An hour’s flight in a turboprop from Manila followed by 25-minute boat ride across karst-studded waters brings you to the newest—and most luxurious—of El Nido Resorts’ Bacuit Bay hideaways. Arrayed between lush rain forest and a sweep of sugar-white sand, the island’s 42 thatch-roofed villas (some with plunge pools) are designed in a contemporary Filipino style, with sumptuous interiors done up in neutral tones and locally sourced materials such as acacia wood; they also offer easy access to the bay’s coral-rich waters, which you can explore by kayak or on outings with Pangulasian’s top-notch dive center (there are more than 20 dive sites in the area). Should guests wish to venture farther afield, sister properties Miniloc Island and Lagen Island are a short speedboat ride away, as are natural attractions such as the vast limestone cavern of Cathedral Cave. But there’s plenty to keep you busy on Pangulasian, whether it’s dining on tropical fruits and fresh salads from the resort’s organic gardens, sampling a traditional hilot massage at the spa, hiking the island’s nature trail, or just soaking up the ravishing views from your balcony.
63-2/813-0000; Pangulasian Island website; doubles from US$681
See more from The Luxe List 2013