Photo of Palawan

About Palawan

Picture-perfect Palawan is one of the Philippines’ most beguiling destinations, promising superb seascapes, and lush islets with beautiful hideaways for a romantic retreat or active family stay. Increasingly popular with divers and beach lovers, Palawan offers a wide range of accommodation options, from simple guesthouses to stunning luxury resorts. Most of the best places to stay in Palawan are clustered near El Nido, to the north of the main, 400 mile-long island. Some are on Palawan Island itself, but many are dotted around the Bacuit Archipelago or Coron Island, ensuring plenty of privacy in spectacular tropical surroundings.

Fly into Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan Province, for a livelier city vibe and the chance to discover the region’s complex history — from indigenous inhabitants to the Spanish colonial period, American rule and the Japanese invasion during World War Two. Composed of the narrow sliver of Palawan Island itself as well as up to 1,780 further islands and islets, the Palawan region is a fascinating network of undulating mountains clad in verdant greenery, with rocky coves sheltering sandy beaches and gorgeous lagoons brimming with fish and corals.

Come to Palawan for the crystal-clear lagoons, reefs teeming with diverse marine life, and the tremendous range of activities to try, both on and under the water. From wrecks to caves, there are some awesome dives in the unspoilt Palawan waters, and this is an excellent place to hone your skills or to try diving for the first time. There are also ample opportunities to snorkel, paddle board, kayak or sail. Soak up the sunshine on pristine private beaches, or head up into the hills for scenic hikes and birdwatching.

Whether you’re an adventurous family or a couple in search of an intimate hideaway, Palawan’s glorious scenery offers the perfect chance to escape to paradise. Our selection of the best places to stay in Palawan features spacious stilted suites with impressive sea views, indulgent spas and a plethora of activities set to dazzle and delight.

The Best Places to Stay in Palawan

For a rustic hideaway

  • Qi Palawan boasts just eight thatched cabanas in a relatively undiscovered part of north-eastern Palawan. The vibe is simple and rustic, with wooden furnishings and a real focus on making the most of the unspoilt natural surroundings. Try mountain biking and yoga, or head out into the water for snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding and kitesurfing. An intimate, low-key retreat.

For outdoor adventurers

  • Miniloc Island is a lovely collection of thatch-roofed rooms clustered around a tranquil cove. Built using natural materials and traditional Filipino design techniques, the hotel has a relaxed feel, allowing the striking surroundings to really shine. Try diving, snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as boat trips to marvel at natural wonders nearby. Family Suites make this a great base if travelling with children. One for outdoorsy discoverers keen to spend time out on the water.
  • Apulit Island, located in north-eastern Palawan, features fifty stilted cottages twenty of which have space for four people -- ideal for families or groups of friends. This hotel is all about adventurous activities, from exploring caves to abseiling down a 60-metre limestone cliff. There's diving and snorkeling amongst giant clams, too, along with beach classics like volleyball. An active family or group pick.
  • Club Paradise is a gorgeous private island resort, boasting fifty chic rooms and suites, as well as the excellent Glow Spa. Pick this place for its location: think pristine beaches, beautiful reefs for snorkeling and diving, and plenty of striking natural land and seascapes to discover in the Coron bio reserve area.
  • Cauayan Resort features spacious wooden villas on an island near El Nido, promising a laid-back escape in spectacular surroundings. Relax at the spa, try diving at one of eighteen marvellous sites, and feast on fantastic food at the restaurant. A barefoot beach haven.

For eco-luxury

  • Pangulasian Island offers 42 elegant villas — some of which boast their own private plunge pools —overlooking 750m of white sand and a marine sanctuary. Stay here for the fabulous spa and the focus on sustainability. With myriad activities to choose from on land and water, as well as excellent hospitality, this is tropical eco-living at its most luxurious.
  • Lagen Island features 51 sophisticated suites and cottages, tucked between the island's four hectares of lush greenery and a tranquil lagoon. Charming rooms are crafted from timber recycled from old Filipino homes, and offer magnificant views. A sanctuary for rare birds and mammals, the island is ideal for romantic couples or quiet individuals in search of an intimate, luxurious stay with great green credentials.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • There are regular international flights to Puerto Princesa International Airport in Palawan. Most hotels will be happy to arrange an airport pickup, or you can hop into a taxi, bus or minivan if staying on the mainland.
  • If you are staying far from Puerto Princesa, consider domestic flights from Manila to El Nido, Coron or San Vicente, to shorten the distance that you'll be travelling by road or ferry whilst island-hopping.
  • Alternatively, contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Palawan is a wonderful year-round destination, with temperatures averaging between 28 and 32°C. Most travellers visit between November and May, so do book well in advance to avoid disappointment!

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Best Hotels in Palawan

  • Qi Palawan El Nido, Palawan 8 rooms from £154

    Beach Life  -  Set on a largely undeveloped stretch of coastline in El Nido, this resort offers guests access to beautiful, untouched beaches
    Active Holiday  -  With watersports and island tours among some of the activities available, book this resort to start your Philippines adventure
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the rustic-chic guest accommodation at this hotel; book a couples' massage for a romantic evening
    Sights nearby  -  Take an island tour with a hotel guide and explore this lesser known corner of El Nido, with stop offs in local fishing villages

    This boutique island bolt-hole is tucked away in northeastern Palawan, between a virgin forest and the beach. Rustic guest villas have traditional thatched roofs and bamboo walls, with locally carved wooden furniture; enjoy sea views from your terrace. Go snorkelling off the coast; a chic hideaway. See More

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  • Club Paradise Dimakia, Palawan 55 rooms from £259

    Romantic Break  -  Couples rate this chic island bolt-hole highly; book a candlelit beachfront dinner for a romantic evening
    Beach Life  -  Set on the unspoiled white sand beaches of Coron, this resort is perfect for a luxury island getaway
    Local exploring  -  Explore Palawan and the neighbouring islands with a hotel package, from island hopping to bike tours
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.

    This luxury resort is nestled on a tropical bio reserve in Coron. Spacious guest villas are built in the traditional style, with thatched roofs and native bamboo accents; book a premier villa for a furnished verandah. Sample the catch of the day at Firefish seafood restaurant; a chic island getaway. See More

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  • Miniloc Island El Nido, Palawan 50 rooms from £314

    Foodies  -  Foodies love the hotel's clubhouse restaurant; sample a range of regional dishes curated by local chefs
    Active Holiday  -  This resort is great for active guests, boasting a range of watersports, cruises and a games room
    Beach Life  -  Set on a beautiful, quiet cove on Miniloc Island, this hotel makes for a tranquil beach break
    Diving  -  Explore life under the surface of the crystalline waters with a diving trip; book through the hotel for great deals
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    This village-style resort is set on an azure, secluded cove on Miniloc Island in the Philippines. Guest suites are built using local techniques, with thatched roofs and woven bamboo walls; book a cliff cottage for panoramic views. Dine at the restaurant after a hotel cruise; a chic island getaway. See More

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  • Apulit Island Apulit Island, Palawan 50 rooms from £316

    Beach Life  -  Set on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach on Apulit Island, this hotel makes a dreamy setting for your next beach holiday
    Active Holiday  -  This resort is perfect for active guests, with a range of thrill-inducing activities - try abseiling down a cliff or diving
    Families  -  Book one of the hotel's loft water cottages for family-sized living space; kids love the hotel's adventure activities
    Views  -  Great views from hotel

    This eco-adventure resort is nestled on Taytay Bay in northeastern Palawan. Guests are accommodated in water cottages built on stilts around two coves, each with a chic verandah; book a loft cottage for direct sea access. Rappel down a 60-metre limestone cliff at the resort; a unique island getaway. See More

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  • Lagen Island Resort Palawan 51 rooms from £340

    Local exploring  -  This resort offers a range of activities to help guests explore the island, from snorkelling to kayaking in a mangrove forest
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the stylish suites at this island bolt-hole; book a cottage for pretty views of the cove
    Beach Life  -  Set on a beautiful island with pristine beaches, this hotel makes a luxurious seaside getaway
    Sights nearby  -  Discover the hidden caves on the cove with a hotel guide and learn more about these ancient rock formations
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    Set between a native forest and a lagoon, this eco resort offers a retreat to nature on Lagen Island. Guest suites incorporate recycled timber in chic flooring, with French windows leading to a private verandah; book a beachfront cottage for cove views. Explore the mangroves on a kayak; a chic stay. See More

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  • El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island Palawan 42 rooms from £472

    Beach Life  -  Situated on a picturesque white-fringed island, the perfect tropical escape.
    Diving  -  The on-site scuba centre offer diving and snorkelling trips to nearby coral reefs.
    Sailing  -  Take a private sunset cruise discovering the surrounding islands.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pools
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    A luxury resort set on the pristine Pangulasian Island. Individual villas are styled on traditional Filipino design with a contemporary feel. Light, airy and complete with all the mod cons. The spa and perfect white-sand beach aid complete relaxation. Ideal for tropical getaways. See More

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  • Cauayan Resort El Nido, Palawan 23 rooms from £375

    Local exploring  -  There is lots to see on Cauayan Island; take a guided tour through the hotel for thoughtful insights during your local exploring
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the discreet private suites at this luxury island getaway; book a romantic couples' massage at the spa
    Beach Life  -  Set on a beautiful bay on a paradise-like island in the Philippines, this hotel makes an idyllic beach break
    Sights nearby  -  Immerse yourself in the adventures that El Nido has to offer and take in the beauty of nearby islands while island hopping

    Barefoot luxury reigns at this Cauayan Island resort in the Philippines. Choose from a range of private villas on the beach or by the lagoon with traditional thatched roofs and interiors that highlight bespoke Filipino craftmanship. Sample regional cuisine in the hotel restaurant; a serene getaway. See More

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