Lagen Island sits in Bacuit Bay, an oceanscape of limestone islets and hyperbolically blue water off Palawan in the Philippines. Fun fact: In 2015, Palawan was voted (unsurprisingly to anyone who’s ever been there) the most beautiful island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Lagen is one of four environmentally minded El Nido Resorts, each unique but related, all clinging to uninhabited islets in the middle of the ocean. Less resort, as they call themselves, than experience. Getting there takes a prop plane, a bus, and a boat past Bacuit’s palm-tufted limestone isles, which seem hellbent on exhausting your camera batteries before you’ve even arrived at Lagen. Then you do arrive to a welcome drink and your options for that day and the days beyond: Pool-time today, boat ride to hidden lagoons tomorrow?
Read on for more about this out-of-bounds hotel.
Your adventure starts here: Land in El Nido Town, and the transportation takes a turn for the tropical. This beaut chauffeurs you (for free) from airplane to snack-stocked open-air lounge, to boat launch—all easily walkable, but who’d turn down such a ride?
When walking the plank is a pleasure. At the end of this pier awaits your motorized outrigger out to the islands.
The Clubhouse Restaurant is where meals are served, drinks are ordered, live music is enjoyed, and the day’s explorations are recounted.
An on-island chapel offers one of the most far-out places to say “I do” that we’ve ever encountered.