Ariara Island, Philippines
At the right end of the Palawan archipelago, Ariara is one of the last remaining undiscovered Calamian Islands. Owners of the 125 acres, Brits Charles and Carrie McCulloch, sought to create a private refuge for travellers who, like them, just 'don't do' hotels. Says Charles: 'I have always disliked the lack of freedom and individuality imposed by hotels, however stunning the location.'
They commissioned Filipino architect Jorge Yulo to design the contemporary eco-resort and furnish it with pieces from local carpenters and craftsmen, who weaved their own rattan, sewed cushions from tribal fabrics and carved a bath from a single block of Romblon marble.
Lodging - including two Jungle Villas, four Beach Cottages and the secluded North Beach Lodge - hugs the main beach. In the main lodge is a restaurant helmed by Jacqueline Haessig Alleje, the Philippines-based Swiss chef who has developed a healthy menu of international favourites, including soy sake shrimp with ginger aioli, and banana and cashew ice cream with pineapple sorbet. Life on Ariara thrives on indulgence without limits; guests do what they want, when they want, without compromise.
From Manila to Ariara: A short flight from Manila to Busuanga where guests are transferred to Port of Coron nearby to board the Karen-Joy, Ariara's 100ft trimaran. Cruising time: four hours. Alternatively, up to eight guests can make the journey in Ariara's 33ft speedboat in just over an hour
Ariara Island, Calamian Islands, Palawan; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ariaraisland.com
Writer: Sara Henrichs