WITH of all its cottages built over clear waters teeming with ocean life, including baby black tip sharks, Apulit Island in Taytay, Palawan, is the place for marine discovery and adventure.
The attractions of the ocean and the surrounding environment have become even more compelling for guests at Apulit, one of four El Nido Resorts in Palawan, with its recent renovation to upgrade the guest rooms, clubhouse and other amenities.
Now with larger glass windows and full sliding doors that peer over the water, the ocean has been brought into the Apulit guest room for good reason. The waters of Taytay Bay remain relatively pristine. Under two hours by land and boat from the nearest airport, Apulit over the years has appealed to those whose love for the sea and marine life takes priority over the appeal of dining and entertainment options offered by more active beach communities.
Being further away from the madding crowd means Apulit also gets less trash and human debris, a big bonus for marine life. Great snorkeling remains available a few feet from one’s bedroom door, according to El Nido Resorts (ENR) President Javi Hernandez. “Apulit is where you can still walk barefoot in the sand for long stretches and even have a nearby island to explore all by yourself. It is the most exclusive of the four El Nido Resorts.”
Its relative remoteness, nevertheless, does not prevent Apulit guests from enjoying comfortable and gracious accommodations. The resort was closed last July and reopened recently, so guest rooms could be enlarged and public areas made more functional as well as architecturally appealing. ENR Group Director of Sales and Marketing Joey Bernardino explained that a tropical plantation theme, as suggested by designer Conrad Onglao, was introduced. Characterized by the use of the solihiya weave and abaca materials, the new design motif has rejuvenated the resort without compromising scenic views.
The clubhouse at the center of Apulit’s main cove was expanded to seat 100 or double its former capacity, while blending traditional modern architecture with contemporary solutions. Furniture was also upgraded with timeless pieces in simple silhouettes. The Serena pier, where guests are welcomed and where they gather prior to embarking on eco-adventures, likewise, went through a makeover
Apulit’s menu of activities include island hopping to Isla Blanca—a long corral white sandbar perfect for team-building activities; exploring Nabat island and its extensive reef system; rappelling, rock climbing and trekking to various caves on the island. The island resort is also highly favored by scuba divers seeking a host of experiences.
In response to the clamor of guests, the location of the popular water cottages was maintained. Their floor areas were also expanded from 24 to 34 square meter to now include a foyer, light-colored walls and a roomier toilet and bath. The duplexes for larger groups experienced a similar transformation.
Novel touches like constructing the bathroom counter to make it look at first sight like a traditional console table were also introduced to all the rooms.