Separated from the rest of Asia by the South China Sea, the Philippines is one of the most underrated destinations in the region. It is an archipelago comprised of more than 7,000 stunning islands. Palawan, one of the country’s tourist hotspots, even nabbed the World’s Best Island title in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 awards. The Philippines is a must-visit for tourists wanting to unwind to the sound of the ocean and witness some of nature’s finest views in style.
Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa
(image: Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa Facebook)
Elona the Explorer’s experience with the Shangri-La Group in Dubai was wonderful. But imagine a paradise resort on an beautiful island – what you get is the Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa. Luxury begins upon arrival to the mainland as guests have their own private speedboat to the resort. Situated in the globally famous Boracay, guests won’t have to worry about overcrowding as everything about the resort screams seclusion. The pools have little huts called ‘bahay kubo’ where guests can hang out and relax and admire the tropical scenery. The dining experience is delectable as you’d expect nothing less from the creators of a private paradise.
Dedon Island Siargao
Siargao is the country’s newest surf hotspot. Tourism has only boomed over the last few years so most of the area still remains untouched. Nevertheless, you don’t have to worry about untamed jungles while staying in Dedon Island Resort. It is the ultimate exclusive experience as Vogue notes that there are only nine villas in the whole of the resort. The Dedon company, the designer and owner of the resort, makes handcrafted luxury outdoor furniture. Which means even sitting down for a while is done with a touch of indulgence.
Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa
image: Two Seasons Resorts
Two Seasons is a 5-star eco-friendly hotel in Coron, Palawan. The air-conditioned bungalows are stylish and come equipped with all you need for a comfortable stay. What makes Two Seasons truly unforgettable is its location. Coron is surrounded with towering limestone formations, and guests can get close views aboard private boats. It’s also close to many dive spots with an incredible network of corals and a number of shipwrecks. After spending a day on the water, getting a spa is the perfect way to relax.
Misibis Bay Resort
If you want a change of scenery and have mountainous views at your disposal, Misibis Bay Resort is a great option. It is situated on the east coast of Luzon where Mount Mayon, the volcano with a perfect conical shape, also sits. In Rappler’s review of the resort experience, the different activities in the 5-hectare resort were highlighted. This includes an ATV tour where you will be taken to the best viewing spots around Mayon.
image: Amanpulo Facebook
To feel like one of the stars, taking a private jet to one of Palawan’s hidden gems is in vogue. Amanpulo Resort is the epitome of luxury as the 1.5-mile long paradise has its own airstrip. Some of the rooms even have their own private pool. It is no stranger to the rich and the wealthy as Philippine News mentioned Madonna among the list of celebrities who have stayed in the resort. Their cheapest room is the Treetop Casita priced at $3,390 a night, which is not an issue for the rich and famous. For us normal folk, however, it might take a little longer to save up for this luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime getaway. A two-week stay in Amanpulo will set you back approximately $48,000. Which begs the question: surely it’s only successful business professionals, celebrities and lottery winners that stay at Amanpulo? If that sounds out of reach, you may need that winning lottery ticket to get you to Amanpulo after all. Lottoland claims the Mega Millions draw has a minimum jackpot of $40 million, so if you do win it, you could spend 10 whole years at the resort, and retire in absolute luxury. Imagine that?
Other wonderful activities in Amanpulo include sailing to the Sulu Sea and also scuba diving to observe sea turtles and other rare aquatic animals.
Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with staying longer if you have the means. After all, it’s hard to leave a place as luxurious and breathtaking as Amanpulo. You just might need that winning lottery ticket!