We’re sure you’ll agree: the best vacay is one that’s uninterrupted. When you’re spending what’s left of your downtime at the beach or a hotel, the last thing you want is to contend with throngs of tourists and families for lodging, or your own space on the shore. That certainly won’t be a problem if you can have the entire island to yourself — like these private islands in Palawan we’re about to show you.
Yup, that’s right! Among the world-renowned islands of Palawan are 6 exclusive, private islands that you can rent entirely. No other tourists but you and your family. Some of them come fully-staffed, with chefs, butlers, and masseuses to cater to your every whim, while some offer a taste of real island life, with some basic comforts.
Whether you want to make like Richard Branson and own a luxurious private island for a night or be a castaway with no need for rescue, there’s a hideaway in Palawan to suit your taste:
- NoaNoa Private Islands
This private island is so incognito it’s not on Google Maps. The tiny speck on the map, 200 feet above sea level, can be found through its exact coordinates – look close enough, and you’ll see its own pier and helipad stretching over the Northeast Palawan sea.
The American couple who owns NoaNoa spent 8 years perfecting the operations of the island. Surrounded by 70-hectares of teeming marine sanctuary, they protect their marine neighbors by using only spring-sourced fresh water and solar electricity.
Everything is included during your stay in NoaNoa: full-board global fusion meals and drinks, serviced beach bar and kitchen, assisted diving and watersports activities, a speedboat on standby, and even a well-equipped spa for your relaxation.
|THE GIST||A private island surrounded by the waters of Taytay Bay, Sulu Sea.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 12
Includes own helipad and pier, private beach bar & kitchen, private spa with a masseuse, private boats for transfers.
The house comes with a staff of 10 people to attend to your every whim. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served along with 1-2 snacks. In between, you may enjoy 90-minute massages up to 4 times a day. If not, you may enjoy water sports and dive trips courtesy of their staff. All amenities are included in the fee.
|$6,200 or P280,000 / 3 nights
Minimum stay of 3 nights off-peak, 4 nights peak season
|WHERE TO BOOK||Official Website
During select weeks, NoaNoa bedrooms are available individual booking. All amenities are available to guests booking as individuals at an a-la-carte rate.
- Ariara Island
Perhaps the most popular of the lot, Ariara has been featured in several international publications – like Conde Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, and British Vogue — as the place to stay in Palawan.
Owned by a British couple, Ariara is an entire island playground with a small jungle, beaches, and reefs for you to explore. Designed by a renowned Filipino architect Jorge Yulo, the guesthouses are contemporary in style and were built with environmental sustainability in mind.
These come with groundbreaking service standards too. Your stay comes with a US-trained chef who will assess your food preferences and create a unique menu, a yoga instructor who can be booked during your stay to enhance your spiritual wellbeing, a masseuse to ensure complete relaxation, your own personal PADI dive instructor, and a yacht on standby for your water excursions.
Check out Kelly Misa’s first hand account of her stay in Ariara.
|THE GIST||A private island hideaway that forms part of the Calamian Islands, with all-inclusive service.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 18
Beds: 12Includes own pier, dining hall and lounge, private beach, infinity pool, and a private boat for transfers.
|THE PERKS||Be tended to by a full staff of 30 people in this exclusive island. The all-inclusive fees let you enjoy meals prepared by a US-trained chef, a crewed yacht for watersports and island expeditions and a PADI-certified instructor on standby.|
|$475 – 715 or P21,375 – 32,175 per person per night; depending on number of guests
The quote above is for a 7-night stay. Prices for shorter stays are available upon request. See full rate computations here.
|WHERE TO BOOK||Official Website|
- Eduardo’s Villa
Lagen Island, El Nido
Near the luxurious Lagen Island in El Nido is this family-owned private island with two beaches and stylishly decorated cottages.
The house comes fully-staffed to take care of all your needs – including meals made of vegetables and fruits harvested from the island, and fresh fish, crabs and lobsters caught during the day. The expansive garden up front is full of palm trees, perfect for sunbathing or just lazing the day away. The house also comes with an al fresco dining space so you can further enjoy the outdoors.
Kayaks and a motorboat are also available to explore the nearby islands for some snorkelling and discovery tours, assisted by their friendly but discreet staff.
|THE GIST||Stylishly designed, pristine beachfront property leeward side of Lagen Island, El Nido.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 6
Beds: 6Includes 2 private beaches, huge beds and baths with water heater, and outdoor dining area.Wi-Fi and TV also provided. 3G available.
|THE PERKS||The house comes fully-staffed with a caretaker, cook, and boatman. Explore the beach and nearby snorkelling spots with the complimentary banca and 3 kayaks.|
|THE PRICE||$1,000 or P45,000 / night
Minimum stay of 3 nights
|WHERE TO BOOK||Airbnb|
- Bamboo Private Islands
Owned by a French and Filipino couple, Small and Big Bamboo islands were originally their own private sanctuary for 12 years. They decided to make the place open to others and share their penchant for eco-conscious island living.
Their operations are 100% solar-powered, and water used for baths and maintenance are either salt water or filtered by solar-powered desalinators. They also take their food very seriously – they grow their own vegetables, citrus, herbs, and poultry, and have access to fresh non-farmed seafood. You will be tended to by a personal chef and a small staff to make your stay comfortable and homey.
You can also spend your time whiling away on the sunset lounge or reggae bar, kite surf on the private seafront, or explore nearby islands with the bancas and speedboat provided.
|THE GIST||A private getaway composed of two islands with bamboo stilt houses.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 16
Beds: 16Includes two private beaches, several bancas and a speedboat.
Wi-fi is provided.
Ideal for eco-conscious families, the islands have their own farm where vegetables and poultry are grown for your meals. Operations are 100% solar powered, and all water used in operations, are recycled from rainwater or salt water.
|$1,500 – 3,000 or P67,500 -135,000 per night
Villas are also available for individual booking, at $200 per person per night.
|WHERE TO BOOK||Official Website or Airbnb|
- Ekhaya Busuanga Private Islands
Brgy. Concepcion, Busuanga, Palawan
If you’re after renting a private beach and villa and can handle the stay without staff, Ekhaya may be a good option for you. The oceanfront property has a private beach and a three-storey villa complete with panoramic views of the stunning Busuanga Bay.
Expansive outdoor patios and decks that bring the outdoors in, a large infinity pool, barbecue facilities and a poolside kitchen and bar make the place perfect for entertaining. A small staff is around to prepare your meals, but you can also opt to cook your own.
Activities that they can arrange for you include island hopping, wreck diving, snorkelling, swimming in hot springs, kayaking, sailing and jet-ski riding, at a separate cost.
|THE GIST||A private resort with panoramic views of Busuanga Bay and surrounding islands.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 10
Bathrooms: 5Includes poolside private kitchen and bar, private beach, infinity pool. Satellite/ cable TV and Wi-Fi also provided.
|THE PERKS||A small household staff to take care of your needs, such as meals and access to water sports (island-hopping, canoeing, diving and snorkelling).|
|$500 / night
Minimum stay of 3 nights
|WHERE TO BOOK||Booking.com|
- Isla de Dios
If you’re after complete seclusion and a simple hideaway, Isla de Dios is for you! This private island with a shabby-chic designed house doesn’t fall into the standard definition of luxury, but it has everything you need for a quiet and relaxing stay.
The owner provides a virtual tour of the island through this video:
The island is set up perfectly for a weekend of beach yoga, swimming, snorkelling, reading or simply taking in the breath-taking beauty surrounding the house. The caretaker Homar is always present to help you with groceries (though you’d have to cook your own meals) or arranges your island hopping and dive tours in the nearby islands.
|THE GIST||A private beachfront villa with a rustic theme.|
|THE SPACE||Accommodates: 13
Bedrooms: 4 (3 double en-suite, 1 mezzanine)
Bathrooms: 5Includes equipped kitchen and banquet table. There is also a library with books and board games.
|THE PERKS||Comes with private airport van transfer and boat transfer to the island. A personal caretaker will be there to assist you with your needs. Food will be self-cooked, but the caretaker can purchase for you.|
|THE PRICE||$295 or P13,275 / night|
|WHERE TO BOOK||Official Website|
All prices and amenities of mentioned Palawan private islands are subject to change. Please contact the hosts directly to book your stay.
Main image courtesy of NoaNoa Island