After 10 years in the making, Banwa Private Island has made its debut in the Northern Palawan region of the Philippines. The 15-acre private island, which has been on our radar for some time, comprises six beachfront villas, 12 garden rooms and one residential 360-degree suite located at the highest point on the island, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi deck.
Note: The property is only available for exclusive use. The price tag? $100,000 per night.
The Banwa Private Island experience starts with a 50-minute private jet transfer from Manila to Palawan, followed by a 10-minute helicopter transfer. (Both direct seaplane or helicopter transfers are available from Manila, too.) Once on the island, guests can enjoy unlimited treatments in the massage suite, play tennis, practice their golf on the short-game course or simply relax on the beach. Other activities include beach volleyball, table-tennis, pool and soccer; there’s also a fitness center and Pilates studio.
For those wanting to explore the island, guests can opt to visit some impressive sites, such as the Underground River near Puerto Princesa (one of UNESCO’s New Seven Wonders of Nature), the mangrove-lined shores of the Barbacan River or the reefs of Araceli, which are home to many animal and fish species.
The resort also has a boat fleet and water sports equipment. Guests can enjoy numerous excursions aboard the island’s limousine tender, a Wajer 38, or they can head to remote islands and spend a couple of nights onboard the Lagoon 630 Catamaran yacht. Tip: Banwa’s dive team can take guests to the world-renowned Tubbataha Reef and a host of other dive sites.
Banwa guests also have access to a nutritionist to customize their trip and organize a program for after they’ve left. Head chef Nadedja Bouacha is a former private chef and nutritionist to the Qatar Royal Family, who has also been formally trained in wellness and nutrition. Good to know: All activities and dining are included with the rate, with the exception of one of the elite wine lists.
The resort says it is committed to preserving and protecting the nature and biodiversity of the Philippines. They have been working in conjunction with The Aquos Foundation, Banwa’s sister company, to support with research, education and special projects, such as reef regeneration initiatives and the implementation of controlled fishing zones to protect fish stocks. Meanwhile, on-island, there is an organic farm and other eco-based initiatives, including two wells providing fresh spring water.