El Nido, Pangulasian Island
El Nido (pictured above) is a seriously decadent hotel, says Cond Nast Traveller. "The contemporary beachside villas, with the highest thread-count sheets and sleek marble bathrooms, are only steps from the bathwater-warm Bacuit Bay."
It's tempting to "laze all day by the gorgeous grey-stone pool or beachfront bar", but the real reason to visit is the diving. The whole area is a Unesco-protected marine biosphere, so even if you don't dive, visit the nearby islands, "such as Cadlao, where you can swim in lagoons like emerald-tiled pools".
From £400 a night (elnidoresorts.com).
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Two Seasons, Coron
This secluded resort is "environmentally conscious", says Chloe Hamilton in The Independent, but don't let the "desalinated sea water, rain catchers and solar panels" fool you this is a luxury destination.
Each of its 42 bungalows is located either within the tropical gardens or on the beachfront and they have king-sized beds, large bathrooms and private verandas. There's a spa, sauna and Jacuzzis, and the resort also has its own scuba centre, with "some of the best wreck diving in the Philippines".
Doubles from £389 (twoseasonsresorts.com/coron).
If you're looking for luxury in the capital city, stay in Makati, the financial district, says Chris Haslam in The Sunday Times. "It's safe, clean and home to the malls where Filipinos come out to play." Raffles itself "offers comfort and style, and is worth a visit just for the Makati Sling a potent cocktail involving gold flakes and an Angostura foam".
Doubles start from £210 (raffles.com).
Crimson Resort and Spa, Mactan
Infinity pools are a staple of upmarket resorts but Crimson has gone above and beyond with a three-tiered infinity pool. As well as the inevitable spa, the resort also has a private beach, where you can try everything from snorkelling to wakeboarding, says Hamilton. For the best experience, book one of the 40 ocean-facing villas for the extra space, four-poster beds, outdoor private plunge pools and "fabulous views".
Doubles from £96, including breakfast (crimsonhotel.com/mactan).
Ariara Island, Palawan
This private resort is a perfect base for island-hopping on the hotel's 100ft trimaran, says Haslam. There is a chef, personal trainer, diving instructors and a resident yogi.
A week costs £3,300 per person full board, based on a party of 6-8 people (ariaraisland.com).
Dedon Island, Dapa
"No money changes hands in this remote resort everything from food to massages is available on demand," says Hamilton. The nine glass-fronted villas are "tucked amid mangroves and palms". Entertain yourself with a dip in the infinity pool, a cookery lesson with the resort's chef or take advantage of the "legendary surf breaks" nearby.
Doubles from £579 all-inclusive (dedonisland.com).
Amanpulo, Pamalican, Cuyo Islands
"Only accessible by turbo-prop,Amanpulo is a place to fly andflop," says Cond Nast Traveller.The resort "was built in the early1990s, and the vibe is rustic andold-school rather than shinyand modern, with 40 charmingcasitas spread out along theshoreline".
The "incredible" spa is a neweraddition, with "a yoga pavilionfor twisty stretching sessions", aPilates studio, and steam roomswith "ice-cold plunge pools". You may find some novel treatments on offer too they showcase health and beauty practices "indigenous to the Philippines".
Doubles from around £640 (amanresorts.com).
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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