Amanpulo is a resort on the private island of Pamalican in the Philippines. There are three ways to get there:
- Private plane arranged through the resort (which is what we did)
- Your own private plane (the runway cannot accommodate jets) or helicopter
- Your own boat/yacht
Getting there – The resort’s plane, a twin engine turboprop with 15 seats (Dornier 228), departs from the A. Soriano Hangar at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Upon arrival, all your bags are taken directly to the plane (there is storage on site for large bags as you will likely just bring a carry-on). Check in is a breeze, which basically consists of you giving your name, and then being weighed with your carry on (weights and balance are important on small planes).
After check in you go have a seat in the lounge where you are offered something to drink and pastries. Once you board the plane, at your seat there is water, ear plugs, some info about the island, and a blanket. The flight is about one hour. Here is a video of the landing:
Upon arrival you are greeted by various staff. We stayed in a four bedroom villa and our butler was on hand to greet us and give us a quick tour of the island. All guests are given golf carts for their exclusive use while on the island.
Needless to say, my first impression of the island, was that it was beautiful. Amazing crystal blue water and white sand beach. Also, I believe the capacity of the entire island is 150 guests, so it is possible that you may never see another guest if that is what you want!
After the island tour, we were shown to our villa where we were greeted by the villa staff: a chef, the butler’s assistant, a housekeeper, and ground maintenance. These people are exclusive to each villa and will serve you for the entire stay.
Next, we were given a tour of the actual villa.
…and here are some images of one of the rooms. The rooms are more like separate suites all surrounding the main living areas. Each room has its own bathroom.
Everything in the villa is centered around outside living. There are beds to sleep outside, a swing chair, infinity pool, many areas to sit and relax, an outside shower, a dining table and beach access. The beach is literally 10 meters from the pool at most. All of it is private – for the exclusive use of the villa. You can also play music outside via Bluetooth.
Here is the view of the sunset from the beachfront of our villa.
One of my main concerns about visiting this resort, was that we were going to get “resort food”. Here were my first three meals.
For breakfast, I requested an assortment of Filipino items traditionally eaten for breakfast including: tocino (so good that I requested this almost everyday), bangus (milk fish), beef, and longanisa (sausages – these ones were garlic versus the sweet kind I prefer, but still good).
For lunch, I had a burger, which the chef informed me was wagyu from Australia. I was not asked for the serving temperature, but the burgers came out medium to medium-rare, and at this point, I knew that the chef knew what he was doing and we were not going to get crappy “resort food”. Time to relax!
For dinner, we went to the resort’s Japanese restaurant Nama. I was worried that the food would be overpriced “resort” type Japanese food, but I was pleasantly surprised. For a remote resort, on an island in the Philippines, the food was very good. The fish was delicious (especially the otoro and chutoro – but these are pretty hard to mess up, and the uni), and most importantly, the sushi rice was good (not outstanding, but good)! The other hot dishes were good also.
Today started with a nice Filipino breakfast followed by snorkeling. It was great to be out on the water, where I was able to see the true beauty of the island and the surroundings.
Upon return to the villa, lunch was ready. Today I requested kare kare. Needless to say, it was perfect. For dessert – ube ice cream – which they make in house. The ice cream was not too creamy and not too sweet, with just the right amount of ube flavor. I would eat this multiple times during my stay.
The day ended with what was probably my most anticipated event – the beach bbq I had requested. When I was arranging the trip, they emailed me pictures of what they could set up. They did not disappoint.
It started with sunset cocktails in a lounge area they had set up, and then proceeded to dinner in the most spectacular setting! I finished off the evening with a nice Montecristo.
To be continued…………………