News & Reviews News Property of the Month: June 2024

What

Banwa Private Island

Where

Philippines – in the Palawan archipelago

The lowdown

Banwa has gone under the radar, most likely due to it being so remote (and expensive) that you need a radar to detect it.  They tried to launch as an exclusive-use island, focusing on the fact that it was the most expensive island in the world.  Turns out “I’m super expensive” isn’t the best tactic for a new, untested product in a country only known for one other luxury property.  So they quietly shifted to being a resort instead.

Banwa is not the most sophisticated property on earth, instead focusing on the natural beauty of the island.  However, they do offer a range of activities including non-motorised water sports like Hobie wave sailing. Guests can also enjoy snorkelling on the house reef, playing on the 9-hole golf course, or tennis, basketball, pickleball, and beach volleyball. For wellness, the island features a gym, massage suite, Pilates studio, yoga deck, and juice bar.

Accommodation

Just six villas offering a total of eleven bedrooms. An island buyout is available.

Why did it make the list?  

It promises a mosquito-free option without using any pesticides.  I have waited my entire life for this day.  I am prepared to make the 19 hour journey just to dance on the mozzies graves.

What’s unique about it?

I repeat, it promises a mosquito-free option.

But other than that, the island spans six hectares of lush landscapes and white sand beaches.  It’s also in a part of the world that gets little attention, because Amanpulo is the only option there, which has started to get a less-than-stellar reputation.  But mostly, Banwa Private Island stands out for its strong focus on nature and conservation. Located in a Marine Protected Area, it supports thriving populations of endangered species like the Hawksbill Turtle and Black Tip Reef Sharks. The island’s Aquos Foundation promotes reef regeneration and conducts research on native birds and ecosystems. Its diverse landscape, part of the Coral Triangle, hosts numerous rare species, making it a unique haven for biodiversity and conservation efforts.  In other words, it’s really beautiful.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 25th Jun '24

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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