Where to Stay in El Nido: The Alternative Inn

A few months back, I stumbled upon a blog entry written by James of Nomadic Notes. His photo while working and drinking coffee at one of the pods of The Alternative Inn made me want to book a trip to El Nido right away. I also saw a similar image from my friend Tiara’s blog. That’s it. I want to stay in The Alternative Inn!

The Alternative Inn
The Alternative Inn El Nido, Palawan

Luckily, The Alternative Inn is also working with Agoda. I prefer booking hotel accommodations through Agoda since I find payments through Paypal more convenient (and less heartbreaking financially LOL). I read some reviews. It mentioned that aside from the majestic view, what they truly love is the staff of this hotel.

A portion of The Alternative Inn's Light Room
A portion of The Alternative Inn’s Light Room

I arrived on a gloomy Friday afternoon. The only room available that day is ‘LIGHT’, which is good for 4-6 guests. A big room for a solo traveler, eh? The next day, I moved to ‘HEALING’, which is a room for solo/couples. I chose the beachfront fan room because the sound of the waves makes me feel more relaxed. I didn’t travel the whole month of July. This is a personal dream trip so might as well splurge 😀

Breakfast at The Alternative Inn
Breakfast at The Alternative Inn

The cheapest fan room is Php600 and the most expensive is Php1,200 with breakfast.  The Alternative is one of the most established inn, bar and restaurant within El Nido. I noticed that most of their guests are foreign couples. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the view anyway?

GEDC0002
Outside my room (Healing)

The food in The Alternative is quite pricey, but the servings are ok. On my first night, I tried the Banana Hart meal (Php189), which is their specialty.

The Alternative Bar & Restaurant - El Nido
The Alternative Bar and Resto for the romantics

I consider The Alternative as my home in El Nido. Kuya Larry would greet me and the other guests every morning to ask if we’re ok or if we need assistance on tours and other concerns. I enjoyed my afternoon chikka with Kuya Boyet, who is a Caviteno now residing in El Nido. His stories about Palawan and its history made me love the place more.

The Alternative Inn
Avocado Shake + Notebook + Me = Perfect Lazy Day

To be honest, leaving the place was hard for me. It is my ideal accommodation. It may not be as grand as other hotels, but I feel comfortable and at home here. Facing the beach view while working on my laptop made me productive (I finished some tasks that I struggled to finalize while in Manila). On my last two days, I would spend the mornings just staying at one of the outdoor pods while drinking Avocado Fruit Shake. Aaahhh…. El Nido life. =)

Senyorita at The Alternative Inn – El Nido, Palawan

There’s a number of cheaper accommodations in El Nido, but I do suggest that you check out The Alternative Inn. Please say hi to Kuya Larry, Boyet and the rest of the staff for me =)


^ I booked my room via Agoda and received instant confirmation. Yipee!

UPDATE (2015): I just heard from a friend a concerned blog reader that The Alternative Inn is now CLOSED. I really feel bad because I really had a nice stay in this place. Aside from the very inspiring morning view when I eat my breakfast or if I just want to chill in the afternoon, the staff were very helpful and hospitable. I really felt welcome and its like I’m just having a vacation in a family rest house.

My El Nido trip happened in August 2012 and I’m hoping to come back soon. For the meantime, you can check the hotels on the widget below for more El Nido accommodation options:


Although the The Alternative Inn doesn’t operate anymore, I’d keep the posts I wrote about it. I have so many lovely memories and I’d rather remember it as it is. Do you have more recommendations?

The Alternative Inn / The Alternative Bar & Restaurant

Serena St., Bgy. Buena Suerte,

El Nido, Palawan Philippines

+639178963408

26 Comments

    • Senyorita said:

      Great! When’s your birthday teh? 😀

      August 13, 2012
      Reply
  1. Trip@dora said:

    woah, maganda pala sya. the first photo was what i saw when we went there. di ko alam na maganda pala sya from the beach. di ko kasi nakita yun. next time, i’ll consider this 🙂

    August 13, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Izah! Dapat pumasok ka hehe di bale for sure babalik at babalik ka ng El Nido 🙂

      August 13, 2012
      Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Next time, Elal 😀

      August 13, 2012
      Reply
  2. James Clark said:

    Glad you went and enjoyed as much as I did. I would love to go back as well 🙂

    August 13, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Book a flight back to the Philippines since you’re in Thailand again 😛

      August 13, 2012
      Reply
  3. doi said:

    saw this inn from foreign travel blog too and will definitely check the place out when I finally travel to Palawan 🙂 ganda ng view!

    August 14, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Seems like it is one of the top choices of most foreign backpackers 😀 Very chill ang ambiance ok lang kahit isang buong araw nakatambay lang ako dyan 😀

      August 14, 2012
      Reply
  4. Leif said:

    Whoa, looks amazing. Now I know where I’m staying 🙂 Looks like the perfect place to really buckle down and get some good writing done.

    August 15, 2012
    Reply
  5. chellee said:

    love ur perfect lazy day shot! 🙂

    August 15, 2012
    Reply
  6. Tripsiders said:

    Cool ng Place…
    Thanks for sharing po…

    August 15, 2012
    Reply
  7. david.edward said:

    akala ko nasa hill cya, kasi ung shot. hehehe.. like ko pumunta, pero di ba meron straight flight from MNL? but I guess iyon ung mga pang dugong bughaw. lol

    August 17, 2012
    Reply
  8. Im convinced! Im gonna stay here soon din 😀 And for me this is a grand stay! Grand ung view.spectaculaaah! Id love to spend mornings din jan sa spot na yan oh sa photo mo. ganda <3 nakaka inlove ang El nido!

    August 18, 2012
    Reply
  9. Brenna said:

    Sana may available pa sila sa dates namin. Crossing fingers! :))

    August 23, 2012
    Reply
  10. gelaikuting said:

    Thanks for sharing Mica… Dito talga ako magsstay pag punta ko ng El Nido! BREATHTAKING 🙂

    September 3, 2012
    Reply
  11. kram said:

    Hi Ma’am! Ask ko lang how much per night does your room (Healing) cost? I’m looking for a place to stay in El Nido, we’ll be travelling there this November. Thanks!

    September 17, 2012
    Reply
  12. Lakbay Diva said:

    Looks like i found the place to stay!

    September 21, 2012
    Reply
  13. chyng said:

    love this place too, ganda ng view. sight seeing ng mga lalaki in trunks. hehe

    November 5, 2012
    Reply
  14. guest said:

    Hi I just want to inform you that The Alternative Inn & Restaurant is already closed and non-operational. We went to El Nido last March 5, with 3 day reservation via Rebecca Casi Cea booked last December 2014, and to our surprise, the establishment is already closed. We went backdoors, and they still accommodated us. Their property was dusty, dirty and unmaintained. We arrived there at around 11pm, tired from our land trip from El Nido, wishing we could rest for the night, but we couldn’t bear staying there anymore. We went out to look for another Hotel, and upon finding one, we pulled out our stuff from The Alternative and asked for full refund. The only person manning there was the niece of Rebecca. She said we can contact her dad (Rebecca’s brother) for the refund. We got the refund the following day amounting to 1.5k instead of the 1.8k that we have already paid, which was short of 300 pesos. We accepted it cause we just want to enjoy our stay at El Nido.

    To our regret, we’ve found out and got excited by the photos from bloggers sharing their experiences online, especially the view from The Nest, since the internet is our only resource and basis to look for accommodations. We’re not really picky when it comes to accomodations. We’ve tried several cheap accomodations throughout our country, but sad to say that what we have seen in the photos are really far from what we have seen with our very eyes. Kindly e-mail me back so that I can send you snapshots of The CLOSED Alternative. Thank you very much!

    March 23, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hello,

      Thank you for sharing the latest update about The Alternative Inn. I’m so sorry for the unfortunate thing that happened. I’m still in denial that this special place is closed (it was really good 3 years ago). I updated my post with the info you relayed to me. Hope your next trips will be a smooth and hassle-free one 🙂

      April 16, 2015
      Reply
  15. Sandy said:

    So I planned to stay at the Alternative Inn when I visit the Philippines and this is the 4th article I’ve read about it, when I found out IT WAS ALREADY CLOSED. T_T Thank you for informing us. Your picture at the nest is wonderful. Yes, keep this memory.

    December 29, 2015
    Reply

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