Tarabanan Resort, Palawan, Philippines


Vanessa, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Charming bamboo cottages, located in a beautiful garden with lots of different trees and plants. It’s a peaceful place with direct access to a sandy beach and lovely sea. It’s very private. Host Mina cooks delicious, fresh food, we really enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The colors of dusk is as beautiful as the sunrise. PHOTO BY MIKEY

Mikey, California, USA

The family of Mikey enjoyed the sun and the beach. PHOTO BY MIKEY

The family of Mikey enjoyed the sun and the beach. PHOTO BY MIKEY

Mina was our host for four days while we toured Palawan – she’s an amazing hostess. She provides all your meals, and her helper Elmer will do just about everything else for you – drive you around, arrange your tours, take you to the port, get you a boat for island hopping, etc.
Mina met us at the airport in Puerto Princesa when we landed, picked us up, and gave us a tour of town. She had arranged transport back to the resort for us – we didn’t have to arrange a thing for the whole four days we were at Tarabanan. When we were ready to depart she accompanied us all the way back to the airport and dropped us off.
The location is unbelievable, the cottages all face the beach. Every morning brings another amazing sunrise.
I can’t wait to return. Absolutely the best place we stayed while in the Philippines.

“Best host ever!”
Ian Caruana, USA
Mina, the owner of Tarabanan cottages, is the best host anyone could wish for. She is a very well respected member of the community and has many contacts in and around Puerto Princessa. This means that she can be very helpful if you want to arrange a particular trip or event. Her cooking skills are amazing, and she always cooks whatever is caught on that day, supplied to her by the locals. Fruit and vegetables are grown on her farm run by her ‘workers’ – she puts many of the local children through school using the money she makes from the cottages and in turn they help around the cottages. They help with the crops, cleaning the place, picking coconuts and leaves, etc. She also helps feed some of the older members of the community – a very nice woman indeed. If you want to stay somewhere that’s truly magical, with a very knowledgeable host, this is the place to be.
Dominika, Czech Republic
My favorite place in the Philippines – If you’re looking for the perfect rest in a quite place with the book, with good fresh fish for dinner and fresh fruit and homemade pancakes for breakfast,  you’ve come to the right place. Prices are very cheap, cabins are simple but clean and tasteful, the bathrooms are at the cottage. The price includes breakfast and dinner, everything from the garden owner and fishermen from the neighborhood. The 6 cottages are about 70km from Puerto Princessa. The owner can come to pick you up (you pay for the trip) or you get directions to the bus (cheap) or a taxi (can be up to about CZK 600 – pays for groups). The location is near the sea, but the beach is not exceptional. Garden with huts, however, it is a unique oasis. There is an open-air museum of the Batak tribe, and about 4 km away is the village – the owner can arrange a guide for a few pesos. Proprietor top, best food in the Philippines, rest assured, falling asleep to the sound of waves – check!
 “Lovely Place”
Jason Long and Freia, Australia
Very peaceful place to go for holiday get away and relax for me everything about this place was perfect be at peace with nature the beach 30 meteres from our doorstep the people i got to meet here were so nice the hospitality from MINA and her staff was what i remember most you dont need to go out for dinner everything was organized for us and i had my anniversary dinner there i miss this place already and i promise mina i will come back i really miss you i will never forget this place its in my heart forever and to all the other guests i meet there it was really nice to meet such nice people 3 German guys +1 lady and a israeli couple and the swiss philipinos and the big american dude this is where you meet real people everything was perfect i miss you Mina! see you soon! – Jason And Freia
Alice W, Genoa, Italy

Tarabanan is a little paradise, run by the most wonderful lady called Mina! We were a group of 6 people, and came across it by chance, and ended up staying 5 days. Mina couldn’t have been more lovely, she looked after us so well. The food that Mina makes is fresh, local and just delicious. I hope one day we’ll be able to visit Mina and Tarabanan again!

Philippad, Cape Town

We were greeted by Mina, who is the owner and just the loveliest, most generous of people. She was so warm and friendly. All the staff and her family who also help are amazing too.

The cottages are simple and rustic but done with charm and perfect for the setting. Its relaxed and low key. we were a group of 6 and most of the time had it to ourselves. There are hammocks outside the rooms, its heaven!

The beach is pebbled, but some sand, and gorgeous for long walks.

img_20150306_174159We had a really special time there, and would highly recommend a few nights at least to unwind and really experience the best of Filipino hospitality. It was my birthday on the day we left, and they made us a really special birthday breakfast which was a real treat, and made us really sad to leave!!!

Room Tip: The big cottages are very open and shared, so best if couples or friends to get more smaller cottage..

“Paradise with an amazing host”
Ndey H, Copenhagen, Denmark

We stayed at Tarabanan for 4 nights and it was the perfect spot for us.

First of all Mina the owner of the place, is a charismatic woman, she’s fun and interesting to talk to. Her cooking is excellent. Every dish we had was tasteful and well prepared. Mina uses organic fruits and veggies from her own incredible garden.

The staff were incredibly sweet and helpful.

The cottages were clean and cozy.

It’s 70 km away from Puerto Princesa, in a little village with sweet people. Here you can make great trips to native villages and to the underground river.

“Filipino hospitality in a peaceful environment”
Louie M, Chicago, Illinois

Great things about Tarabanan resort:
1) The beach is all yours
2) A lot of peace and privacy in a low key setting
3) Homecooked meals
4) Nipa huts!
5) Affordable
6) Very easy booking process and checkout. We were emailed very specific instructions on the booking process, how much things would cost and that someone will meet us at the airport. Checkout was easy, we just paid in cash
7) Tita Mina, the owner of the resort. She met us at the airport, helped us obtain permits for the Underground River (no service fees whatsoever), made us delicious dishes and made sure we were comfortable during our staytara5-copyRecommendations for anyone planning on staying here:
1) From the airport, ask Tita Mina to take you to Robinson’s to buy your snacks and groceries, then take the van/ bus to Concepcion. If you don’t have a permit for the underground river yet, Tita Mina can accompany you to the government office to obtain them
2) You can get to the Sabang (Underground River) from outside the resort but it takes a while. My buddy and I took 2 buses from the front of Tarabanan. If you have limited time, I suggest booking thru one of the “Lexus” vans to pick you up from the resort.
3) From outside the resort, you can also catch a bus/ “Lexus” van that goes all the way to El Nido
4) As with most places outside Puerto Princesa, bring cash. No ATMs closeby
4) Enjoy your private beach!!!

I recommend at least spending a night here, I even enjoyed it here more than crowded El Nido

“Quiet, friendly, and restful”
Sarah S, Qingdao, China

Tarabanan is the perfect spot to relax and disconnect from the chaos of life! Our stay there began with a private pick up from the Puerto Princesa airport and Mina (the owner) greeting us with beautiful shell necklaces. Upon our arrival, we were treated to fresh coconut water (straight from coconuts picked from the trees on the resort!) and given time to take in our surroundings. The resort hosts a handful of small cottages and 2 big cottages. The small cottage easily accommodated my husband, me, and our 2 year old son. Each cottage has its own bathroom, but it does not have hot water (however, in February it was not needed).During our stay there, we greatly enjoyed Mina’s cooking and produce from the trees on the resort itself and from local farmers – especially the freshly roasted coffee sourced from local coffee farmers! For the majority of our stay, other travelers came for brief stays on their way to or from El Nido, but overall it was very quiet and peaceful. Furthermore, we appreciated the time Mina took to talk with us about local culture and share with us her passion for pouring back into the local community and preserving the beauty on Palawan. Hailing from Palawan herself, she holds a unique perspective and strives to continually make a difference in the lives of people in her local community, Palawan, and the Philippines. Tarabanan is one of those places that I could see myself returning to many times!

“Authentic Filipino Experience”

Bushid0kid, Melbourne, Australia

This resort is very secluded which makes it a better experience as you’re not close to other tourists. From Puerto Princesa we took a mini bus which dropped us off at the Batak Information Centre on the side of the main highway. From here we asked directions from the locals and we were directed down a wide pathway with bamboo huts on either side.

Upon reaching our destination we were warmly greeted by the owner, Mina. She showed us where we were staying and then made us refreshing welcome juices. She introduced us to her grandchildren who help her clean and maintain the resort.

As there are often no other guests, we had the resort to ourselves. The cottage was very basic but met all our needs. Upstairs there are two beds with mosquito nets installed. At night the breeze passes through the window, and we had an electric fan to keep us cool. Downstairs there is another bed, a lounge area and the bathroom. The cottages are facing the beach which is was rather rocky, but still nice to swim in.There is no set menu at the resort. Mina may ask for preferences, however the ultimate decision lies with her. She prepares delicious and authentic Filipino food at a very decent price (food is not included in accommodation costs). Meal times were what we looked forward to most as she surprised us with scrumptious meals. We always welcomed her company as we ate, and we would exchange our stories, experiences and backgrounds.

From here we had to get to El Nido, however Mina took it upon herself to help us get a cheap air conditioned bus at a convenient time. She also arranged a guide to take us through to the mountainside across rivers, to visit the local Batak Tribe, which was yet another authentic experience. Overall we had a fantastic time, and would highly recommend this to travelles who are seeking a truly authentic Filipino

“A fantastic experience!”
Cass_9, Hampshire, UK
We stayed at Tarabanan in January for a few nights en route to El Nido. As soon as we arrived we were warmly greeted by the owner Mina who is absolutely wonderful. After a complimentary coconut drink we were shown to our bamboo made hut. Basic but lots of fun and waking up to the sounds of the waves was lovely. Each morning Mina cooked us eggs, toast, fresh fruit salad and the most amazing home made pineapple and mango jam I have ever tasted! Dinners were delightful (lots of fish freshly caught by the local fishermen). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend Tarabanan to anyone who is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. Thank you Mina for a lovely stay, Paul & Cassi.

“Perfect stay in a beautiful place with a wonderful hostess!”
Anton P, Canada

I will start by saying that I am sorry Mina, for the extremely long delay for writing this review.

We stayed at Tarabanan in January 2014 for a quick 3 day getaway from the reality of the reason of our trip to the Philippines. My mother in laws last request was that her ashes be brought back from Canada to her hometown on Luzon. We were fulfilling her last request. Our group of 9 arrived at Tarabanan after a very beautiful and peaceful drive through the mountains from the airport by Mina and her driver.

Tensions amongst our group were high considering the reality of why we were all there. One of our group boiled over after we arrived at the resort and Mina did a wonderful job of maintaining order and peace, and providing a solution to keep the peace. She handled it with grace, and poise. I cannot say thank you enough.

After the rough start because of said members boil over (whom Mina guided to another local hotel), we settled in for some wonderful home made food.

Next morning we woke up to the ocean waves, that wonderful smell of the ocean, and sunshine. Then, breakfast. Homemade, pure natural cooking.dsc_1148Mina’s homemade mango and pineapple jam are simply to die for. Sounds silly for just jam, but after you taste it, you’ll know. Then, a first for our entire group, wild board (bacon?)! Again, simply to die for!

Mina arranged for a day of island hopping, just a wonderful experience. Some amazing snorkelling on the islands and the sand bar we stopped at is just a sight to behold.

After 1 day, it felt like we’d known Mina for a long time. She’s a wonderful lady and a perfect host.

I’ll sum it up with this, if you want to stay in a natural setting, very little distractions to allow you to clear your minds and souls, you cannot go wrong picking Tarabanan.

If you are looking for 5 star millionaire for a week hotel, look elsewhere because you won’t be doing Mina any help.