A chic resort in Palawan nestles within an orchard and serves mountain views and seascapes along with breakfast. – Written by Rina Camacho
Photos courtesy of Astoria Hotels and Resorts
Additional Photos by Rina Camacho
Palawan has white sand beaches and virgin forests covering mountain ranges. It is known as the last frontier of the Philippines. This is where Astoria Hotels and Resorts opened Astoria Palawan, its newest development. Located in Puerto Princesa, right on the shores of Honda Bay, the leisure destination is a 90-minute plane ride from Manila and a 75-minute ride from Puerto Princesa’s airport. The air and land travel allows a view of verdant mountains and the fields of Palawan’s capital.
Bathroom floors from the seashore
Astoria Palawan sprawls over a five-hectare mango orchard with 13 wood cabin type villas. Each is named after an endangered animal to bring awareness on their plight for survival. The villas house 40 luxurious and spacious private rooms and suites fitted with king or queen size beds, bright furniture and modern conveniences such as climate control air-conditioning, LCD television with cable, DVD player, complimentary internet access and coffee/tea making facilities. As with other Astoria Hotels and Resorts properties, the design was conceived and executed by the creative team of Architect Ed Gallo and sisters Cynthia and Ivy Almario.
There is a sense of rustic modern in the architectural design of the place. Green building materials, practices and methods were used in the development of the property in keeping with Palawan’s ecotourism thrust. Not a single tree was cut down. Instead, old lumber combined with raw concrete was used for the structural components, as well as for the inner partition walls. Even the stones used to tile the bathroom floor were picked from the seashore, adding to the natural feel of the facility. It reflects the charming, unspoiled environs and the respect for nature espoused by Palaweños.
Astoria Palawan boasts a 250-meter shoreline with caramel-colored sand and the clear waters of the Sulu Sea. This is suitable for water activities such as snorkeling and tandem kayaking. Tours in and around Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa and the Underground River—one of the New Seven Wonders of the World—are also offered to the resort’s guests.
The Pod is the resort’s beachfront infinity pool. At 39-meters long, it is the hotel chain’s longest pool to date and features a section for sunken loungers and a separate shallow portion for the children.
Active guests will be able to enjoy other outdoor facilities such as glass-bottom boats and acrylic kayaks that allow a glimpse of Honda Bay’s famed underwater wildlife. There is also a fishpond and a rock-climbing wall. A 4000 square-meter waterpark with water geysers, bamboo water canons, splash pads, wave pools and a 2-meter high corkscrew slide are being developed with the target completion in 2015.
Food with a View
Those who prefer the indoors can opt to use recreational activities at The Canopy, the hotel’s reception pavilion. It has billiard tables, card and board games, Ping-Pong equipment, fooz ball and video games. A fitness gym and in suite massages are also available at the resort.
Consideration for appetites is addressed at The Reserve, the resort’s restaurant. The centrally located area has a panoramic view of the Sulu Sea with provisions for dining both indoors or al fresco. There is a live kitchen where food preparation is an added dining spectacle to enhance the meal time experience. Besides this, a wood fire brick oven is another feature especially created for roasts, pizzas, breads and other foods.
Eating with a view of the mountains and the seas, surrounded by mango trees were the added flavors that made breakfast, lunch and dinner a veritable feast for all the senses.
Astoria Palawan is located at Km 62 North National Highway, Brgy San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. For more information, phone (2) 687 1111 local 8024/8110, (2) 335 1111, email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.