The last thing anyone would want this summer is to be stuck in Manila. Where we really need to be is on top of a surfboard riding thrilling waves, sprawled out on the beach getting our tan on, or trekking through a mountain to see some majestic waterfalls. Summer is the season for adventure and there’s no way we’re getting left behind!
That said, have you booked your hotel accommodations yet? If you’ve forgotten to include this in your to-do list, we’re here to help! We’ve rounded up 2015’s ten best Philippine hotels outside of Metro Manila, all with the approval seal of looloo reviewers. So whether you’re heading to Cebu, Boracay, or La Union for your summer escapade, you’ve got a great hotel to hole up in at the end of the day!
10. Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa
With its powdery white sands, inviting waters, and impressive selection of restaurants, Boracay will always be at the top of tourists’ must-visit places. But within this paradise is another paradise and it’s called Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa! Located right along Station 1, this hotel offers an amazing view of the beach as well as a collection of deluxe rooms and suites.
Like a straight up VIP, you’ll be whisked away from Caticlan on a private speed boat which will take you straight to the resort. Upon your arrival, you’ll experience nothing else but the excellent service Shangri-La is known for.
+63 36 5574874
9. Misibis Bay
Albay is where the adventurous need to be. Riding ATVs around the terrain, Hobie Cat sailing on the beach, and gawking over the perfectly symmetrical Mayon Volcano are just some of the things you can do in this province! But after all the action, you’re bound to get extremely tired so make sure you get some rest in the best resort in the area!
Take your pick from Misibis Bay’s 53 garden view rooms and 37 Asian-inspired villas (these come with huge terraces furnished with a daybed!) Once you’re booked, don’t forget to take advantage of their spa, pool, and fitness and activity centers too!
8. The Manor at Camp John Hay
Have you ever fantasized about leaving the messy city life behind and finding peace in a cabin hidden somewhere in the woods? The Manor at Camp John Hay is the hideout you’ve been looking for! In here, you’ll wake up to the fresh scent of pine trees wafting in the air, fog hovering over you like a cozy blanket, and a nice warm fire crackling at the lobby. Its magical charm will have you feeling glad you made the trip to Baguio!
In this mountain resort, you’ll be treated to the finer things in life. At the Manor Health Spa, you can get a massage or take a dip in the jacuzzi. While you can get all zen over at the Yoga Area. When you get hungry, treat yourself to Chef Billy King’s cooking at Le Chef.
7. Balesin Island Resort Club
If there’s one thing we all want to avoid during the summer, it’s crowded beaches. But it’s nearly impossible to dodge the masses because everyone wants a spot on the sand… unless you’re willing to make the trip to Balesin Island! In this members-only resort club, you can enjoy exclusive access to its beach, villas, restaurants, and amenities!
One of the most noteworthy things about Balesin is the creativity they’ve put into their villages, each one made to represent a different country. There’s the Balesin Village (Filipino), Costa Del Sol Village (Spanish), Mykonos Village (Greek), St. Tropez Village (French), Bali Village (Thai), and Toscana Village (Italian).
+63 2 998 9521
6. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa
You know your summer getaway has officially begun when it’s fresh sea breeze you’re inhaling instead of smoke from tambuchos. This is exactly what you’re going to get at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa and so much more. Aside from its proximity to the beach, you get to stay within the comforts of their swanky rooms during your down time and enjoy their high-end facilities when you want an alternative to the beach.
One of their most unique attractions is the Marine Sanctuary–go on a snorkeling tour and encounter different species of fish, clams, and corals!
+63 32 231 0288
5. Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
Mövenpick is another reason you need to fly out to Cebu this summer. In this Mediterranean-inspired beachfront hotel, it’ll feel like you’re basking under the Ibizan sun with your cares long forgotten. It’s got 245 rooms and suites to accommodate guests, restaurants to satiate all types of cravings, and a health club so you don’t feel too guilty about all the Cebuano food you’ve been eating.
But the most important thing you can’t miss out on while you’re at Mövenpick is their ice creams! They’re made only from natural ingredients and come in delectable variants like Swiss Chocolate, Carmelita, and Pistachio. Since you’re on holiday anyway, allow yourself a scoop of each flavor!
+63 32 492 7777
4. Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Samal is an exotic destination in Davao abundant in coconut trees, rock formations, mangroves, and marine life. And nestled amid this island’s natural bounty is the Pearl Farm Beach Resort! What used to be an actual pearl farm where oysters from the Sulu Sea were cultivated is now a lavish private retreat for visitors who want the perfect tropical holiday.
Its rooms, suites, and cottages are either propped up on stilts or perched on hilltops, giving guests a scenic view of the sun, sand, and sea. For extra exclusivity, you can also book their Malipano Villas that are built across the resort.
Pearl Farm Beach Resort can be found at Kaputian Beach, Samal, Davao del Norte.
Samal, Davao del Norte
+63 82 235 1234 to 36
3. Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
Say hello to the most hipster and Instagrammable place in La Union! Flotsam and Jetsam is a colorful and lively hostel where surfers, photographers, musicians, and artists come to hang out. With its communal areas, you’re encouraged to interact with the other guests–you can play the guitar, sing along with crowd, watch movies by the beach, or lay under the stars. An experience that’s one for the books!
There are three types of accommodations here. The Shophouse Dorms have eight wide beds and a shared restroom while the Kubo Dorms have eight smaller beds and a shared restroom. If you want a little bit more privacy, there’s the Sea Suite which gives you a queen bed, a living room, and a private bathroom. The hostel also offers surfing lessons and tours to Tangadan Falls!
2. Costa Pacifica
After a hard day’s work of surfing (or face planting on the water), there’s nothing more rewarding than a scrumptious meal and a luxurious bed. And fortunately for the tired and ravenous surfers of Sabang Beach, Costa Pacifica has both! This high end hotel stands out from the simplicity of the province, making it one of the most lush places to spend your Baler getaway in.
They have 106 rooms and suites as well as 28 sub-room categories to choose from. But whichever one you end up booking, you’ll have access to their outdoor pools (perfect for those who aren’t fans of salt water) and the Beach House, their restaurant that cooks up delicious local and international dishes. They also have their own surf shop called Charlie Does where you can learn how to ride Baler’s gnarly waves!
1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Take a stroll through Las Casas’ sprawling property and you’ll find its streets lined with picturesque ancestral houses. But here’s the mind-blowing part: these structures were brought in from different parts of the Philippines!
Owner Jerry Acuzar started his hobby of finding and collecting Spanish mansions in 2003, dismantling every house piece by piece, transporting them to Bagac, putting them back together, and then restoring them. His houses come all the way from places like Pampanga, Tondo, Ilocos, La Union, Bulacan, and Quiapo, and they each have an interesting story to tell. The whole place is a treasure trove for history buffs!
Book a room in this heritage site-cum-beach resort to learn a few things about Philippine history and get some relaxation in at the same time. Word is, they’re building a tranvia system that will make it a lot easier for guests to explore its four hundred hectares of land!