The world’s most expensive resort


Billed as the world’s highest-priced resort, this small Philippines island is the ultimate indulgent getaway. Fiona Harper reports.

Banwa Private Island.

A teardrop-shaped island off the coast of the Philippines, Banwa Private Island is a tropical hideaway that costs an eyewatering $US100,000 (K340,400) per night.

In fact, you’ll need to outlay at least $US300,000 (K1 billion) for this indulgent getaway as there’s a minimum three-night stay at the world’s most expensive island resort.

So, what can you expect from a stay at Banwa Private Island? For a start you’ll have the entire island to yourself and up to 47 of your handpicked guests. You’re paying for whole-of-island exclusivity, so privacy is assured. On hand are about 100 staff and a dedicated butler service to ensure you never go thirsty or hungry.

Doing absolutely nothing is part of the relaxed appeal of Banwa. Admittedly, it’s an expensive nothingness. One of Banwa’s big attractions is the ease with which you can briefly shut out the world beyond the island’s shore. A place to switch off the phone, disconnect the Wi-Fi and partake in blissful meditation or self-reflective mindfulness without distraction.

‘On hand are about 100 staff and a dedicated buttler service to ensure you never go thirsty or hungry.’

If that sounds just a little too chilled out and Zen-like, don’t be alarmed – there are plenty of activities available and toys at your disposal too. Tennis, golf, scuba diving, sports fishing, helicopter tours, boat cruises, massage, spa and wellness treatments are all on offer.

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Naturally, the island is beautiful. Grounds are flawlessly landscaped with nary a blade of grass out of place. The beach is raked and palm trees are pruned. Staff are impeccably groomed and immaculately turned out in sharp uniforms.

Where nothing is too much trouble

Six splendid beachfront villas (let’s face it, splendid is mandatory at this price point) are configured around an inviting infinity pool. Poolside patios and decks furnished with plumped-up sun lounges are framed by tropical

gardens. All villas enjoy a backdrop of tantalising ocean, the cobalt blue sea a soothing yin to the villa’s yang.

The main villa near the pier houses Latitude Restaurant and is the ‘hub’ of the island. Here, there are multiple dining locations, whether inside in an air-conditioned glass-walled room, on any of the oceanfront patios overlooking the beachside pool, or on the rooftop for dining beneath star-spangled skies.

Intimate dining can be arranged anywhere, in fact: beachside surrounded by lush tropical foliage, in the garden, or even on the golf course if that’s your thing. If you want to dine at ‘home’, a team of chefs will come to your villa and prepare whatever takes your fancy.

This personal attentive service, where nothing is too much trouble, is the key to Banwa’s exclusivity and extraordinary price tag.

The article ‘The world’s most expensive resort’ first appeared in the November–December edition of Paradise, the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini.

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