Where to Stay in El Nido: 15 Great Options

Need help deciding where to stay in El Nido? Here’s a quick guide to some of the best accommodations in the area — from budget to splurge.

Where to stay in El Nido

Image by Fabian Irsara [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Our choice to stay at Spin Designer Hostel was unanimous and pretty much an instant decision. As I mentioned in El Nido, Nice and Easy: A Stress-Free 6-Day Itinerary for Non-Backpackers, Spin ticked a lot of boxes:

  • It’s centrally located — far enough to be non-chaotic but near enough for the beach to be walking distance.
  • Previous guests love it — the #1 specialty lodging in TripAdvisor (4.5 rating) and with a Booking.com score of 9.1 (out of 10).
  • It has an affordable twin room (PHP 2679) with ensuite bath, perfect for friends traveling together. Couples can go for the double room (PHP 2679), groups can stay together in the 4-bed dorm rooms (PHP 982 per bed), and solo travelers can opt for either.
  • The room price includes breakfast.
  • The property is new so there ought to be no problems with rusty pipes or anything like that.
  • It’s beautiful. Look:

Where to stay in El Nido - Spin Designer Hostel

You can book a room/bed at Spin Designer Hostel HERE.

Update (July 2016): We did stay at Spin when we were in El Nido last month and I thoroughly recommend it! Try to include a Sunday so you can join their Jamming Nights. ūüôā

If you can’t…

Here are other well-reviewed accommodations in El Nido — from budget to splurge.


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Midges and mountains and Scotland’s Skye


“I am being eaten alive!” cried Pippin. “Midgewater! There are more midges than water!”

“What do they live on when they can’t get hobbit?” asked Sam, scratching his neck.

Well, Master Gamgee, they live on me, for one¬†—¬†at least that day we went traipsing ’round Skye on a wet, windless, beautifully gloomy day. Multiple websites warned me of midges, but like many other bad stuff, you don’t really think midges will happen to you until they do. And besides it¬†isn’t really¬†fun going on a tour of Skye dressed like this:

And by "this" I mean the two sensible people coming up in full anti-midge protective gear.

And by “this” I mean the two sensible people coming up in full anti-midge protective gear, not the one in red. Though my sister paused less often for pictures so she didn’t get bitten as much.

Not that a swarm of midges covering your face is too fun, either, but…you know…when you think of going to see the Fairy Pools, you don’t really think:¬†Oooh! I’m going to the Fairy Pools! I’m going to wear protective clothing and put a net over my face like a keeper of radioactive bees! (Though if you have thought that, I can tell¬†you you’ve got your priorities straight and that I wish to emulate your sensibility in future. Or at least I will bring bug spray.)

According to Donald Nicolson, our guide, midges tend to congregate near bodies of water and they’re most active when there’s no wind. They don’t bother you when you’re walking but when you stop — to¬†take photos, for instance — they instantly descend upon every exposed part of your body. I thought midges would be like mosquitoes — which we have a lot of in the Philippines, that’s why I thought I could handle midges¬†easily — but they look more like flies and they bite more like fleas. And¬†it wasn’t even the midge bites that bothered me so much; it was that they were all over my face and I nearly inhaled a few of them a couple of times! Inhaling midges = so not fun.

Still, all those midge bites and near inhalations were worth it. I’d gladly play midge meal again if it meant going back to views such as these:

The Cuillins of Sligachan

The Cuillins of Sligachan


Sligachan bridge


Mountains in Scotland that are over 3,000 feet are called Munros. There are 282 Munros¬†and some people make it a mission to climb all of them¬†— these¬†people are called Munro baggers (a term that¬†rolls off the tongue so satisfyingly, probably because it reminds me of Bungo Baggins). Anyway,¬†I could be mistaken but I believe that ragged tooth-like structure in the last photo above is the Inaccessible Pinnacle (referred to fondly as the In-Pin or In Pinn) which is notorious among Munro baggers as the only Munro that needs to be ascended by rock climbing.

Sligachan, above, was our first stop (and my first encounter with midges). I’ll post in greater detail about some of the other stops later, but here’s a quick look.

The Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

The Fairy Glen

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The Quiraing


Kilt Rock

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Lealt Falls

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And the Old Man of Storr

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Sigh. Scotland. So worth a few midge bites.

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O flower of Scotland / When will we see / Your like again

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Burano: A Study in Color

An island in Venice, Burano’s particular fame for color does not disappoint. Even in the fog, the hues of its houses pop, valiantly trying to dispel the gloom of winter. They are a delightful study on palettes — pale pink with pale yellow, bright orange with bright blue, rustic brown and green. It’s places like this that make me want to be a better photographer.

Burano: A Study in Color” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.