Wednesday, September 18, 2019

When in El Nido: Huni Lio

El Nido Resorts never fail to deliver exceptional service and gift us with great memories to cherish. This is why we opted to book Huni Lio after finding out that it is also part of the same group. 

Hello, Huni Lio.
Huni is the newest addition to the Lio Estate Resorts group. Knowing that it opened just last June made it so easy for us to confirm our reservation. 
It is regarded as the most premium among all other Lio estate Resorts namely Casa Kalaw, Balai Adlao and Hotel Covo.
We got our Deluxe Room at PHP7,000 per night introductory rate instead of the published PHP12,000 per night rate. 
There are three deluxe rooms available, all with the same layout and size. The rooms only vary on the view--mountain, beach or pool. The Deluxe Pool View is a few hundred Pesos more expensive but you do get a better and unobstructed view. The beach view, though facing the beach, is blocked by trees. The other room type is family room which is bigger and could fit in four guests.
Our room is equipped with a comfortable double bed, cable television, small chiller, safe, electric kettle, coffee, tea, and basic toiletries. 
There are a handful of water dispensers in the resort where you can refill your pitcher.
There's also a work table and day bed on the other side of the room and a small sofa outside.

Just like Miniloc, the water in Huni's pool was rather warm (perfect for night swim).
However, we did notice that the layout of the pool was rather odd. The stairs were on the opposite side of the shower and lounge chairs. We had no choice but to either circle around or simply jump (and struggle a bit to get back up). It wasn't a big deal but it was a minor inconvenience for many.
And since it wasn't disclosed to us that there are still construction in some parts of Huni, expect dust here and there within the resort.
We also experienced clogged drain late at night which led to a mess in the bathroom.
And to add to our unpleasant night, we were woken up by some construction noise at 7:30 a.m..

All these were raised though to Melisse of Huni and she quickly took action to resolve all our concerns.

Huni has its own restaurant but it will open some time October or November. For now, you can have your lunch or dinner at any of the restaurants in Lio Estate or at Casa Kalaw's all-day dining restaurant.
For our complimentary breakfast, we have an option to have in-room service (free of charge) or go to Casa Kalaw (about 300 meters from Huni) for breakfast buffet. We went for the latter.
Food selection was limited but good enough to start your day right. Dishes were mostly Filipino. But there were also assorted bread, waffles, pancake, and salad.
Expect friendly stray dogs to keep you company. This one here is called Whitey. If you are not fond of dogs, it might be best for you to have room service. (The staff lure the dogs out of the dining hall but these smart animals sure know how to go back, again and again.)
I got an email from Lio Estate Resorts that there's Taboan Weekend Market at the Lio Beach Promenade every Saturdays and Sundays. I thought that it would be a great place to grab some souvenirs. But it was close to a food market as all vendors sell items like turon, palitaw and all sorts of kakanin.
After our heavy lunch at The Red Crab, we lounge at the beach to catch the sunset.
And it was beautiful!
To make up for the shortcomings and trouble the other night, Huni offered a private dinner on our last night with dishes coming from Casa Kalaw. 
We were treated to a 5-course meal starting with spicy squid, fried lumpia and bulalo soup.
I really liked the bulalo soup which was beefy in every slurp. It was a tad too heavy though as starter.
Kare-Kare and Chicken Inasal were both great too. 
The Kare-Kare had that nice and thick peanut-y sauce while Inasal had that slight tangy and smokey flavor I love.
We capped our meal with a bowl of Mango Float.  
We also had a bottle of white wine to go with our dinner.
Since our flight was not till 4 p.m., we were given the option to check out as late as 2:30 p.m.. 

Check out was smooth and hassle-free. The van assigned to drop us off the airport was also ready as soon as we got down to the lobby.
Huni is still on its soft opening so one's stay may not be as smooth as expected. Best to book Casa Kalaw (which has been up for a few years) for now if you plan to visit Lio anytime this September or October. 
Huni Lio is located at Lio Tourism Estate Lio Beach, El Nido, Palawan. To book, click here.


-Huni requires a security deposit of PHP3,000 for incidentals. The resort accepts cash or credit card. I highly recommend that you use cash instead to avoid possible accidental charges.
-Though Huni is a beach front resort, note that the resort does not exactly have a direct access to the beach as the river nearby created a small sand cliff in front. Guests have to make a 150 meter turn to get to the water.

-There are a lot of niknik or gnats/sand flies by the beach. Best to always put on insect repellent to avoid getting bitten.

-There weren't a lot of guests when we were there. But R noticed that the design of the resort tends to create echoes. Sound proofing in the room isn't that good too as we could hear what's happening outside. Best to bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper.

-Agoda at times offer lower rates than direct booking rates especially when you book close to your stay dates. We checked Agoda two days before our check in date and it was PHP700 cheaper. 

Disclaimer: We paid for our stay in Huni Lio. All opinions and photos are mine.

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