Embrace both the laid-back island life in the Philippines and the hustle and bustle of business-focused Hong Kong. This 12-day itinerary is the perfect balance of adventure, culture and relaxation. Travel from Manila to Corregidor, Vigan, Laoag and Bohol in the postcard perfect island nation of the Philippines. Next, finish your adventure with a bang as you explore exciting Hong Kong.
Arrive in the lush Philippines - an archipelago of 7,000 incredible tropical islands. Fly into the capital city of Manila. With a population of 12 million, this is no small island town, but is indeed actually an amalgamation of many cities in one. There are several fantastic hotel options in the area. We recommend the Makati Shangri-La, Raffles Makati, the Peninsula Manila or the Fairmont Makati.
Enjoy an extensive tour of the pulsating city. Begin where Manila began - Intramuros, the walled city where Manila was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. Continue onto the charming residential district of Quiapo. Here you will find numerous shopping bazaars with unrivaled bargains. The 1981 Coconut Palace warrants a visit - the octagonal building is made entirely of local hardwoods and coconut shells.
Spend the day on an excursion to Corregidor Island. The island sits at the entrance to Manila Bay. The island is a goldmine for history-lovers. Learn about Corregidor’s role in World War II. Return to Manila in the evening and relax back at your hotel, or head out into the city to check out the buzzing nightlife.
Take a step back in time, to the cobblestone streets of Vigan. The historic city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although Vigan is separated from Luzon by the Mestizo River, it’s officially part of Luzon. We recommend staying at the Sitio Remedios - a beautiful vintage hotel that’s cozily tucked into its own private village.
Begin the morning with a tour of this heritage city. Make sure to ride a horse-drawn carriage, also known as a kalesa, a popular mode of transportation on the romantic cobblestone. The area’s pottery makes for fantastic souvenirs. There are several UNESCO sites in the area to explore.
Enjoy an excursion to Laoag in the sand dunes of Suba, just outside the city. Peruse the elegant baroque Church of Saint Augustine. Next, visit the oldest working lighthouse in Asia as well as several other architectural sites. Paoay is the next stop. The northernmost coastal town is filled with natural wonder. Return to Laoag in the evening and retire to your hotel.
Travel to intriguing Bohol, where you will check in to the luxurious Eskaya Hotel. Visit Bohol’s Tarsier Sanctuary, where you can see the darling creatures at play. Gain an incredible view of the stunning natural terrain that is the Chocolate Hills, so named due to their resemblance to large Hershey’s Kisses. Cruise down the Loboc River and peruse a local butterfly farm. Relax in style at your beach resort this evening.
Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales as you gaze upon the crystal-clear waters surrounding today’s destination: Panglao Island. Enjoy the views from the comfort of your luxury vessel. This evening, enjoy fine dining at your resort and a quality night’s sleep.
Today take a tour of the dense mangroves surrounding Bohol’s Abatan River. This is the perfect spot to check out local wildlife. Climb into a kayak to glide across the water, passing local river communities. The people are friendly and will treat you to your own special cultural demonstration. After viewing incredible cultural aspects, return to your hotel for your last night on the island.
Leave island life behind for the fast-paced business capital of Southeast Asia - exciting Hong Kong. The island offers the utmost in luxurious hotel options, we recommend the Mandarin Oriental or the Upper House for an excellent, comfortable stay. After getting settled, take a half-day walking tour of the city. Climb Victoria Peak on the steep tram to catch unrivaled views of the island. Take a ride on the longest escalator system in the world, and make sure to fit in some shopping before calling it a night.
Enjoy a gourmet breakfast at your hotel and then take a tour of Hong Kong’s artistic scene. The galleries feature a wide variety of art. Check out the wet markets and sample fresh, delicious market food. Take an authentic Chinese cooking class and learn to make the favorites yourself! Finish the day by taking a Feng Shui lesson with an expert in the art.
Raffles Makati Hotel lives up to the renowned Raffles repute. This luxurious hotel is located in central Manila, making it a prime base from which to explore the vibrant city. There are just 32 opulent suites that boast cityscape views. The hotel has plenty of amenities for the discerning guest including a spa, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room and fitness center. The four dining options combine the best of local culture and cuisine, as well as plenty of international dishes. There is a lounge bar and a pool bar mixing up tasty cocktails alongside wines, beers and light snacks. The Writers Bar, serving afternoon tea, was created in tribute to the famous novelists who have stayed at or written about Raffles. The Raffles Makati is a 30-minute drive from the airport.
Strategically placed on the corners of Ayala and Makati Avenues, The Peninsula Manila is close to premier shopping facilities and within easy access of Manila's numerous attractions. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and just 20 minutes from Manila's domestic airport. Elegantly furnished in classic style, the hotel's 497 rooms and suites provide modern, technologically advanced conveniences, including complimentary broadband Internet access. The Club has been designed with the needs of business travelers in mind and offers an exclusive Club Lounge, serving complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, and cocktails, as well as a boardroom, business center, and butler service. Continental and Pan-Asian cuisine is served at The Peninsula's many restaurants, including Old Manila and Spices, which are two of the top restaurants in the city. Salon de Ning, the hotel's quirky lounge, features musical entertainment on most evenings.
Step back in time with a stay at Hotel Luna, a unique hybrid of hotel and museum located in the city of Vigan in the Philippines. Nestled in the heart of the incredible architecture and intangible history of Vigan, a classified Heritage Village, Hotel Luna itself is a sight to be seen. Located in a decorative, four-storey colonial building, the hotel features fine pieces of Philippine art, from Juan Luna masterpieces to new items from contemporary artists. Guests can explore the artwork or spend lazy post-sightseeing afternoons lounging by the outdoor pool - located in the hotel’s courtyard - followed by a cocktail in the ornate Chula Saloon Bar. Afterwards, they may enjoy dinner at the in-house restaurant Comedor, feasting on Spanish dishes and gazing at the incredible art pieces adorning the walls, and take in a nightcap and a spectacular view of the city from Azotea, the rooftop patio.
The iconic Mandarin Oriental has been the standard-bearer for hotels in Hong Kong since it opened its doors in 1963. Just 40 minutes from Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG), the Mandarin Oriental sits in the heart of Central, Hong Kongs financial district, and has 502 rooms and suites decorated with modern Asian touches, such as Chinois day bed loungers that easily convert into sofa beds, and views of the city and/or Victoria Harbor. The Mandarin Spa offers a full suite of spa and beauty services based on traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic healing therapies, and has eight private treatment rooms including two couples' suites, each with private steam shower and tub. There are 10 distinct restaurants and bars, including Man Wah, the hotels exquisite Cantonese restaurant on the 25th floor, the elegant Krug Room, which serves special tasting menus paired with Krug champagnes, and The Mandarin Cake Shop, which displays its myriad of freshly baked treats like jewelry in gorgeous glass cases. Other facilities and amenities include a fitness center, indoor heated pool on the top floor, wi-fi access everywhere, and IT butlers to assist you with any technological queries you may have.
Opened in 2009, Hong Kong’s hip and luxurious Upper House is the sister hotel of Beijing’s Opposite House. Occupying floors 38 to 49 of the Pacific Place tower in Admiralty, Upper House was designed by architect Andre Fu, dubbed by Conde Nast Traveler as an “Asian design sensation.” His meticulous design is intended to evoke the intimacy and tranquility of a private home high above the hectic city. Each of the hotel’s 117 rooms, including 21 suites and two penthouses, has a dramatic harbour view or city view. Amenities in every room include an iPod Touch with custom music playlists, hotel and area information; 42-inch LCD TVs with surround sound, video-on-demand and PC, camcorder and MP3 connectivity; and choice of broadband or wireless Internet. On the property’s 49th floor, Café Gray Deluxe is helmed by chef Gray Kunz, featuring a 46-foot-long open kitchen and bar of the same length, as well as a private dining room for up to 12. Upper House’s atrium presents a 10-storey sculpture by Hiroshiwata Sawada, and each room’s decor includes a unique sandstone sculpture by Marvin Mintofang. There is also a gym with cardiovascular and weight-training equipment. Upper House is approximately 40 minutes from Chek Lap Kok International Airport.