Welcome to Club Paradise!
Our cottage at Club Paradise: Nice and spacious
My Bibe's already been to Club Paradise some seven years ago while it was my first time. Fact is, this resort has been around for a very long time now. On our boat ride en route to the resort, one guest quipped that she was visiting Club Paradise again after fifteen years. I suppose it's much older than that yet amazingly, they're still very much in business, not to mention they've been adding more rooms through the years.
The resort is located on 19-hectare Dimakya Island, which is on the northeastern side of Busuanga. Along with a couple of private islands, Dimakya is but a dot on the map. And like most islands and islets in Palawan, it has some karst formation (albeit small) surrounded by white sand and a few meters into the sea, a drop into the abyss, which normally makes for good diving.
Club Paradise boasts of its own house reef, along with a protected area for the dugong or sea cow. Swimming and snorkeling in the latter area is forbidden, though. Divers, however, have it much better as they can get the chance to witness them in their natural habitat. The resort can also arrange diving expeditions and island-hopping tours around Coron.
Here's a quick tour...
I think the island framed by the tree trunks is Isla Walang Lang-aw. If so, the resort can arrange for a trip to this private island. Photo taken by the docking area.
Very inviting, I must say. This is along the resort's main swimming area. Be careful, though, when waves are rough. Like I said, there's a drop not far away.
The resort's designated main swimming area, Sunset Beach. This was taken right in front of our cottage. The beach is good but still, unlike Boracay, the sand can get a little too hot for your feet at noon.
In recent years, the island has become home to an increasing number of fruit bats. From afar the upside-down resting bats look like leaves. And they can be very noisy, but in a good way since it's all nature.
The clubhouse, where the front desk (which I never realized was there all along until we checked out), a bar, a mini-library, a pool table, and other facilities are housed. This is also where the island's only TV can be found.
You'll see lots of these concrete squares filled with water all around the resort. You'll also find one right at your cottage's doorstep. It's for you to wash your feet so you won't be transporting sand where they're not supposed to be, like in the restaurant, the pool area, the clubhouse, and your room.
The Dugong Dive Center. Further down the building are separate shops for men and women. At first My Bibe reacted upon seeing "Island Shop for Men," like "why for men only?" I told her there's a separate shop for women just beside it. Of course Club Paradise can't be misogynist, right?
What's just outside the restaurant, an extension perhaps.
The pool area. I just don't know why it's shaped like a pentagon.
The long and winding walkway to our cottage. Although there's lots of shade and some plants around, personally I think the place could use some serious landscaping. This is what sets the posh resorts of Thailand apart. A lot goes into presentation and packaging, which is probably why they snag a lot more tourists than the Philippines can.
The cottages along Sunrise Beach. The beach here, though, is craggy; not good for swimming.
The hillside cottages, just behind those along Sunrise Beach.
The Island View rooms. I don't like how the building looks. I'm still happy with our beachfront cottage.
This is what the resort calls its "Hidden Beach." Again it doesn't look too good for swimming. Maybe for sunbathing or a picnic perhaps. You can catch it on your way to Eagle's Point, the highest spot on the island. It's accessible via a hiking trail.
Don't be surprised if this doesn't look like a lagoon to you even if the resort calls it as such. But you don't come to Club Paradise for a lagoon, right? But I've spotted a white long-legged bird here, which reminds me, there are lots of interesting birds around the island. My favorite are those with black and bright yellow feathers. I'm no ornithologist so I can't name them.
The resort also cooks up some activities from time to time, especially (I think) when there are a lot of guests. Like during the Holy Week, they had a turtle releasing activity (which I wished I had witnessed) and some other events. On Easter, it was luau night. I was so fond of how they folded our table napkins that I couldn't get myself to use them. Isn't it cute?
Club Paradise, by the way, is a great jump-off point to Calauit Island due to its proximity (about an hour's boat ride). I missed my chance, however, since the morning trip I was eyeing was booked by a group and I wasn't keen on joining the afternoon schedule since chances of seeing giraffe, zebra and other animals in "the wild" are slimmer because they tend to hide under the shade because of the heat. Maybe next time.
God, I miss this place already.
For more information about Club Paradise, go to clubparadisepalawan.com.