Six years have passed since my last visit to my mother’s hometown in the Philippines.
The Amanpulo Resort radiates an aura of exclusivity and is only accessible by private aircraft. The noise from the outside world is completely muted within its walls, creating a cocoon of peaceful solitude. The trip from Amanpulo’s private lounge and hangar in Manila to the island’s secluded airstrip unfolds over just over an hour. Upon arrival on the island’s shores, an extensive expanse of coral sand beaches stretching over five kilometres adorns the lush landscape, embraced by a jungle-filled heart.
A rhythmic ebb and flow of seven kilometres of coral reef encircle the 85-hectare refuge, a serene sanctuary where a myriad of colourful fish and calm sea turtles harmonise with one’s leisurely aquatic dreams. Amanpulo’s casitas and villas, an architectural symphony envisioned by renowned Filipino architect Francisco Mañosa, either perch gracefully on the hillside or fully embrace the shoreline. Their design is an homage of traditional Filipino homes, featuring vaulted wooden walls, elegant stone accents, and large Cebu marble sanctuaries.
For those whose appreciation of the world’s beauty can’t be satisfied by mere observation from the private al fresco terrace, a slew of water-front options await, such as the effervescent poolside clubhouse, the splendid Aman Spa, a maritime haven for the discerning diver and the relaxed sanctuary of the beach. The fitness retreat is a highlight, as are sailing in azure water, fishing, and learning the rhythms of tennis.
Glistening like an ethereal masterpiece, the resort evokes thoughts of a painting from a treasure trove labeled “Tropical Dreamscape”, unfolding as a fusion of cerulean oceans, powdery strands of shoreline and a rhythmic sway of palm fronds. The resort was meticulously crafted to showcase the island’s pristine wilderness, orchestrating a symphony of harmony where the sleek structures, polished and poised, seamlessly meld with their untamed backdrop. These retreats, scattered like stars, are so well-spaced that, even with a large group of guests in attendance, they still give the impression of being on an island.
Pamalican, the small island nestled between the Cuyo and Sulu Seas, is the perfect example of Amanpulo’s paradise. Though it appears secluded from civilisation, a twice-daily connection between the resort’s private 15-seater aircraft and the bustling heart of Manila bridges them in just over an hour. From the moment one steps onto the resort’s private airstrip, a fragrant garland of blooms and a refreshing touch of linen offer a warm welcome, all provided by a personal assistant. The personal assistant is a guide who arranges activities, weaves dinner plans, and attends to all other desires during your stay. As expected from an Aman retreat, the nearly 400-strong staff echo this commitment to service, often exuding a proactive ethos coupled with an uncanny familiarity with each guest’s name and preferences.
A tableau of choices unfolds in this oasis, each more charming than the previous. Tennis courts await the sporty and adventurous while waterborne activities are a great way to have fun. A hilltop yoga sanctuary with panoramic views invites those who are looking for peace and tranquility. The Club House Pool and the lounges at the Beach Club are also spacious areas where you can relax like a ballad.
Pamalican is the Philippines’ most dazzling gem. It glistens with lavish splendour. Amanpulo – a revered jewel, according to Filipino legends – reveals nearly four miles sand with a powdery sugar-like texture, a pristine color that defies conventional description, and an emerald lagoon which resembles a tranquil pool most of the time. Amanpulo, a jewel according to local Filipino tales, reveals nearly four miles of sand of powdered sugar-like softness, a pristine hue defying conventional description, and crystalline lagoon mirroring the tranquil calmness of a serene pool for much of the year.
Time follows one’s preferences, a symphony of possibilities. Diving entices, sea turtles glide through the ballet of snorkeling, fishing expeditions encourage communion with the depths and sails unfurl to meet the horizon’s edge. Amidst all of this excitement, an adventure in a nearby village or via seaplane to a South Sea paradise awaits. In the quest for sustenance, guests are able to harvest organic ingredients and curate elements that reflect their inner essence.
Visit www.aman.com to discover more!
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