The Best Hotels to Book in the Philippines for Every Traveller

While away the days by the pool at Amanpulo, a luxury resort only accessible by private plane
While away the days by the pool at Amanpulo, a luxury resort only accessible by private plane | Courtesy of Amanpulo / Expedia
Emma Sparks

Calling all city trippers and tropical island adventurers – there’s a place for you in the Philippines. The capital, Manila, is one of the most underrated cities in Asia, while the countless islands scattered below it offer some of the most pristine beaches and beautiful diving sites on the continent. The hotel scene is vibrant too, which means you can choose anything from an eco-luxury beach villa to a boho-chic artists’ compound in the capital.

1. The Peninsula Manila

Hotel

The Peninsula Manila
Courtesy of The Peninsula Manila / Expedia

The Peninsula has been welcoming guests to Makati for more than 40 years. The hotel is on the corner of a busy crossroads, but the noise melts away once you step foot into the grand, high-ceilinged lobby. The ample rooms are decorated in cool pebble tones and feature marble bathrooms and Filipino rattan furniture. Can’t decide between culture and cocktails? Luckily for you, Ayala Museum is just across the street, not far from the Curator, a speakeasy-style bar hidden within a cafe.

2. Raffles Makati

Chain Hotel, Luxury

Raffles Makati
Courtesy of Raffles Makati / Expedia

Raffles Makati isn’t quite as glam as its Singaporean sister, but it still has a cosy, art-filled Writer’s Lounge and Long Bar where you can try the hotel’s signature cocktail – a gold-leafed Makati luxury sling. Plush suites feature hand-tufted rugs, antique furniture and deep-soaking tubs. There are two pools, one of which is shared with the adjacent Fairmont Hotel, as are the gym and spa. Greenbelt Mall and Ayala Museum are also practically on your doorstep.

3. Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa

Resort, Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel

Shangri-Las Mactan Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa / Expedia

The densely populated Mactan Island is where most travellers land on their way to explore the wider province or island-hop along the Cebu Strait. But, there’s plenty to tempt you to drop anchor right here and spend a few nights at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort. Like the ocean view from your room? Take part in beach cleans and coral recovery activities to give back to nature, or earn your PADI diving certificate to get a closer look at the local sea life.

4. Pangulasian Island Resort

Resort, Luxury, Spa Hotel

Pangulasian Island Resort
Courtesy of Pangulasian Island Resort / Expedia

With calm, clear waters and white-sand beaches framed by towering limestone peaks and jungly hillsides, secluded Pangulasian Island Resort is a honeymoon brochure brought to life. The 42 eco-luxury villas sit along the beach and among the forest, and have striking thatched roofs and private balconies. Don’t miss a boat trip to discover the hidden coves and secret lagoons dotted around Bacuit Bay.

5. The Henry Hotel Manila

Hotel

The Henry Hotel Manila
Courtesy of the Henry Hotel Manila / Expedia

If you’re an art lover, book a night or two at the boho-chic Henry Hotel in Pasay City, a revamped 1950s artists’ compound. It’s well located – the airport and Mall of Asia are both 10 minutes away by car – but you’ll need to venture a little further to browse the fine-art exhibitions at Yuchengco Museum and the multimedia displays at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

6. Nay Palad Hideaway

Boutique Hotel

Nay Palad Hideaway
Courtesy of Nay Palad Hideaway / Expedia

The nine exquisite villas at Nay Palad in Siargo redefine island luxury. Huge terraces with designer day beds, statement showers and oodles of living space are a joy, but it’s the little details – such as iPads, fruit baskets and aromatherapy diffusers – that make each villa feel like home. Kick off your flip-flops and put your cash away; this place really is allinclusive, meaning your daily massages, yoga classes and boat excursions are all part of the package.

7. Amanpulo

Luxury, Resort

Amanpulo
Courtesy of Amanpulo / Expedia

Want true tropical seclusion? Book a stay at Amanpulo. Only accessible by private plane (flights from Manila take just over an hour), the resort occupies the whole of pristine Pamalican Island in Palawan. And while there are nearly 60 villas and almost 400 staff here, the clever layout means you’ll often feel as if you have the place to yourself. Bored of lounging on sun-bleached sands? Try a spot of kitesurfing or scuba diving, or get pampered in the hilltop spa.

8. Matinloc Resort

Resort, Business Hotel

Matinloc Resort lounge area with sea view and cliffs beyond
Courtesy of Matinloc Resort / Hotels.com

A smattering of spacious whitewashed villas occupies the jungly hillside at Matinloc Resort, looking like a miniature Filipino Cinque Terre. The infinity pool overlooks the ombre colours of the private resort beach: bone-white, turquoise and deep indigo. Join an island-hopping tour to explore the soaring limestone cliffs and crowd-free coves of El Nido, or snorkel the reef just off shore, eyes peeled for sea turtles.

9. Cauayan Island Resort

Resort, Hotel

Cauayan Island Resort
Courtesy of Cauayan Island Resort / Expedia

This resort centres around a wide, deep cove at the narrow centre of the private island. Thatched-roof villas are clustered village-style around the beach and lagoon, and feature stone mosaic showers and traditional bamboo and rattan furniture. Keen divers are well catered for on Cauayan – there are more than 18 locations to try nearby and you can study for a variety of PADI certificates through the hotel dive centre. Prefer dry land? Trek to the highest point on the island for epic ocean views.

10. Misibis Bay

Independent Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel

Misibis Bay
Courtesy of Misibis Bay / Expedia

Whether your idea of tropical paradise includes non-stop water sports and wildlife spotting, or lounging on the beach between spa treatments, Misibis Bay in Bacacay is the hotel for you. The resort features light-filled rooms and villas, infinity and lagoon-style pools and a private stretch of white-sand beach. Try your hand at kayaking, windsurfing or snorkelling, or join an ATV tour of the nearby Mayon Volcano, a picture-perfect conical peak.

Heading to the capital? Discover our guide on the best luxury hotels in Manila and book now on Culture Trip. For more incredible hotels in the Philippines, check out our pick of the best hotels on Bantayan Island, the Philippines, bookable on Culture Trip.

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