Hotels in Palawan: Sunz en Coron — Plus a Makulit T-shirt
I’m not sure what made me decide to stay at the Sunz en Coron Resort. At 2500P~4500P, it’s not the cheapest place in town. And it’s certainly not the closest to the city center. But after a fairly rough stay in El Nido and a VERY long boat ride from El Nido to Coron, I was ready for some comfort. And that’s what I found at Sunz.
For those of you who need a refresher in where Coron is, this post has an overview and a map.
Sunz en Coron
Quiet environment and a very cool pool and grounds.
Sunz en Coron is a small resort with about 12 or so rooms facing a central swimming pool area. It has an open-plan outdoor restaurant as well as some very comfortable nipa-hut style gazebos for chilling and doing some work. It’s quiet, has a pleasant atmosphere, and they serve a decent espresso.
Run by a Korean couple with plenty of experience in the tourism industry in the Philippines, they have created a very customer-centered resort. From the free trike shuttles to helping you find your way around town, they are always available to help. In fact, they invited me out for Korean food on my first night. I really wanted to go, but I was just too beat from the trip to accept. But how is that for hospitality! If I go back to Coron, I will stay at Sunz en Coron again for sure!
The rooms and general experience
One of the best things about this resort are the rooms. SUPER clean and SUPER comfy bed. The aircon worked fine, although all I used most of the time was the overhead fan. And the shower. Good Golly, Miss Molly. They have the best walk-in showers I’ve found anywhere on the planet. Super hot, fresh-water showers that you can set to peel-my-skin-off high pressure, or to a slower pace. You can tell the place is owned by Koreans, as only they and the Japanese would ever think to provide that level of showering comfort.
The only downside of the room is that the room doors don’t actually shut to a seal; there’s a half-inch gap between the doors, so there’s a slight feeling of a lack of privacy. It didn’t bother me, but if you like to be fully snug in your room, you might want to ask for a room where the doors shut properly. Also, Coron is a relatively remote part of the Philippines. So while they have free wifi at Sunz, it’s slow at best and prone to get cut off due to brownouts (ie, power outages).
The ever-changing pool
And then there’s the pool. Located about a meter from your door, the colors change as you’re swimming, which I found uber-cool. Check out the colors. I felt like I was in a disco with all those bright neon-blue hues. Well, a gay disco, as when I went for my night swim some rather old German guy was frolicking with his much younger boyfriend, “teaching him how to swim.” It was all a bit creepy, so I cut my swim short, showered up on full-steam power, then headed just down the hill toward Coron to an outdoor BBQ restaurant for a beer and some pork BBQ (Don’t ask where — I wouldn’t recommend it).
And now that you’ve suffered all my crappy photos, here’s the official photo on the Sunz website.
Getting there and around
In a recent post here on Asia Travelbug, I uploaded some photos and intel about Coron and how to get there. If you are coming by boat from El Nido, Sunz lies about a 20-minute trike ride from the port of Coron. That is to say, you go 10 minutes from the port to the “downtown” area of Coron, blow through the town and head up the hill out of town. About 10 minutes after that, you’ll turn right onto a side road and think, “Is this guy taking me to the resort, or am I about to get mugged?” Or at least that’s what I thought. (You know you’ve lived too long in Manila when…) But 2 minutes later you are there. If you were to continue on up the road for another 40 minutes, you would get to Busuanga Island Airport, which has direct flights daily to Manila.
In spite of being a bit out of the town center, Sunz offers a free trike-shuttle service from early in the AM to 9PM. If you go out on the town at night, you’ll have no problems finding a trike to take you home. But avoid going to restaurants that are more remote unless you hire a trike and have him wait. Otherwise, you’ll be like me, walking home in the dark and wondering, “Am I going to make it home in one piece, or am I going to get mugged?” In fact, when I finally made it home, I asked some guys who worked there if it was stupid of me to have walked home at night. They laughed at me and said, “This isn’t Manila, sir.” Brilliant!
Oh, and if anyone reading this has a decent tourist map of Coron they would let me post here, I’d appreciate it. There doesn’t seem to be anything on the Net.
Makulit is one of my favorite words in Tagalog. In one word, it encompasses such wonderful qualities as mischievous, stubborn, naughty, teasing or cheeky. In short, it’s me. And it turns out there is at least one other foreign guy who loves the word Makulit. In fact, he liked it so much he created an entire T-shirt brand around it. The shop is in Coron, not too far from the central square near the Western Union. Just keep asking and somebody will point it out. They also have a new shop in El Nido. I got a T-shirt, although the one that I really wanted was the actual Makulit brand, which was not actually a T-shirt at that time. Still, it’s a great concept. So a shout out to the crew at Makulit!! Click here for their Facebook page – through which you can link to their online store.
The Young-Entrepreneurs Society of Coron
And before I sign off, a photo of some kids who caught my eye as I was walking around town exploring. These kids don’t have much — not a real pool table, at any rate. So instead, they use a table with some chalk. Kind of like air-table hockey without the air. Low-tech rules in SE Asia. Anyway, they were having fun and didn’t mind me taking a quick video.
So just to summarize, if you’re in Coron, be sure to check out Sunz en Coron and the Makulit T-Shirt shop. And be sure to comment if you have a minute!