Where to stay in El Nido – The best hotels and hostels

Get the full lo-down on where to stay in El Nido and plan a trip to this beautiful corner of Palawan. With beaches that were voted some of the best on earth and towering limestone cliffs and lagoons, El Nido is a stopping point on most adventures around the Philippines and we’re confident you’ll be a big fan. After staying in town for some time, we’ve assembled a complete guide to the best El Nido hotels and hostels for all budgets, inspiring you to find the perfect base for exploring. All accommodation options have been hand-selected by us and have excellent TripAdvisor reviews.

The best areas to stay in El Nido

El Nido is a municipality of Palawan and covers the entire north of the island. Being such a large area, there are plenty of places to stay, which aren’t necessarily close to each other. Each location has something unique to offer depending on what type of trip you’re looking for. Base yourself on a tropical island far from civilisation, stay bang in the middle of town for lots of activities and nightlife, or opt for a nearby beach where you can easily catch a taxi to other parts of El Nido. We compare areas where to stay in El Nido below.

El Nido Town

El Nido town overhead view of the bay - Where to stay in El Nido

The core town of the El Nido region, with a long stretch of beach, limestone cliffs the horizon and plenty of facilities. At first glance, El Nido town appears a little rough around the edges compared to nearby beaches and small villages, however that’s part of its low-key vibe and it has a lot of character once you ignore the lack of pavements. It has a large concentration of bars, restaurants, shops and facilities such as ATM’s and is central for exploring the rest of the El Nido bay, including boat trip excursions. The town has a few hotels in the centre, more luxurious options 5-minutes away and plenty of apartment rentals and hostels. The town is exactly where to stay in El Nido to be in the middle of the action!

Corong Corong Beach

Shows the zipline at Corong Corong Beach - El Nido accommodation guide

For beautiful beaches and sunset bars accompanied by a handful of nice hotels, Corong Corong Beach is one of the best places to stay in El Nido. It’s only a 10-minute Trike taxi ride from El Nido Town if you want to sample the nightlife, shops and restaurants, however is far enough away to remain secluded. It’s a lot more relaxed than the town! The scenery here is idyllic and the vibe is chilled. Walk out of your beach-side hotel, go for a swim and enjoy the white sands and cosy up in a bar for sunset happy hour. Corong Corong also has a newly built and modern street of shops and restaurants to check out. A good mix of relaxing beaches and scenery versus things to do.

Nacpan Beach

Where to stay in El Nido - Shows Nacpan beach and shore from above

Nacpan Beach was voted as one of the best beaches in the world by various travel magazines for multiple years running. It’s located a 45-minute drive north of El Nido Town, tucked away in a breath-takingly beautiful cove on the north of Palawan. It’s one of the best places to stay in El Nido for holidays where all you want to do is relax on the beach and enjoy a quiet dinner on an evening. As a contrast to this, it also has an action-packed party hostel called Mad Monkey that will keep you entertained on a night out. Nacpan is a must-see destination for any trip to El Nido and many people choose to visit on a day-trip. Extend your trip and stay here a few nights if you want to wind down and relax for longer. Accommodation options are limited but very good.

Private island resorts

Shows a remote island in the El Nido region - The best El Nido hotels

During your stay in El Nido, you’ll no doubt be exploring the coves, caves and islands on a boat trip. It’s the number one activity! Some of these majestic islands have been transformed into luxurious resorts. They each provide unique experiences, ranging from private above-water villas, personal chefs, spa’s and waking up on a beach to a once in a lifetime sunrise. These hotels are only accessible by private boat transfer and will cost you upwards of £400 per night. Treat yourself to a night or two in paradise or celebrate a special occasion such as a honeymoon or anniversary.

The best El Nido hotels and hostels

Now you’ve gained an insight on what each area has to offer, browse our list of El Nido hotel recommendations to find the perfect place to stay. You may wish to spend a couple of nights in one destination and then move to another.

Luxury El Nido hotels

Most of the El Nido luxury hotels are next level luxury. We’re talking £400+ per night private island getaways where you’ll need a boat to get there, you’ll have your own private villa raised over the water and the service is 5-star throughout. On the islands themselves, your main activities will be at the resort itself or island-hopping excursions – you’re cut off from mainland El Nido. See a selection of the best El Nido luxury island hotels below.

El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Neatly positioned in a private lagoon on Miniloc Island, this resort will make your jaw drop as you approach by boat. You’ll have the island to share with a small number of guests and the comfort of a private villa that hovers above the turquoise water on stilts. It’s a resort that exudes luxury and your stay here will be all about winding down or checking out one of their exclusive activities. Go kayaking on the bay, take part in water sports and resort activities or make full use of the private beach. The secluded bay and surrounding scenery are what makes Miniloc Island Resort so special.

El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Book a private villa on a remote island just of the coast of El Nido bay and feel at home in an amazing tropical environment. El Nido Resort’s Pangulasian Island hotel is another star in their luxury collection and is best for beach lovers that want to access pristine golden sands within a 50m walk of their room. The beach stretches right across the island and the mainland is rich in tropical forests so you’ll feel secluded in nature. Top facilities aside from the beach include a spa, large swimming pool, luxurious common areas, a spacious restaurant and romantic outdoor dining options. It’s the perfect luxe getaway for couples!

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Lagen Island resort joins the other luxury ‘El Nido Resorts’ brand hotels as a spectacular place to stay during your time in the region. Arrive at the resort by boat and be treated like royalty as you’re taken to a private villa, which is raised on stilts above the water and has stunning views of the bay. Imagine wake up here on a morning! It has a beach tiki bar where you can sample the daily cocktails and relax on the picture-perfect beach, or join the resort activity organisers on kayaking tours, island hopping excursions and other active adventures. It has a gym, spa, huge swimming pool, kids play area and all of the other facilities you’d expect from a hotel of this calibre. Great for both families and couples!

Mid-range El Nido hotels

These hotels are perfect for when you want somewhere particularly nice with a pool, a spacious room and great service, but at affordable prices. Mid-range hotels are ideal for couples or friends that aren’t on a tight budget and want somewhere special to stay in El Nido.

Cadlao Resort (El Nido Town)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4/5

Feel at home in a beautiful beach-side villa a 12-minute walk from El Nido Town, and relax on a hammock looking out at the ocean. Cadlao Resort offers peace and quiet away from the main town but is within walking distance if you want to explore. The gardens are nicely decorated, they have a good-sized pool with chill-out area and an all-day restaurant. Rooms are small garden villas with modern finishing’s and an open-plan view of the gardens. Choose Cadlao for an affordable stay with lots of facilities and to be well-located for the El Nido Town beach and bars.

The Nest El Nido Beach Resort (El Nido Town)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4/5

If you want to stay in El Nido Town, The Nest Beach Resort is in the perfect location. Rather than being based in the centre of the bustling town streets, it’s set back just a 10-minute walk away at the far north of town. Here you’ll have peace and quiet in your own beach-view villa, but have all the restaurants, bars and shops of the town within walking distance if you want to venture out. An infinity pool and spa area look out to the beach and it’s a great place to relax when you’re not out and about. It’s a ‘no-frills’ hotel, but the facilities, service and cleanliness are excellent.

Last Frontier Beach Resort (Corong Corong Beach)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Last Frontier Beach Resort is a contender for one of our personal favourite places for where to stay in El Nido. Its location couldn’t be better! Wake up in a bright and spacious room and wander 50 metres to the beach front, where you can spend your days soaking in rays of sun. There are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance, and if you want to venture into El Nido Town, you can get there by taxi within 8-minutes. The hotel has a nice pool area that’s secluded from the main beach, hidden by tropical trees. Rooms are basic but decorated beautifully and you’ll like the relaxed atmosphere of the resort.

Nacpan Beach Glamping (Nacpan Beach)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 5/5

For a unique overnight stay at Nacpan Beach, look no further than the Nacpan Beach Glamping Tents. You’ll sleep in a spacious tent that has been decorated with minimalistic but cute furniture and will feel at one with nature. The impressive Nacpan sands are only a few steps away and the resort looks amazing when it lights up on an evening. Facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, relaxation area and access to the beach. A cool way to experience Nacpan Beach and the top-rated place to stay in El Nido according to Tripadvisor!

Budget El Nido hotels

Caalan Beach Resort (El Nido Town)

View on Agoda.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Caalan Beach Resort sits to the far north-east of El Nido Town’s main beach. It has basic but well decorated rooms and you’ll feel at home in pretty garden bungalows. Chill on your outdoor hammock at sunset, go for a dip in the swimming pool or take a short stroll to the beach front to see the colourful Bangka boats heading out on tours. Caalan Beach Hotel is very affordable and is only a 13-minute walk to the restaurants and bars of town. It’s also easy to get to from the airport and the hotel organises some great guided tours. For travellers on a budget that want their own space, a pool and quiet surroundings, this place is perfect!

Bulskamp Inn (El Nido Town)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

You couldn’t be in a better location in town than the Bulskamp Guesthouse. Step out the front door and you have countless restaurants, bars and shops to check out on the main streets and return to your room on an evening for a cosy night’s sleep. The guesthouse is small, family-run and it has a nice common area with a bar and restaurant. An excellent choice for a low-cost stay in the heart of everything.

The best El Nido hostels

Spin Hostel (El Nido Town)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Our first impression of Spin was that it was very unlike a hostel. The design is super trendy, it’s spacious, modern and has some nice facilities. Stay in a dorm with plenty of personal space or opt for a lower-ground private room and feel like you’re in a hotel, albeit a lower cost one. Facilities include indoor and outdoor ‘chilling out’ areas, a free breakfast, common area with tables, TV’s and games and an on-site karaoke bar. It’s located on the edge of town within a 10-minute walk from the El Nido town beach. Spin feels more relaxed and cosier than other hostels in town and it appeals to all age-groups.

Frendz Hostel (El Nido Town)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

Frendz Hostel is the largest hostel in El Nido and the most popular place to stay. This multi-storey accommodation is in the centre of town and attracts travellers from all walks of life. The décor feels modern with a twist of urban flair and everything is well maintained. What’s the best thing about Frendz? It has a rooftop pool with amazing views of El Nido. It’s a good place to stay for solo travellers or friends that want to socialise. Play a game of pool in the lobby, grab a healthy breakfast or ascend to the rooftop bar on an evening for a lively atmosphere.

Mad Monkey Hostel (Nacpan Beach)

View on Booking.com | Tripadvisor rating 4.5/5

If you’ve done a lot of travelling in South-East Asia, you might have heard about the Mad Monkey Hostel brand. It’s famous for its lively social scene and parties, earning a reputation for wild nights out in every destination. The setting for Mad Monkey Nacpan Beach is very much on the beach. Accommodation options are beach tents or basic wooden dorms leading onto the sand. It’s an affordable place to stay when visiting the beautiful Nacpan Beach and you’ll make plenty of friends when the sun goes down. A fun place to stay with young crowd, but only recommended if you’re looking for a party scene.

Private apartments in El Nido

Where to stay in El Nido - Shows a luxury villa with a pool

If you want your own space to cook or are travelling with a group whilst in El Nido, Airbnb have a great selection of private apartment and villa rentals. Stay in a small studio for low prices or go all out in a huge villa for all of your friends. Private swimming pool anyone?

As there aren’t a huge number of hotels in the area, Airbnb can be a great way to save money. This is a great option if you plan on staying in El Nido for a while and making the region your home.

Browse El Nido apartments and villas on Airbnb.

Top tips for booking a place to stay in El Nido

  • Compare prices on hotel comparison sites to find the best deal for your chosen dates.
  • Consider a villa or Airbnb rental if you’re travelling with a group.
  • Travelling alone and want to meet others? El Nido’s hostel scene is great for all ages. Book a private room if you want your own space but make use of the common areas and tours.
  • Many hotels offer tour and transfer booking services. Make use of these at your leisure to save you hunting around for a tour.
  • Choose an El Nido hotel with complimentary breakfast to save money.
  • Always check the location of a hotel before booking. You want to be well located to the key attractions. Use Google Maps’ ‘Directions’ feature to check distances.
  • If you have an early morning ferry to Coron Island booked, stay in El Nido town the night before for easy access to the departure pier.

Now you’ve read our ‘where to stay in El Nido’ guide, all that’s left to do is decide on an area and the best hotel for you! We recommended visiting El Nido for a least 5 days, where you could spend a few nights near the main town and then another night or two on the beautiful Nacpan Beach. Or if you’re feeling really luxurious and want to sample the best of the best, stay in a private island resort for a night. There are hotels in El Nido for all budgets and holiday plans!

Check out our hotel booking guide here for tips on how to find the best prices.

Looking for somewhere to eat? Browse our El Nido restaurant guide.


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