Deciding where to stay in El Nido can be challenging, given the number of options available for tourists today. I remember visiting El Nido for the first time in 2013 when there was not much of an option in terms of accommodations. Today, more hotels and other forms of accommodations are available in different areas of El Nido. This post will look at five distinct areas to help you decide where to stay in El Nido.
Where to Stay in El Nido: Quick snapshot
El Nido is one of the best tropical destinations in the Philippines. The island boasts some of the world’s most exotic beaches, mind-blowing lagoons, warm crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling all year round, and some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Philippines.
But where should you stay in El Nido to experience all of the above?
Below is a quick snapshot of the different areas that you can stay in El Nido:
El Nido Town Proper – The town proper is where you’ll find many hotels, restaurants, bars, and island tour operators. El Nido town proper is also where you’ll see many of the boats depart and arrive for the island hopping tours.
Corong-Corong – This beautiful part of the island offers some of the most dramatic sunset views in El Nido. It’s roughly a 15-minute tricycle ride from El Nido town proper.
Nacpan Beach – The stunning Nacpan Beach area is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful area. Nacpan Beach is about a 40-minute tricycle ride from El Nido Town.
Las Cabanas Beach – This beautiful area in El Nido reminds me a little bit like Bali, where there’s a good crowd hanging out in front of beachfront restaurants and bars with a live DJ playing.
El Nido Luxury Resorts – The exclusive resorts in El Nido are in different remote islands; we will give you the different luxury resorts available if you are looking for a bungalow over the water type of accommodation.
Where to Stay in El Nido Town Proper:
El Nido town proper is where much of the action happens. This part of El Nido is where you’ll find plenty of options for restaurants, nightlife activities, massage parlors, and hotels.
Frendz Hostel El Nido (Backpacker)
This beautiful hostel in El Nido is on a quiet street in a busy area in El Nido. Frendz Hostel offers different dormitory rooms, all equipped with toilet and shower, curtains, and lockers for each bed that allow for total privacy and security. I remember walking into Frendz Hostel for the first time and remembering the good vibes and energy in the room. The staffs were all super friendly and made you feel welcome the moment you check-in. The hostel also provides a great cafe with fantastic food and a great rooftop bar and pool to chill and socialize with other guests.
This beautiful hotel in El Nido is in a great location where it’s only a five-minute walk from the center of El Nido town proper. Cuna Hotel is on a quiet street and within walking distance to the beach (perfect for the tours), shops, and restaurants. The staff is all accommodating and friendly, making the experience even better. Our room was clean, our shower was mighty, and the bed was probably the most comfortable bed during our recent trip. The buffet at Cuna hotel also offers a fantastic breakfast, with an amazing view of giant limestone rocks and the bay.
The hotel features fitted rooms with air conditioning, with standard amenities such as a TV, a desk, a private bathroom equipped with free toiletries, and a hairdryer.
MaryGold Beachfront Inn
Marygold is the most centrally located hotel in all of El Nido. The property is located within the town proper, along the main road, and on the town beach. All of the town proper’s most popular restaurants, bars, and shops are just down the road or down the beach while island-hopping tours directly from the beachfront. The room was clean and comfortable and had everything we needed, including the WiFi and the air conditioning. The room also features a small fridge to make you feel even more at home. The breakfast was fantastic as well, serving traditional Filipino breakfast and western options with fresh fruit.
Where to Stay in El Nido: Corong-Corong
A ten-minute ride south of El Nido town center, Corong Corong is a quiet beach surrounded by tall coconut trees and calm, shallow waters. It’s the perfect spot for some quiet reading, swimming, or snorkeling among tropical fish. On a clear day, it’s well worth staying until the late afternoon for the spectacular golden sunset.
Karuna El Nido Villas
Karuna El Nido Villas provides a real taste of luxury at a reasonable price. The rooms in this boutique hotel have traditional, chic decor with an impressive large four-poster bed. The bathtub outside the room is a nice touch with a spectacular view of the sea, and the view from the pool offers a spectacular sunset view. The units come with parquet floors and feature a fully equipped kitchenette with a fridge to make you feel at home. There is also a dining area, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, and a patio with mountain views.
Maligaya Beach Bungalows
This hotel is one of the best-rated hotels on Booking.com. The property is a very short walk (hundred meters or so) to some of the best bars along the Corong Corong stretch. Many of the guests who’ve stayed in several properties in El Nido consider Maligaya Beach Bungalows as one of the nicest and best oceanfront properties on the island. The rooms and bathrooms have an open concept, giving a spacious feel to the room. The staff also serves you breakfast at your porch, which looks directly out onto the beach’s property.
El Nido Coco Resort
El Nido Coco Resort features charming bungalows located within well-kept grounds. The property is directly on the beach, with several excellent bars and restaurants right along the water. Many of the guests prefer this area of El Nido because it is away from the main town’s hustle and bustle.
Big Paul Hostel
Big Paul Hostel in El Nido is an adults-only accommodation with a bar, offering spacious and clean beds. It is one of the top-rated hostels in El Nido. The common area is amazing, with a good atmosphere and vibe, allowing you to meet other travelers easily. I definitely recommend this hostel for solo travelers looking to meet other travelers in El Nido!
Where to Stay in El Nido: Nacpan Beach
If you are wondering where to stay in El Nido that is away from the main town’s hustle and bustle, then Nacpan Beach is your area. This beach has an impressive stretch of powdery white sands, with clear emerald waters without much of a crowd. I remember during my first visit in 2013 where there weren’t any hotels in the area. Today, Nacpan is a lot more developed and provides accommodation options in the area.
Nacpan Beach Glamping
The tents at Nacpan Beach Glamping are photogenic as they are clean and offer a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in El Nido. The tents are very spacious and provide a comfortable stay. The tents are right on the beach where there were hardly any tourists, so it felt very private and secluded. The hotel included free daily activities, so we went snorkeling, which was great fun. Other things included campfire activities, turtle hatchery event, and sunset sailing. Besides the stunning location, Nacpan Beach Glamping has excellent food and cocktails in the neighboring bars. The staff was also a highlight of our stay, going above and beyond to make our stay exceptional. They helped us with all our transport and other various needs during our few nights here.
Mad Monkey Hostel
Mad Monkey Hostel features a location with stunning beachfront property. This slice of Filipino paradise is twinned with Catlilang Beach and sits around 17 km from El Nido. You’ll approach the majestic shores through a maze of swaying palm trees, which lead up to the calm, turquoise waters. You can easily reach this hotel by hiring a motorbike or tricycle and heading north from El Nido. Mad Monkey Hostel is a unique experience that goes beyond your typical hostel. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the beach during the day, while the hostel provides a nightlife ambiance where guests can get together and party the night away.
MG CHATEAU HOTEL
MG Chateau Hotel is 400 meters from Nacpan Beach, featuring accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge, and a garden. The hotel has a large room and is well equipped (safety box, hot shower, aircon), surrounded by a colorful garden with plenty of flowers and an unforgettable sunset.
Where to Stay in El Nido: Las Cabañas Beach
Las Cabañas Beach is considered by many as one of the better beaches in El Nido. The area has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops right along the beach that gives it a lively atmosphere. Las Cabañas is also the perfect spot to watch the legendary sunsets of El Nido.
Maremegmeg Beach Club
Maremegmeg is an exceptional hotel all around. It’s right on a beautiful beach with an amazing pool that faces the ocean. The rooms are large, clean, and comes with a balcony with spectacular views of the ocean. The staff is friendly and helpful, and it’s easy to set up island hopping and diving tours. The restaurant has a great vibe as well. It’s right on the beach with delicious food and is open to everybody.
El Nido Bayview Hotel
The location itself of this hotel is spectacular, and a short distance away from the longest Zipline in El Nido. Like in many of the hotels we’ve stayed in the Philippines, the staff was friendly and accommodating. The buffet for breakfast was delicious, and perhaps even more enjoyable with the picturesque view.
RC Villas and Resorts
RC Villas and Resorts have spotless and very well maintained rooms that provide for a comfortable stay. The rooms are stylish, comfortable, and equipped with everything from water, mini bar, toiletries, and sky TV.. The hotels are also in a remote area, but still a short distance away with a tricycle to the main town. The staff were friendly and can help arrange your island hopping tours.
Where to Stay in El Nido: Luxury Resorts
Matinloc Resort is a popular El Nido resort because of its stunning property, location, and hospitable staff. This El Nido resort is only a short boat ride away from the famous Big Lagoon and small lagoon. It features a spa center, private beach access, infinity pool, complimentary snorkeling and kayaking, table tennis, and private boats for hire. Each of the rooms at Matinloc Resort has stunning ocean views of El Nido and offers an in house restaurant where guests can enjoy a buffet or a la carte meals. Matinloc Resort offers guests a free shuttle service from El Nido Airport to El Nido town shuttle.
Pangulasian is an elegant and luxury resort in El Nido that is part of the Pangulasian island, overlooking the famous Bacuit Bay. This El Nido Resort is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, giving a unique luxury experience while in the middle of paradise. Palm trees and other exotic plants line up the resort entrance, where guests walk into a stunning open-air lobby with massive potted tropical plants and giant rocks. The decoration is also consistent with the brand of Small Luxury Hotels of the World – contemporary wicker furniture and ornate wooden details, matching the stone-tile floors and elegant space of the resort.
The chic Panorama Resort is a short distance away from some of El Nido’s famous sites. Panorama is only 3 kilometers away from the famous Big Lagoon and offers a private beach area, an outdoor and indoor pool for their guests. Guests at Panorama Resort can enjoy a mountain view or an oceanfront view from their rooms, and a private terrace with a garden or pool view. The resort also provides an airport transfer, bicycle rental service, and island-hopping tours on-site.
NEED MORE INSIDER TIPS ON EL NIDO? I GOT YOU COVERED BELOW!
- El Nido Island Hopping Tour A – What To Expect
- El Nido Island Hopping Tour B – What To Expect
- El Nido Island Hopping Tour C – What To Expect
- El Nido Island Hopping Tour D – What To Expect
- Nacpan Beach – Day Trip Guide From El Nido
- The Big Lagoon in El Nido
- Guide to Small Lagoon in El Nido
- Snake Island in El Nido – Palawan Guide
- 10 Luxury Resorts in El Nido That Make You Go WOW!