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Amanpulo, Philippines (Consolidated/review thread)

Amanpulo, Philippines (Consolidated/review thread)

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Old Feb 16, 19, 4:43 am
  #616  
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Originally Posted by Braswch View Post
First Stay at Amanpulo went very well. We stayed in a Villa. We had no issues. I think the Villa experience might be different than staying in a Casita however.
Great to hear!

Have always thought the villa was a superior experience as well. Especially villa #32

Cheers!
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:59 am
  #617  
 
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Update on our stay:
Just got back from our first stay at Amanpulo, and it was incredible. In my past post, I had spoken about Amanpulo's response to my request for an excursion to El Nido, which was lackluster and somewhat unresponsive. Well, two days prior to our arrival, Juliana, the Experience Director, reached out and secured a trip! On our second day, Amanpulo chartered a small Cessna to take us to and from El Nido, and then arranged a private island hopping excursion in the area. It was amazing! Amanpulo is apparently trying to make this trip an offered excursion, but they are still working out logistics, so we were the crash test dummies. The cost was very high, but seeing as we were short on time and really wanted to explore Palawan, we found it very worthwhile. We have plenty of pics if anyone is interested.

We were gifted Amanjunkie polos and the woven luggage tags as a farewell gift. One thing to note, we never met Audeline and she never seemed to be present on the island. For all intents and purposes, it seemed Juliana acted as the GM, and she interacted with is often and warmly.
Overall, we had a great stay and finally experienced the Aman style service that is raved about (we didn't receive it as much at Amanpuri or Tokyo). Never needed to ask for our room, everyone knew our name, and rooms were always prepared while we were away. We also lucked out that our stay was sandwiched between two weddings. I don't think we would have received the same level of treatment while weddings were going on, and as we were leaving, the staff seemed very busy prepping for the wedding that night. We stayed in beach casita 21, which worked for us, and we didn't feel the need for a villa.
If I had to nitpick, or provide constructive criticism, it would be that their afternoon tea needs work, and they should work to have a more experienced bartender. On the first point, when we stayed at Amanpuri, we were really impressed with their complimentary tea service in the afternoon. Amanpuri would have traditional Thai musicians play music, while you sampled freshly made thai pancakes and other snacks along with your tea. We always made sure to make it in time to experience this. At Amanpulo, it simply consisted of trays of two sweets placed on the bar. It was very unremarkable, although maybe it's more a credit to Amanpuri than a critique of Amanpulo. With respect to the bartender, we ran in to repeated issues when we tried to order a drink off menu at night. I specifically wanted a gimlet, and my wife wanted a negroni. Nothing overly complicated and fairly well known drinks, but the bartender on our last night wasn't familiar with them (though the previous night's bartender did know it and made a great gimlet).
Either way, these are small things on an otherwise incredible trip. We rarely like to repeat trips (prefer to explore new locales), but we are already trying to figure out when we can go back!
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:57 am
  #618  
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Originally Posted by Anlun View Post
Update on our stay:
Just got back from our first stay at Amanpulo, and it was incredible. In my past post, I had spoken about Amanpulo's response to my request for an excursion to El Nido, which was lackluster and somewhat unresponsive. Well, two days prior to our arrival, Juliana, the Experience Director, reached out and secured a trip! On our second day, Amanpulo chartered a small Cessna to take us to and from El Nido, and then arranged a private island hopping excursion in the area. It was amazing! Amanpulo is apparently trying to make this trip an offered excursion, but they are still working out logistics, so we were the crash test dummies. The cost was very high, but seeing as we were short on time and really wanted to explore Palawan, we found it very worthwhile. We have plenty of pics if anyone is interested.

We were gifted Amanjunkie polos and the woven luggage tags as a farewell gift. One thing to note, we never met Audeline and she never seemed to be present on the island. For all intents and purposes, it seemed Juliana acted as the GM, and she interacted with is often and warmly.
Overall, we had a great stay and finally experienced the Aman style service that is raved about (we didn't receive it as much at Amanpuri or Tokyo). Never needed to ask for our room, everyone knew our name, and rooms were always prepared while we were away. We also lucked out that our stay was sandwiched between two weddings. I don't think we would have received the same level of treatment while weddings were going on, and as we were leaving, the staff seemed very busy prepping for the wedding that night. We stayed in beach casita 21, which worked for us, and we didn't feel the need for a villa.
If I had to nitpick, or provide constructive criticism, it would be that their afternoon tea needs work, and they should work to have a more experienced bartender. On the first point, when we stayed at Amanpuri, we were really impressed with their complimentary tea service in the afternoon. Amanpuri would have traditional Thai musicians play music, while you sampled freshly made thai pancakes and other snacks along with your tea. We always made sure to make it in time to experience this. At Amanpulo, it simply consisted of trays of two sweets placed on the bar. It was very unremarkable, although maybe it's more a credit to Amanpuri than a critique of Amanpulo. With respect to the bartender, we ran in to repeated issues when we tried to order a drink off menu at night. I specifically wanted a gimlet, and my wife wanted a negroni. Nothing overly complicated and fairly well known drinks, but the bartender on our last night wasn't familiar with them (though the previous night's bartender did know it and made a great gimlet).
Either way, these are small things on an otherwise incredible trip. We rarely like to repeat trips (prefer to explore new locales), but we are already trying to figure out when we can go back!
Sounds wonderful! We’d love to hear more about the El Nido trip (cost, pictures, etc.)

I wonder if afternoon tea is more a “thing” in Thailand than in the Philippines...part of the culture...? I honestly don’t know the answer, just thinking out loud.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:45 am
  #619  
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post


Sounds wonderful! We’d love to hear more about the El Nido trip (cost, pictures, etc.)

I wonder if afternoon tea is more a “thing” in Thailand than in the Philippines...part of the culture...? I honestly don’t know the answer, just thinking out loud.
Doesn't seem to be part of Vietnamese culture but Amanoi does it pretty well. Costumed artisanal rice cake maker, your choice of handcrafted sweet or savory ricecakes, fruit and your choice of beverages. No reason Pulo couldn't something similar or better.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 10:51 am
  #620  
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Originally Posted by Anlun View Post
Update on our stay:
Just got back from our first stay at Amanpulo, and it was incredible. In my past post, I had spoken about Amanpulo's response to my request for an excursion to El Nido, which was lackluster and somewhat unresponsive. Well, two days prior to our arrival, Juliana, the Experience Director, reached out and secured a trip! On our second day, Amanpulo chartered a small Cessna to take us to and from El Nido, and then arranged a private island hopping excursion in the area. It was amazing! Amanpulo is apparently trying to make this trip an offered excursion, but they are still working out logistics, so we were the crash test dummies. The cost was very high, but seeing as we were short on time and really wanted to explore Palawan, we found it very worthwhile. We have plenty of pics if anyone is interested.

We were gifted Amanjunkie polos and the woven luggage tags as a farewell gift. One thing to note, we never met Audeline and she never seemed to be present on the island. For all intents and purposes, it seemed Juliana acted as the GM, and she interacted with is often and warmly.
Overall, we had a great stay and finally experienced the Aman style service that is raved about (we didn't receive it as much at Amanpuri or Tokyo). Never needed to ask for our room, everyone knew our name, and rooms were always prepared while we were away. We also lucked out that our stay was sandwiched between two weddings. I don't think we would have received the same level of treatment while weddings were going on, and as we were leaving, the staff seemed very busy prepping for the wedding that night. We stayed in beach casita 21, which worked for us, and we didn't feel the need for a villa.
If I had to nitpick, or provide constructive criticism, it would be that their afternoon tea needs work, and they should work to have a more experienced bartender. On the first point, when we stayed at Amanpuri, we were really impressed with their complimentary tea service in the afternoon. Amanpuri would have traditional Thai musicians play music, while you sampled freshly made thai pancakes and other snacks along with your tea. We always made sure to make it in time to experience this. At Amanpulo, it simply consisted of trays of two sweets placed on the bar. It was very unremarkable, although maybe it's more a credit to Amanpuri than a critique of Amanpulo. With respect to the bartender, we ran in to repeated issues when we tried to order a drink off menu at night. I specifically wanted a gimlet, and my wife wanted a negroni. Nothing overly complicated and fairly well known drinks, but the bartender on our last night wasn't familiar with them (though the previous night's bartender did know it and made a great gimlet).
Either way, these are small things on an otherwise incredible trip. We rarely like to repeat trips (prefer to explore new locales), but we are already trying to figure out when we can go back!
Agree re: Amanpulo's tea - it seems lacklustre compared to the teas I've had at Amanpuri and Aman Bali in the past, and Amanoi and Amanjiwo since - but it's also a credit to how good the tea at Amanpuri in particular is.

Also, I've sent you a PM FYI.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 9:09 pm
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I am trying to plan/book a Feb or March trip. Can anyone help me with flight information? I know you have to take the Aman plane from MNL and back and I know it's also a seperate airport. So I am trying to figure out the best way to do this to maximize our time

We are going to spend 5 days in HKG first then fly to MNL. We don't really care to spend any time in MNL if we don't have to. I wonder what most of you do? Are there early enough flights out of HKG to MNL so I can be on the early plane to the resort, or do you have to overnight in MNL to be able to catch that early Aman flight? I don't know what time that first flight (or the second) is to the resort. I just know there are 2 flights a day and we definitely want to be on the early fight to get as much time as possible at the resort. Will we have to overnight in MNL? Advice please

I would appreciate it if someone could tell me when the Aman flights are so I know when/what time to book my flights out of MNL as well for going back home, and also how much time to allow for getting from the airport where the Aman plane lands to getting back to MNL.

Thanks so much!
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Old Apr 5, 19, 9:56 pm
  #622  
 
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Originally Posted by 1readyset2go View Post
I am trying to plan/book a Feb or March trip. Can anyone help me with flight information? I know you have to take the Aman plane from MNL and back and I know it's also a seperate airport. So I am trying to figure out the best way to do this to maximize our time

We are going to spend 5 days in HKG first then fly to MNL. We don't really care to spend any time in MNL if we don't have to. I wonder what most of you do? Are there early enough flights out of HKG to MNL so I can be on the early plane to the resort, or do you have to overnight in MNL to be able to catch that early Aman flight? I don't know what time that first flight (or the second) is to the resort. I just know there are 2 flights a day and we definitely want to be on the early fight to get as much time as possible at the resort. Will we have to overnight in MNL? Advice please

I would appreciate it if someone could tell me when the Aman flights are so I know when/what time to book my flights out of MNL as well for going back home, and also how much time to allow for getting from the airport where the Aman plane lands to getting back to MNL.

Thanks so much!
From the website:
Manila to Pamalican
ETD 13:00h / ETA 14:10h
ETD 16:00h / ETA 17:10h

Pamalican to Manila
ETD 9:30h / ETA 10:40h
ETD 14:30h / ETA 15:40h

CX 907 gets into MNL at 9:55. I'm not certain but that might be enought time to do it in the same day for the 1pm flight to Pamalican.
Are you going back to HKG after? There are certainly evening flights to Hong Kong from MNL. But it depends on if you are going back to HKG or headed somewhere else.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:49 pm
  #623  
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Originally Posted by Braswch View Post
From the website:
Manila to Pamalican
ETD 13:00h / ETA 14:10h
ETD 16:00h / ETA 17:10h

Pamalican to Manila
ETD 9:30h / ETA 10:40h
ETD 14:30h / ETA 15:40h

CX 907 gets into MNL at 9:55. I'm not certain but that might be enought time to do it in the same day for the 1pm flight to Pamalican.
Are you going back to HKG after? There are certainly evening flights to Hong Kong from MNL. But it depends on if you are going back to HKG or headed somewhere else.
CX901 lands in Manila at 11:00 and that's enough time to make the 13:00 (even accounting for a ~30-45 min delay).
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:03 pm
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What would you guys say is the best 4 bedroom villa for a stay in December? How are the winds? Anyone bring an infant or toddler—any calm shallow beaches that would work?
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Old Apr 11, 19, 6:17 am
  #625  
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Originally Posted by aki1 View Post
What would you guys say is the best 4 bedroom villa for a stay in December? How are the winds? Anyone bring an infant or toddler—any calm shallow beaches that would work?
We were there once in early December. It was very windy. Our private beach dinner was disrupted by blowing sand. The sail on our sunfish sailboat broke while we were out and we had to be rescued. Our snorkeling excursion was choppy. At this time of year, the staff will recommend staying to certain sides of the island, sheltered areas for meals, etc.

There are good days and bad days of course. You can still have a nice time but do expect some wind.
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Old May 19, 19, 1:48 pm
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We are looking at a stay in March 2020 - 2 adults with 3 year old and 6 month old + grandparents. We are looking at accommodation options - would 2 beach casitas or a 2 bedroom villa suit us better? We will probably have the baby in our room in a cot and have the 3 year old on a pull out bed (in the bathroom?).

i can’t work out which side of the island the 2 bedroom villas are and how the private chef works (especially if you take the half board option). Can the wisdom of this board help?

Thank you in advance.
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Old May 19, 19, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by EfficientTraveller View Post
We are looking at a stay in March 2020 - 2 adults with 3 year old and 6 month old + grandparents. We are looking at accommodation options - would 2 beach casitas or a 2 bedroom villa suit us better? We will probably have the baby in our room in a cot and have the 3 year old on a pull out bed (in the bathroom?).

i can’t work out which side of the island the 2 bedroom villas are and how the private chef works (especially if you take the half board option). Can the wisdom of this board help?

Thank you in advance.
I did something similar with a 4 bedroom villa. They can put up to 2 kid beds in each of the bedrooms (casitas) so no need to put in the bathroom unless you want to.

With the half board it covers breakfast and dinner with in Villa dining, no extra cost, unless you want live seafood or dinner on the beach.

They will probably offer to have some of your meals outside the villa, in a restaurant. With your crew, don't. Stick to the Villa, much easier and pleasant with grandparents and little ones. In our experience, it's better.
When we were there it was $60 per adult per meal if you wanted to add in villa lunch. This was a good deal. Most meals they serve family style. There is always enough food!!

you will basically have a conversation with your chef at the end of each meal about your next meal. They can do Philippines cuisine, Chinese, Italian, fish, beef, pork, etc. Ask their strengths and ask for what you like. You can even email them in advance what types of meals, any particular ingredients you think they may need to make sure they have it in stock. If not they will fly it in.
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Old May 19, 19, 2:14 pm
  #628  
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Originally Posted by EfficientTraveller View Post
We are looking at a stay in March 2020 - 2 adults with 3 year old and 6 month old + grandparents. We are looking at accommodation options - would 2 beach casitas or a 2 bedroom villa suit us better? We will probably have the baby in our room in a cot and have the 3 year old on a pull out bed (in the bathroom?).

i can’t work out which side of the island the 2 bedroom villas are and how the private chef works (especially if you take the half board option). Can the wisdom of this board help?

Thank you in advance.

I would definitely go for the villa given how much more space you'd have as a family and of course it's wonderful to have a private pool + beach.
The villas at Pulo is vastly better than the casitas. I think. The only thing we liked about our Beach Casitas was its location but the villas were just a lot better. The bedrooms are pretty much the same as the Casitas but the covered outdoor living space, pool, etc.. makes a better stay. Esp. for a family trip.

The 2 Bedroom Palawan Villas are located on the East Side, I believe. Away from the Casitas and some of the 1 bedroom villas.

Private chef means you'll get a menu but you can customize it as well. The Chef would come to your villa and prepared meals in the villa's kitchen.
Regarding half board, you'll have the option to have meals prepared and served in your villa by the chef or take meals at the restaurant/beach club as well.

Last edited by BESVISOR; May 19, 19 at 2:21 pm
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Old May 20, 19, 2:24 am
  #629  
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Definitely go for a villa. The villas consists of a number of casitas (= number of bedrooms) grouped around the private pool plus a dining pavillion which includes a dining room and a living room area with a TV plus a covered outside area and outside dining plus sufficient loungers, a bale, outside shower ++. This means you will have your privacy in your own casita plus all the extra space for being together. The butler will do everything for you, ours even played with our son and let him join around the island and help preparing meals. The private chef will cook anything you like, either your wishes, menues or his suggestions and the food we had prepared was delicious and did not cost more than in the restaurants, rather less as far as I remember. We placed the extra bed for our son in the bathroom instead of using one of the daybeds in our room for privacy for all of us.
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Old May 20, 19, 3:32 am
  #630  
 
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Thank you all for the recommendations. Are the 2 bedroom villas on the Beach Club side of the island? Our last visit was c. 7 years ago but I remember that side as having the gorgeous beach and calm water whereas the other side was much more windy with coarser sand and lots of driftwood / seaweed on the beach? Our 3 year old loves to play in the sand so having him able to play outside of our villa is a top priority.
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