Brother Island for $97 a Night
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
When I first saw this in Prevention magazine, I thought there much be a catch. I mean, spend your vacation on your own private island, complete with accommodations, food service, and with five star ratings. How can this be? The accommodations can handle up to 15 people in your party.
Brother Island is a lengthy ride from the USA, Japan, Korea. It is located in Palawan Province in the Philippines. This island is one the furthest southern islands of the 7000 islands that comprise of this country. Getting there is not a major problem as several airlines fly to Puerto Princessa, the main city there. The adventure starts there. Unless you pay to fly into El Nido (several hundreds of dollars extra), you can only get there by car or bus that will take at least six hours minimum, probably more. Once you get there, you will have to arrange for a boat to take you to your paradise, unless one is waiting.
El Nido is one of the hot spots people visit for its beauty, clear water, and beaches. It is very exotic and is a lifetime experience. It is a town, not a city, with a very rural vibe to it. Most modern conveniences are there, but in short supply.
As you can see, part of the catch is just getting there. If from the USA, from LA or SF, the flight to Manila or Cebu International Airports is at least 15 hours. Once there, you need to get their local airlines to fly to Palawan, another few hours flight.
Assuming you are game, the other issues are that the accommodations have no AC (vital in the tropics), no WIFI, no TV. They do have games! However, the big catch for the $97 per night deal (that is about 4000 pesos) that includes meals is that your party must contain 12-15 people. The house does have seven bedrooms, two baths, and is two-story. Now, you do pay extra for snorkeling, hiking, fishing, alcohol, massages, and kayaks. The island is surrounded by a coral reef.
Now, if true, the $97 per night is a steal. However, when I did some verifying on Airnb and even the island website, there are anomalies:
- The cost on the island website indicated the cost is 30000 pesos ($600) a night
- The cost on Airnb was not remotely like $97
- The number of people allowed was 12, not 15
To be fair, maybe there is a special promotion or maybe not. Maybe, the cost buried is $97 per couple, which would be like $600-700. Ah, the devil is in the details. If you are inclined to opt-in for this exotic trip of a lifetime, I would first contact the manager, Alfred Lee, to verify prices. His email is alfredlee23 at gmail. His phone in PH is: 639-296-410510.