Summer is almost upon us, and with that brings about the highly anticipated school vacation. If you’ve been feeling cooped up at home and are longing for some sun, sand and sea… we got you. This handy guide introduces you to boutique resorts across the country that offer all-inclusive services and are tucked away in secluded locations, affording you the privacy you’ll need in this era of social distancing measures.
Previously a family vacation home, this five-building property welcomes guests looking to escape the urban grind. Each of the 15 capacious rooms overlooks Gutob Bay and features tasteful interiors that reflect the resort’s laid-back atmosphere – think soft hues and warm lighting as well as liberal use of wood, stone, and bamboo. During your stay at La Estancia Busuanga, you can hop into a kayak and paddle through the nearby mangrove forest. Alternatively, you can take a day trip to the iconic Black Island, located about a 30-minute boat ride away, or simply swim in the crystal blue waters and relax with a glass of wine on the beach. Back at the resort, enjoy a sunset BBQ at the hilltop before heading down to the wharf cabana for a sumptuous feast. Whether you’re planning a week-long retreat or a quick weekend getaway, you will appreciate the pristine natural surroundings and warm, attentive service at La Estancia Busuanga.
laestanciabusuanga.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; +63 918-917-6105
Having served thousands of happy travellers since 1992, this popular dive resort on Mactan island recently underwent a major face-lift in order to better accommodate their guests and is now an international 4 star/AA standard resort. Spread out across 6.5 hectares of coastal land, you’ll enjoy an abundance of space here without ever feeling hemmed in. Taking design cues from the area’s tropical beauty, the newly rejuvenated resort features plenty of azure, aquamarine and cream hues in its 133 guestrooms, suites and villas. Sun worshippers will love the 226m-long stretch of pristine beach while the more adventurous types can take advantage of the various diving and snorkelling excursions provided by P.C. Divers (a PADI Gold Palm Dive Centre). For something more sedate, book yourself into an indulgent spa session at the resort’s on-site spa or simply chill with a book by the stunning poolside. You won’t have to venture far for food either as the resort has three dining establishments, each serving a variety of cuisines.
+63 32 495 6601, +63 917 623 8348, +63 917 724 0589
You don’t have to travel to the Island of the Gods in order to enjoy a Balinese experience. This Bali-inspired destination resort is located just 3.5 hours from Manila on the North Luzon Expressway. Paying homage to the unique beauty and culture of Bali, each of the 50 suites in this well-appointed resort features high-quality fabrics, elegant wooden furniture and cool stone floors that mimic the natural tones found in a typical Balinese villa. Young ones will enjoy splashing about in the two swimming pools, while their parents can kick back in the outdoor jacuzzi. For a thoroughly pampering session, treat yourself to one of the many traditional therapies offered at the on-site Brahmana Spa, which overlooks the picturesque Pantabangan Hills and Intang Lake.
highlandbalivillasresort.com; email@example.com; +63 9171498272
Surrounded by three hectares of beautifully landscaped grounds, this impressive hotel comprises 239 stylish rooms that offer you all the creature comforts you’ll need for a relaxing stay. With a plethora of entertainment and recreation facilities available on-site, you won’t need to venture far from the resort. Try your luck at the Fortunegate Clark Casino, which offer state-of-the-art gaming tables, or take a stroll around the lush Central Park. For those who want to work up a sweat, there’s the Trim Gym, outfitted with all the latest fitness equipment. Alternatively, simply relax by the swimming pool, which comes with slides for young ones to enjoy a splashing good time. For eats, there’s the restaurant Tipanan that serves a delectable array of local and international cuisines. Business travellers can also take advantage of the Tipanan, Casablanca, Howan and Bleu Halls, and VIP Room for conventions and events.
hotelstotsenbergclark.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; +63 45 499 0777
Bookended by the jungle to one side and the sea to the other, this chic boutique resort located along the palm-fringed Maremegmeg Beach invites you to reconnect with nature. The entire resort features an Instagram-worthy tropical aesthetic, with plenty of natural wooden furnishings, leafy plants throughout the entire site and open-plan spaces that bring the outside in. Each of the spacious rooms looks out directly on to the ocean, affording you with soothing sounds of lapping waves and spectacular sunset scenes. There’s even a private balcony in each room so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast while drinking in the panoramic views of Bacuit Bay. Other stellar facilities include an outsized infinity pool that looks out to the sea, as well as a top-notch restaurant that serves an array of tasty dishes, from virtuous rice bowls to juicy Wagyu burgers. Alternatively, head to the resort’s very own beachfront area and while away an entire afternoon soaking up the sun’s rays.
mbcelnido.com; email@example.com; +63 999 724 3965
Located just two hours away from Manila on the South Luzon Expressway, Hillcreek Gardens Tagaytay makes for the perfect weekend getaway. Known for its expansive tropical gardens, this all-inclusive family-friendly resort is surrounded by verdant greenery interspersed with gorgeous outdoor features such as stone sculptures, Victorian-style gazebos and even a gently curving bridge. Start your morning with a stroll through their sprawling garden, tuning in to birdsong and letting yourself bathe in the beauty of the lush greenery. Because of the wide and spacious grounds, the hotel never feels crowded, allowing you to better appreciate the peacefulness of the area. Each of the 34 capacious rooms are tastefully decorated with contemporary fittings and includes all the mod-cons you’ll need for a comfortable stay. There is also an on-site restaurant, The Blue Room, serves a wide variety of Filipino and international favorites, a large swimming pool as well as a spa for those hankering after some extra pampering.
hillcreekgardenstagaytay.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; +63 917 324 5413