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Reviewed March 27, 2020

When I’m searching for isolated, really special places, I appreciate a long detailed review to help me select the right kind of place for us, so I extend to you our experience here.

We were 10 days at L’Estancia at the beginning of March and it was exactly what we’d hoped we’d find. I was a bit unsure which building in their resort photos belonged to L’Estancia and was pleasantly surprised to learn that all of them do. They are situated on a huge piece of private property. It really feels like you are staying on a private island. The nights are so quiet that we found we were sleeping 8 - 10 hours every night.

The grounds with its artistic landscaping and so many flowering tropical plants are beautiful and so lovingly maintained. We were impressed with the number of staff quietly working away to add to the landscaping & to rebuild one of the wharves. There are lots of steps here as it is built along the side of a hill. In the city I often need to use a cane but I found the way the steps were designed it was easy to get around and I left my cane in our room. We especially loved the pool and tried to make time each day for a swim and a bit of lounging - Lunch (pizza and fruit shakes) was delivered to a poolside table whenever we chose.

We had the Deluxe room with balcony & sea view. When we arrived we had a choice between a beautiful & spacious room in one of the new buildings (built in 2018) or the Araceli in the original building. We chose Araceli with its high post & beam ceilings, excellent layout with the bathroom and shower room both updated in 2018, the balcony overlooking the wharf, and closest to the pool and restaurant. All the balcony rooms have terrific views. Also, since the 2018 addition of cell towers throughout these islands there is good phone coverage. We spent quite a lot of time on our balcony sipping and surfing. BTW, if you have favourite spirits you like to sip, bring them with you. You can buy wine & some spirits at the restaurant but perhaps won’t be what you prefer.

10 days is a long time to live with one menu but there was so much variety in the style of cooking and protein sources that we never had to duplicate any meal. We had eaten specific Filipino foods on the earlier part of the trip that we enjoyed and upon request they were made for us. Other people mentioned buffet meals: they must have been part of a tour group or large party with special requirements because we never saw a buffet on any of our days there. We noticed several groups kept to themselves & had their meals carried to them to their rooms/suites/villas. The biggest food surprise was the quality of the ‘lunch’ provided on our boating days: Oning and Ahmed prepared us a whole freshly grilled fish with all the accompaniments served on a table with linens on an isolated tropical beach. We were impressed!

The boating trips are an essential part of the pleasure you will experience here. We took a boat out several days (just us plus skipper and crew). The pontoon boats make for a safe journey. We had a variety of sea conditions from mirror smooth glass to some swell & waves. We are avid snorkelers so if you are, and you don’t have 10 days to do everything, I thought I’d share with you some of the highlights of the various spots to help you choose which to do.
Hint: on the boat trips fee schedule you’ll notice there is a price with and without lunch. Unless you are huge eaters, we recommend you only buy 1 lunch to share as it is ample. Also, if you like to share your experience with others, your per person price can be reduced by letting L’Estancia know you are happy to have others on your boat. We preferred to go alone so our trips were arranged that way. Also want to mention that while tips are included in the price for accommodation & meals, they aren’t included on the excursions & are gratefully received by the staff when the outing is completed.

Black Island is not to be missed. It has one of the very best swimming beaches we’ve seen in 70 countries: white sand sliding right into the ocean bottom, no rocks or seaweed on the bottom, crystal clear water than gets deep enough to swim very quickly. Good coral and fish around the huge jumping rock and coral reef to the left. Shade by trees or shelters. A massive cave. We linked Dabotonay Island to our jaunt to Black Island for more snorkeling & picnic lunch
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Pass Island: Fantastic undamaged coral, lots of fish.

North Cay Nature Island: great coral over a large area, wide variety of schools of fish.

Ocam Ocam Beach: this beach belongs to an interesting real village which is worth the trip in itself, a lovely long curving beach, but the water is very shallow even at high tide and the reef is a long walk through the water. L’Estancia will set up a driver to take you the short drive. Delicious lunch at the little open air café “H-Nice” right on the beach.

Sari Sari stores /Salvacion drive on Albert’s Motorcycle: Albert will give you a fabulous drive to sightsee and he’s very careful to make it a safe & not jarring trip.

If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to the evening BBQ at the top of the mesa, jump at it. Unique experience.

The very professional staff at this family run resort displays every day in every way that they care about your experience and want you to take away wonderful memories. Which we have.

Thank you everyone!

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
2  Thank Lois R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corazon G, General Manager at La Estancia Busuanga Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2020

Thank you for your kind review we are happy that you enjoyed your stay.. WE are encouraged by your words amid the gloomy outlook that Travel & Tour Industry is facing right now.

Keep Safe and again thank you for your stay.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2020

This small resort is literally cut out of the jungle. It fronts on to beautifully clear water and can be blissfully relaxing and quiet. However, it's small size can mean that if other guests are loud and boisterous, everyone can hear it. The rooms were spacious and quite comfortable. Please do note that there is no television, so if families are traveling, bringing electronics may be necessary. Our room had a beautiful view of the water and was a pleasure to wake up to every morning. The resort has one small restaurant--there is nothing else around for miles, so this is really the only option. Guests can order all meals in advance and SHOULD! Service is not particularly fast. We waited over an hour for dinner when not ordering in advance. There is a small sand beach with kayaks to use and the water is sealed off from the larger body of water to prevent jellyfish from entering. There are piers and structures built over the water with hammocks and furniture for reading. Also, be aware that wifi is only near the main check-in structure, and there is no wifi in the rooms. It is possible to book day trips for island-hopping (highly recommended-the Philippines at its best) and to Coron. The resort will also bring in masseuses (for a fee) who will do a massage in the room. I would stay here again, but not for more than 3-4 days.

Date of stay: February 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cynthia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2020 via mobile

Amazing hidden gem with a reposed beauty that is paradise, it could easily pass for 4 stars! Warm friendly and efficient service all around are over the top! The stunning natural beauty of this diamond in the rough was brought in from outside displayed in the ornate and unique creative decor encompassing what the island and culture offers. Verdant mountaintop and seafront views are breathtaking and unforgettable made special with a barbeque to welcome guests. Well kept and impeccably clean place.
A true and stunning gem! We will be back soon...
Mark ( Canada)

Date of stay: February 2020
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank 975geo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2020

While it's a bit of a trek (90 minutes van ride from the Busuanga airport), it's well worth it. We stayed for four days, three nights and had a wonderful time, taking a much-needed respite from urban life.

Accomodations were beautiful. While the water pressure and temperature were variable at times, we enjoyed our room. Should power go down, the resort has a back-up generator. Our balcony view was amazing, and I would wake up each morning before sunset to catch the peace + tranquility of this resort.

Food was spot on with room service available. Mar was excellent in coordinating and communicating with us on any bonfires and buffets that were scheduled. One such dinner buffet was out on the pier while another location was set amidst lit trees. It took our breath away, and we felt incredibly blessed to be dining in such beautiful surroundings.

The staff was great. Lando, our tour guide, also carved the beautiful woodwork found around the hotel along with the room keys. My husband and Albert shared a bond talking about their love of tattoos.

As earlier reviews mention, this resort may not be ideal for elderly or disabled persons. My 83-year old mom came with us, and while she was not able to go all the way down to the beach, she said that she really enjoyed staying at the resort. Thanks to the warm, friendly and accommodating staff who made her feel right at home, she enjoyed meals at the restaurant or on her balcony overlooking the sea.

Another item of note is that Wi-Fi is only available at the reception area beside the pool. So for those glued to their devices, you will have to hang out there to surf the web.

We hope to visit again and experience the warm ties of friendship with the staff along with the peace + calm of the resort.

Room tip: The Elite Family Rooms were large and comfortable with gorgeous balcony views.
Date of stay: January 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank csedore
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2020

The transport from airport to resort is 1 1/2 hours of fairly rough roads and the final bit is unsealed - better on a empty stomach.
La Estancia is awesome - the people so friendly welcoming and helpful. This is the perfect place for couples - romantic and peaceful.
Views are excellent from all over the resort and rooms.
Facilities are just the best - rooms spacious and clean - balconies so good especially at night.
pool excellent, beach and swimming excellent.
Food exceptional.
Love this place - will come back.

Room tip: all rooms have views
Date of stay: January 2020
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank markwI6918VT
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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