Paradise in the heart of the far east
With so many beautiful islands in the Philippine archipelago, numerous beach property developments, both private and commercial, have sprouted especially in Coron and Palawan islands.
Pristine bone-white beaches, unbelievably turquoise waters, rich marine life, World War II shipwrecks and jade-colored lakes hemmed in by karst limestone hills make Coron one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Often referred to as the country’s Last Frontier, it is located at the upper region of Palawan, 595 kilometers from Metro Manila.
In a cluster of islands boasting diverse terrain, secret lagoons and hidden beaches, several unique resorts have made Coron their playground, catering to more foreign tourists than locals. Respecting nature’s guidelines, well designed resorts enhance the island’s pristine beachfront and tropical landscape.
With the calm seas during the summer, I find the best way to travel is by Air Juan Philippines with their seaplanes landing right in front of the island resort. Visit www.airjuan.com for bookings.
Coron is an excellent destination for family vacationers, hardcore backpackers, beach lovers, and adventurous divers. Accommodations range from backpacker-friendly to sky’s-the-limit rates.
Alternatively, one can also stay at the town of Busuanga where a handful of mid-range to luxury resorts are located and has its own set of island hopping tours.
Some of my favorite resorts are Busuanga Bay Lodge, Club Paradise, Huma Island Resort and Spa, and Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa.
On top of that list is Ariara Island, a private island resort secretly hidden in an untouched corner of Coron. Check out www.ariaraisland.com for details.
Ariara is the ultimate “off the beaten track” destination.
This private property would allow one the exclusive use of the whole island, managed and serviced by the owner’s personal staff. Voted No. 1 Most Fashionable Place to Stay in the World by British Vogue, Ariara Island landed the top spot among the 100 Best Holidays list.
The breathtaking 50 ha island has a 300-meter wooden dock for easy access for guests disembarking from yachts and boats. This dock has an integrated lounge area where the flooring is covered with sand.
Also, access to the water is possible to feed baby sharks that are frequently seen in the water.
Along the entire stretch of the beach is a rich and diverse marine life that is incredibly beautiful and visible by snorkeling thanks to the clear waters.
The resort’s Island Manager Florian Mueller from Germany is also a certified PADI Dive Instructor and has a vast amount of experience of local marine life.
The main house has a spacious and cozy living area just behind the infinity pool.
Adjacent to this is the main dining room that sits 20 guests, the maximum capacity of the island. These two areas are where the WiFi is strongest.
Additionally, each villa is provided a mobile phone to make all on-island calls between members of your party and to contact staff as needed.
There are four kinds of villas—the Lodge Suite, Jungle Villa, Beach Cottage, and North Beach Villa. The beach cottages can accommodate up to four guests so it’s perfect for kids and young teenagers.
All suites have roomy bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers.
Designed to capture the island’s beauty, all rooms have spectacular ocean views and incredible sunset viewing. Just outside the cottages, giant lizards walk back to the jungle from the beach after being fed by the staff every morning.
The resort-chic interiors of the bedrooms are highlighted with Filipino touches of woven fabrics, seashells and capiz. Architect George Yulo made sure the essence of Filipino resort luxe is carried through the design.
With all the elements of great design, form and function present as well as exceptional service and attention to detail, Ariara Island is truly the most beautiful paradise in the heart of the Far East.
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