El Nido is one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire Philippines. There are a few distinctively different areas to stay in El Nido so this guide should help you figure out which is the best area for you when considering where to stay in El Nido. The guide is broken up into four different regions of El Nido and for each region, the best budget, luxury, and value accommodations are listed. I hope you find this article helpful and you discover which is the best place to stay in El Nido.
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
There are lots of accommodation options in El Nido, whether you are looking for a budget-friendly hostel or a luxurious resort. This blog post breaks down the best places to stay in El Nido, region by region. For example, you may want to be in the heart of the action in El Nido town or you may be looking for the tranquility and luxury of Lio Beach.
Here is a little checklist to start!
- El Nido Town: If you are on a budget and looking for a cheap hotel or hostel, the town proper (El Nido Town) is the best choice for you.
- Las Cabanas: If you want to see the best sunset every night in El Nido, Las Cabanas is a perfect place for you.
- Lio Beach: If you are in El Nido looking for some peace, luxury, and relaxing place, you need to stay in Lio Beach.
- Nacpan Beach: If you want a secluded yet exotic place to stay with the best beach on the mainland, head on to Nacpan Beach.
QUICK PICKS: 3 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN EL NIDO
Don’t have time to read my detailed breakdown of all the best places to stay in El Nido? No worries! These are my three top picks for where to stay in El Nido. If you book one of these three, you are guaranteed to have a great stay in a great location!
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
I’ll do my best to show you what each region offers and then highlight the top accommodation picks in each spot so you can pick the best area to stay in El Nido for you.
Area: El Nido Town Proper
The town proper of El Nido is the main hub of the region. You can find a great selection of shops and restaurants aside from the beautiful beaches, tour operators, and laid-back nightlife. Below are my top picks in El Nido Town Proper for each different type of budget.
CADLAO RESORT AND RESTAURANT
Cadlao Resort and Restaurant (Beachfront): Located just a few minutes away from the town center, Cadlao Resort is another amazing beachfront resort. The resort has bungalows with a mix of traditional and modern styles which are ideal for all types of guests, particularly families. Each bungalow boasts an unreal view of El Nido Bay including Helicopter Island. There are two swimming pools, spa, Wi-Fi, a boutique shop, and a restaurant.
The property provides a daily free tricycle ride from and to the main beach. The rooms are equipped with a safety deposit box, thermos, bath amenities, air conditioner, fan, and a private terrace. The highlight is the restaurant beside the infinity pool as guests can dine with sunset and beach views.
Vellago Resort (Luxury): Vellago Resort is a luxurious boutique hotel located just outside El Nido town proper specifically on Seven Commando Beach. Boasting white sand, turquoise water, and countless coconut trees. You can enjoy the best sunset on the beach bar or on your balcony.
Guests can experience island hopping with a speed boat, snorkeling, kayaking, playing beach volleyball, or sitting back with a cold drink and taking in their beautiful surroundings. One of the highlights of your stay here is that they set up a romantic dinner on the beach every day.
Happiness Hostel (Budget): Right in the center of the town, the Happiness hostel, offers a cozy stay and chill vibes to all its guests. It is one of the recommended budget-friendly hostels in town. The dorms offer semi-private accommodation with a closed personal bed with a sliding door that has a light and a fan inside. Let’s be honest we all appreciate the privacy of a screen in a dorm room. If you are a beer and food lover, the Happiness beach bar serves sumptuous food and cheap beer.
FRENDZ HOSTEL EL NIDO
Frendz Hostel El Nido (Good atmosphere): Nestled in the heart of El Nido, this newly-opened hostel offers free Wifi, and a rooftop swimming pool (at a hostel!), and a bar that has an incredible sunset view, specialty coffee, and first-rate rooms. The restaurant is excellent and provides a wide variety of options. Frendz Hostel is a great place to meet new friends and create memories with them. It’s definitely one of the best places to stay in El Nido that combines budget with luxury.
SPIN DESIGNER HOSTEL
Spin Designer Hostel (Value): Let’s go for Spin! This rad hostel is located in the bustling town of El Nido. This property is highly recommended by many travelers as the service is superb. Spin Designer Hostel also provides a shared kitchen with a barbecue facility. It is value for money and very close to shops and the beach. If you stay here you will make friends with like-minded strangers and be in the prime location for island hopping and hiking Taraw Peak.
Area: Las Cabanas Beach
Las Cabanas, also known as Marimegmeg Beach, is an ideal place to unwind after an island-hopping tour. It is just a ten-minute tricycle ride from El Nido proper, which gives you convenience but also seclusion. You can enjoy the most incredible sunset view. This area is probably my pick because you can walk into town in 5-10 minutes but you also get that quiet, tropical island vibe when back at the resort. Below are three of the most popular accommodations:
FRANGIPANI EL NIDO
Frangipani El Nido: This beachfront boutique hotel is equipped with a range of amenities and facilities including a private balcony that showcases the panoramic views of El Nido’s Bacuit Bay. I really love the tropical-modern vibe of this one. Located near Corong-Corong beach, Frangipani provides luxury, tranquility, and a more intimate ambiance perfect for couples and friends.
Panorama Resort: Panorama Resort is an exotic boutique resort tucked between Corong-Corong Beach and Maremigmeg Beach, is a 3-star property that features a panoramic view of the mountains in El Nido. The resort is very Insta-worthy and has a lot of amenities including a private beach, outdoor and indoor swimming pool, and free WiFi. It offers an amazing sunset view and a chill vibe to guests.
LAS CABANAS BEACH RESORT:
Area: Lio Beach
Located north of El Nido, Lio Beach has a wide sandbar reaching far back to its restaurants and bars shaded by coconut trees. If you want to grab a drink or some nibbles, I recommend Shaka Café and El Nido Grill.
Lio Beach is about 20 minutes by motorbike from the town proper and there is also a free shuttle that runs every hour so you are disconnected from the town but also quite easily connected and with the free shuttle it is never out of reach to drop into the town, which I did many times.
BALAI ADLAO RESORT
Balai Adlao Resort: If you want a laid-back escape from the buzzing El Nido Town, Balai Adlao, a 3-star boutique resort, is perfect for providing the privacy and convenience you are looking for. The place is very modern and equipped with a number of restaurants nearby. The rooms are quite spacious and the staff is very friendly and hospitable.
The View: HOW GOOD is this view! Situated 6 kilometers away from El Nido town, The View does bed and breakfast which serves Continental and American breakfast daily. The place is a little bit remote but it is highly recommended and worth it. I love the big hammock hanging on the terrace as it gives a spectacular panoramic view of El Nido.
Casa Kalaw: (Family Pick)Casa Kalaw is a Filipino-inspired hotel that provides comfort and warmth for escape and private gatherings. Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar or a meal at the on-site restaurant. It features a garden and a big swimming pool. It’s good for family and its value for money.
Area: Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach is located north of El Nido, a 4-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand and pristine blue water which is approximately 45 minutes from downtown El Nido via tricycle. Many people come to visit Nacpan Beach during the day from El Nido town.
NACPAN BEACH GLAMPING
Nacpan Beach Glamping: If you haven’t experienced glamping in your life, Nacpan has the most mind-blowing glamping in El Nido. By the way, breakfast and dinner are included in the price. It’s literally the most amazing place for anyone looking for a true getaway in paradise.
The tents are spacious and they are facing the beach which is good to wake up in the morning and just simply feel the fresh sea breeze and enjoy the mesmerizing view of sunrise. This unique accommodation in El Nido is surrounded by 30-meter tall coconut trees. It’s a 45-minute drive from El Nido proper.
CABANAS DE NACPAN RESORT
Cabanas de Nacpan Resort (Budget): Cabanas de Nacpan Resort is a luxury tent accommodation nestled on a farm. The property is 18-kilometer away from Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon El Nido. The hosts and staff are exceptionally helpful and very accommodating. It is a perfect place for stargazing and relaxation. Nacpan beach is just 10 minutes away from the resort.
MAD MONKEY HOSTEL
Mad Monkey Hostel (Budget): If you are simply adventurous and looking for a truly unique and unforgettable island experience on one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the world, we’ve got just what you’ve been looking for.
Mad Monkey Hostel is located 40 minutes north of El Nido town. It is budget-friendly which is great for solo travelers or backpackers. The location is spectacular with a restaurant and a bar and it is a fun place to stay.
I hope this guide was helpful. hese are all of the top-rated and best places to stay in El Nido, so I’m sure you will have a great trip.
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY EL NIDO SERIES?
You want to go island-hopping in El Nido but aren’t sure whether TOUR A,B,C or D will be better? Take a look at my El Nido Island Hopping Guide that compares all of the four tours to help you pick the best one for you.
Wondering what there is to do in El Nido? I’ve been twice and spent almost 30 days in El Nido so I’ve got some great recommendations for you in my Travel Guide to El Nido: 20 Awesome Things To Do
My Review and photos of: Tour A
My Review and photos of: Tour B
My Review and photos of: Tour C
The most epic activity you can do in El Nido on the land is to hike up Taraw Peak and I share the photos and tell you how you can use the same local guide as me in this blog post: Hiking up Taraw Peak – What You Need to Know