New Year’s in Amanpulo – part 1 of 2
For the New Year’s holiday, the family decided to take a short trip to the very scenic and idyllic paradise, Amanpulo. This luxurious beach resort is situated in its own private island, called Pamalican in the southern part of the Philippines, Palawan. There are no other resorts or establishments in this island, which makes it very private and exclusive only to its guests. Although this was our 2nd time (the first one was many years ago, 2003 to be exact), we were still filled with a lot of excitement and anticipation for this was our first time to spend New Year’s Eve in this beautiful part of the country.
Because I have too many beautiful photos to share (the place is just gorgeous!), I have decided to split this travel post in 2 parts…and I will try my very best to limit my words and “side stories” so it doesn’t become too long (ie. boring) for you to read! 🙂
I am not a big fan of small planes, but the only way to get to Amanpulo is through this small 19-seater chartered plane! Can you imagine how nervous The Spoiled Mummy was the entire hour of the flight?
(See another trip of mine to South Africa where I was so scared to ride another small plane!)
Meanwhile, my 2-year old daughter who is braver than her Mummy, couldn’t care less. You can tell that she was more excited about the whole ride!
As soon as we arrived in Amanpulo’s own landing airstrip, we were led to the Main Clubhouse to relax and settle a bit.
The Main Clubhouse faces the Main Pool of the resort and offers a view of the ocean and the surrounding islands.
After having rested a bit, we were then driven to our villa by a buggy (golf cart) and were greeted by our butler and the manager with some fresh, cold Watermelon shakes 🙂
Because we were a big family of 12, we rented a 4-bedroom private villa home that had its private pool right in the middle and had direct beach frontage. (And because we had our own pool, we didn’t have to go all the way to the Main Clubhouse to swim.)
There are one, two and four-bedroom villas available for big families aside from the 40 Beach, Hillside and Treetop Casitas (or smaller rooms). They are all modelled after the Philippine bahay kubo. Each casita has its own buggy (golf cart) too for exploring the island.
Our villa had its own Living Room, Indoor & Outdoor Dining Rooms and Kitchen.
Photo above shows the Living Room and this was where the family congregated for games, stories, singing, dancing and oh, lots of eating! 🙂
The Indoor Dining Room. This was where we chose to have our Breakfasts daily.
The Outdoor Dining. This was where we had our alfresco lunches and barbecue dinners.
The Kitchen had Sub-zero fridge and Miele appliances. Renting a villa came with a private Chef and your own Housekeeping staff.
We were welcomed by a cold bottle of Champagne and some delicious hor d’ oeuvres!
(My favorite part!)
All 4 Bedrooms in the villa looked like this but the Master’s was slightly bigger and more spacious.
Large windows surrounded every room.
Huge walk-in closet and bathroom!
Our villa’s outdoor deck had lounge beds facing the Pool.
Every day that we were here, my job was to prepare “Sunset Cocktails”!
Brought my favorite cheeses, nuts, jams, dips and chips (and excellent Chocolate truffles too!) and turned them into my version of Cocktails!
It was perfect with cold bubbly and while watching the sun go down by the beach!
And at night, the whole villa was illuminated beautifully.
The next few days were spent in Amanpulo’s beautiful beach.
Crystal clear, turquoise waters that seemed endless and seamless.
Unpolluted. Uncommercialized. The way our beautiful islands should be.
We took a boat to see the rest of Pamalican Island.
The whole family went snorkeling here! We saw gorgeous colors and different kinds of fish, corals and other marine life!
The whole island itself was just spectacular and breathtaking.
No wonder Palawan, where Amanpulo is located was named as one of the Destinations to watch in 2013 by Conde Nast Traveller.
(Click on the link to see the article.)
After a day of frolicking under the sun, we were tired and hungry! So we all headed back to the resort and went straight to Picnic Grove to try their wood oven-fired pizza! And these were the dishes we had…
Fresh Arugula Salad with shaved Parmigiano cheese and chunks of juicy, ripe tomatoes.
Insalata Caprese. Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella with Tomatoes, Pesto and Olive Oil.
5 different kinds of wood oven-fired Pizza!
Top : Prosciutto with truffle oil, Sausage and Four-Cheese.
Bottom : Truffled Mushrooms and Goat’s cheese with Apples.
The best part? All were served with 3 kinds of Olive Oil on the side : Basil, Chili Garlic and Rosemary.
This is Amanpulo’s Beach Club as seen from our boat.
It is their open-air pavilion and deck scattered with reclining lounge chairs and umbrellas in front of the white-sand beach.
It is really very quiet and serene here.
Seemed like we had the whole island to ourselves!
Soft, powdery, white sand and the clearest, cleanest green waters I’ve ever seen.
My 9-year old son had a hard time leaving this paradise…
And so did my little girl.
But as with all things in life, we should learn that nothing really lasts forever…
So enjoy the moment while you can.
But more than anything else, always be grateful.
More to come in Part 2…