Las Cabanas Resort – welcome to the jungle
We wanted to stay here as soon as we saw it. The place is decorated with a refined love for detail. Gardens and pathways lead to each house (too spacious to be called a bungalow), which are secluded enough to offer absolute privacy without feeling cut-off. It’s private and as luxurious as it gets with cold water showers and 4 hours of electricity per day.
On it’s own corner of Las Cabanas Beach, the resort is only reachable from the main road by a 10 minute walk on a jungle path and then along the beach. From El Nido, you take a tricycle (cars are rare in the area and usually owned by big resorts) for 20 minutes. Drivers all know Las Cabanas and the ride will cost you 150 PHP (€3).
There’s the endearing bird by the restaurant that meows, says “morning”, “hello” and another word that means “ugly, ugly”. The place is owned by a couple (only on site in high-season, December-May) and has all the charm of a family run establishment. Breakfast and wifi (albeit slow) is included in the 2500 PHP (€50) room price and the staff will help organize snorkeling tours, both with the resort boat and with outside providers. We met a lovely french couple there and what started as nice small talk turned into a riveting 4 hour conversation about music, life and aspirations. The staff responded by bringing us whiskey and rum on the rocks until we decided to turn in, the unordered rounds were not on our bill. Very nice.
Think The Island of Dr. Moreau. The property is suitably overgrown, but tamed and chickens, dogs, cats and turkeys (yes, turkeys) hang out all over the grounds. The rooms are simple, but spacious, with a fan and electricity socket. The bathrooms are tastefully decorated with a natural stone mosaic and everything works (not a given on the beach). Each house has a porch and rocking chairs and some have basket hammocks that are much more comfortable than they look. The restaurant is decorated with driftwood furniture and even a chandelier of seashells (which would look tacky if it were anywhere else in the world). Geckos are all over the property and besides looking cute they also account for the lack of cockroaches and other bugs in the houses.