If you’re looking for seclusion, service and serenity, this is the best you’ll find. Amanpulo is the ultimate private island getaway. The name comes from the Sanskrit word Aman which means “peace” and the Tagalog word pulo which means “island” and is exactly that. It is a private island resort so you can only get there by private air transfer of Amanpulo.
One of our favorite things about getting to Amanpulo is the convenience. To begin with, you board from a private terminal so you don’t need to be at the airport 2 hours before (I hate that.) The resort also sends someone to wait for you outside and takes you to the private lounge where you can wait comfortably for your flight. As soon as you land, you are welcomed by a rolled out red carpet, garlands of local flowers and a drink in hand. From the moment you arrive, they know exactly who you are and you check in from your room. No one will ever ask for your room number. The Aman style is understated luxury as it blends into its surroundings and incorporates local architecture and material, focusing on exceptional service rather than ritzy lobbies.
The accomodations are individual villas called called casitas. The beachfront ones are our favorite - you get a huge bed, a spacious living area, a porch, and views out to its sandy shores making you feel like you have the entire island to yourself. A few steps from your wooden deck, you will find the most pristine beach you will ever see. The sand is white and powdery smooth and water turqouise. Because it’s a coral beach, the sand never gets hot no matter how much the sun blazes. The crystal-clear water is shallow and calm and lets you walk deep into the ocean with the water remaining below your hips.
The island is set up in such a way that all the casitas are spaced apart and have their own space and beach front so even at full capacity, you will almost never see anyone at the beach. If you’re traveling as a family or with friends, there is also the option to get a bigger private villa that comes with its own pool, butler and chef! Each guest gets a private golf cart for their stay to get around the island.
So what can you do in this paradise?
I personally just love to lounge and tan with a great view and either a book or drink in hand (or possibly both). But for the restless, here’s what you can do:
- See turtles. The island is a nesting site for Green and Hawksbill turtles which means that you can see turtles swimming in the waters near the shores end. If you’re around during nesting season (December to February) you can also see them release the baby turtles into the ocean at sunset. It’s a magical experience to say the least.
- Go underwater. The resort has its own PADI Dive Centre with scuba and snorkeling guides that cater to all levels (yes, even beginners!). We suggest you get certified if you haven’t yet! The Philippines is located at the tip of the Coral Triangle, which is home to 600 reef-building coral species that are home to over 2,000 species of fish and 6 of the 7 species of marine turtle in the world.
- Get pampered. The Aman Spa, perched above the treetops with breathtaking views of the island’s turquoise waters, offers a blend of Philippine, Asian and western treatments, using all local ingredients – from from herbs and flowers grown on-site to its locally-harvested coconut oil. It’s been awarded the Best Spa in the Philippines in 2016.
- Sunset drinks. The Kawayan Bar is a floating bar that you can have exclusive use of. With ambient tunes and classic cocktails, there’s no better way to enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
- Enjoy freshly caught seafood. Pick from grouper, crabs, sea urchin and lobster. The resort also has its own vegetable garden with everything from fresh herbs to four varieties of tomatoes. Take advantage of the tropical fruits and order as many fresh juices and smoothies as you can.
- Take advantage of the freebies. Your stay comes with a complementar boat cruise. You can go snorkeling, fish feeding and turtle viewing. Jump of the top deck of the boat into the water and swim with the turtles when you see them! You can also use complimentary bikes to explore the island.