The email that popped into my inbox one day delivering a message of invitation to stay and review this place called Palo Alto Bed and Breakfast in Puerto Princesa, Palawan came at the most opportune of time, because I and my girlfriend Monnette have been planning for a trip somewhere. Puerto Princesa in Palawan presenting itself as an option was a definitive 'Yes!' moment. Plus, the chance to witness her experience the subterranean river for the first time makes the trip more meaningful.
The moment we stepped out of the airport, A jovial man who let us call him Kuya Mervz was already waiting for us holding a sign that says "Marky and company". Since I always travel backpacking style and most of the time without a reservation I always look forward to these types of travels - even though far in between I am grateful that a hotel or resort reaches out to me for a sponsored stay.
Palo Alto Bed and Breakfast is located about 10-15 minutes from downtown Puerto Princesa where the airport is also located. It is situated in two big conjoining properties divided by the narrow street and surrounded by thick vegetation of towering trees, making it appear to be tucked within a forest even though a few neighboring residential houses can be found nearby.
I found the place surprisingly spacious with a wide lawn in front of the reception area, two story-rooms, one restaurant with a couple of upper decks for chilling and working quietly on a laptop (a must for digital nomads) plus a bird and squirrel watching platform perched at the rooftop.
On the expanded part just across the gate of the original property, the swimming pool, the Deluxe family rooms and lofts, a spa and an events hall that can accommodate a decent size party are located. A quick sweep of the whole place had me believing that it has all the amenities you need for a quick foray in Puerto Princesa. For all your travel arrangement needs, its in-house travel agency office fixes it all for you and a standby van can shuttle you to downtown and back from morning until the evening.
During our first day, after a quick lunch at Balinsasayaw Restaurant and a quick visit to Baker's Hill we returned back to Palo Alto and just spent the whole afternoon hanging out by the pool in between practicing our freestyle swimming. Monnette and I competed against each other pretending to be skillful swimmers, but we just ended up swallowing pool water doing so.
During the night our van service shuttled as back downtown where we had dinner at KaLui. The superior room we were assigned is spacious enough for us to move freely and lay down all our bags without creating obstacles. It was quiet that by nighttime all you can hear are the sounds of the forest. Creaking insects and croaking frogs takes over the evening's nature orchestra. The stillness vibe of the place had us sleeping soundly in preparation for the next day's early morning trip to the underground river.
Over-all, the architecture appears pleasant and without the visual exasperation that befell most resorts. There are a lot of things going around aesthetically but to the point that it doesn't hinder the good nature vibe of the place. The prevailing Earth team brought on by the use of wooden poles called Acacia mangium and the well landscaped lawn and garden easily blends with the surroundings. There is this feeling of charm that persists at the way Palo Alto cloaks its appearance with its environment.
It was a quick 2-night stay but Monnette and I promised the friendly staff and to Kuya Mervz that we will definitely come back, maybe on our planned trip to El Nido in January, a pit stop at Palo Alto is a must.
For inquiries and online reservation please visit their official website and 'Like' their Facebook Page.
Cebu Pacific Air flies thrice-a-day from Manila to Puerto Princesa and daily flights Cebu to Puerto Princesa. 'Like' their Facebook Page to know more about their seat sale promos.