Ho­tel re­view

Seda Lio, Philip­pines

Paradise - - Contents - Lio Tourism Es­tate, El Nido, Palawan, lio.seda­ho­tels.com. Tel. +632 956 8888

WHO STAYS? Luxe is­land hop­pers look­ing for an af­ford­able, up­mar­ket stay near Palawan’s ex­cep­tional Bacuit Ar­chi­pel­ago.

HOW BIG? 153 keys

COST Dou­bles from about PGK680 a night CHECK IN 3pm CHECK out 12pm

Highlights Look­ing out to Cad­lao Is­land and its la­goon. Nearby Lio Es­tate’s cafes and shops be­neath the palm trees. Set on a spot­less, white-sand beach. NEAR BY A short stroll down a sandy beach leads to a clutch of up­mar­ket cafes and restau­rants serv­ing lo­cal cof­fee and seafood, with some shop­ping for is­land es­sen­tials (biki­nis, lo­cal pearl ear­rings and beach fash­ion) and a travel agency that books flights and is­land-hop­ping tours. The ram­shackle town of El Nido is 15 min­utes by tri­cy­cle, and the ho­tel pro­vides free minibus trans­fers.

LO­CA­TION

The sleepy is­land of Palawan is an hour’s flight west of Manila, and trav­ellers are drawn to its north­ern tip, whose warm wa­ters are dot­ted by tiny, scenic lime­stone is­lands per­fect for is­land hop­ping on lo­cal boats. In com­par­i­son to Bo­ra­cay, the tourism scene is still pleas­ingly undis­cov­ered. The main ser­vice town is El Nido, and new beach­front Seda Lio is 15 min­utes’ drive north of the town, be­side El Nido air­port.

the place

Open­ing in Jan­uary, Seda Lio is new in all senses: it’s the largest ho­tel in the area and bridges the gap be­tween high-price-tag is­land re­sorts and the back­packer dives in El Nido. This is not a party ho­tel – stay in town if that’s your game – but a re­sort to wind back and re­lax be­tween is­land-hop­ping ad­ven­tures, with an af­ford­able spa. The pri­vate beach is im­mac­u­late and free of beach ven­dors.

ROOMS

Cool, clean and sim­ple, the rooms are in two three-storey wings that over­look trop­i­cal gar­dens, the blue-tiled pool and the beach be­yond. The rooms con­tinue the ho­tel’s all-white pal­ette, with white­washed walls and glass doors lead­ing out to bal­conies, or, on the ground floor, lit­tle ter­races with so­fas po­si­tioned to over­look the three pools in the cen­tre of the re­sort. The fit-out in­cludes fridges, a ket­tle and tea and cof­fee as well as fresh wa­ter in glass jugs (plas­tic wa­ter bot­tles are now banned in the prov­ince). The bathrooms are spa­cious with tiled floors.

FOOD AND DRI NK

The tar­iff in­cludes a buf­fet break­fast. Ex­pect all the western stan­dards – ba­con, eggs, fruit and pas­tries – as well as Filipino dishes such as gar­lic rice, grilled lo­cal fish and plenty of fried chicken and pork. Din­ner is a la carte, pricey and served in the same restau­rant, or out by the pool. How­ever, most peo­ple choose to eat in El Nido or wan­der five min­utes down to the beach­front restau­rants and cafes be­neath the co­conut trees at Lio Beach.

WHAT GUES TS LIKE

This is a great place for a rel­a­tively af­ford­able, easy es­cape to El Nido. Just min­utes from the air­port. Long beach and beau­ti­ful, large pool. – TripAd­vi­sor.

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