An idyllic hideaway, this Philippine gem is tucked away in a marine reserve, where beautiful coral and colourful fish inhabit the azure tropical waters. The hotel is surrounded by nature, and palm trees rise above the lush landscaped gardens, which lead down to a sun-kissed private beach cove. Though located on a small island, you are also close to the main island’s provincial capital of Cebu, a former Spanish colony rich in history and culture.
Much like the mythical Shangri-La, the well-appointed Chi spa aims to bring you a slice of utopia with its range of natural, botanical products and treatments steeped in Filipino and Asian wellbeing traditions. Full-body massages, movement therapies and meditation are part of a selection of healing processes offered here. Maybe take the Enchanted Journey, which involves an aromatic steam bath or shower, followed by a Mystical Flowing River Massage, then a Face, Scalp and Shoulder Massage.
Perfect for families, the six-hole golf park and 14-hole mini-golf, both on-site, are a great way to relax and spend time outdoors. The resort can also provide an instructor, should you wish to hone your technique or just learn the basics. The 14-hole course isn’t just about sport though, because each hole is a miniature representation of a well-known landmark in the Philippines or Asia.
Built with stylish, modern travellers in mind, yet seeming to blend in with their environment, the rooms and suites here feature a chic design and views across the Mactan Sea and surrounding green sanctuary. Blending contemporary Filipino design with indigenous materials such as banana leaf, rattan and capiz, there’s an air of calm that pervades from the spacious, comfy beds all the way out to the private balconies that provide a cooling breeze.
Two gorgeous pools and a private beach are perfect for lazy days, but the resort is sure to keep you captivated in other ways too. Daily programmes here range from scuba-diving sessions and snorkelling safaris to yoga in the spa. Tennis coaching and circuit training, a cook’s club with chefs, and tours of the native flora and fauna to be found in the 13ha grounds show just how much staff here want you to enjoy your stay. If you’re feeling competitive, you can show off your skills with putting, billiards and table tennis tournaments too.
Sicilian chef Gianfranco Pirrone inspires with his Italian comfort cooking at Acqua, where saffron-spiced prawn risotto or carpaccio slivers of salmon are artfully plated and served in a chic setting. The flavours of the sea, fresh from the market, are brought to your table at Cowrie Cove, an alfresco haven where lights twinkle on the tables as you gaze out to sea on warm nights. Signature dishes from chef Patrick Buttgereit include chilli crab, ceviche and green tea mousse. Enjoy incredible Chinese cuisine at Tea of Spring too; or enjoy the generous international buffet at Tides.
Punta Engano Road,Lapu-Lapu,cebuPhilippines