| Everyday Luxury Travel Asia The Philippines

A Private Paradise Island: Amanpulo, The Philippines

Imagine your own private island…
Secluded beaches with perfect white sands…
Emerald seas…
And the leafy fronds of a palm tree to shade you from the heat…Well welcome to Amanpulo, on the private island of Pamalican in the Cuyo Archipelago that forms part of The Philippines. After a three and a half hour flight from Kansai airport to Manila, the capital city of The Philippines, we were whisked away by a hotel representative to Amanpulo’s private airport lounge.
It’s not often that you get a private plane to your hotel but an hour’s hop across the ocean and we arrived at the gorgeous Amanpulo. Owned by the exclusive Aman resorts, we had high expectations for this hotel and they were met every step along the way.DSC_6410
Our Beach Casita was spacious with beautiful but fairly simple rustic decor; I felt the understated furnishing were perfect and totally reflective of island life.DSC_6434
With wicker chairs, a vaulted timber ceiling, local art work and a coconut shell table, we were in barefoot luxury.DSC_6435
But with all the mod cons of the Nespresso machine and large TV. Our package included all food and soft drinks and we were free to raid the fridge, full to brim with crisps and chocolate, plus fruit was delivered to the room everyday! DSC_6440 DSC_6689DSC_6437 DSC_6442
And on arrival we had a whole bottle of Veuve Cliquot and canapes to enjoy. DSC_6413 DSC_6414
A beautiful bathroom with a twin sinks, accented with Cebu marble, even had separate his ‘n hers products. There was also masses of wardrobe space and we were given a beach bag to keep, flip flops and even our own sun hats.
And the very best part of our room…
Our own private little bit of beach!
A little outdoor terrace was perfect for lounging (though would have loved a little table for us to have breakfast out there) and a hammock to swing on. And down a little sandy pathway…
To our own sun loungers in the sand! With the word ‘Aman’ being Sankrit for peace and ‘pulo’ meaning island…the resort couldn’t have had a more fitting name.
Overlooking the Sulu Sea and Manamoc island in the distance.

I’m always more of a pool person than beach person, but Amanpulo converted me; here the sand is so pure white and fine it’s not the least bit scratchy and I could take a glass of wine from the room and just sit in the sea as it lapped over me. Plus our room had a private shower and foot bath so it was easy to shower off those niggling grains after a walk on the beach. As the island is totally private, we rarely saw other people around our stretch of beach and it had a very secluded and romantic feel to it.

The Beach Casita is the highest of the room categories but you can also opt for a Treetop Casita, some of which have private pools, or a Hillside Casita with a view of the sea. There are also larger Villas with multiple bedrooms, a large pool and a private chef to cater for you. DSC_6499
Every room comes with its own buggy that you can drive around the island’s 6.5km perimeter. Every time we left the buggy we found they’d stocked it with cold water for us to enjoy on our way back to the villa.
The main public area is The Club House with a lobby that exudes that same laid-back beach vibe that we felt in the room…
Adjacent to the lobby is a beautiful boutique selling artwork, clothes and toys. DSC_6529
As well as a library with a full DVD collection and internet access. By the way, for those of you that rely on WiFi, it is quite patchy on the island but it’s clearly the perfect time for a digital detox.

The Clubhouse also has a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating and serves breakfast lunch and dinner…which I’ll tell you a bit more about in my next post. DSC_6518DSC_6406
And of course, a bar which kept me fuelled on champagne…DSC_6697
The Clubhouse also houses the main pool, perfectly situated by the bar for anytime you need a cocktail…DSC_6500DSC_6876
Fringed with beautiful Bougainvillea and lots of private places to retreat. DSC_6551DSC_6534 DSC_6564
But as the beach was so utterly beautiful, and one of the main draws of Amanpulo, the pool area was quiet most of the time. DSC_6576DSC_6908 DSC_6597
Located on the highest point of the island, a visit to the spa is an absolute must! With beautiful views reaching out to sea, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a couple’s massage or one of the other treatments that are a fusion of Asian and Western techniques. DSC_6911
One of the specialities is the Hilot massage which harnesses traditional Filipino healing traditions to rebalance and restore the mind and body. Using a hot banana leaf the therapist concentrates on area of stress with massage strokes. It is finished up with a Dag-Dagay foot treatment with a foot scrub and a wrap using green tea clay and banana leaves to enhance circulation. DSC_6601
Adjacent to the spa is the gym which has floor to ceiling windows looking out to the Sulu sea! The gym also offers personal training, Zumba, yoga and pilates so you can’t help but find your zen spot.

Pop over to The Seasports Hut and you’ll find plenty of watersports on offer, many of which are complimentary. The hotel also offers a diving programme so keen swimmers can take a look at the coral reef and maybe meet a sea turtle or two!

Regular readers will know I’m not a big fan of going in the sea, and even Mr S didn’t want to leave the beach and our beautiful villa to try the snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding that was on offer. DSC_6744
But one thing we were both keen to do was to take a little sail around the island and Dolphin 3 was our humble vessel. The hotel has a fleet of six boats which can be used for all different excursions such as fishing, island hopping, and beach drop off with a picnic. DSC_6753
We chose to take a private sunset cruise around the coast of the island, taking in the views around the whole perimeter…DSC_6763DSC_6766
The cruise came with a cocktail and canapés included, though honestly I thought they could have upped their game on the cruise with an iced bottle of champagne rather than a single fruity cocktail
Another rather cool experience to try is the Kawayan Bar…DSC_6921
Which is basically your own private thatched bar in the middle of the sea…DSC_6927
Where you can enjoy a cocktail and some snacks totally away from any other guest. DSC_6928
We loved the rustic little bar that appeared to float on sea though if I did the experience again, I’d choose the option of having a picnic or a barbecue out there so we could have made a bit more of the experience. Plus when we headed back to Amanpulo it was quite dark and we couldn’t see any of the fish below the waters.
Yes, this peaceful island really is the perfect place to get away from it all….everyone has a different idea of paradise but I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with this beautiful place.

Luxury Hotel Review: Amanpulo

I paid the full rate for my room but by booking through Chinmoy Lad at Virtuoso I received exclusive benefits and an upgrade on arrival. Email clad@zebranotravel.com for similar benefits worldwide. Not sponsored and no affiliation, just a great service that I recommend.