Banwa Private Island, a resort in the Philippines, provides luxury hospitality for $100,000 a night — the most expensive island resort in the world.
For many years, Palawan has topped world ranking of best islands and most luxurious accommodations in the Philippines and in Asia. In mid-2019, it has grabbed the world’s attention once more after one of its 1,780 islands has quietly opened an incomparable paradise-like haven, Banwa Private Island, joining the ranks of such luxury stalwarts as Amanpulo and El Nido.
The 15-acre secluded island resort in Palawan is a two-hour direct helicopter or seaplane ride from Manila, widely regarded as the last ecological frontier. Alternately travel may be shortened to an hour via private jet from Manila to San Vicente or Puerto Princesa, then a short chopper transfer to the island. There’s no other way to or from this island apart from chopper or chartered plane ride.
The island is roughly 10 degrees north of the Equator (more specifically Lat: 10’19.15’N, Long: 119’28.85’E), a location responsible for the island’s enviable year-round temperatures, that rarely dip below 30°C.
The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea.
6 Contemporary Beachfront Villas
This most exclusive island features six swanky villas (ranging from one to four bedrooms)—all with a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi.
12 Garden Rooms
There are also 12 garden rooms and a top-level residential suite. The island can accommodate up to 48 people.
Each room is furnished with laidback interiors by local design agency Mañosa & Co.
1 Top-Level Suite
The top-level suite is spread over the island’s 15 acres.
Guests are provided with a luxury concierge and receive VVIP treatments.
Accommodations are extravagant with private swimming pools, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and chic interiors, but Banwa’s ethos is more of the barefoot-chic variety.
Transfers to and from Manila are not included, and prices start at $990 per way for a nine-passenger seaplane and $11,580 round-trip for a five-passenger helicopter, according to Banwa. Minimum stay requirements range from three to five nights depending on the time of the year.
Food Supply for Guests
An organic farm within the island supplies hand-plucked fruits and veggies for the Latitude Restaurant and the Terrace Bar. Seafood is freshly caught in the nearby waters of the Sulu Sea.
Latitude Restaurant and the Terrace Bar
The inclusive resort has a full staff of chefs who cook with vegetables from the onsite organic farm and fish caught from the surrounding Sulu Sea. The resort even makes its own honey. The wine list has bottles costing as much as $36,000 though premium wines are not included in the resort rate.
Luxury Spa and Leisure
From a relaxing massage in the island’s whisper-quiet setting to local specialty and international treatments that help guests reboot and recharge, every experience in the island’s spa is personalized to the guests. Island’s brilliant team is dedicated to the guests’ physical and emotional well-being at every turn, helping them to leave happier and healthier than the first time they arrive.
Banwa also has a myriad of included activities, like snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, scuba diving, catamaran sailing, SeaDoo-ing, and SUP-ing, yoga, and tennis. There is an on-site marine specialist to talk about the local wildlife, including protected native animals like Hawksbill sea turtles and Tabon birds.
Other Luxury Amenities & Leisure Activities
On island, there’s also a short-game golf course and a driving tee off the jetty with a floating target green (no worries about losing one of the balls to the azure water, since they’re biodegradable and made of fish food).
Additional leisure and fitness facilities include a yoga and Pilates studio, a gym, tennis courts, and a soccer pitch. Yoga on the beach is always an option, as are treatments in the massage suite. And the fact that there are only two ways off the island is another bonus. Because we’re pretty sure once you’re there, you’ll never want to leave.
An artesian well sinking 500 feet below the powdery sand is a naturally replenishing reservoir of spring water, synced with the gravity of the ocean tides. Meanwhile, the resort’s foundation, Aquos, protects the island’s native species, including the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle and indigenous Tabon bird.
World’s Extremely Expensive Places to Stay
- Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island resort in the British Virgin Islands – $77,500/night
- The Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva – $75,000/night
- Five-Bedroom Terrace Suite, The Mark, New York – $75,000/night
- Penthouse Suite, Grand Hyatt Cannes, Martinez – $53,200/night
- Penthouse, Faena Hotel, Miami – $50,000/night
- Musha Cay, Bahamas, owned by David Copperfield – $42,000/night
- Hilltop Villa, Laucala Island, Fiji – $45,000/night
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