The Philippines archipelago is a beautiful nation of more than 7,000 islands with 22,549 miles of shore, making it the fifth largest coastline in the world. In addition to its famous white-sand beaches, the Philippines’s many natural attractions include lush mountains, volcanoes, dramatic limestone formations, rich biodiversity and some of the most remarkable coral reefs on Earth.
Nearly 5 million tourists from around the world visit the Philippines each year, and while accommodation options are vast – camping, homestays and hotels, to name a few – many tourists choose resorts, which tend to offer the best in terms of location, services and amenities Here are five of the best resorts in the country, in alphabetical order.
Aman Resorts' Amanpulo, Pamalican Island
The Amanpulo Resort offers the only lodging on privately owned Pamalican Island in the Palawan Province of the Philippines. Truly a tropical paradise, the island has palm-fringed white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and world-class diving. The resort itself was named one of the “World’s Best Private Island Resorts” by Condé Nast Traveler and is made up of 40 standalone casitas – on the beach and in the treetops.
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao
Located at the tip of reef-ringed Siargao Island, just around the corner from the renowned Cloud 9 surfing wave – host of one of the World Surf League’s 2015 Surf Cup competitions – is the Dedon Island Resort. The island resort is on the southeastern coast of Siargao, which has prehistoric tropical forests and clear waters. The resort’s nine villas were built using only local materials and craftsmanship and were designed to integrate with the natural environment – with generous verandas, large windows and connected by raised walkways. It is best to visit during the dry season, from April to October.
Lagen Island Resort
Lagen Island Resort on El Nido, named one of this year’s “10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler. Lagen Island Resort is considered an “Eco-Sanctuary” and is home to a diverse variety of birds and mammals, including endemic species like the Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei). Nestled between lush forest and a shallow lagoon, the resort has 50 rooms that have plenty of glass to enjoy the views and private verandas. The 18 individual water cottages are built on stilts directly above the water, and the beachfront cottages offer the best views of the cove and the celebrated El Nido sunsets.
Miniloc Island Resort, El Nido, Palawan
Miniloc Island Resort is another El Nido resort. It's not only luxurious but also a family resort with lots of activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, reef exploration and jungle hiking and biking.” While deluxe by most standards, Miniloc Island Resort has a rustic and native design and offers a variety of rooms, including water cottages built on stilts beside the dramatic limestone cliffs.
Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa
If you’re looking for seclusion and top-notch service, the Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa won’t disappoint. The resort is located on Boracay Island, which attracts beach worshipers from around the world for its fine white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. Your stay starts with a private speedboat shuttle from the Boracay shore out to the resort, where there are more than 200 suites and villas that combine classic, contemporary and regional décor influences. The resort has earned worldwide recognition as a “Top Hotels Worldwide, Insiders’ Select” by Expedia, 2015; “Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the Philippines” by TripAdvisor, 2015; and “Top Luxury Hotels in the Philippines” by TripAdvisor, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
The Bottom Line
The Philippines is a beautiful country with sunny beaches, lush forests, a tropical climate and welcoming locals. The resorts included here represent only a few of your many options, and it should be easy to find accommodations anywhere in the country that fit both your style and budget. For more advice on places to visit, see Find the Top Retirement Cities in the Philippines.
Note: Because of continued violence, travelers should avoid certain areas in the Philippines. The U.S. Department of State (www.travel.state.gov) updated a travel warning on Oct. 21, 2015 regarding the Philippines, and in particular the Sulu Archipelago, the island of Mindanao, and the southern Sulu Sea area. Other areas in the Philippines are generally considered as safe as other places in Southeast Asia. U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines are encouraged to check current State Department travel alerts and warnings, and to enroll in its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The program provides security updates and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you and your family in case of an emergency. (For more, see How Safe Is Traveling in the Philippines?)