Photos by Travels with a Hobo /Paolyn's Houseboat
Staying at a floating house in the Philippines offers a different holiday experience than the usual beach resorts. While most beach resorts in the Philippines are modern, elegant, and concrete structures, floating houses tend to be more rustic and eco-friendly. They are generally smaller than their land-based counterparts as they are meant to blend in more with their surroundings instead of disrupting nature.
- Check our article on the most unique hotels and resorts in the Philippines
The thought of staying in open water may be frightening or worrisome for some. However, floating cottages have the design and structure to be safe and secure living spaces. These floating hotels are situated in safe areas on purpose. Many of them are close to the shore, while others are based in calm and sheltered bays protected from harsh elements.
Floating bungalows in the Philippines are perfect for travelers who love being on a boat or surrounded by water. They often offer an escape from the fast and hectic city life. Staying on a houseboat is a unique travel experience that brings you close to nature.
Here are the top 5 floating house resorts in the Philippines that you should check out:
5. Palawan Secret Cruise Floating Hotel (El Nido)
Photo by Palawan Secret Cruise Floating Hotel
Palawan Secret Cruise Floating Hotel is a 27-meter bangka (traditional boat) equipped with comfortable living spaces. This floating hotel is located just off the El Nido dock and is designed for cruising around the azure waters of the gorgeous Bacuit Bay. While onboard, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of magnificent limestone karsts, which made El Nido island hopping tours world-famous.
The Palawan Secret Cruise Floating Hotel has 12 cabins, with each one having ceiling fans and a luxurious mattress with premium linens. The shared bathrooms onboard come with a freshwater shower and complimentary toiletries.
- Check our article on the best hotels and resorts in El Nido
The property maintains a restaurant, a small library, a barbecue area, and a bar and lounge area. Other notable services the hotel is offering include laundry, luggage storage, and childcare.
Sunbathing, getting a massage, and watching the sunset are some of the relaxing activities you can enjoy at this hotel. If you want to stay active, the staff can arrange activities such as trekking, snorkeling, fishing, cave exploration, cliff jumping, and kayaking.
Palawan Secret Cruise Floating Hotel is located in Barangay Buena Suerte, which is only 450 meters from El Nido beach. Other notable beaches like Papaya Beach (300 meters) and Corong Corong Beach (1.7 km away) are nearby.
4. Mountain Lake Resort (Caliraya, Laguna)
Photo by Mountain Lake Resort
Situated in Cavinti Town, Laguna Province, the Mountain Lake Resort treats guests to stunning and serene scenery. The resort sits along Lake Caliraya and overlooks the beautiful Mount Banahaw mountain ranges. It is a relaxation and recreational property that covers about 300 hectares of land.
Mountain Lake features a veranda restaurant, a bar, a shop, jacuzzi, lockers, massage and sauna rooms. The resort is also known for its Arnold Palmer 18-hole golf course called Caliraya Springs Golf Course. Other facilities in the property include a fishing village, an obstacle course, and a star-gazing area called Astro camp.
- Read our article on the best resorts in Laguna
Mountain Lake Resort has a variety of accommodation options, but the most unique is its floating bungalows. These bungalows sit right on the lake and are individually connected to the shore by a small bridge.
Aside from being fully air-conditioned, the boathouse has stored rainwater that can be used for cold and hot showers. It also has a flat-screen TV, hairdryer and a mini-fridge. Each boathouse has a sun deck or patio where guests can relax and enjoy the beautiful lake and mountain views. Your stay at this floating bungalow gives you access to all of the resort’s facilities, including the swimming pool.
3. Grace Island Resort (Occidental Mindoro)
Photo by Grace Island Resort
People often compare Grace Island Resort to the gorgeous resorts found in the Maldives. Indeed, Grace Island lives up to the comparison as it features rustic floating cottages nestled in the beautiful cove of Buri Island of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
Grace Island Resort is an extensive property with facilities like a restaurant, a coffee shop, and a playground that stand on the main island. It also has some air-conditioned rooms by the beach shore. But it is the resort’s floating cottages that attract a lot of attention.
These cottages made of rustic wood stand above the water and are linked together by stilt bamboo bridges. Some cottages are for day usage only, and others are for overnight stays and big groups and families.
It is safe to stay at these floating cottages because they are near the shore and the water level is consistent. Wooden bridges connect the cottages to the main island.
The main benefit of staying at Grace Island’s floating cottage is waking up to a view of the endless blue sea. From your cottage’s deck, you can jump straight into the sea to swim and snorkel. Just underneath the cottages is an extensive underwater ecosystem filled with fish and corals.
During your stay at Grace Island Resort, you can book activities like island hopping, cycling, zipline, banana boat ride, and jet skiing. Sunsets are especially incredible from the decks of the floating cottages.
2. Aquascape Lake Caliraya (Laguna)
Photo by Travels with a Hobo
Located in Cavinti, Laguna, Aquascape Lake Caliraya is a place for people to slow down, relax, and appreciate nature. This lakeside resort has a collection of land-based accommodation and floating houses. But the floating houses are the most popular due to their Bahay Kubo design (traditional Filipino nipa houses) and cozy feel.
- Check out our list of the best beach resorts near Manila
You are not roughing it out if you book one of these floating bungalows Philippines as they are made to be comfortable. Each floating cabana comes with couches, a double bed, and an extra mattress. Even without air conditioners, the spaces are kept cool by electric fans and the natural mountain breeze. The floating cabin also comes with a small kitchen with a gas stove and a mini-bar, TV, outdoor seats, and a hammock.
These floating houses are powered by solar electricity, making them more eco-friendly and sustainable. They are also motorized, so a trained staff can cruise them across the lake upon request.
Aquascape Lake Caliraya sits within a property called Eco Saddle and is about 115 kilometers from Metro Manila.
1. Paolyn’s Houseboat (Coron)
Photo by Paolyn's Houseboat
Most resorts and hotels in Coron are located in the main town as the indigenous Tagbanua tribes restrict the building of properties in the bay area. However, the hotel owners negotiated a deal with the tribes that allowed them to put up the only floating hotel in Coron Bay.
Paolyn’s proximity to Coron’s most visited spots like Twin Lagoon (800 meters away), Kayangan Lake (2.4 kilometers away), and Barracuda Lake is one of the advantages of staying at this floating hotel. Aside from boat tours, you can also snorkel, coral reef dive, kayak, and paddleboat during your holiday at Paolyn’s Houseboat.
Paolyn’s Houseboat owns three floating structures: the glass houseboat, the original houseboat, and the floating bamboo suites. The houseboats and suites are equipped with a mosquito net, safety box, sun loungers, a bathroom with a hot shower, and a pump toilet. Air conditioning is still available at an additional cost. The best part of the houseboats is their private deck, where guests can have their meals, relax and enjoy the wonderful Coron seascape.
Try the Unique Experience of Staying at a Floating House Resort in the Philippines
Photo by Paolyn's Houseboat
To ensure that your stay at a floating resort in the Philippines is satisfying, you must learn to manage expectations. It's hard to find a luxury floating resort in Manila, Philippines. You need to travel from the metropolitan area for a chance to stay at such a type of accommodation.
Some floating hotels are designed to be luxurious and comfortable, while others are located in remote places where some modern conveniences may not be available. You may have to compromise on the usual hotel amenities if you choose to stay at a floating hotel in the Philippines. This compromise is part of the experience and should be something you're prepared to do. Thus, make sure to do enough research before booking a floating resort to avoid disappointment.
Staying right on the water is not only a unique experience but also a very relaxing one. The floating villas in the Philippines featured in this list are truly remarkable not only because of what type of accommodation they are. These hotels stand out because of their incredible location. They bring the beauty of nature right to your doorsteps.
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