Amanpulo shines as the lone retreat on its own island in the Cuyo Archipelago near Palawan. The private plane transfer onto the island’s own airstrip is an entrance into a new domain of lush beauty and lazy island opulence.

Inspired by the homes of the native bahay kubo—marked by duo roofs and a grand open-plan interior—the Casitas at Amanpulo can be found scattered throughout the sand, perched along the hillside, or tucked away in the serene emerald forest. Whichever peaceful setting is chosen, views over the Sulu Sea or into the lush island jungle are ever at hand, and are best enjoyed from the hammock on the private wooden deck. Inside, the soaring natural timber ceilings, Cebu marble finishes, and pebble-washed walls showcase uniquely-Filipino natural materials with flare. For enhanced seclusion, choose from resplendent four-, two-, and one-bedroom villas, each surrounding a private swimming pool and inclusive of a private chef and butler to tend to every whim.

Taking its name from the Sanskrit word for peace (aman) and the Filipino word for islet (pulo), peace is precisely what is found on this picturesque slice of sand and thicket. At Amanpulo, some seek rejuvenation at the hillside spa, hidden in the trees and ideally situated for a variety of healing therapies, yoga, and meditation in pure quiet. Still others set out into the Sulu Sea to snorkel and dive through the maze of coral reefs just offshore from the resort, finding harmony beneath the waves in the colorful underwater jungle. Bike and hike across the island to spot birds, unique plant life, and the seasonal nesting areas of hawksbill and green sea turtles.

A lively seasonal menu showcases the bounty of the sea and the resort’s organic garden to taste perfection. Fresh seafood selections frequently include crabs, grouper, and lobster, all married with the produce and herbs grown on the island by skilled chefs. From beachside barbecues to a dinner in the hillside spot named Gary’s Nest, all manner of private culinary experiences are within reach. Sip a sundowner at the bamboo-clad floating Kawayan Bar, plan a private picnic in a hidden cave, or simply stay in the suite to share a special meal. Private island luxury and a retreat for the body and soul, an escape to Amanpulo is a must on any Philippines itinerary.