Guest post and photos by Laura Koebel
We loved the Astoria Palawan so much after our first visit last October, we couldn’t wait to go back. When my parents were planning their trip to The Philippines we couldn’t think of a more perfect place to take the whole family. We visited for our second time at the end of March with my husband, my daughter Amira (6 years), my son Everett (2 years), and my parents (69+).
Being 62km from the Puerto Princesa International Airport and located on Honda Bay; approximately a 1 hour and 15 minute drive (the hotel provides an airport shuttle), the Astoria Palawan has thought of everything. It is a great resort to relax and unwind but if you are looking for an action packed stay, this place also has you covered. The main attraction is the water park but there are so many other activities offered on the five-hectare property. They also offer excursions and can assist with coordinating adventures off the property.
The resort is nearly four-years-old but it looks brand new. Not only is the property beautiful, the rooms are colourful and modern. Upon arrival, guests are warmly welcomed by the amazingly friendly staff with a mango coconut drink, a local sweet treat and a beaded necklace.
Astoria Palawan for Mum & Dad
Currently the beach is under restoration but the hotel offers trips (for a fee) to a nearby sandbar to swim, snorkel and play in the sand. We spent one morning on this beautiful sandbar sipping from fresh coconuts and snorkelling in the pristine water.
Astoria Palawan for Kids
The Astoria Palawan had kids in mind while designing this beautiful property. On site the property boasts two playgrounds, a putting green, bikes, a games room and of course the amazing Palawan Waterpark.
For us, the waterpark was the biggest hit. This provided entertainment for both the kids and adults in our family (the 69-year-old grandmother may have had the most fun!). With each stay at the Astoria Palawan, guests receive a one-time access to the Palawan Waterpark. There is something for all ages – water slides, wave pool, lazy river, mini water park for little ones and a splash park. Around the perimeter of the park are cabanas for rent that offer shade and seating. In the main building, as you enter the park, is a buffet restaurant, showers, lockers and the towel desk (towels are provided with entrance). There is also a snack bar on the other side of the park.
Eating at Astoria Palawan
The Astoria Palawan’s only restaurant is beautifully located overlooking the infinity pool with a panoramic view of the sea just beyond. Most of the seating is indoors, where in the evening they provide live entertainment, but there are also some tables outside next to the pool.
The breakfast buffet, which is complimentary with your stay, covers all the food groups. You can enjoy fresh made omelette’s, Filipino style breakfast, pastries, fruits, meats and cheeses, cereals as well as dessert.
The same menu is used for lunch and dinner but there is a wide variety to choose from, both local and international cuisine. There is no special menu for kids but our children loved their pizza and pasta. The food is delicious, especially the seafood. Our favourite menu items were the seared tuna appetiser, Frutti Di Mare pasta, Fisherman’s Platter and the Grilled Seafood Salad.
The desert and cocktail menu did not disappoint either. The mango Pana Cotta was so good we didn’t try anything else but we did venture to try a few cocktails. All were amazing but we particularly loved their signature cocktail made with Manille Liqueur de Calamansi, a local vodka-based liqueur that uses the citrus calamansi rinds for its zesty flavor.
Amenities at Astoria Palawan
• The two-storey annex building houses 34 Superior (32 sqm) and Deluxe (38 sqm ) rooms
• The 13 villas offer one-bedroom (56 sqm) and two-bedroom (91 sqm ) suites
• The Reserve (restaurant)
• The Pod (39 meter infinity lap and children’s pool)
• Meeting rooms
• Entertainment area includes a game room and videoke room
• Billiards/table tennis
• Kayak/paddle boards
• Beach volleyball court
• Putting green
• Boat house playground
• Mini playground (beach front)
• Palawan Waterpark
• Mangrove conference and convention center
• Halo Dome, used as a public karaoke bar or for private events
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Disclosure: The Astoria Palawan kindly offered my family one complimentary night stay in a two-bedroom suite, provided two complimentary meals and offered us a complimentary trip to the sandbar. All opinions in this review are entirely my own and I would happily return to the Astoria Palawan and pay full price.