Coron, Palawan is no stranger to every Filipino’s bucket list. Many Pinoys have never even been to Palawan, but they’ll definitely agree that Coron is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.
Having been blessed with precious beaches, limestone cliffs, freshwater lakes, and spectacular diving spots filled with WWII sunken warships, Coron offers unparalleled experiences and picturesque scenery! It’s no wonder Travel+Leisure declared Coron part of the world’s best islands.
(Click the play icon ▶️ and watch The Funny Lion experience video ⬆️)
There are only a few luxury resorts in Coron. One I highly recommend is The Funny Lion, a safari-themed eco-boutique resort, conveniently located in the heart of Coron Town, 30 minutes away from Busuanga Airport.
Here’s a complete guide to our roaring adventure in Coron, Palawan…
CALAMIANES EXPEDITION ECO TOURS
11 San Agustin Street Coron, Palawan
ABOUT THE RESORT
The resort’s name was inspired by Calauit Safari in the northern part of Coron. The safari is home to giraffes and zebras imported from Africa during the Marcos era. The owner’s son thought it was funny that there weren’t any lions. So they decided to name their resort “Funny Lion” to complete the collection of African animals in Coron.
The Funny Lion Coron is one of four properties handled by the One-of Collection hotel management group. The group promises to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to guests in all their properties. Our stay at The Funny Lion was undeniably one-of-a-kind.
The Funny Lion has a modern yet exotic Safari theme. We love how it evokes a sense of exploration and exclusivity.
The interior has hints of the rustic old world–wooden furniture, leather travel trunks, old maps, globes, and other unconventional materials.
HOW TO GET THERE
At the airport/seaport, look for the personnel with The Funny Lion placard. The van ride from the airport only takes 30 minutes, but its still best to arrange with the hotel in advance. The transfers are usually part of the package.
Complimentary welcome drinks await! I like the refreshing juice using calamansi (local lemon) and pandan leaves.
Since most of our stay consisted of touring the island, we also looked forward to relaxing in their infinity pool after a sticky and tiring day.
Our favorite spot was the jacuzzi pools at Pride Rock, overlooking Coron’s fantastic sunset and virgin mangrove forest.
If you’re not in the mood to hike Mt. Tapyas, which is known for it’s great view of Coron’s famed sunset, the view from Pride Rock’s jacuzzi should be equally rewarding.
The boutique hotel has a total of 31 rooms with three categories. We stayed in the Club Room (20sqm), which is the most affordable of the three. It’s complete with two twin beds, a TV, hair dryer, toiletries, and the most important feature–hot and cold shower.
It also has a pull out bed if you have extra guests. (Peak Season: P7,300 | Lean Season: P5,500)
Their rooms have a modern rustic design, complete with native accents and fixtures. It was very spacious, clean, and comfortable.
It also has two clothes racks inside and outside the room, perfect for drying wet swimsuits.
Good thing the sink was found outside the bathroom. It allowed Alexa and me to better manage each other’s bathroom schedules.
Their rooms come complete with toiletries. We especially liked the environment-friendly lemongrass shampoo and soap, which smelled so refreshing!
One of my favorite surprises from One-of Collection’s resorts are the little complimentary snacks that they leave in the room.
The resort’s adventure pack includes a travel backpack and bandanas to get guests ready for the exciting activities that await!
They brought drinks (sago’t gulaman and buko juice) daily to our room fridge and chocolate jelly shots during turndown service at no additional cost.
The drinks and fruits are also free (the soda and water are refilled every day).
Having a lot of gadgets, I love how there are charging ports almost everywhere in the room.
There’s a safe to keep pocket-sized valuables and complimentary slippers (my own pair broke during our trip, so these came in very handy).
The rooms also come with a dog tag for your keys and a little charm to take home.
The breakfast buffet is one of the things I looked forward to during our stay at Funny Lion. Hunt Restaurant, located beside the infinity pool, offers an indoor and outdoor dining experience and serves an international menu, but mainly promotes local dishes (Breakfast Buffet is open from 7am – 10am).
I recommend trying the lamayo, a favorite breakfast staple that can be found in almost any hotel in Palawan. It’s like danggit but not as dry. Best eaten with the local vinegar and garlic rice.
The lugaw is also good. I like adding fish sauce, salt, pepper, chives, calamansi, hard-boiled egg, and tons of garlic to my mix!
Other local breakfast staples are the sweet and salty tocino and chorizo (sausage).
Like your eggs done in a particular way? They have an egg station just outside of Hunt.
There’s also a bread, salad, fruit, waffle, and cereal station.
I highly recommend trying the Tagbanua coffee. Funny lion is the only resort serving the locally brewed coffee roasted by the indigenous Tagbanua tribe. The coffee is more on the bitter side but goes perfectly well with their creamy and fresh cashew milk.
I also recommend the hot chocolate commonly known as Batirol. They prepare it the traditional way using a batirol (wooden stirrer) and tsokolatera (container) to produce that thick dark cocoa drink.
Hunt Restaurant is adorned with hardwood and antique furniture that gives it that old world charm. You rarely find a resort like this serving great food that’s both delicious and fresh.
You’ll never go wrong with their seafood dishes!
For a large group of six, I recommend the Off The Menu Seafood Platter (P3,500), filled with fresh local seafood favorites including grilled tuna/tanigue, prawns, crabs, and local shellfish like kibao (clams) and mussels.
Besides enjoying the grilled crabs and tiger-prawns, I also loved the kibao and mussels soaked in green curry sauce and spices!
Kinilaw (P330), Mussels in Green Curry (P250)
I love the freshness of the fish kinilaw and their spicy vinegar marinade. And I couldn’t help but order more of the mussels.
Crab-o-nara (P450). Crab fat cream pasta with fried ocean crab served with egg over toasted baguette.
Skip this. Their wooden-fire pizza was also just OK.
Pinagat Roulade (P350)
Their bestseller, made with coconut braised ground pork and shrimp with salted egg, wrapped in taro leaves and served with aligue rice.
Asian Crackling Pork Belly (P410)
For pork lovers, you’ll love this together with the kimchi rice and hoisin peanut sauce.
Honey Soy Glazed Samon (P580)
The salmon was also a treat. I liked its juicy meat and crunchy skin. The pumpkin mash was also excellent.
Monster Burger (Chef’s Special of the Day)
A massive 800g burger with two patties each weighing 250g. Obviously, meant for sharing. 🙂
I Scream (P350). Chocolate labuyo (chili), Salted Egg, Burnt Sugar.
For dessert, I recommend the exotic homemade trio of local ice cream flavors that’ll take your taste buds through a journey.
Did you know Coron is also known as the Shipwreck Capital of the Philippines? There are tons of snorkeling and diving spots where you’ll find sunken Japanese warships from WWII. Makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, doesn’t it?
We booked the private Coron Island Ecotour through Funny Lion’s partnered tour operator AL Linsangan of Calamianes Expedition Eco Tours, which covers 5 destinations (Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons, Calachuchi Beach, and Coral Gardens).
Inclusions: Van transfers, exclusive tourist boat, lifevest & First Aid Kit, Seafood Lunch, Tropical Fruits & Drinks, Entrance Fees, Mask, and Tour Guides.
I’d like to give a little shout out to our guide that was super bubbly, knowledgeable, and attentive. Thanks for making our trip amazing kuya!
8:15 Pick up by van at the hotel
8:30 Boarding time on your private boat to Siete Pecados
9:00 Snorkeling at Siete Pecados Marine Park
Marine Park Siete Pecados (Seven Sins), despite the ominous name, is one of the most beautiful snorkeling sites in Coron. Legend has it that seven sisters who went swimming against their mother’s will drowned and formed to become the seven islets.
It’s an easy short snorkeling session. You’ll find mostly angelfish, clams, and if you’re lucky, sea turtles and the super rare sightings of the butanding (whale shark).
Fun Fact: Nico swam inside a school of barracudas who he thought were a school of pipefish. Do pipefish even swim in big groups? We later found out, from the manager of Funny Lion who is a certified diver that a school of barracudas means its safe because they’re socializing, but a barracuda alone means it’s hunting (Nico is so petmalu!).
10:00 Proceed to Kayangan Lake (Minor Hiking and Snorkeling at the Lakes)
Kayangan Lake is a world-famous lake known for its crystal clear and turquoise waters. It’s accessible through a 10-minute inclined climb using the wooden walkway. Ask your guide to take you during non-peak hours as it could get a bit crowded.
It has astonishing underwater rock formations that look very tempting to free dive and explore. Too bad you have to wear life-jackets all the time because of the new policy. 🙁
Tip: Before taking a dip in the mystic Kayangan lake, make sure to take a photo at Coron Bay’s most famous photo spot first while still looking fresh.
11:00 Boat Ride to Calachuchi Beach
12:00 Seafood Picnic Lunch by the Beach
Lunch at Calachuchi Beach depends on the catch of the day. Regular staples include grilled pork, chicken, fish, and talong/lato (seaweeds), and hopefully, crab!
Love the view! You can even swim after you’re done.
3:00 Proceed to Coron Coral Garden
More snorkeling time! 🙂
4:00 Swimming at Twin Lagoons
Twin Lagoon was my favorite part of the trip. There are two sides to behold in this must-see destination.
One is at the entrance where the boat docks, and the second is hidden that’s accessible by swimming through a small hole/tunnel during low tide (there’s a ladder if it’s high tide).
If you love the photogenic limestone formations on the first lagoon, wait till you see what’s inside the second one.
5:00 Back to Coron Town, Van Transfer to your Hotel
Overall, our stay at The Funny Lion was indeed memorable!
What we liked:
-The little details like the nightly snacks and drinks and cute notes added to our experience.
-The staff was very friendly and hospitable.
-Delicious and fresh food in the main restaurant.
-Wide breakfast buffet spread.
-It’s only about 10-minute trike ride to town.
-The rooms are clean and comfortable.
-The infinity pool, especially the jacuzzi with the fantastic sunset view at Pride Rock.
-Free shuttle from the hotel to the airport.
-The tours around Coron island were amazing! A big check off my bucket list!
What we didn’t like:
-Wi-Fi and signal is not available in some rooms and areas (best to request a room that has both).
-Stairs if you’re staying on the third floor.
CALAMIANES EXPEDITION ECO TOURS
11 San Agustin Street Coron, Palawan
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our Stay was courtesy of The Funny Lion. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.