You're dreaming of a tropical getaway with lavish accommodation, sumptuous spa visits, days spent at the beach… and no crowds. Impossible? In Southeast Asia's magnificent Philippines, you'll find just that. Leave behind your stresses and set your sights to these romantic resorts for a blissed-out escape.
Related article: The ten most beautiful beaches and islands in the Philippines
Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa
While currently closed during the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, this picture-perfect hideaway is sure to entice couples when it reopens in late 2018. Set on a hillside and tumbling down to Puka Shell Beach, Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa complements its beautiful surrounds with elegant accommodation and amazing amenities.
Perfect for going all-out, its expansive Treehouse Villas feature their own infinity pools and butler service (no less), and are perched on a palm-topped hillside with breathtaking ocean views. If you can tear yourselves away from your secluded retreat, there's plenty to see and do – from cultural experiences to indulgent spa treatments and diving (Shangri-La Boracay is surrounded by more than 20 dive sites). In other words, it's paradise waiting to be discovered.
If you consider yourselves a wellness-loving couple, make your way to The Farm (as in health farm) in the foothills of Mount Malarayat (90 minutes south of Manila). Here, you can breathe in the crisp, clean mountain air, escape to your own luxe villa and just unwind while taking care of yourselves.
Offering a range of wellness programmes (from detoxes to fitness and sports recovery), the award-winning retreat is known for its holistic healing services and signature treatments, so be sure to fit in time to visit its three different spas – Holistic Sanctuary, Healing Sanctuary and Acqua Sanctuary. Top off the pampering with yoga in scenic tropical surrounds and enjoying delectable vegan cuisine at the Alive! Restaurant.
Ready for something a bit more hedonistic after balancing your chi and aligning your chakras? Indulge yourselves with a stay at Amanpulo (an hour's flight from Manila). Part of the famed luxury resort chain Aman, this private island resort is every bit the exotic getaway idyll.
Dive into gin-clear waters at numerous sites around the island, snorkel its vibrant reefs or skim the waves in a Hobie Cat – however you enjoy the resort's warm waters, do it. Also fabulous for just sunbathing on sugar-white sands, Amanpulo makes the most of its postcard-ready setting by nestling its accommodation offerings into the landscape. Choose from one of 42 beachfront and hillside Casitas inspired by native bahay kubo dwellings, or hole up in the expansive one-bedroom villa. Built around a palm-shaded pool and looking out over the turquoise coastline, it's unashamedly luxurious. Private chef and butler? Tick. Your own club car for exploring the island? Tick. Life's hard.
Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, Eskaya Beach Resort is hidden away amongst the Philippines' Bohol Islands (one hour's flight from Manila). Sure to make you feel as if you're the only two people in the world, the 16-hectare resort looks out over the glittering Bohol Sea and a pristine five-kilometre white-sand beach.
Sheltered by jade mountains, it's also where you'll find just 15 thatched-roof villas, most with their own Insta-ready pool. Don't miss taking a dip, though, in Eskaya's main infinity pool that seems to disappear over the cliff – it's also the perfect spot for a romantic poolside dinner. Of course, there's also beach dining and a spa to enjoy, plus fascinating guided tours of the island's countryside. Holiday dreams are made of this.
El Nido Miniloc Island
If you're seeking an eco-discovery escape with dreamy overwater accommodation and a rustic coastal village feel, leave the rest of the world behind at El Nido Miniloc Island (30 minutes' boat ride from El Nido). A haven for adventure-lovers, this scenic resort is where you can swim with the 1.5-metre jack fish and get up close to an array of unique marine species in Miniloc's own reef. There are also lagoons and dive sites to discover, plus a spa and a range of wonderful dining options – from beach picnics and private dinners to fuss-free meals at the Clubhouse Restaurant and sundowners at the Beach Bar.
After experiencing it all, return to your own cosy cliff, garden, beachside or water cottage. Sure to impress romantics, the latter is built on stilts, right beside Miniloc's majestic limestone cliffs. Inspired by traditional architecture and furnished with indigenous Filipino materials (think wooden floors and walls covered in woven bamboo slats), each private hideaway is blessed with spectacular views.
Images sourced via
www.aman.com/resorts/amanpulo, www.thefarmatsanbenito.com/, www.eskayaresort.com/ and www.elnidoresorts.com/miniloc-island/
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