We still did not have any hotel reservation the night before we flew to Palawan. Being Coron first timers, we were unaware that there were actually no beachfront at the town of Poblacion V and all those white sandy coves we usually see on the Internet were boatrides away from the town. So try as we might to look for a beachfront hotel, it was an exercise in futility.
There were a few though that were almost beachfront types, as they claim to have a good view of the sea from the hotel rooms. Among these were the rickety looking Krystal Lodge, the expensive Coron Gateway Hotel, divers’ haven Seadive Resort and Mount Tapyas Hotel. We decided on the last one as it seemed to have the most bang for our buck without sacrificing comfort and aesthetics. Yup, we’re no hardcore backpackers.
The whole thing was so haphazardly planned that by the time we arrived at Palawan’s Busuanga Airport, we have no idea as to how we’re gonna go to the hotel. Good thing we saw a guy with a placard for Mount Tapyas Hotel, and asked if we can hitch a ride to the hotel as we haven’t arranged a pick-up from the airport. The driver was pretty friendly and accommodating, he fetched our stuff and after a few minutes we were on the road to Coron.
The first itinerary for the day was lunch. Having only buns for breakfast, our stomachs were already acting up as we arrive at the hotel.
We settled our arrangements at the front desk, then we’re up three flights of steep staircases to the hotel’s restobar on the roofdeck, there were actually tables set up for diners at the ground floor garden too but the guy at the reception told us that the view upstairs was infinitely better.
So we climb. Every single step up was worth it though as we got our first view of Coron; azure water, lush island greens and jagged karsts.
After feasting our eyes on the view, it was now time to feast on our food; Chicken Adobo (Php180.00 - Special Lunch with rice, side dish, and softdrinks) and Tosilog (Php130.00 - Filipino Breakfast with rice, egg and juice or coffee). Price was a bit steep, but the additions I guess somewhat justified it. Taste was okay, nothing really special; but even so, I really liked their Adobo, I’m a sucker for tenderly cooked chicken.
Now to their rooms, they have no seaside view available by that time so we settled for the Mt. Tapyas view. It was pretty simple no-nonsense no-frills room. They have hot and cold showers, the bed was not hard (well not that soft either), the airconditioning was working, cable TV and most importantly, it was clean and service was fairly efficient. Wi-Fi was supposedly available but we’re unable to get any signal even once.
I liked the fact that the hotel is just walking distance (if you like walking that is, as most people does not consider it near) from the Coron Market, the seaside plaza and of course as its name suggest, it sits right beside the towering Mount Tapyas.
The only thing that really turned me off with the hotel is their second floor hallway that leads to the rooms. It was too narrow and too dark that you’d almost half expect to see a ghostly apparition at the end of the corridor.
But ghosts there were none as was evident on our fourth day. All the lights went out and the whole of Coron was swallowed in darkness, it was a blackout on a rainy night. The generator hum was nowhere to be heard and we had to resort to opening our windows to let the wind in.
I’m actually initially satisfied with the hotel, but after seeing what Coron Village Lodge and Darayonan Resort offer at almost the same rates, I somewhat regretted that we have already booked our four nights here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good enough hotel, but unfortunately in real life, good enough really doesn’t cut it.