Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunz en Coron, Busuanga

At the top of our accommodation list for Coron were The Village Lodge and Princess of Coron. The former only because I've read reviews of it from, and the latter because Liza's friends stayed there already.  I was still going to do more research, but then Cecilia bumped into good friend and presidential dive instructor, Gigi Santos, and Gigi recommended staying at "this new place, Sunz en Coron". Since we trust Gigi's recommendations, Cecilia promptly checked them on the internet and booked our rooms.

Sunz en Coron is owned and run by a Korean couple. It seemed strange to me that we were going to the province and staying in a foreign-run place. I usually prefer hotels or inns that are run by locals only because they're naturally connected to the town and can give "insider"  information on many things. But since I  already was in touch with  a highly recommended local guide, I didn't mind going with the flow.

The grass hasn't grown in yet

The grounds at the resort are tastefully done. The layout is convenient because all rooms are on the ground floor and face the pool, giving it a small-resort intimate feel. We only had breakfast in the resort and spent full days out exploring Coron and neighboring Culion.  In the evenings, the outdoor lighting is subdued and pleasant. We would hang out in the cogon huts before going into town for dinner.

The kids loved coming home after a full day at sea.  They also enjoyed the pool lights that  changed color every few seconds.  I've heard of whirlpools with this chroma feature but didn't realize that it's also done for swimming pools. Interesting effect.

This place is a few minutes from the market and pier by tricycle. The resort had it's own tricycle to bring people into town. I think it's also walkable, but we just never needed to--there was always a trike outside.

The Korean lady, Angela, told us that she's lived in the Philippines for 8 years now, 7 of those living in Boracay. There she ran a small lodging house with a few rooms, and a salon. When they decided to invest in their own place, they found property values too high in the very competitive Boracay so they looked elsewhere.  Coron town, which is still quite behind in tourism, seemed like a good place to put up their business. When I asked Jin, the man, why the resort was called "Sunz en Coron", he said something about the sun being in Coron (my thought bubble with matching question marks: "Huh!?"). But even if the name is a bit strange, you have to admit it's memorable. It sounds like a cross between Spanish and ...Korean? Hmmm...

The "super family room" we booked had two queen beds which was spacious enough for the four of us. The rooms had new aircons (as well as ceiling fans), flat screen TVs and strong water pressure with heaters. Comparing other Coron town resorts online, this one looks rather upscale. We were very comfortable. The exterior of the resort is nicely done, but what could use a lot of improvement is the interiors and attention to detail.

I think if an interior designer put in her two cents and jazzed up the the rooms and bathrooms, it would make a big difference. Details like the availability of hooks, towel racks in the bathroom, a place to lay down your things in the bathroom and in the room, a bigger night table, bedroom lamp-- are overlooked. They are all minor details, but when the exteriors are nicely done, expectations are become naturally higher for the interiors.  Sunz has only been open for 4 months and I'm sure they will eventually get to this. (btw, since they are so new, they still don't accept credit cards).

Overall Sunz was a good experience for all of us. Jin, Angela, and her sister, Victoria, are all very accommodating and have a very good service attitude. They were responsive by email, and also attentive whenever we asked for anything while we were there.  They live on the premises, in the home above the restaurant.

Front desk

The waiters were pleasant and always had a smile, even if service took a bit long. I had to keep reminding myself  that even if this place looked modern and is outfitted with modern conveniences, it's still laid-back, not-so-touristy Palawan, where people are in no rush and the service industry is still new (compared to a place like Boracay). You just have to leave your expectations at the door, adjust and relax--after all, this is a vacation.

Business-wise, I think more local lodges could learn a marketing lesson from Sunz. Sunz is very new  yet they had 2 European families there that weekend, and three Pinoy groups. Their website, which is under their own domain name, must be the reason for this.

Still building up the outdoor signage

We have to thank Gigi for this recommendation and remember to get in touch with her before our next local group trip!

Sunz En Coron Resort
+63-906-206-0048 and +63-917-714-5457
www.sunzencoron (Korean) (English)

Additional notes from my guest blogger today, C, who is 8.

List 5 things you liked about your stay at Sunz en Coron.
The Korean owner, Victoria, her puppy, Yuki, her sister, Angela, and Angela's puppy, Mong. Mong is a boy and very calm, while Yuki has cutesy little giant puffballs on her legs. And the 5th thing I like is the shapes they make the towels while you are gone during the day. Okay, I liked the pool because it changes colors at night and the little huts you can chat in and watch Karate movies.
(note: I think they were watching movies on someone's laptop)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review! It came right on time, we're going next month and couldn't find a review. Until now that is.

Marivic said...

Glad to be of help! Have fun in Coron!

Murissa Maurice said...

Lovely place. Maybe one day!
The Wanderfull Traveler

Anonymous said...

You right about the service. Terrific place but there are a few niggles that need ironing. Namely the interior amenities and overall service. But still very recommendable.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the helpful review. However, it would appear on the pictures posted as well as in their website that the rooms are a little bit tight. and it seems that there are no cabinets one the room. I just would like to ask if it is spacious and have cabinets inside? silly question but important one. i want things organized inside the room. thank you very much... =>

Marivic said...

This "family suite" is spacious, and no there are no cabinets, but there is a long luggage rack with a rod above with hangers. If you are only two, it's okay, but with the kids, their bags and things were just on the floor. They really need another table or a counter, a couple of chairs, and a few hooks here and there. Kulang nga sa interior design!

Krishna said...

Finally! A review for Sunz en Coron! I am going to Coron next week and Im quite anxious about the resort. Of course, they will show wonderful images in their website. So glad that I tried to look for a review again and chanced upon your blog! very informative!

Now im quite confident na di ako mapapahiya sa kasama ko sa pinili kong resort :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks indeed for a very informative blog about sunz en coron. I found it a lot easier to decide where to book. My only concern now is how do we go about exploring the islands (fyi, we are only 2 adults - is it wise to get a packaged tour on our own or join a small group? How did you go about it? Please feel free to make suggestions, I trust your judgement.

Marivic said...

To go island hopping, just get yourself to the dock--about 3 minutes by tricycle from Sunz. There you will find a lot of bancas eager to take you island hopping. There seems to be an association of boatmen because banca-hire rates are posted on a board, and there is a dispatcher there too. I'm not aware of any packaged tours only because I'm usually a DIY tourist/traveler. Check out my "island-hopping" post. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

does all rooms have a cable tv?.. i have trip to coron and i have your hotel for my accomodation this aug.

Marivic said...

I remember watching the royal wedding of William and Kate when we went back into the room to change for dinner, so yes, there is cable TV!

Katherine said...

Thanks for this, really a big help. Going there in a few months and deciding whether the resort is good. :)

Palawan Resorts said...

We had a great timr at the Sunz-en-coron and the island and the diving is amazing. We will be back for sure.

Anonymous said...

Were there power interruptions during your stay?

Anonymous said...

Its a place to be. .Cozy for R and R!

Krishna said...

Yes there were power interruptions. I think its normal because they only rely on diesel for power (that's what the staff told me).

johny said...

I have lived on Boracay apartments for 15 years and loved the place so much i built cohiba. These are the Biggest and Best value for money apartments on the island period ! Every apartment has stunning sea views and 30m2 to 40m2 balconies with which to enjoy it. We are overlooking the windsurfing / kitesurfing bay where the season goes from November to april. Its either a great sport to participate, or great to just sit on your huge terrace and watch.
Boracay apartments


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