Pulling up for the first time to La Natura Resort in Coron, Palawan, you’re not sure what to expect. After dodging stray dogs and crossing a narrow creek via a rickety bamboo footbridge, you’re faced with imposing cement walls and a locked gate. It has all the charm of a maximum-security prison.
Inside, thankfully, it’s another story. The grounds at the 10-room boutique hotel are immaculately groomed, the swimming pool clean and well-kept, and the thatched-roof cottages and tree houses exactly what you imagine on the postcards. It’s a bumpy 15-minute tricycle ride from here to Coron Town, which you’ll no doubt be taking if you want to eat out, shop, trek to Mt. Dalara, or join an island-hopping excursion. (The shipwreck diving in this part of the Philippines is world-class and includes 10 Japanese wrecks from WWII.)
The staff, while seemingly very young, is just the sweetest—always smiling, always eager to help. Each villa has a private lanai, though it’s common to chitchat with fellow travelers from one verandah to the next. On the down side: The remote jungle setting means bugs the size of whoppers (the burger, not the candy). They leap onto the tables in the resort’s open-air restaurant and sometimes join you for a swim in the pool (shudder the thought). Rooms do not have air-conditioning, but you can put the ceiling fans on full blast if you get desperate. The WiFi here, like most resorts in the Philippines, is slower than the second coming. Do not expect to get work done. Low-season rates start at PHP 3,950 ($80 USD) for two people and include breakfast.
Barangay 6, Kapayas, Mabintangen Rd., Coron, Palawan, Philippines; +63-999-995-6016.