Tell me: how many times have you fantasized about being marooned on an island à la Tom Hanks in Cast Away, disconnected from the world, where no one can reach or hunt you down? Now that would be a real vacation, amirite? Well, I’m here to tell you that this place exists on earth, and it’s called Club Paradise Palawan.
Before you get any wrong ideas, I’m going to tell you right now that the island I’m talking about is a full-on resort, but it’s a private island resort. So no, this isn’t a completely raw, untouched island with no bathrooms and running water. I mean, if you wanted that, you’d be looking for an adventure, not a vacation.
If you’ve ever stood in front of an appliance store watching those ultra HD TVs playing looped videos of absolutely pristine beaches, that’s what’ll greet you at Club Paradise.
When your bangka pulls up to the island (geographically known as Dimakya Island) make sure to hold your lower jaw in place because it will drop, trust me. If you’ve ever stood in front of an appliance store watching those ultra HD TVs playing looped videos of absolutely pristine beaches, that’s what’ll greet you at Club Paradise. I wish I were joking.
Heaven on earth: Club Paradise Palawan offers a secluded getaway with all the modern amenities of a private resort.
Once you step onto the island, you’re greeted with a cold towel and a cucumber margarita (it’s non-alcoholic, but don’t worry, there’s lots of time to get buzzed later) to cool off. Once you check in, you’re going to have to make the very difficult decision of whether to go out to explore the island or stay in your room because the beds are just so damn comfy. There are several choices for accommodations: first, there is the signature sunset villa (choice of standard or deluxe), which is on the side of the island where the sun sets (duh!). On the other side of the island lie the sunrise villas, which are connected to the garden view rooms. If you’re not the beachfront kinda person (sand gets in the room!), they’ve also got the garden suites, a building tucked away in the — you guessed it — quiet garden of the island that houses 20 rooms.
Each villa is outfitted with its own porch and hammock for maximum relaxation with minimum effort.
When you finally get yourself up from the bed (trust me, it’s tempting to stay there forever), there’s a long list of things to try out at the island. Not that you’re going to want to tire yourself out — this is a vacation, after all — but they’re there just in case you’re in the mood to get a li’l physical. That’s how far ahead Club Paradise thinks.
First of all, there’s the beach. Apart from just enjoying the water by yourself, or the hammocks and day beds on the shore, you can go snorkeling along the island’s house reef, which you can do with a guide that takes you to where all the underwater action is. If you want to go deeper, you can also go diving. There’s a dive instructor who will teach you the basics and guide you through if it’s your first time.
If you’re itching to explore even farther, you can take an island-hopping tour around the neighboring islands. You can even have lunch on Diatoy island, where there’s also a snorkeling spot and a permanent structure to hang out in. If you really want to go full-on Cast Away, there’s Malpagalen island nearby, which has a sand bar, a huge rock, and not much else. No Wilson volleyball included, but you can bring your friends there for some company. Joeg Escobar, the hotel manager, tells me that there’s this one guy who comes out to Malpagalen to be left alone for one night just to stargaze.
Club Paradise offers a slew of activities should you want to get a li’l physical on your vacation.
There’s still a whole laundry list of things you can do on this island, but honestly, they wouldn’t fit on this page. But another thing that’s interesting about Club Paradise is their preservation and sustainability effort, which you can see throughout the island. First there are the small things, like the reef-safe sunscreen in every room, to the half-fresh, half-saltwater pool that reduces the use of chlorine. On the boat to the resort, you’ll notice that there aren’t any water bottles; instead, they use a water dispenser and provide cups. They also have their own farm on a nearby island, where they get all their vegetables and produce for the restaurant. Speaking of the restaurant, they’re also equipped with metal straws, should you need one.
This effort isn’t just for show, however. Club Paradise is pretty serious about keeping the island’s environment the way it is for many years down the road. Right now, the island is a marine-protected sanctuary. In the near future, they will have their own water desalination plant, which will allow the island to recycle water. They’re also looking into the use of solar panels for electricity to replace their generator. Talk about a bright and sunny future.
Happy hour: There’s always time for a cocktail at Club Paradise’s Dugong Bar.
And that’s really the great thing about Club Paradise Palawan: not only do they care that you’re getting maximum relaxation for minimum effort, but they also prioritize keeping the island preserved and pristine for anyone who sets foot on its beaches. Definitely wouldn’t mind being marooned on this island.
For room rates and more information, visit clubparadisepalawan.com.