Philippines: Beach resort embraces green, sustainable practices

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Palawan boasts of 1,780 islands and islets with sugar-white sand beaches covering 2,000 kilometers of the Philippine coastline. It has vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of mountain ranges, making it a valuable source of timber. These forests and grasslands are home to more than 200 kinds of birds, over 600 species of butterflies and 1,500 host plants. Endangered sea turtles and dugong have a larger population in Palawan than in any other part of the country.

With those figures alone, the island has rightfully earned the title “The Philippines’ Last Frontier,” and it is on this amazing last frontier that the latest eco-friendly and eco-conscious Astoria property recently opened: Astoria Palawan.

Naturally beautiful

Managed by Asian Grand Legacy Hotels Corp. and Astoria Hotels and Resorts’ latest addition to its growing portfolio of leisure and entertainment properties in Ortigas, Boracay, Bohol and Chardonnay by Astoria, Astoria Palawan is a brief 75-minute drive Northeast of the city to San Rafael, right on the shores of the picturesque Honda Bay.

“While most resorts in the province are focusing in the town of San Vicente, we are the only one opening in San Rafael and employing people in this vicinity,” said John Tanjangco, Astoria Hotels and Resorts’ corporate branding, creative and PR head. “It is also a sellable destination and our target market cuts across all markets—from the young adventurous ones, balikbayan market, and families.”

Situated on a five-hectare mango orchard that is surrounded by mountain and beachfront views of the Sulu Sea, Astoria paid special attention to the area’s natural features and geography to keep the resources of Palawan pristine.

Moreover, only green building materials, practices and methods were strictly adapted for this project and a modern Sewage Treatment Plant was designed to recycle the wastewater. In Palawan, where one can say that the rules are even stricter and more comprehensive, Astoria Palawan went over and above the requirements to ensure that the resort operations would not compromise the natural beauty of the resort property.

The resort’s water supply comes from the mountain spring but to ensure its cleanliness, a water filtration system is being used. The water quality produced is similar to mineral water in a water-refilling station.

Astoria Palawan also uses Eco-Wiz, a food-waste processor imported from Singapore, which efficiently turns food waste into clean water that can also be used for watering the plants. Likewise, heat pumps are also used to heat water for bathroom and kitchen use. These draw heat from the ambient air and transfer it to the water. Removing heat from the air will result in cooler air which, in turn, pre-cools the room, resulting in less air-conditioning load needed.

VRF air-conditioning units, which save electricity by up to 40 percent, are used for the resort’s accommodations and public areas, and solar panels are employed in the back-of-house building, which are used for internal and staff accommodation.

The architecture can be best described as rustic/modern, and like the other Astoria Hotels, the design team behind Astoria Palawan is Architect Ed Gallego and sisters Cynthia and Ivy Almario. Their environmental design and materials used throughout the resort are meant to make guests of Astoria Palawan experience a unique sojourn that will be truly memorable.

“We are following the same recipe of the other Astoria properties: building in an already-known destination, such as in Boracay and Bohol, being design-driven, and being in a strategic location such as in a nice beachfront,” Tanjangco said.

Luxuriously green

Astoria Palawan boasts of the same excellent features of a quality destination the emerging hotel chain is known for—large rooms, remarkable architectural and interior design, first-rate amenities, great food and warm service. Add in the natural beauty of the province, the resort makes a perfect new sanctuary for Palawan-lovers.

The resort offers travelers 13 leaf-inspired, wood cabin-type villas, which house all of the 40 luxurious and spacious private rooms and suites.  The deluxe rooms have floor areas of 38 sq m, 56 sq m for the one-bedroom suites and 91 sq m for the two-bedroom suites.

All rooms have either a king- or two queen-sized beds. The one- and two-bedroom suites have separate living and dining areas. All the modern conveniences like individual climate control air-conditioning, LCD television, DVD player, cable TV, complimentary Internet access, kitchenette, complimentary coffee and tea making facilities are found in each of the rooms and suites.

Outside their luxurious rooms, guests have all the options to have a perfect getaway with the amenities offered by the resort. Located in the center of the property is The Reserve, the resort’s restaurant that has a panoramic view of the Sulu Sea and the 39-meter infinity pool. It features a live kitchen wherein resort guests can watch their favorite dishes prepared and cooked right in front of them and a wood fire brick oven for roasts, pizzas, breads and other delicious meals. Guests have the option to dine in either indoor or al fresco sections at The Reserve.

There is also The Canopy, the resort’s reception pavilion where guests are first welcomed and introduced to the resort by the staff. It also houses the Customer Service Lounge and the Indoor Recreation Area. Decorated with mini wooden sculptures of a whale, seacow, turtle, dolphin and wild boar, here guests can spend endless hours playing billiards, card and board games, Ping-Pong, fooz ball and video games for children of all ages.

The Pod is the resort’s pool and is the hotel chain’s longest pool to date at 39-meters long. It features an infinity edge that seems to connect to the Sulu Sea. The pool also has a large section for sunken loungers and a separate shallow portion for the children’s pool. Fitted with fiber optic lights that mimic constellations, the pool mesmerizes the resort guests in the evening.

Other facilities that are available to guests are the children’s playground and tree house, a fitness gym, in suite massages, tandem kayaks and tours in and around Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa and the Underground River. Guests have so much more to look forward to as there are more amenities to come for Palawan’s newest most exciting destination.

 

Source: Business Mirror

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