Having been to the Maldives, Fiji and various other islands around the world I knew that booking into an ‘affordable island resort’ was always going to be a gamble but it was a gamble that paid off big time and Modessa Island Resort in the Philippines turned out to be absolute paradise on a serious budget.
Modessa Island is very small, you can walk around it in 20 minutes but there are no inhabited islands near by so you feel very secluded. The water is crystal clear and a beautiful turquoise colour and it is completely flat calm. The sand is super soft and so white it really is a tropical island and it felt so good to be on a beautiful island again.
Just off the island a sand bar formed so you could take a walk right out in the ocean away from the island but still be on the sand. It truly felt like you were getting away from everything!
How to get there
I flew from Manila to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan with AirAsia and it took just over an hour to get to the lovely island.
From there I booked a transfer through my hotel to Roxas for 350 pesos. The transfer was a mini van that drove pretty darn quickly. We got dropped off at a restaurant where our friends Sam and Emma were waiting as well as the staff from Modessa Island Resort who were to take us over on their boat. The boat was included in the package price which was a little bonus.
The beach bungalow
The gorgeous little huts that were situated right on the beach are mere footsteps from the clear blue ocean. They were basic but exactly what you need from a beach hut. An outdoor shower, fan, mosquito net and a broom to sweep out all of the sand.
Food was inclusive of the price and there was options of chicken, seafood, pork and vegetarian for both lunch and dinner and breakfast was either eggs, pancakes or cereal and fruit. The dining room area was in the best location as it offered stunning views.
I’ll admit the food was basic and a bit samey at times but it didn’t bother me that much. The seafood was basically what was caught on that day and there was a bar that was stocked with beer and spirits. You could choose from pork cordon bleu, spaghetti carbonara, chicken and rice, whole fish, crab and plenty of stir fry dishes.
My husband is a diver and he made sure to get at least two dives a day in each day we were there. The diving was very reasonably priced at £15 a dive and as no one else on the island was diving at the time so it was just him and the instructor. He thoroughly enjoyed each dive and even got a couple of night dives in that he raved about over the dinner table those evenings. It was also offshore diving so no boat trips needed.
There are several reefs just off shore so there is plenty of snorkelling to be done and I did so every day I was at Modessa Island Resort. I saw sharks, puffer fish, trigger fish, lion fish, barracuda, sting rays and all sorts of beautiful colourful tropical fish. Snorkelling gear can be hired from the dive centre for a small fee.
Check out my video at the end of the post for some seriously cool snorkelling videos including a shark!
Star gazing and sun sets
The stars in the evening were some of the best I’ve seen, with little or no light pollution it makes for great star gazing and the plankton glistens in the water in the evening as well so it’s just like a dream.
Like any tropical destination the sunsets were just beautiful and Modessa Island Resort was no different, sitting on the beach with a drink in hand watching the sun go down made me feel as always very thankful to be doing what I’m doing.
For 6 nights which included return boat journey from Roxas, three meals a day and accommodation we paid 26,000 pesos which works out at around £400GBP. We were happy with the price we paid for what we got because the island was just beautiful, the staff couldn’t do enough for you and we really did enjoy life on Modessa Island.
We left Modessa reluctantly after spending six glorious days on the island, we could’ve spent another week there doing nothing nothing and I hope one day we go back as it truly was paradise on a budget. We had a great time with our friends Sam and Emma who we met in Africa but unfortunately we were having such a good time (at the bar) this is the only photo I have of us.
Next stop: El Nido, Palawan
Interested in Asia travel? Check out my Asia page for other destinations.