Family Hotel Review: Club Paradise, Dimakya Island, Palawan, The Philippines
A perfect piece of paradise that offers something for everyone – both on land and under the crystal clear waters.
Best for: A fantastic family getaway; kids of all ages
Reviewed by: Philippa Langrish
Why You’ll Love It
We were welcomed with open arms to this little piece of Paradise, and couldn’t have been treated with better care and attention. There were seven of us in the group ranging in age from three to 63 years. Our 19 year old brother and his 63 year old Dad had a great time diving and snorkelling around the island, while our 3 year old daughter enjoyed building sandcastles and playing in the perfect indigo ocean. We picked this resort out of the hundreds of islands in Palawan because it seemed to offer something for everyone without compensating on comfort.
We loved the resort for the delicious buffets served every night, the incredible sea life on the house reef, which was easily accessible to snorkel around, plus the opportunity to take island hopping excursions. We were spoilt with sunset meals on the beach, an evening cruise around the island accompanied by 3 talented musicians and an afternoon treat of local delicacies on a hidden beach.
Looking for more ideas on things to do with kids in Palawan? Take a look at these suggestions!
Why The Kids Will Love It
Kids will delight in the virgin sand, calm warm ocean and colony of bats which take flight each night from their nesting tree on the island. Our three-year-old daughter loved the fresh mango and banana shakes and helping out as ball girl by the table tennis table in the main club house.
There is also pool table and darts board for older kids. In the evening the play park was a great space for our little one to climb and swing while we enjoyed a few cocktails in the overlooking bar.
There is also a great pool for kids to splash around in and make new friends. The resort even had a little stock of buckets, spades and inflatables for us to borrow.
There are five types of cottages to choose from – Beachfront (20 Cottages), Sea View (4 Cottages), Hillside (7 Hillside Rooms), Garden View (4 Cottages), Island View (20 Cottages). All the cottages are stylishly decorated in a traditional Filipino way with wooden furniture, white walls, large comfy beds and contemporary tiled bathrooms. We found that the Seaview and Garden View rooms had better air conditioning than the more conveniently located Beachfront Cottages. The rooms are really spacious and boast a veranda with comfy seating to relax in and watch the world go by.
Best Rooms for Families: The best accommodation for families depends on your priorities and the size of your group. The Beachfront Cottages are just a short walk along the beach or path from the main pavilion, pool and play park. The hotel offers up to two extra beds per room for families. The Sea View and Garden View Cottages have interconnecting rooms and there are 4 sets of adjoining Island View Rooms located on the both ends of the building.
The resort has one restaurant which offers a daily buffet for 1000php pp (approx. USD $23). They also offer an a la carte menu for lunch, which is a good option if you don’t have a big appetite and is about half the price. Breakfast is included and comprises of a delicious buffet of local and European delicacies, plus a fresh egg cooking station. We were really impressed with the freshness of the food and variety – everything from roasted lamb to sushi and salad. Meals are at set times but you can order milkshakes and bar snacks anytime. The staff come round the beach with post breakfast snacks so there is no chance of getting hungry.
One of the highlights for us was our evening meal on the beach, complete with lanterns hung from painted trees garlanded with crystals – we felt we were in a fairytale. Each meal time is accompanied by three amazing musicians who play an array of well known tunes. We loved their rendition of “wonderful world” accompanied by two guitars and a double bass as we were enjoying our magical beachfront meal.
For Kids: The restaurant offers high chairs, a kids menu and there are also kid friendly dishes on the buffet.
Activities for Parents:
There are tonnes of activities to do if you are not a beach bum. The favourites are of course diving, snorkeling and swimming. Others include island and safari tours, kayaking, tennis, bar games (darts, pool and table tennis), film screenings and a karaoke booth. You can even go for a 1km run up to the view point, which my Father-in-law did putting us all to shame.
If water sports are not your thing then there is a lovely spa where you can indulge in an array of relaxing therapies. For nature buffs the island has an impressive bat colony, resident iguana living in the lagoon and wonderful marine life. At 6 months pregnant I was unable to dive but saw just as much as the others with my snorkel – including a green turtle, sea snake, lots of sting rays, multitudes of beautiful fish, barracuda, giant clams and rainbow coloured corals. The most memorable part of our stay was the sunset cruise we took around the island accompanied by three talented musicians. We were serenaded as the sun went down over the sea with the picture perfect backdrop of deserted beaches in the distance.
Activities for Kids:
The resort organises the Calauit Safari tour where kids can see giraffes and other animals, however this is a three hour round trip on a boat. Older kids can take their PADI Open Water Dive course, while little ones can amuse themselves by playing in the sand, at the play-park, in the pool or in the calm ocean waters. With my little girl we tended to structure our days around the heat of the sun – mornings were great for beach/pool time, afternoons were taken up with lunch and a siesta, while in the late afternoon and evenings we played in the park, around the bar and spotted the bats as they took flight in their hundreds.
One evening a week the resort stages a cultural show where adults and kids are invited to take part in local dances. All the kids had a go at the Tinikling dance which involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers.
A/C, babysitting (250.00 php / USD $6 per hour per child), common areas, doctor on call, nearest hospital approx. 2 hrs, extra beds (2 per room), kids’ menu, laundry, pushchair-friendly, shop, spa, swimming pool, travel desk, WiFi available in the Pavillion.
At the time of writing the rates were as follows:
Island View Room
Super Peak: USD $315
Peak: USD $270
Lean: USD $248
Hillside / Garden View Cottage
Super Peak: USD $349
Peak: USD $305
Lean: USD $281
Beachfront / Sea View Cottage
Super Peak: USD $383
Peak: USD $338
Lean: USD $315
Rates include breakfast and are subject to service charge and VAT. Please contact the hotel directly as rates are dependent on dates and availability. USD$ rates quotes are approximate.
When to go:
The best time to visit the Philippines is between December and February in the cooler months. The wet season is from June onwards; be careful travelling in the months from September to December as this is typhoon season. Temperatures range from 27 – 40C+. Avoid travelling during Easter and Christmas with what feels like the entire population of The Philippines.
Location & Travel:
Club Paradise is located on a small island named Dimakya in the Province of Palawan.