Laid-back Bantayan Island may not have the diving, nightlife or surf breaks of other destinations in the Philippines. But who cares? It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. With few other distractions, it’s the ultimate spot for lying back with an ice-cold calamansi juice and slowing down. Find your peace at one of our favourite hotels in Bantayan Island, bookable on Culture Trip.
Right on the flawless white stretch of Santa Fe beach, this low-key resort has a relaxed feel. All rooms come with air conditioning, a spacious closet and a hot-and-cold shower. The hotel also has a shady veranda for occasional breaks from the sun, and a large pool if all that sea swimming somehow isn’t enough. The enormous seafood selection at Chloe Café includes steamed crabs, adobo squid and garlic lobster straight from the ocean.
Within a minute’s walk of Santa Fe Beach and several eateries, this diminutive hotel is the perfect base for your Bantayan adventures. Interiors are a masterclass in Filipino design, with bamboo furniture, nipa palm ceilings and hammocks slung between wooden columns. The beachy bar serves a mostly Western-style breakfast of omelettes and bacon paired with mango. Staff can arrange kitesurfing lessons and island-hopping excursions.
For a true Pinoy-style holiday, look no further than these cabanas on Santa Fe Beach. While the exterior may look like a rustic bahay kubo (palm-roofed traditional home) the amenities are bang up to date. All come with air conditioning, cable TV, hot showers and wifi. For filling meals, there are numerous food stalls and restaurants in the surrounding area.
Occupying a pristine stretch of white sand at Santa Fe’s south-eastern corner, this collection of villas combines traditional bamboo and nipa style with modern amenities. Each villa comes with air conditioning, hot showers, a safety deposit box, flat-screen TV and refrigerator. Head to the Coral Blue Clay Pot restaurant for colourful salads, steamed crab and juicy prawns.
Edging Bantayan’s southern coast, this white, bright inn is just a 25-minute walk – or a seven-minute tricycle ride – from the isolated Sandira Beach, considered the most pristine on an island full of them. Tuck into a breakfast of bacon, fried egg and mangoes in the bamboo bar before heading to the beach; refresh with a hot shower and siesta in your air-conditioned room. Ask Rose and Carsten, the inn’s affable owners, if you have any needs – nothing is too much trouble.
For something more private than most hotels in Bantayan Island, consider this smart complex of three modern apartments on the southern shore, each comprising three bedrooms and sleeping up to 10 guests – perfect for a large family group. Each one comes with a kitchen, large living room and balcony. As the complex is relatively isolated, buy your groceries in Santa Fe ahead of time; alternatively, eat at the Greek restaurant next door or ask the reception staff to call a tricycle for you.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.