Where to find remote and luxurious resorts in the Philippines

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Whether you’re in search of an all-inclusive luxury resort or a chilled-out beach villa, the Philippines has no shortage of remote retreats to whisk intrepid travelers off the grid. Home to more than 7,000 islands, the Southeast Asian destination counts abundant marine life, colorful reefs and pristine beaches among its selling points.

But you’ll want to get there soon. The archipelago’s natural beauty has caught the eye of international jet-setters and tourism has grown at a rate of 8% per year since 2010, according to a report by Oxford Business Group.

While the cluster of resorts along Manila Bay are easy enough to find, you’ll have to work a little harder to check out these 11 far-flung hotels.

1. Amanpulo

Amanpulo is one luxurious adventure.

Claiming a plot of sand on its own private island, Amanpulo is all about off-grid luxury. The exclusive address sprawls across 89-hectare Pamalican Island in the Sulu Sea – about an hour’s flight southwest of Manila.

The only catch? To get here, travelers must spring for a chartered flight – the 15-seat jet lands on the island’s own private airstrip. But, then again, if you’re staying at Amanpulo, you can probably afford it.

Upon arrival guests settle into a beautifully appointed villa, built using natural materials such as Cebu marble, coconut shell table tops and pebbled walls. The experience includes a personal butler, private plunge pools and even personal chefs in some of the top-end villas.

Active types, rejoice: Most days will revolve around exploring the pristine surrounds – think jungle trekking, diving, snorkeling, cycling, turtle spotting and tennis.

Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Sulu Archipelago, Philippines; +63 2 976 5200

2. Qi Palawan

For those looking for peace and quiet, Qi Palawan is about as secluded as it gets.

To access this completely solar-powered retreat, travelers must catch an hour-long flight from Manila to El Nido Airport, followed by an hour’s drive to the northeastern edge of Palawan island. You know you’re close when the van bumps along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

Once there, it’s nothing but sea views, breezy hammocks and lush gardens. Taking eco-conscious measures to reduce its carbon footprint, the retreat features back-to-basics luxuries such as locally made soaps, an organic herb garden and open-air architecture.

There are seven bamboo villas, a yoga pavilion and an open-air restaurant helmed by one of the best chefs in Palawan. Guests can try their hand at kiteboarding on the beach or take a day trip to nearby dive sites and remote islands.

Other highlights include a picnic lunch, snorkeling or a venture to the lush Linapacan island group, considered one of the most pristine locations in the Philippines.

Qi Palawan, San Fernando, Philippines

3. Tugawe Cove Resort

Hummingbirds, dense forests, limestone cliffs, waterfalls and lakes – Caramoan Island is an idyllic corner of south-central Philippines.

In the middle of it all is Tugawe Cove Resort. Built along a hillside above Lauing Bay, the elevated outpost offers panoramic views of Sombrero, Loto and Litao islands in the distance. There’s an open-air restaurant and a hilltop infinity pool, and a path that leads down to the water.

At the beach, guests can hop into a kayak, don snorkeling gear or try their hand at paddle boarding.

The rooms’ warm wood finishes and ocean tones echo the surrounds – with options to stay in three distinct areas: by the nearby lake, along the hillside or at the very top.

Reaching Tugawe Cove Resort requires careful planning to align with the limited flight schedules. Expect an hour-long flight from Manila to Virac, followed by a 45-minute ride to Codon port, and a 30-minute boat ride to the resort.

Tugawe Cove, Colongcogong, Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur, Philippines; +63 917 501 6711

4. Amarela

Amarela embraces with an all-natural aesthetic.

A low-key beach resort overlooking the Bohol Sea, Amarela is at home on a secluded beach on Panglao Island.

All about the carefree island lifestyle, the 31-room retreat is a one-hour plane ride from Manila to Tagbilaran, Bohol’s capital, followed by a 30-minute car transfer.

Amarela’s location is far enough away to feel remote, but close enough to offer relatively easy access to a few worthwhile attractions on Panglao island. The main draws include the photogenic Puntod sandbar, Hinagdanan cave and lagoon, Balicasag’s colorful reefs, and pristine Alona Beach.

Keeping with the all-natural aesthetics, the resort’s rooms have been designed to complement the surrounds – picture reclaimed wood, antique furniture, local art and a warm, earthy palette.

Amarela, Barangay Libaong, Panglao Island, Bohol, 6340, Philippines; +63 38 502 9497

From $150 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

5. Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa

Located on Panglao Island in south-central Philippines, Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa stretches across 16 scenic hectares of rustic gardens and dramatic cliffs. The luxury resort feels remote thanks to its position on the southernmost tip of Bohol, but it’s relatively easy to reach – just a one-hour flight south of Manila, followed by a 30-minute drive.

Relaxed yet refined, all the thatched-roof villas feature private pools, but the hotel’s infinity pool is the pièce de résistance. The turquoise water tricks the eye into thinking the pool spills into the ocean.

The pool may look inviting but there are plenty of other water activities at this oceanfront address – from dolphin watching to sunset cruises, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and island hopping.

Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa, Barangay Tawala, Panglao Island, Bohol, 6340, Philippines; +63 2 654 6480

6. Apulit Island

Apulit Island's over-water cottages promise unobstructed views.