We randomly met Dana and Luke in El Nido, Philippines where they invited us to cook with them. In 2012 they started building up their own guesthouse, bar and restaurant north of El Nido town. Besides wanting to create something special for themselves, they also had the feeling that the area needed a place where you feel disconnected from the world. Somewhere you can relax and appreciate your surroundings; something that was truely sympathetic to the beauty of Palawan. So they filled this gap in the market with an authentic guesthouse: Santeria. This place certainly will enrich your El Nido experience as you probably will not find a more peaceful place to stay. Dana and Luke have a lot of plans for the future and they love to get to know each guest. They want people to see what they did when they first visited 8-10 years ago; a tranquil and natural landscape with clear blue water and plenty of fish and coral. We wish both of them all the best for the future and hope to see them again some day!
We met Dana and Luke in El Nido, Philippines. This tropical paradise will blow your mind with its white-sand beaches, lagoons and coral reefs. .
What comes to your mind when you think of “home”?
Drinking water straight from the tap, being snug under a duvet cover, cheese, crusty bread, being cold.
What do you associate with "travelling"?
Exciting new experiences, amazing food, drinking for dirt cheap.
Which place or destination blows your mind?
Is there anyone you met who deeply impressed you?
We are always impressed by the number of guests that are in pursuit of their dreams and do something out of the ‘norm’, people with their own startups, those on an adventure after retirement, or people just looking for something different.
What does food mean to you?
When you visit anyone’s home in the Philippines, the first thing they say (even before hello) is ‘Have you eaten?’ It’s the soul of the country.
What is your favorite dish?
Luke: Crispy Pata (it’s a deep fried pig knuckle-terrible for your skin but delicious)
Dana: Blueberry Cheesecake
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Running the business. Starting Santeria from scratch is a completely new venture for us. Our remote destination means we are limited in terms of what food we can get so we continue to experiment with new local flavours and we now make everything fresh ourselves. We learn something new every single day and it certainly keeps us on our toes.
Want to meet Dana and Luke as well? Make sure to pay them a visit during your stay in El Nido. They will be more than happy to welcome you in their guesthouse!