Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR) Expands with Maldives-Inspired Salepan Villas | Palawan


A few years ago, when typhoon Odette pummeled southern Philippines but luckily spared parts of Northern Palawan, we found a pleasant refuge and downtime at Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR) on Culion Island during the tail end of our Coron, Palawan trip. We eventually made it to Culion after two days of island hopping and getting holed up in another Sunlight property in Coron town hotel while weathering the storm.

Mishi Magno
The new Salepan Villas of SETIR numbers around 30

It didn’t take long upon docking at the property’s jetty for me to be awed by SETIR, which, as I later learned, spans 18 hectares across Naglayan Island, a small island half an hour from Culion town. After staying in numerous excellent resorts in the Philippines and Asia, the SETIR facility left a lasting impression on me. I remembered making a vow to myself to return here again in the future.

Return to SETIR

As luck would have it, an invitation to see SETIR's new villas came my way, and immediately, I found myself strapped into a Sunlight Air flight to Busuanga, Palawan, and on a speed boat to Naglayan Island in Culion for a return trip to Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort.

Ayi Del Rosario
This property is so big (they employ more than 250 staff, with more than half hailing from Culion)

This time around, I have my own drone camera, making my stay much better, as I was able to see and capture the whole property as seen from the sky. Compared to the overnight stay my previous stay, I got to enjoy the property for a couple of nights, thus giving me more chance to enjoy its many amenities, including a preview of what it was like to stay inside the newly built Salepan Villas.

Vicki Lim
The Sikaran Honeymoon Villas. Sikaran comes from the Cuyunon word which means "Sunrise"

Just like the first time I visited SETIR, I hired a bicycle and circled the entire resort while taking plunges in the swimming pool and the beach closest to my villa. On our second day, we relaxed in one of the Salepan villas, enjoying the private jacuzzi and a variety of delectable snacks for breakfast.

Sarah Aldana
Wouldn't mind coming back to SETIR for the third time...but sana may ka-honeymoon na

If you’re not familiar with Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort yet, let me explain that previously, they had two kinds of villas: the Overwater, which spreads a total of 99 villas of various categories like single, double, studio and duplex, and the Sikaran, otherwise known as the "honeymoon villas”, which  Much like the Sikaran Villas, the new Salepan Villas are more spacious, measuring 244 sq m, and have two bedrooms, a private jacuzzi pool, a roof deck, and a large balcony that opens up the sweeping views of Busuanga Bay.

Introducing the Salepan Villas

Already having satisfied my exploring curiosity the day before, I decided to accompany my colleagues travel writers to one of the Salepan Villas to discover for ourselves how it feels to stay in the recently launched Salepan Villas.

Charisse Vilchez
The Salepan Villas dots the other end of the island's shoreline

Guests staying at the Salepan Villas will surely enjoy luxury at its finest. Each villa comes with a personal butler ready to cater to a guest's needs the moment they step foot on the island. For exploration needs, a dedicated buggy ensures effortless movement around the property. Highlighting the gastronomic part is SETIR's personalized culinary meals prepared by a private chef guaranteeing a diverse gourmet experience.

Levy Amosin
Inside the two-bedroom Salepan Water Villas

Every inch of the 244 sq. m. Salepan Water Villas was designed with thoughtful finishes inspired by local crafts. The design elements allow guests to bask in total relaxation in its complete amenities, which consist of two bedrooms each with ensuite bathrooms, a jacuzzi pool, a kitchenette, an outside living room, a dining area, and a roof deck boasting panoramic views of Culion Island and the azure colored Busuanga Bay. During high tide, guests can take direct access to the water below to immerse themselves in the rich marine biodiversity from the comforts of their villa.

Janina Vicente
There are 11 dining spots in the property alone: Sun Cafe, Xiang Hotpot, Poolside Pation, Island Garden, Mangrove, Hikari, Rare Steakhouse, Cafe Adlaw, Luna, the Cellar and Turo-turo. However, you can choose to have your meals delivered to your Salepan Villa.

Complementing Salepan Villa's main amenities include the king-sized bed, double beds, LED television sets, Bang and Olufsen speakers, a minibar with a Nespresso coffee machine, and a smart toilet.

Marky Ramone Go
Chill wherever you want, by the jacuzi, or at the rooftop

Named from the local Cuyunon word "Salepan," which means "sunset,"  these villas provide the ideal vantage point from which to watch the sun go down. Picture this: you're standing on the roof of one of the villas, sipping a glass of wine while the cool wind of dusk caresses your face.

Bim Mauricio
Each villa is separated by a long boardwalk providing utmost privacy. The Mangrove Restaurant is the one on the upper part.

“The Salepan villas were built to accommodate larger parties looking for a more private and elegant stay as the resort's guest count continued to rise” says SETIR’s Radine Brito. “Our Sirakan villas are perfect for honeymooners and couples looking for a more intimate setting, while our Salepan villas are perfect for families and groups of friends looking for more room and the best amenities.”

Breakfast by the jacuzzi pool

Indeed, as up to six guests can occupy each Salepan Villa, these new offerings from SETIR further amplifies its standing as one of the best luxury resort in the Philippines, if not the world. As I take one last look at the sinking sun on the horizon as the bright moon starts to rise on the other side of the sky, I thanked the heavens for the good karma of bringing me once again to this wonderful property.

You can read about the other amenities of Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort in my previous blog article here.