Get your swimsuits ready, summer 2020 is not cancelled. We repeat, summer is NOT cancelled! It’s just running a little late. El Nido Resorts is taking the COVID-19 bull by its proverbial horns and adapting to the “new normal” by introducing an exclusive El Nido travel bubble. That’s right! Local tourists outside the province of Palawan are now able to enjoy a 3 night retreat at the recently (re)awarded best island in the world.
You may be wondering what on earth an El Nido travel bubble is and how can you get in on it. Well, keep reading to find out everything you might possibly need to know about kickstarting your travel in this post-pandemic world.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN EL NIDO TRAVEL BUBBLE?
When tourism came to a grinding halt, El Nido Resorts jumped straight into action to prepare its collection of hotels and resorts for life during unprecedented times. Once restrictions eased to MGCQ level, El Nido Resorts was ready to welcome guests back to its prestigious properties with heightened protocols and strict health and safety measures. And so their Be G.R.E.E.N, Be Clean El Nido travel bubble was born.
The El Nido travel bubble is a 4 day, 3 night package across pre-determined dates set aside by management at El Nido Resorts. The El Nido travel bubble is available for Miniloc Island, Pangulasian Island and Lio Beach, with each resort operating at 50% capacity. Guests can only travel on AirSwift scheduled flights out of a private hangar in Manila.
WHICH RESORTS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE EL NIDO TRAVEL BUBBLE?
Pangulasian Island is El Nido Resorts’ Eco-Luxury island resort in Bacuit Bay, El Nido. The resort is set fronting a pristine beach and against a backdrop of tropical forest. Also known as the “Island of the Sun”, Pangulasian has breathtaking views of both the sunrise and sunset. Frolic in the 750-metre stretch of white sand beach and be amazed by the marine sanctuary right at its doorstep.
El Nido Resorts’ Eco-Discovery island resort, Miniloc, offers guests a back-to-basics Filipino coastal village vibe with rustic or native design. In Miniloc, guests can swim with the 1.5-meter jack fish and get up close and personal with a variety of marine species just at its house reef.
The newest property in Lio Estate Resort’s catalogue, Huni Lio is a 50 room family focused hotel on the shore of Lio Beach. The 325-hectare Lio Estate development is guided by the principles of sustainability and inclusive growth, ensuring the least impact to the environment while benefiting the local community.
WHAT HEALTH TESTS NEED TO BE TAKEN?
The Provincial Health Office of Palawan requires a RT-PCR “swab” test from guests coming from outside the province. El Nido Resorts refers guests to the QualiMed McKinley Branch, their accredited health facility, provided that the test be taken at least 72 hours prior to their AirSwift departure. The cost is Php 4,000 nett per person and should be paid at the clinic directly. This is in addition to the accommodation package costs. Once your results are sent to El Nido Resorts, they’ll coordinate with AirSwift all the way to the Provincial Health Office of Palawan for clearing, to ensure a seamless transaction on your end. Note that kids and senior citizens are allowed to book, however anyone with pre-existing health conditions won’t be able to.
HOW DOES IT WORK: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO THE EL NIDO TRAVEL BUBBLE
Upon arrival at Lio airport, you’ll go through a 9-step journey to ensure your health and safety from check-in to check-out. Here’s what it’ll look like:
- You’ll arrive at Lio airport where safety signage will be present in most visible areas, seats will be sanitized, and PPEs will be worn by representatives at all times.
- Then you’ll transfer via shuttle service to the new Care Lounge, while observing physical distancing with seating limited to one person per row. There will be a safety divider between the driver and guests, and luggage will be handled and transported separately.
- Once you arrive at the Care Lounge for check-in, airport representatives will assist you through the foot bath, hand sanitation, and thermal scanning procedure. El Nido Resorts guests can check-in using their smartphone QR code along with their valid photo ID and signature. If you’re staying at Lio Estate Resorts you’ll go through sanitation at the Care Lounge, but designated shuttle services will take you from the Care Lounge to your resort to complete your check-in.
- After check-in, El Nido Resorts guests will be assisted to their respective resorts. You’ll be provided with a sanitized life jacket which will be yours for the duration of your stay. There will only be 8 guests allowed per boat and seat markers will be placed to observe physical distancing.
- All resort entry points are equipped with foot bath and hand sanitizers. Lio Estate Resorts guests will find their disinfected luggage at the lobby, while luggage will be delivered to your room for El Nido Resorts guests.
- Both El Nido Resorts and Lio Estate Resorts will sell rooms up to 50% maximum capacity only. Sanitation kits will be available upon request and there will be a dedicated housekeeping staff wearing full PPE for each room. Make up room and turn down service will be discontinued for the time being in compliance with DOT guidelines; however, used linens, towels and dining utensils may be replaced.
- We know everyone loves resort buffets, but they’re not exactly COVID friendly. Instead, they’ll be replaced with pre-set or à la carte meals. Restaurants, bars and the clubhouse can operate at 50% capacity with early and late seating schedules. Safe food handling will be observed following DOH’s guidelines. Regular disinfection of F&B facilities will be implemented, and restaurant/kitchen staff will be wearing PPEs at all times.
- But what about island hopping? Private, low-density tours, and a dedicated Marine Sports Guide per boat will be offered to guests for leisure & recreation. Spas, main pools and gyms will be by appointment only.
- The check-out process will be via email where a digital folio will be sent the evening prior departure so that you’ll have more time to enjoy your last day in El Nido. Upon departure, choose from several cashless payment options at the front desk where key cards will be dropped and immediately sanitised.
El Nido Resorts will be running travel bubble trips until the end of the year with more packages available as we near the holiday season. Miniloc and Pangulasian Island are now accepting bookings for stay dates between December 15, 2020 – January 5, 2021. For bookings and inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 63 917 584 1576.