The Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands of which only around 2,000 are inhabited. Bordering 4 different seas, the sprawling islands offer visitors unrivalled beaches and diving spots, while beyond the coastlines are places of an entirely different nature; ancient rice terraces blend into jungle-covered hills, and crumbling Spanish churches are dotted between mystical tribal villages. The diversity of the country is exquisite and the year-round sunshine brings hoards of tourists in search of a slice of paradise.
Cut-off from the rest of Southeast Asia by the South China Sea, the Philippines has managed to maintain its culturally rich identity and pristine landscape, something that infiltrates the country’s incredibly welcoming hospitality industry. Home to luxury hotels and independently owned villa resorts, the Philippines has an abundance of accommodation options to meet your every need. We’ve picked out the top 5 luxury stays to help make planning your trip a little easier
Raffles Makati, belonging to the iconic hotel brand, is a 32 all suite hotel that caters to the refined sensibilities of the sophisticated business and leisure traveller. Possibly the most luxurious hotel in the bustling metropolis of Manila, Raffles Makati comprises the traditional Raffles ethos – to offer a luxuriant and welcoming oasis where travellers can rest – with contemporary Filipino flair, giving it it’s own sense of time and place while still paying tribute to the original Singapore colonial design. Expect huge, regal suites tucked away down secluded, keycard-only access corridors adorned with contemporary paintings and colonial era touches. There are three types of suites to choose from namely the Junior Suite, Executive Suite and the brilliant three-bedroom Presidential Suite – all offering the distinctive Raffles luxury experience. From the moment you step out of your car on Raffles Drive until you lay your head on the pillow at night, the Raffles Makati staff offer gracious and charming service in a manner to make you feel at home.
1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati
Diniview Villas, perched on the hillside above Diniwid Beach, are an exquisite example of how building holiday resorts doesn’t have to disrupt the natural landscape of the destination. Inspired by the glory of nature that envelopes this hilltop utopia, the wraparound lush verdant setting overlooks an endless turquoise panorama. Diniview Villas is comprised of 7 fully-furnished beach villas, each eco-friendly and each with a name that pays homage to it’s surroundings; Sea, Sand, Salt, Sun, Moon, Boat and the Tree House. The villas are nestled amidst lush and wild foliage and have been built in such a way that they respect the nature around them, meaning that some of the properties have fully-grown trees reaching through them. Privacy is in abundance here as each villa is secluded down it’s own path, allowing for unadulterated views of the seaside horizon. Inside, the villas have been masterfully designed by the owner Julia and her family, whose inherent Swedish interior design flair is evident in every inch of these instagram-worthy villas. Expect peaceful nights, stunning sunrises and indescribable calm high above Boracay’s glistening beaches.
Diniwid, Malay, Boracay
Amanpulo is part of the world-renowned luxury hotel group, Aman and this secluded Filipino resort is luxury at its most optimum level. Cerulean sky and turquoise sea merge at Amanpulo, a whisper-quiet private island retreat in the Philippines. Situated north-east of Palawan, on Pamalican Island, guests arrive by private plane to the islands own airstrip. Travel from Manila to this island oasis where Amanpulo’s beach-front villas and hillside Casitas sit undisturbed amid snow-white beaches and crystal clear-seas. Inspired by native bahay kubo dwellings, each room has a timber structure and pitched roof. Meticulously designed to frame it’s natural settings, Amanpulo is rich in space and privacy, welcoming guests as if to the home of a close friend, instilling a sense of peace and belonging amid one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. The reef-fringed shores make this a haven for divers and nature lovers alike.
Pamalican Island, Sulu Archipelago, Palawan
One of four high-end luxury resorts from the El Nido group, all tucked away in secluded corners of Bacuit Bay, Pangulasian Island is the ‘Eco-luxury’ member of the elite group. The resort is set fronting a pristine beach and against a backdrop of tropical forest. Also known as the “Island of the Sun”, Pangulasian has breathtaking views of both the sunrise and sunset. The resort’s deluxe accommodations are built in contemporary Filipino architectural style. There are eight Canopy Villas perched on stilts above the forest, and 24 Beach Villas and six Pool Villas close to the water. With it’s own private stretch of beach opening on to a marine sanctuary, guests can experience true Filipino island life while being pampered to luxurious amenities and personalised service at one of the most exclusive resorts in Asia. Visit El Nido Resorts to find out about Pangulasian’s sister Eco getaways.
Pangulasian Island, El Nido Resorts, Bacuit Bay, El Nido
To find out more about our time in the Philippines make sure to pick up a copy of our Summer issue, due for release in June 2017.