Palawan Island, Philippines
Amanpulo is set on its own private island: Pamalican
is among the Quiniluban group, which makes up the northern half
of the Cuyo Islands. The southern half is called the Cuyo group.
Pamalican is one of the nearly 1,800 islands in the province of
Palawan. The largest province in the Philippines, Palawan is about
600 kilometers south and southwest of Manila. Pamalican is a low-lying
coralline island covered with a sandy jungle of scrub and thorn-bush
thickets. At its widest point, the 5.5-kilometer island is only
500 meters across.
The resort's 40 casitas, 65-square-meter
bungalows in hillside and beachside settings, are modeled after
the Philippine bahay kubo (native hut). Inside, decorative
details reflect the islands: pebble-washed walls; coconut-shell
and seashell tables; rustic Palawan rice and knife baskets; a
king-size bed with a rattan headboard; sliding glass doors that
reveal outdoor decks and his-and-her divans. Nearly half the space
in a casita is given over to a Cebu marble bathroom, with twin
vanities, separate changing areas, a shower and an elegant bathtub
lit by twin wood windows.
Amanpulo's 29 beach casitas come with a private
path that leads through a tangle of bush directly onto a white-sand
beach. Four treetop casitas climb with the palm trees above the
island. Of the seven hillside casitas, two offer especially fine
views: sunrise and sunset are visible from casita #39; from the
250-liter, marble bathtub in #40, take in the beach and watch
the sun set into the Sulu Sea. The casitas are linked to the resort's
facilities by sidewalk-size roads. Guests get around on open-sided,
gasoline powered carts, one to each casita.
Amanpulo also has its own private holiday villa
for rent. Casa Kalikasan is a luxurious, four-bedroom residence
located just a few meters from the sea. The 4,140-meter compound
counts nine separate salas, including a lounge, a dining
pavilion, a fully equipped kitchen and a beach pavilion, all designed
around a grass courtyard. Villa guests have access to all Amanpulo
facilities and services. Three staff, permanently assigned to
the villa, look after guest needs.
Facilities and Services
Amanpulo's central building is the light-filled
Clubhouse, where guests are received. The resort lounge and most
of its public facilities are located here.
Restaurant and Bar
The Restaurant, located in a wing at one end
of the Clubhouse, spills out onto a terrace, with views to Manamoc
Island across the channel. There's also a regular lechon
(roasted pig) barbeque at the Picnic Grove (weather permitting),
with its purpose-built barbeque pit and tandoori oven. The Beach
Pavilion offers light meals and refreshments. Enjoy the views
from the Clubhouse Bar or take your drinks outside onto the terrace.
Private dining is available day and night.
Amanpulo's 30-meter swimming pool is bordered
by neem trees and two trellises that spill over with boungainvillea.
Large, open-air salas are arranged on expansive green behind the
pool. The salas come with larger-than-king-size mattresses for
all-day, poolside lounging. The pool's aqua tiles mimic the Sulu
Sea's reef waters.
Stone steps lead down from the pool to the sand
beach and Amanpulo's own Beach Pavilion. Sunlight and shadow rake
the open-air Beach Pavilion, a tranquil escape. Half-a-dozen,
sand-white mattresses with matching pillows are spread out on
the deck, facing the sea. Rattan stools line the Beach Pavilion
Bar, and beach umbrellas set in stone tables are coupled with
reclining beach chairs.
The plank-floored library is stocked with novels
in several languages, children's books, travel guides, magazines
and coffee-table books on Philippine art, design and culture.
Laser-discs and CDs are also available.
Gallery and Boutique
Amanpulo's two shops specialize in craft from
the Palawan region, and are stocked with island beach wear, woven
rugs and baskets, jewelry, pottery and other items.
Massage and Beauty Services
The two resident masseuses combine Swedish reflexology
with shiatsu massage and offer a range of aromatherapy treatments
in the privacy of your casita. Manicures, pedicures, hairstyling,
facials and body treatments are also available.
A smartly designed children's playground , with
swings, slides, basketball stands, equipment and picnic tables,
is located in the sand near the Picnic Grove.
Small meetings can be arranged in one of the
Clubhouse rooms. Audiovisual equipment is available on request.
A resident nurse is available day and night.
The island's 1.2-kilometer runway is lit for
night landing and manned by Amanpulo's air-traffic controllers.
Two flood-lit tennis courts are located just
behind the Clubhouse, with rest salas for drinks and light meals.
Balls, rackets and playing partners are available, free of charge.
Study the planets from the terrace of the Clubhouse
Bar. Here, Amanpulo puts out two 850x90 mm astronomical refractor
telescopes. Twice a week, trained staff are happy to guide you
into the heavens.
A walk around the island's sand beach will take
about two hours. There are also a number of bush paths and two
modest hills to explore. At low tide, baby sharks chasing bait
fish are sometimes seen in the shallows at Pamalican's southern
end. Turtles nest annuallyon the island. Starlings and kingfishers,
black-naped orioles, sea eagles, egrets and two dozen more species
make their seasonal home on Pamalican and its surrounding shores.
Detailed information is available in the library. Amanpulo's own
island bird postcards are provided nightly during turn-down service.
Mornings, the tropical fish take their breakfast
by the Beach Pavilion shore; late in the afternoon, follow the
colorful parade from the deck of one of Amanpulo's pontoon boats.
Bring your snorkeling equipment for a close-up look. Throughout
the day, the fish can ofter be hand-fed in knee-deep water by
the Beach Pavilion.
Picnic lunches can be organized in the Picnic
Grove or any of a number of island hideaways. Picnic baskets may
also be delivered to your casita.
Along with mountain bikes, children's bikes
are also available on request.
Water Sports Activities
The brilliant-blue waters of the Sulu Sea are
superb cruising grounds. Amanpulo keeps a variety of boats for
island hopping, deep-sea fishing and lazy-day sailing. The Hobie
Sports 21, a twin-hulled cruiser, is made for fun, and guests
get a 30-minute, complimentary ride during their stay. Amanpulo
also maintains a smaller catamaran (a Hobie 16), as well as two
Lasers and a fast-planing, fiberglass ski boat. Sailing lessons
are available. Dolphin I, Amanpulo's 31-foot fiberglass
Gulf Craft, handles everything but the longest charters. A later
version, Dolphin II, is three feet longer and equipped
with a Yamaha 200hsp twin engine. Dolphin II can take up
to 10 guests on half-day and full-day charters. Rounding out the
fleet are two spacious pontoon boats - double-decker party boats
for snorkeling and sunbathing, as well as sunset cruises and cocktails.
Amanpulo is a magnet for beginners as well as
experienced windsurfers. The island's sand-bottom blue lagoon,
located on the windward side, makes for world-class board sailing
from December through April. During this period, the northeast
trade winds blow, on average, about 20 knots an hour. A Neil Pryde
test center, Amanpulo is able to provide top-of-the-line equipment,
from 3.6-meter wave sails to 6.5-meter V6 slalom sails, along
witha variety of slalom boards and rigs. Amanpulo's Windsurf Hut
is located under a canopy of trees just back of Pamalican's east-coast
Bottom fish for snapper and grouper at one of
Amanpulo's favored fishing spots or troll for wahoo, tuna and
mackarel. The resort's 25-foot, center console game boat is equipped
with a five-line spread for game fishing.
Snorkeling and Kayaking
Snorkelers can commandeer one of the Malibu
ocean kayaks. Tie up at one of several buoys and take to the sea
from there. The clam and the pier areas are popular stops; several
scuba diving sites are also accessible to snorkelers.
Aquaventure, Amanpulo's dive company, is a five-star
PADI operation offering courses ranging from introductory to advanced.
For novice divers, Amanpulo is a welcoming retreat, with glassy
seasin front of the Beach Pavilion and a gentle drop-off to deeper
waters. For certified divers, there are a number of fine sites
on both sides of Pamalican, all within easy reach by dive boat.
(Certified divers should bring their C-cards with them; non-certified
divers are advised to bring a medical certificate.)
All equipment is provided by Amanpulo's Dive
Shop. Underwater lights are also available. Divers must be at
least 12 years of age. Programs are subject to availability.