Palawan island No. 1 getaway spot in the world


BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION Ariara island boasts of 600 meters of soft, white sand, one of the reasons it topped the British edition of Vogue Magazine’s 100 best holiday destinations in the world. PHOTO FROM WWW.ARIARAISLAND.COM

The fun in the Philippines is definitely starting to pick up with a private getaway island in Palawan province taking the top spot in the British edition of Vogue Magazine’s 100 best holiday destinations in the world.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday announced that the magazine, which named Ariara Island—a 103-hectare “private paradise” snuggled among the untouched Calamian Islands—as the world’s No. 1 getaway spot, will hit the stands in August.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said Philippine tourism would surely benefit from the worldwide recognition.

“What is remarkable is that the entire resort is a testament to the unique artistry and skills of Filipino designers and artisans,” Jimenez said.

“The use of local materials and traditional techniques serves as good advertising for Filipino craftsmanship and world-class products,” he added.

“Tourism is not just about counting tourist arrivals … more importantly, it is about building opportunities on the ground and improving lives, in communities, in very real places.”

The resort is owned by British property developer Charles McCulloch and his wife, Carrie.

The United Kingdom remains to be one of the Philippines’ biggest tourism markets, registering over 104,400 tourist arrivals last year, which the DOT noted was a record.

Ultimate destination

Ariara Island’s eco-friendly structures, its luxurious and spacious villas and cottages, were designed by renowned Filipino architect Jorge Yulo.

Every piece of furniture that adorns these structures was handcrafted and upholstered by local carpenters. Some had also been  outsourced to Filipino artisans.

The DOT said the resort’s wooden baths employed traditional boat-building techniques, while marble baths were hand-carved from single blocks of Romblon marble.

Cushions were crafted from Mindanao’s vivid tribal fabrics and its wall accents featured heliographs and ceramics created by Filipino artist Ugu Bigyan.

The tropical island resort has been described as “the ultimate off-the-beaten-track destination,” which offers guests—a group of up to 18 people—an all-inclusive package of exclusivity, relaxation, 24-hour service, excellent cuisine and a wide array of amenities.

For $295 (P12,000) a night per person, guests can relax in its posh villas and cottages and enjoy an unbroken view of the neighboring islands and the clear blue waters of Palawan.

Guests will be made to feel like royalty even in the bedroom, which is adorned with a private terrace and a garden, hanging chairs and hammocks, a four-poster bed, a walk-in closet, a large bathroom and an open-air shower.

Out in the sea, they can enjoy jet-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, snorkeling or scuba diving to discover Calamian Islands’ rich diversity of marine life.

Intensified promotions

Lucky visitors may even spot some of the world’s endangered species of sea turtles such as Hawksbill, leatherback, Olive Ridley and green turtles crawling along Ariara’s main beach to lay  eggs.

Guests who are avid bird watchers may turn to the island’s unspoiled forest for relaxation. It is home to eagles, owls, kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets and flower peckers, among other bird species.

“The resort’s properly planned development and low density show the owners’ respect for the environment,” Jimenez noted.

“We want to see more of this type of investment which supports the principles of responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism,” he added.

From January to May this year alone, British tourist arrivals continued to grow, yielding 50,347 arrivals. This was “one notch higher” from its previous 10th place, according to the DOT.

It also said that British tourist arrivals were expected to improve with the ongoing promotional efforts in the United Kingdom via London cabs, double-decker buses and posters mounted in strategic places in time for the Queen’s recent diamond jubilee and the 2012 Olympics.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Tony Deb

    “The United Kingdom remains to be one of the Philippines’ biggest tourism markets” is g

  • Tony Deb

    “The United Kingdom remains to be one of the Philippines’ biggest tourism markets” is grammatically wrong. It should be “The United Kingdom remains one of the Philippines….”. “Remains to be…” can only used in conjunction with a verb, e.g. “remains to be seen…” Inquirer editors should be more careful.

    • Aga

      can only BE used.

  • kismaytami

    The place looks good. But the price is ridiculous. The British owner should be investigated, normally, these foreigners marry gullible Filipinas so that they could get away with the law banning ownership of lands by foreigners.

    • mark_john21

      Sobra ka naman. ganon din naman ang mga Pinoy sa ibang bansa. Nag-aasawa ng banyaga para makakuha ng citizenship. 

  • Bong

    sad to know that it’s owned by a porengher… ganda na sana.

  • Edmund

    O yeah, for foreigners…pweeee….

  • jasper belenzo

    Baket privately foreigner ang may ari nito? Hindi pwede yun unless may asawang Pilipino yung foreigner. This should be investigated.

  • AFPako

    What the f  k , of course its now rank no 1 bec its own by a limey Brit. Its advertising , the magazine is British so the brit resort owner naturally paid for it to be published. 
    Nasa dugo ng British ay explorer sila at mahilig mag angkun . What good are the British as they controlled one third of the world during its heydays as British Empire. Maraming islas na nakaw nila like the Caribbean islands, and even to this day the Ascension Island in the Azores, Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean, Falksland Island s in South America and many more.

    • ceegonzaga

      And you’re not happy about that?

    • Martin Smith

      What have the British ever done for us? Stable government, low levels of corruption, improvements in women’s rights, built railways, roads, improved trade, as well as introducing humour . Compare Philippines with Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong.
      Yes, apart from ALL those things, what have the British ever done for US?

  • Bong, Leigh, Mel

    ang ganda ganda na ng Balita sang katerbang puna naman galing sa mga Filipino. Angal, puna, paninita, paninira,… bakita ba ang daming taong ganito? Ok lang yung grammar check at least yun natuto ako at naitama yung dapat itama… 

  • Bong, Leigh, Mel

    kung makapuna at maka angal akala mo ang daming naiambag sa turismo ng Pilipinas. Akala mo Sya na ang magaling sa turismo.. sos!

  • muddygoose

    Natatawa ako sa mga Pilipino na nag-ngingitngit dahil foreigner ang may-ari ng resort na ito. Sa tingin nyo ba sa kamay ng Pilipino maalagaan yan? 

    Silip dali sa may breakwater ng Manila Bay. Anong makikita mo? Hindi dagat kundi daga, ipis, at basura. Napakalaking kasalanan sa ating mahal na bayan na pinabayaan nating mangyari ito. Sana magbago na tayo. Lahat tayo may pananagutan dito. 

    • Akocjuan

      wag na kayong mag away dahil lang dyan, di bale brit atleast sya nagbabayad ng buwis, mga ilang buwan pa mga tol, komunistang tsina na ang magmamayari dyan kung magbibinakla pa rin mga pulitiko at mga generals natin. aangkinin ng tsina ang pinas unti unti hanggat tayo ay walang ginagawa kontra sa kanila.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94