The Luxe List 2009, Philippines: Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay

It was a long time coming, but the Shangri-La finally opened the doors to its 219 villas in June. The wait was worth it. Other than for diving and golfing excursions (the property neighbors the Graham Marsh-designed Fairways & Bluewater course), there really is no reason to leave the leafy grounds. Forget the madding crowds of White Beach and relax on the resort’s private crescent of sand; unwind at the 6,000-square-meter spa; and enjoy everything from beachside seafood grills to haute-Italian cuisine at the seven restaurants and bars. Of all the accommodations, the Tree House Villas stand out for their outdoor Jacuzzis and wraparound patios (Barangay Yapak; 63-36/288-4988;; doubles from US$392).

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