms that we booked a few days before. They were lucky I wasn't among the first batch to arrive and that our Senior Citizens already settled in because they'd have gotten it from me. Unbelievable!

So we thought that the Casa Principal was better despite the location. But we were mistaken. On our first night, one of the staff, a woman (I forgot her name) was touring a foreign couple. Not sure why, but she was showing them Casa Principal. Note that we were already there, and we were unpacking. To our surprise, the couple sat in the kitchen area and lit cigarettes! We were under the impression that that area was ours, and it was not a public area. So I had to tell their tour guide to ask them to leave and that we had kids with us, and we did not want to inhale their smoke.

We also had our encounter with Mickey Mouse a La Estancia Busuanga. Mickey was happily running between the rooms in one of the ceiling beams. We also had tuko to accompany us through the nights.

Our disappointment did not stop there. Dinner was supposedly 7pm and after several follow up, they were served between 730 - 8, I forgot already. We were starving. This was on our first night. We were looking forward to the great reviews on their food, but lo and behold, they were tasteless. I didn't even finish the pancit. They improved the next day, but on our last day, my batch left early and the batch that was left behind complained that they were served leftover breakfast, they weren't even re-filled.

We never got to use the pools. They were dirty. My sister asked the staff but was told that they couldn't use it. Another major disappointment was the beachfront I was told about, was so ugly. It was so tiny, not even worth mentioning. It was also very dirty. I didn't think it was swimmable, though I saw a mother sunbathing and her son frolicking.

But I have to give it to the staff, they were very accommodating. They catered to all our requests and complaints. That's about the only good thing that I liked during our stay here. My mother overheard our balikbayan relatives in the plane saying "Ang pangit ng napuntahan natin!".

So embarrassed.

  • Stayed: January 2017, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jen P
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 April 25, 2017

HI Jen P.
Thank you for your review.
We are sorry we disappointed you on your stay.

We agree, our place is not very accessible to the handicapped as we try to maximize the view of the place by locating the cottages along the ridge of the hill and therefore will entail a few steps to go to the cottages. This is in fact one of the charm of the place which we get raves about. We never indicated that we are handicapped-accessible. If we have been told that you require this when you were booking we could have informed that we are not handicapped-accessible and would have refused your booking. Yes, there was a mention of a senior citizen in one of your mails but it was about the discount. Never about needing special accessibility. We had plenty of seniors who stayed at the Casa Principal and did not get any complaints. So we never thought that it is an issue for your group as well.

As regards tuko and other wildlife, we are in a natural environment and we can not guarantee that we are free from these unless we cement the whole forest and hill. But this deviates from our concept of "as close to nature as we could". We hear you however, and we are doing as best as we can to trap them and release them again in the wild.

As for the dirty beach, hmmm, if you mean there are plastics, garbage and other things, that definitely, we can refute as we are in part of an island all to ourselves. However if you mean there are some mangrove leaves, or other natural detritus you find in beaches yes there may be. Our beach is small yes, however, we are very close to beautiful beaches like Black Island, Dibutunay, Pamalican and we tell our guests so.

As for the food being in-edible. Sorry again that the best we can offer, which is Filipino- -family-style-home-cooked food, do not reach your expectations. We do not have a retinue of Michelin rated chefs you will find in 5-Star resorts or hotels.

Thanks again.

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4 - 8 of 39 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2017

Our family discovered a hidden paradise in La Estancia Busuanga. With its' pristine beauty and peaceful environ, we enjoyed every day of our stay. Food was excellent and more so the service provided by the personnel of the resort. You can have your own private time or choose to discover new friends among the handful of guests that the resort accommodates in 10 or so rooms for guests. Our barbecue experience, dining at different locations in the resort or enjoying our lunch at different beach or island location each time was definitely something unique. This is not your usual vacation place for individuals, couples, families or friends and you will always make a promise to be back. Thank you Boots and Tony for sharing this piece of paradise with our family.

Room Tip: Adjoining rooms are perfect for families. Balabac and Batarraza rooms have perfect views of the sea...
  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ednoel
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 April 25, 2017

Thank you Ed for the kind review. We are glad your and your family enjoyed your stay. We hope to have you back.

All the best.
Boots

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Reviewed March 28, 2017

Cleanliness 8
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.

Comfort 7
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.

Facilities 7
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.

Location 10
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.

Staff 10
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.

WiFi 8
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.

Room Tip: Grab a room at the newer building
  • Stayed: November 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank frogfrizz
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 March 30, 2017

Thank you for taking time for giving your comments.
We are happy that we gave you a feeling of visiting family. This is exactly what we envision our service should be. We truly want to make each guest to be welcomed as family or friends.

AS regard the air conditioning, we use the top of the line inverter type units, it is designed that if the power is out it will turn off, that one will need to physically turn it on again when the power is on. We are connected to the power grid and if there is black out, the generator kicks-in. The generator can run the air-conditioning too.. Nevertheless we are sorry for the short power interruption when we had to put on the generator.

Thanks also for your comment on the rooms. We will ask housekeeping to investigate.

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Reviewed March 14, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed every moment staying at La Estancia. Prior to the 3 nights there we had stayed on a nearby island, enrolling and completing a scuba diving course over 3 days. Following the exertions of that part of the trip we planned for a lazy couple of days at La Estancia. We were not disappointed. The location, the food, the scenery and the design of the resort (perhaps the wrong word) were fantastic, but most enjoyable of all was the staff's attentive care and insistence on making our staff as comfortable and rewarding as possible. Special praise goes to Lester for coordinating everything on-site, but overall I was very impressed by the positive mentality and genuine kindness of everyone as La Estancia. There were few occasions when we had to ask for something from the staff as most of the time they proactively sought to our needs (must be Pinoy telepathy!). I'm a big fan of Filipino food and I would rate the food as La Estancia as some of the best I've tasted (very reasonably priced too!). Thanks to Lester and team for an amazing trip, and for also sending photos of our stay after we left. Can't wait to return. Chris and Liz.

  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Chris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2017 via mobile

La Estancia is a beautiful private resort. It overlooks the water and the scenery is just amazing. You can relax on the beach, on the dock, or on a hammock. The staff is very helpful and extremely friendly. They are flexible and will go out of their way to make your stay more comfortable. They are welcoming and will make you feel right at home. You can enjoy the resort's private beach, but be cautious of the jellyfish. Even though there is a net up to keep the jellyfish out of the swimming area, we saw several of them sneak through. The privacy of this resort is one of its biggest pros but also it's biggest con. Because it is so private and serene, there is nothing else around. You'd have to rent a boat or car to take you outside the resort. With that being said you have no choice but to eat at the resort. The meals are good however they are very overpriced. What is nice about the dinners here is that they are set up in different areas of the resort. The staff truly put in a lot of effort into the set up. During one of our day's there, the staff invited us to a hilltop BBQ. It was a very neat experience with a great view of the sunset - definitely a plus! La Estancia is about 1.5 hours from the airport - we recommend you pay for the resort shuttle for transportation. Coron is about 2 hours from the resort so plan accordingly. There is also no TV and no wifi at the resort. Mobile service is unreliable - very limited and scattered throughout the area. If you're looking for a quiet, peaceful escape, this is it! Be sure to rent a boat for the island hopping tour. You won't regret it!!

Stayed: February 2017, traveled with friends
Thank Magdalena B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Estancia Busuanga

Address: Santa Rita, Busuanga Town, Busuanga Island 5317, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Mimaropa > Palawan Province > Busuanga Island > Busuanga Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Busuanga Town
Price Range: ₱4,621 - ₱6,058 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Estancia Busuanga 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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