Ask any beach lover where their dream destination is, and the general consensus would probably be Maldives.
The archipelagic country of the Maldives is popular among tourists, especially honeymooners, for its unique geographic features and luxurious villas on the water. And guess what? Each resort is established on a private island—talk about exclusivity!
With exceptionally clear waters, pristine beaches, and thriving marine life, it's no wonder the Maldives is considered one of the most popular island destinations in the world.
But to tick this place off from our bucket list means you have to shell out a huge amount of money. Fortunately, the Philippines is blessed with equally beautiful beaches and have Maldives-inspired water villas as well.
If a trip to the Maldives sounds like an impossible dream, why don't you check out our country's own overwater bungalows resorts?
Stilts Calatagan (Calatagan, Batangas)
Just three hours away from Manila, Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort is a 24-hectare resort of rolling hills and white sand beaches, where you can not only enjoy the sea, but also indulge from a variety of adventure and aqua sport activities such as ATV adventure trails, mangrove eco-tours, diving, boat and sandbar tours.
For the accommodation, you may choose to stay at their Treehouses, Simplicity Villa & Bungalow, Beach Cottages, or their popular Floating Cottages.
Available in three sizes, depending on the number of persons it can accommodate, the Floating Cottages come in Small, Medium, or Large rooms. The price per night is good for the minimum number of guests depending on the size of the chosen room. Each additional guest must pay P1,280 per night during off peak season or P1,300 during peak season.
Small Cottages are priced at P8,540/night during off peak dates, and can accommodate of up to 10 persons, and P9,400/night during peak season. It includes one bedroom, a loft, and a living area.
Meanwhile, their Medium Cottages can accommodate minimum of 5 persons, maximum of 15 persons for P12,200 per night. For peak season, its price is P13,450 per night. Each cottage includes a master’s bedroom, guest room, loft and living area.
And finally, the Large Floating Cottages. It can allow a minimum of 7 persons and a maximum of 20 persons at P17,080 per night during off peak season, and P18,800 per night during peak season. The large cottege includes a master’s bedroom, guest room, loft, and living area.
Club Tara Resort (Surigao del Norte)
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If you're craving adventure, head to Surigao del Norte for its famous rock formations, mystical caves, vast mangrove forest, and under water sceneries. Club Tara Resort in Bucas Grande Island, Socoro, Surigao Del Norte is also a good place to stay if you're looking for an affordable yet Instagram-worthy accommodation.
To top of the experience, stay in their Jacuzzi Water Cottages that's overlooking the lagoon and sea. It can accommodate two people for only P7,500 and it comes with free breakfast.
For families of four, you may book their Jacuzzi Family Water Cottages for just P8,500 per night.
There are also tour packages for guests to avail such as the Sohoton Submarine Cave Tour, Siargao Island Tour, and Island Hopping Tour where you'll get to visit the Markaa white sand beach, Bubon white sand beach, Kanlunes beach.
Tugawe Cove Resort (Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Bicol)
Seek tranquility in Caramoan's only 4-star hotel, Tugawe Cove Resort. Whether you wish to stay by the hillside or on the hilltop to get a panoramic view of the sea, there's a room for you.
But if you want to wake up from the sound of sea, you must book their Lakeside Premium Cabanas. Price starts at P18,960 per night for two adults and two children, and can go up to P28,020 for six adults and two children.
While there, you can go on a picnic by the lighthouse, have Boodle Fight, plant corals, watch bioluminescent planktons, snorkle, do water sports, and light a bonfire.
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Pearl Farm Beach Resort (Samal Island, Davao del Norte)
Pearl Farm Beach Resort is paradise away from the city—just a 45-minute boat ride from the Marina Wharf in Lanang, Davao City. This 5-star resort was once home to a pearl farm and is now a relaxing luxe getaway boasting the beauty of Davao and rich Filipino culture.
Here, you can enjoy their amenities such as swimming pools, lounges, a kid's club, sports center, cafes and restaurants. Aqua sports activities and tours are also available.
As for the stay, there's a variety of options to choose from. There's the Hilltop Room (P15,900/night for 2 adults and 2 kids) and the Mandaya House (P17,400/night for 2 adults and 2 kids).
For the Maldives experience, book the rooms inspired by the stilt shelters of the Samal tribes. The Samal House (P18,900/night) can accommodate 2 adults, while the Samal Suite (P34,000/night for 2 adults and 2 kids)—which is a two-storey suite with stairs directly leading down to the waters—can accommodate up to 4 people.
But if you're seven in the group, we suggest you get the Malipano Villas, which is an exclusive villa situated in a secluded island across the resort. It comes with a big veranda and a butler service, too!
El Nido Resorts (El Nido, Palawan)
El Nido Resorts is a group of island resorts, each offering guests world-class style and experience. There are four islands: Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island.
Currently, the El Nido Resorts are offering bubble packages for stays at their resorts. Each package is good for a 4D3N stay for 2 adults and already includes complimentary roundtrip transfers from Lio Airport Terminal, daily full board meals, standard tours and activities, and travel insurance for guests ages 7 to 75.
Soon to open Eco-Adventure Apulit Island has over 50 Water Cotteges built above the sea with a view of Taytay Bay and limestone cliffs. Plenty of activities for adventure-seeking guests await at the resort. There you may climb the 50-meter limestone cliff, go diving and explore a nearby Japanese ship wreck, go island-hopping, snorkelling, and visit the caves.
In for some water adventure? The resort's Eco-Discovery Island, Miniloc, is worth a visit. There you can swim with the fish and explore the different marine species, as well as popular attractions around Bacuit Bay, such as the Big and Small Lagoons and Snake Island. Miniloc also has Water Cotteges built right beside the island's limestone cliffs.
El Nido Resorts' Eco-Sancturary Island, Lagen, has several rooms, including the Water Cottages built on stilts above the water. Their Lagen Island Water Cottege package costs P124,200 for 2 adults exclusive of flights. At the resort you may explore the mangroves and do birdwatching.
For the ultimate luxury retreat, there's a package for Pangulisian Island Beach Villa which costs P165,900. This villa already has access to the beach and is conveniently located near the resort's amenities.
Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (Cuilon, Palawan)
You've probably come across a post of this resort's beautiful glass floor villas with jacuzzi overlooking the sea. (PS. We shot here for Isabelle Daza's summer cover!)
Situated in Cuilon, Palawan, Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort or SETIR is the only luxury island resort in the region. It has over 18 hectares of land and beaches, and plenty of amenities to enjoy.
Its Maldivian villas all have the view of the ocean and are designed with Filipino-themed interior. The best part? You can catch the sunrise or sunset depending on which sid eof the island you're in!
As of the moment, SETIR is offering Bubble Packages. You may either choose from a 4D3N Stay and Dine package or 5D4 WorkCation Package. Both packages already include roundtrip airfare from Manila to Busuanga, Palawan; use of Manila and busuanga lounge; roundtrip land and boat transfers; daily breakfast; F&B vouchers; one-time spa treatment; and one-time lunch or dinner by the beach.
SETIR's famous Sirakan Villa (P97,400/Stay & Dine Package, P104,340/ WorkCation Package) features a king sized bed, and an extensive sea-view balcony with loungers. Its main feature, however, is the glass-bottom floors that shows the beautiful marine life beneath the villa.
The Two-Bedroom Water Villa (P144,000/Stay & Dine Package, P146,400/ WorkCation Package), also built on sitlts, can accommodate up to 6 persons. While the One Bedroom Villa and Cluster Villas (P74,000/Stay & Dine Package, P80,340/ WorkCation Package) can fit up to 3 persons. For Groups of 4, you may get the Duplex Villa (P136,000/Stay & Dine Package, P143,200/ WorkCation Package).