STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: THE BIRDHOUSE EL NIDO
Two years ago I spent Easter in El Nido and the experience was absolutely stunning. El Nido is South East Asia’s gateway to the most beautiful hidden beaches and crystal clear lagoons. Back then, I picked up a travel initerary from Just One Way Ticket, and now I noticed that this gem became crowded compared to a couple of years ago. Palawan (where El Nido is located in) was voted the best island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for 2014.
I planned a re-visit to El Nido last month and decided to look for accommodation located near Las Cabanas Beach, thus not stay in the crowded main town. Like most travelers I scrolled through a lot of blogs and vlogs for tips and tricks. I stumbled upon a recently opened glamping hotel called ‘The Birdhouse El Nido’. Glamping in Palawan wasn’t top of my list, because I had no idea it existed. Of course I was hyper and contacted them in speed rush through Facebook, but unfortunately the place was already fully booked. While stalking their Instagram and looking further for accommodation, The Birdhouse contacted us saying that a guest cancelled his stay * waved my hands in the air*.
I don’t even have the words to describe our stay here. It was absolutely mind-blowing, and I’m not exaggerating. The Birdhouse introduces you to a retreat of pristine views, exotic birds, out-of-this-world food -seriously, it was like dining in a 5-star restaurant (although small portions)- and a luxurious nest (tent), all of this for a good price. The glamp site is nestled upon a hill so you got to work some sweat away to get there, but the view is very rewarding. We woke up with a view that blew us away.
The nest was fabulous, fully furnished and it comes with your own bathroom next to the nest outside. Keep in mind there is no aircon here, but each nest is equipped with a big fan though. We stayed here in rainy season so we didn't experience any unbearable nights. Since you're facing the ocean, there is a fresh sea breeze so aircon is not really necessary. Having the night creatures sing me to sleep upon the hill in the middle of nowhere was paradise itself. Lastly, there is also a deck terrace with an incredible peaceful view, where you can relax, chill, read books, indulge in good food and pet Catman and Robin - their adopted cat and dog.
What we really loved about this place was the hospitality of the most charismatic owners, Mark and Camille, along with their friendly team. They took care of everything, from feeding us tons of cookies ‘till organizing private island hopping tours away from the crowds. We spent most of our evenings gaining weight on the deck terrace with Camille’s delicious desserts, and talked hours about their travel experiences and the idea of starting this glamping project. Definitely won't forget their story of a pet tarantula living under their bathtub in Costa Rica – nope nope nope.
We were beyond happy to have the opportunity to be part of The Birdhouse's soft-opening as one of the first European/Belgian guests. We shared stories, laughter and happiness together and it was definitely the highlight of El Nido. It’s a place I’m confident will see many return visitors. So, if you want to experience El Nido to the fullest and you don't like the crowds, I can highly recommend this hidden gem to make your stay in El Nido even more memorable.
If you are interested in the glamping experience, you can contact The Birdhouse El Nido through Facebook. Furthermore feel free to contact me for more details about my stay here.