(SPOT.ph) While a number of beautiful spots in the Philippines don't cost much to stay at (think backpacking hostels and off-the-beaten-path accommodations), luxurious resorts and five-star hotels can also be found on some of our islands, including—of course—Palawan. These places boast privacy (not only for their location, but also for their prices), high-end services and amenities, and—sometimes—your very own butler at your beck and call. Some of them include hassle-free packages, while others are exclusive of airfares and meals (with turon, for example, amounting to P750).
In case you have a few dollars or tens of thousands to spare, check out these Palawan island resorts:
Pamalican Island, Palawan
Rates start at U.S. $1,300/night (roughly P68,230)
Aside from a private plane, there's no other way to reach Amanpulo in the Cuyo Archipelago, ensuring guests' exclusivity at this island retreat. Staying there is like having your own beach home with white-sand beaches and pristine reefs surrounding you. The casitas and villas have their own swimming pools and are situated far from each other—some are along the coast, others are elevated by the hillside, while a few more are hidden by the rainforest canopy. Each has broad wooden decks with hammocks, possibly making you forget of anything and everything that exists outside the island resort. Overnight rates are published in U.S. dollars—a luxury through and through.
Ariara Island, Linapacan, Palawan
Rates start at U.S. $33,300 (roughly P1,731,939) for seven nights (minimum stay)
Ariara Island in Calamian, Palawan was nominated as the "World's Leading Exclusive Private Island" by the World Travel Awards from 2016 to 2021. It's just a fitting recognition for this 125-acre paradise island that offers luxurious villas, 600-meter white sand beach, and even personalized menus by a private chef. The island resort only has 10 villas and suites, guaranteeing privacy among guests. Each features high ceilings, large bedrooms, four-poster beds, walk-in closets, either a hand-carved marble bath or wooden bath, open-air showers, and a majestic view of the sea. A stay of at least seven days is required for the price of P1.7 million.
Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort
Barangay Baldat, Culion, Palawan
Rates start at P17,000/night
Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort offers hassle-free travel for those who can splurge on an island getaway. Rates start at P17,000/night for their cheapest room in the Cluster Villa. This already includes roundtrip land and boat transfers; breakfast; use of snorkeling gears, kayaks, and bikes; access to the pool and beach; and golf cart service within the island resort. They also have the 45-square-meter Studio Single Villa for two persons, Duplex Villa for four people, One-Bedroom Villa for three persons; and the Two-bedroom Villa for up to six guests. Their luxurious Sirakan Villa for two persons features a king-sized bed, an indoor hot tub, and a sea-view balcony with loungers.
El Nido Resorts
El Nido, Palawan
Contact: (02) 7902-5934
Rates start at P30,000
El Nido Resorts, which has properties on Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island, is a group of eco-luxury island resorts that boast idyllic tropical settings and top-of-the-line amenities and services. Apulit Island, for example, is perfect for the thrill-seeker as it boasts 60-meter limestone cliffs, where guests may climb and rappel down; caves for spelunking; and shipwrecks for freediving or scuba diving. Miniloc, on the other hand, has a swimming pool where you can take a dip before or after snorkeling in the house reef. Lagen is nestled in a four-hectare forest where guests can go on a hike and follow a trail that leads to a hidden cove. Pangulasian, which is often recognized in the Condé Nast Traveler's list of top resorts, provides front-row seats to pristine waters and has a tropical forest for a background.
Room rates to the four island resorts include full-board meals, private island-hopping tours, access to the property's respective amenities like the swimming pool or white-sand beach (or both) as well as forest trails, and use of water sports equipment. ENR properties are some of the first resorts to reopen during the pandemic in 2020 through their travel-bubble packages that already include plane tickets, four-day stay, and full-board meals. But as travel reopens and the pandemic wanes, the resorts have shifted back to their per-night rates.
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