Our week at Gilligan's was everything we had hoped for and more. Our caretakers Alvin, Estrella, their family and Roger made our stay memorable. We felt as if they were part of our family. I would best desribe the house itself as similar to a comfortable cabin in the mountains of Pennsylvania except that it is located on an island paradise, a beautiful secluded beachfront property with wonderful views of the bay and surrounding islands and gorgeous sunsets. Every evening we would paddle out into the bay to be surrounded by the sunset.
We spent some days relaxing on the property, enjoying the plants and flowers, reading a book on the porch or gazebo or exploring the vast beach. Other days were more active. The hike to Bigaho Falls was a great change of pace and the island hopping was incredible. We took the banka boat back to Port Barton to wander around for half a day and arranged for a diving/snorkeling trip for later in the week. We bought some souveniers and some fresh fruit to bring back to the house. Roger climbed a palm tree and harvested some fresh coconuts for us to enjoy fresh coconut water. It was terrific with some Malibu Rum.
Estrella's cooking was terrific and she was very accommodating, making some separate dishes for my daughter who likes her food plain. Alvin and Estrella were always available if we needed anything, they were always pleasant and smiling.
I really can go on and on and I can't say enough good things about Gilligan's. Mal and Michelle are so easy to work with and answered all of my questions and concerns.
I really can go on and on and I can't say enough good things about Gilligan's. Mal and Michelle are so easy to work with and answered all of my questions and concerns.
Thank you Mal and Michelle for providing a most memorable property to spend a vacation. I think about it and smile every day as do the rest of my family. I sincerely hope to return some day.
- David Y
Slice of Heaven
We stayed for a week at Gilligan’s in early October 2013. I’m struggling to think of something that hasn’t already been said about this little portion of paradise. We read the documentation on the property thoroughly, which I advise you to do, and we were not disappointed at all. Mal has done a fine job of outlining everything necessary to prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime. I can also vouch for many of the positive observations made in previous reviews and honestly say we found it as we had hoped, possibly better. The staff members at the property are fantastic. We asked for a roast pig during our stay to celebrate the birthday of one of our boys and we were treated to a feast. We even managed to entice the staff to join us. A couple of the workers took my boys fishing. Using the caretaker’s boat, we toured the bay stopping off at several islands – I can highly recommend lunch at the Blue Cove Resort on Albaguen Island. We kayaked around the place, visited the local waterfall – a must – and enjoyed long evening meals on the beach in front of the house; magic! The caretaker and her workers are shy, humble people who, as was noted by an early reviewer, could easily be taken advantage of. The cost of the extra care provided is minimal and I can only hope that everyone who stays at Gilligan’s realises this and tips accordingly. We live in Asia; we travel constantly in Asia and have done so for many years. I rarely find much out of the ordinary worth sharing. Gilligan’s is different. You won’t find a place to match; well at least I haven’t. Getting in and out by road is not straight forward; the road is serious 4 wheel drive terrain and when it rains, as it did for us, it’s a long slow haul across the high road. But don’t let that put you off, just be prepared, ipod, book, camera and some munchies!. What awaits you at the other end is well worth it. I truly hope we can visit again in the future. The only thing we would change next time is our length of stay... We’d stay much longer. Thank you Estrella, Roger, Junjun and April...And thank you Mal.
- Borneo Travellers
Paradise on earth
A fantastic location and beautiful house and gardens. Not many places like this left in the world, reminded me of been on the north coast of Zanzibar in Africa but so much more civilized.
So much to do in a week, between island hopping, snorkeling, walking and using the various canoes and equipment we felt we always had something to do which suited us great. On a night, given the location you feel your miles from anywhere but at the same time couldn't feel safer.
Mal was very easy to deal with and with him based in Australia I had no reservations that things wouldn't go as promised. Once in the Philippines it was a snap to deal with the caretakers of the house who were also fantastic when we arrived.
Travel was a breeze, we stayed overnight in Puerto Princessa so we could shop in the morning then 2 1/2hrs on a good road and 1hr down a bad road and your nearly there. 20 mins on a Bangka and your in your own peace of paradise.
Couldn't recommend Gilligans more for a family holiday.
- Steve G
Perfect place to detach
Beach villa is hard to get to, but so worth it (fly to Manila, transfer to Puerto Princesa, mini van to Port Barton, boat to the house, total some 7+ hours). The caretakers are really great and helpful, your villa is lovely with all the right touches, for example our kids loved playing with the toys that were there - so well thought through - and they loved the kayaks, which we took to a nearby village or just for exercise into the ocean. Can definately recommend the island hopping (picture perfect beaches and corals) and the fishing trip. Ate fresh fish every day! Loved the beach bar and the seemingly endless sunsets.
What a place to be shipwrecked
If there was ever a place to get away from it all Gilligan's is the place to be. Covering all manners of transportation to get there ( 1 hr. via air from Cebu, 2 hrs. via land and 30 min. via water) just adds to that feeling like an Indiana Jones adventures minus impending doom and bad guys. The pictures,and all the reviews I have read about Gilligan's, do not do justice to the amazing place that you will call home for awhile. The mixture of water activities available (kayaking, paddling, outrigging and whatever your imagination can conjure up), playing volleyball or some variation thereof and just plain old relaxing (on a hammock on the beach, rocking chairs on the deck, playing board games) was more than enough to entertain my 5 kids (ages 3 - 17) and my aunts and uncles. The best part about all of the above activities is that equipment is included with the rental. The house itself was very comfortable and had all the amenities needed and wanted. The caretakers took care of us very well as well as the staff from Ville Marguerita. All in all if you like to be spoiled when sleeping/relaxing in a house to the sound of the waves with the breeze coming off of the ocean or having a white sand beach all to yourself as your front yard then Gilligan's is where you want to be. Here are my tips:
1) plan your daily meals to a degree so you know what to get in the grocery store and not spend a lot of time wasted figuring what is missing or do you have enough of something.
2) book your van through the Gilligan's in advance and not when you get there with some other local van service ( this was a costly lesson for us). Was an amazing adventure/experience and would come back again and highly, highly recommend Gilligan's
The best place to stay in Port Barton if you want an amazing view and absolute privacy
My husband and I just got back from a trip to Palawan and we loved our stay at Gilligans! You're basically given a spacious, homey, wooden beachfront house in a secluded part of San Vicente with and AMAZING VIEW and lots of lounging options. They have hammocks, rocking chairs, swings, even a mini zipline (Lol). The place also has kayaks and a paddle board available for free use. Two very hospitable staff (Estrella and Roger) are there to assist you with your household and travel needs (transportation arrangements included). Estrella makes great banana pancakes and PERFECT calamares btw. Make sure to try those if you're there!
If you decide to stay here just make sure you're expectations are adjusted to reality. My husband and I got home with a lot of jellyfish/sealice bites, but that's common all over Palawan. There will be bugs and falling coconuts too so beware of those. Nevertheless, the house is pretty well equipped to survive Palawan. The bedrooms have mosquito nets, the house has bug spray and insect repellant. It's also interesting to note that they have electricity throughout the night (from solar energy) which is not common in Palawan. The owner (Mal) was very helpful. He guided us through all these 'realities' - food options, transportation in the area, etc. Make sure to seek his advice on these, he's contactable at all times on Viber.
This is a great place to stay (best for a group of 4 to 8). We definitely recommend this to friends wanting to explore San Vicente!
Gilligans at Port Barton is a true paradise! Everything about it my wife and I loved. From the crystal clear ocean and the wild life, island hoping, paddle boarding to the house and cabana to Estrella and Roger who went out of their way to make sure we had the greatest time possible. Their cooking is fantastic! Chicken adobo, fresh fish and squid, pancakes...... Mal the owner of gilligans was equally great. Gilligan's is truly a place to get away (we didn't see anyone except staff for 3 days). Thanks again, we will be back.Detailed ratings for this rental
Our stay at Gilligans and Villa Marguerita
I'd like to thank you first of all for helping to make our stay so pleasant and for the delicious pizza that you offered on our final day there.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Palawan. As you may know, we requested to extend our stay at Gilligans, as we enjoyed the tranquillity and isolation it offered much more than we had originally expected. We also got along very well with the caretakers (Alvins, Estralia and Ray) and were very happy to meet their relatives at Bigaho and Paradise Island. Alvin's son caught several fish for us with his spear gun and Estralia's parents greeted us at the beginning of the path to the Bigaho falls.
It was quite windy when we first arrived and we found it difficult to get very far with the kayaks. However, the weather calmed down a lot after a few days and there were times when the ocean looked like a big lake. We got more adventurous and kayaked together as a family, first to Bigaho Beach, then to the closest island. Upon return from the island Alvin told us there was a cave on the other side so we went back out the next day to see it.
Alvin took us on several boating and snorkelling trips and when our friends from Shanghai were staying in Port Barton he took us on a fishing trip, but unfortunately the weather was windy and overcast and we didn't catch much. The next day, however, Alvin took my son, Reuben, back out fishing together with his son and they caught a decent sized fish each. Manuel and Reuben were best friends over the two weekends we spend there, and they passed their time playing chess, cricket, catching chickens and building a play house (more like a shack).
We enjoyed our stay in Villa Marguerita as well, and the caretakers their (Arnold, Marilyn, Apple and Jay) made our stay there very comfortable. I must say that Marilyn's cooking reputation is highly merited, and we really enjoyed our meals over there. We were also able to visit Nobelene, Manuel and Adame's school on the Saturday we were there. While there, we met a teacher who told us about the Baptist church she attended. We decided to visit on Sunday and had a great time as they made every effort to make the service bilingual especially for us.
I think this was the best holiday we've had as a family yet. We would like to wish you all the best for your future, as well as with managing your properties in the Philippines - you have certainly done a great job with them.
- Samuel and Yolanta
Truly UNFORGETABLE vacation
Some experiences simply defy explanation, you just HAVE to have been there to truly understand just how amazing it is. Such is the case with Gilligan's Hideaway. if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience, look no further.
I was fortunate to come across this Paradise and booked 6 days there...6 days I will never forget! Mal and his lovely wife Mitch, the owners, are as accommodating as can be and completely trustworthy. The caretakers on site as equally fantastic, and the food and fresh coconuts and delicious COLD beer and drinks made the trip extremely comfortable and relaxing.
You know, we just do not have enough time to really takecare of ourselves and por loved ones...I would strongly urge anyone who reads this review to not hesitate! GO FOR IT and book your stay at Gilligan's ...or the other small resort Mal and Mitch own, VILLA MARGUERITA. Either one will amaze you, and you will have experiences the vacation of a lifetime!!!
I cannot wait to GO BACK to the ISLAND!!
- Dr. J
5 days in the terrestrial paradise
I just returned the day before yesterday from the 2 weeks beautiful trip in South East Asia. I want to thank you for the 5 beautiful days we spent in the little piece of heaven you own in Palawan. It was amazing! A memorable adventure in the beautiful island we won't forget very soon! Many many thanks to the caretakers: Estrella, Alvin, Rey, Marilyn, Arnold, Jay and all the others, which with no exception, made our stay on the island beautiful! They are all such kind, helpful, honest and serene people. It was a pleasure to have them around helping us to feel so well in our holiday. The house is clean, nice and cozy and in an unique quiet location. It was a pleasure to watch the sea and sunset with a cold drink from the veranda of the cottage every evening. From a guy which is travelling a lot all the respect and admiration for the service providers in Gilligans and Villa Marguerita.
From the office now, but still missing the sun, light rain, smell & sound of the sea and our hosts in Palawan,
- Razvan N.
Let me go back, please!
Gilligan's has got to be one of the best kept secrets about--so wonderful, in fact, that I'm hesitant to put a review up here to share this place with anyone else! If you're lucky enough to go there, you'll understand my desire to be so selfish...
Each day at Gilligan's was spent as follows: with tea on the porch; walks up and down the beach; more tea on the porch; snorkeling and kayaking about; a game of chess on the porch; a nap on the hammock; a beer on the porch... you can see where this is going...
The entire stay was beyond lovely and if I could instantaneously zap myself back, I would in a heartbeat.
In addition to the fantastic facilities, Mal was wonderful in preparation for our trip, supplying ample infomation and, at times, patience as well! Further, Estrellia was such an amazingly gentle and kind care-taker, we felt taken care of the entire time. (Not that our needs went much further than the porch).
Beautiful home, overwhelmingly fantastic holiday. Thank you to all!
- K H.
Wonderful place away from it all.... House is basic but comfortable. Location is amazing. Beach is great. Owner/caretakers were great throughout. Absolutely a great choice for someone looking for no-frills solitude. Hope to have the chance to stay there again....
- Chris A.
Great retreat away from everything
Beach villa fully supported by sun panels, water well/raiwater and caretakers - they were really great helping with everything and great cooking! The villa is lovely with the right touches. For example our kids loved playing with the toys that were stored in the living room. Loved the beach bar with amazing sun-sets......
- JW v.
Paradise under the palms
Four of us travelled from Northern Ireland and stayed at Gilligans for a week. We had some concerns before leaving, particularly about the remoteness of the location and the fact that there was no aircon in the bedrooms. All our anxieties were assuaged when we set foot on the beach in front of Gilligans. The remoteness is an essential ingredient of its charm, and aircon wasn't an issue: we were lulled to sleep each night by the gentle sound of the waves and the soft breeze wafting through the window. I left my 'kindle' on the plane in Manila and thought I'd be lost without any reading material. Not an issue - I didn't even miss it. The week flew by with our days occupied with kayaking, exploring the nearby beaches and islands, fishing and beachcombing and enjoying Estralia's cooking. Alvin took us to 'Blue Cove Resort' on a neighbouring island one day for lunch. While we enjoyed the trip, we couldn't get back to Gilligans quickly enough to enjoy the sheer solitude. We sat many evenings gazing at the stars trying to find words that might best describe Gilligans.'Fantastic', 'amazing' 'incredible' didn't even come close to doing it justice. There can't be many places in the world like Gilligans, but I'm glad we found this one.
- Richard B.
Absolutely Beautiful and Relaxing
Mal, the owner, was very helpful and insightful throughout the whole booking process. He gave a lot of advice, supplied info and answers to questions, and even made very helpful suggestions, in order to make the whole process of booking etc. very easy.
Mal made sure we had the correct info w.r.t. Manila Airport and where we will be required to pass through immigration. He also made sure our grocery shopping was done for us. Thanks
We were picked up at the airport in Puerto Princessa by Abner, who drove us to Port Barton, explaining and giving useful information all along the way. (We used him to take us back the day we departed).
We were greeted friendly by Estrellia and Roger when we arrived at Gilligans. They were very kind and helpful, and assisted us with whatever we needed.
Gilligans. WOW. The white sandy beach, the swimming area, the collecting of shells during low tide, the walks along the beach, paddling across the ocean to Bigaho Falls, and the food made by Estrallia and Roger. All these things made for a memorable vacation. My son, Matthew, and I were very honored when Estrellia invited us to dinner to celebrate her daughter's 14th birthday. Strangers from across the oceans, but treated and respected like family. Thank you!!!!!
The property at Gilligans was right on the beach. Every morning we only had to walk 5 meters and we were on the beach, ready to go and swim and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. All amenities in the house was sufficient, and all we had to do was relax and enjoy our stay.
Asher, our island hopping/snorkeling/dolphin watching/fishing guide, was one of the best guides we have ever had in the Philippines. He was kind, caring, and insightful. He even helped my son Matthew when it came to snorkeling and fishing. On our second island hopping trip, he took us to Exotic Island. We had a fish barbeque for lunch. He supplied us with Unicorn Fish. I thought that was an excellent touch, as we were on Exotic Island eating an Exotic fish. Other boatsmen had tuna fish, a fish that you can find and eat everywhere.
To everyone involved in our vacation and stay at Gilligans, from Mal to all the caretakers and guides, my son and I would just like to say THANK YOU. We appreciated it very much, and we will definitely be back next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!