Review: Sophia’s Garden Resort in Coron Palawan
Whether you’re a local looking for an escape from all the city noise or a world traveler exploring the best of what the Philippines has to offer, sooner or later you’ll end up in Palawan. 2 years ago I fell in love with Coron Palawan’s hospitality, snorkeling/diving excursions and charming giraffes. This time I found myself in a foodie’s paradise, surrounded by great company, in a tour package provided by the tranquil Sophia’s Garden Resort (resort info).
How to get there
Travelling to Palawan was a walk in the park. A group of writers and I took a flight from Manila to Francisco B. Reyes Airport via Skyjet.
The flight took a mere 40 minutes which is equivalent to a quick nap and snack time catered midway. Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by staff from Sophia’s Garden Resort as shuttle service is included upon request.
Where to stay
With only 22 rooms, Sophia’s Garden Resort (resort reviews) offers a secluded haven in central Coron. It was homely staying in a newly-built deluxe room. All chambers were spacious and designed minimally promoting relaxation. Despite heavy rainfall, many of us spent hours in the Jacuzzi and swimming pool. There’s a calm to the resort which makes staying at Sophia’s Garden restful.
Where to eat
The View Deck Grill House is a 5 minute drive from the resort incorporating Palawan charm to foreign classics. May I suggest the beyond crispy fried chicken marinated in milk, fluffy Shepard’s pie or fresh grilled seafood from the island you’re overlooking? All ingredients are from Palawan with an exception of some components imported from other islands of the Philippines. The View Deck offers an ideal dinner and drink experience as you’re mesmerized by the sight of blue hills at twilight and sunset colors reflecting off the Coron Harbor.
If you’re staying at Sophia’s Garden and in search of authenitic Filipino cuisine, look no further. The resort’s restaurant, El Comidor, has an array of Filipino dishes that can be served boodle style if desired. My favorite meal on the menu was the fish fillet with Palawan grown cashews for lunch. Our dinner was served pool side with an array of food on a bed of banana leaves and consumed by hand (kamayan). El Comidor’s seafood kare-kare (stew with penut sauce) with executive chef Lakwatserong Kusinero’s infamous bagoong (fermented krill condiment) was the most well received among dinner guests. Lastly, I completely devoured the traditional Filipino desserts. I highly recommend the maja blanca, a creamy ten ingredient coco corn pudding. I absorbed a totally of 12 squares and even saved some for breakfast. I’m still in search of an equivalent in Manila.
What to do
Sophia’s Garden Resort in partnership with Amika Travel and Tours offers tour packages for guests including a visit to the relaxing and naturally generated Maquinit Hot Spring as well as a close encounter with wildlife at Calauit Safari Park. Feeding giraffes was definitely the highlight of my day. The scheduled tour of world-renowned beaches and exploration of the shipwrecks that makes Coron Bay one of the best dive sites in the Philippines was canceled due to dangerous weather conditions. Nevertheless, the comfort of Sophia’s Garden Resort and poolside conversation with other writers made the weekend getaway unforgettable.
For more information, visit their website at www.sophiasgardenresort.com. For online reservation, you may visit Agoda.com.
Address: Sitio Jolo, Brgy. Poblacion 5, Coron Palawan.
Many thanks to Sophia’s Garden Resort, Skyjet and Executive Chef of The View Deck Grill House and El Comidor Lakwatserong Kusinero.