Amanpulo, Visayas Islands among the best of Conde Nast

Niña Terol
Amanpulo Resort in Palawan and the Visayas Islands are among the top picks in Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards 2013

AMANPULO. Paradise in the Sulu Sea. Screen shot from

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MANILA, Philippines – Amanpulo, the ultra-exclusive resort located in Pamalican Island in the Sulu Sea, has once again made it to Condé Nast Traveller’s list of Top 100 resorts, hotels and spas in the Readers’ Travel Awards 2013

The resort was cited among the Top 20 in the Asia & India category, with a numeric rating of 77.88 over 100.

Amanpulo is the only Philippine resort to make it to this year’s Top 100.

According to Condé Nast Traveller, “[Readers] were asked to rate [their] choices according to various criteria, such as service, culture and value for money. From [the] responses, we calculated the average mark on each criterion, and used this to provide the overall satisfaction percentage figure…”

Condé Nast Traveller is one of the world’s leading travel publications, known for its independence and integrity in reviewing travel and hospitality establishments. The poll for the 2013 Readers’ Travel Awards was participated in by 80,000 jetsetters, who cumulatively cast over 1.3 million votes.

Island of peace

PRIVATE PARADISE. The author while in Amanpulo, reading a book in a hammock between the casita and a private beachfront. Photo by Lisa Cruz

Named after the Sanskrit word aman (“peace”) and the Filipino word sulo (“island”), Amanpulo is among the Philippines’ most exclusive resorts and is known to be a hideaway for the rich and famous, including Hollywood celebrities.

Nestled within 89 hectares of lush greenery in Pamalican Island, among the Cuyo Islands between the provinces of Palawan and Panay, Amanpulo has around only 40 beachside, hillside and treetop casitas — each tucked within lush, tropical foliage and designed with the Filipino bahay kubo (nipa hut) as inspiration.

The resort’s design ensures the privacy of its high-flying guests. Here, one moves around via golf carts, and guests are prohibited from taking photos of those outside of their party.

A wide range of activities are available for guests to enjoy, including kayaking, diving, water sports, yoga, spa services and even “detox retreats.” Staff have also shared stories of some memorable wedding proposals that have taken place at the resort with their assistance.

According to the Amanpulo website, the resort has been winning awards since 2007.

‘Cebu and Visayan Islands’ among Top 5 in Asia

Another set of awards in Condé Nast Traveller’s roster is the Readers’ Choice Awards for Top 5 Islands in Asia. Here, “Cebu and Visayan Islands” ranked in the Top 3, garnering a Readers’ Choice Rating of 80.4 over 100. “Friendliness” was rated at 88.8, “scenery” at 86.0 and “beaches” at 83.5.

One reader was quoted as saying, “In all my years of traveling, Cebu is my No. 1 choice!” Another one said, “It is probably the best island city on the universe.”

At a time when Cebu is still reeling from the devastation wrought by the recent Central Visayas earthquake, this is certainly welcome news. One can only hope that the support of friends and fans from all over the world will be enough to help get Cebu and its world-famous tourist spots back on their feet. –

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