El Rio y Mar in The Philippines is a true family resort. From the first friendly Filipino hello to your last goodbye the resort staff welcome you as if it’s their own home. The resort’s peaceful location is tucked within Maricaban Bay, situated on the northeast side of Busuanga Island, at the other end of the island from Coron Town proper. After a short drive from Busuanga Airport guests take a short bangka cruise on a mangrove lined river. The total transit time from the airport to the hotel is roughly 45 minutes.
El Rio y Mar Resort
The charming resort offers a range of accommodation from the native cabanas (inspired by the traditional Filipino home), to the nipa hut, to the modern superior cottages. Most rooms offer a king size bed with two pull out base beds.
Families can snorkel right at the end of the resort dock where Port Caltom’s Reef Bar is located. There are so many fish and if your kids are not ready to give snorkelling a try then they can feed the fish instead. The hotel offers a variety of tours, which are a must do when you are in Coron. You can choose from half-day island hopping near the resort, experience the Calauit Safari Tour, or venture further to see the beauty that surrounds Coron Island.
El Rio y Mar for Mum & Dad
El Rio y Mar offers many complimentary activities good for the entire family as well as motorised water sports (for an extra fee). The Spa offers all the regular services but the big draw is their floating Spa. Relax as you watch the fish swim in the turquoise water below your massage bed; this is a must do experience!
El Rio y Mar partners with the Dugong Dive Center (on-site), which provides diving for beginners to experienced divers. They are named after the rare marine mammals that can be visited nearby. Coron is known for its WWII wrecks, so diving is popular throughout the island. They also offer scuba diving programs from PADI, SDI and TDI.
El Rio y Mar for Kids
The warm service from the staff make this resort a perfect place to vacation with kids. The beach is always the biggest draw for our kids and the hotel has lots of beach toys to play with, so you can leave our bucket and spade at home. While my husband swam and I kayaked, our kids were happily entertained by the lovely front desk staff who played with them in the sand. I returned to find them making beaded bracelets and tie-dyed shirts. The resort has two pools for which they provide blow up toys.
There’s even a short hike on the property to a beautiful lookout point so bring your trainers if you’re interested in the 45 minute excursion. There’s an easy and a more difficult route up the hill, so you can choose how energetic you’re feeling!
Eating at El Rio y Mar
A buffet breakfast is included in your stay and you can choose from fruits, cold cereal, breads, Filipino style breakfast and an egg station. Lunch is served from 12:00-2:00pm and dinner from 7:00-9:00pm and both share the same menu. If your kids are like mine and need to eat earlier then the staff will take your order in advance and have it ready between 6:30 and 7:00pm. Alternatively, they offer a snack menu for those hungry between set dining times. There is no menu specific for kids but ours loved the pizza and pasta options.
Amenities at El Rio y Mar
• 6 Native Cabanas, 14 Casa rooms, 5 Superior Cottages
• Al Fresco Restaurant
• 2 Infinity Pools
• Port Caltom’s Reef Bar
• Games room with darts, billiards and table tennis
• Karaoke Room
• Library and Video room
• Kayak/paddle boards
• Snorkeling (on-site)
• Motorized water sports
• Beach volleyball court
• Wine Cellar
• Dugong Dive Center
• Gift shop
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