Tropical foliage against whitewashed cottages in whites, greys and touches of black now make up the signature look of Lagen Island of El Nido Resorts in Palawan.
The new look has been luring more tourists to the island, known as an eco-sanctuary framed by dramatic limestone cliffs – the backdrop for many an island-inspired wedding.
The contemporary look with Filipino touches in Lagen’s villas and rooms were conceptualized by Architect Conrad Onglao.
The villas were built with high ceilings, wide open spaces, balconies under sloping roofs with broad overhangs. Some villas that are as large as 70 sqm now accommodate four people. These include bathrooms with twin vanities and a generous tub.
Rooms open up with louvered windows so guests can check out the landscape, and watch various species in their natural habitat.
Vintage details abound—ceramic tiles with bold Mediterranean patterns popularized a century ago by tile producer Don Jose Machuca; woven-backed chairs and bed frames inspired by the solihiya; raffia walls; birthing chairs or the butaka and tribal crafts. Old botanical prints, researched by Augustinian friar, Manuel Blanco, add history. Sheer drapery and eyelet cotton bed curtains amplify the lightness and airiness of the room with a timeless coastal charm.
At night, Onglao set up a lighting design that provides hefty doses of drama.
Lights highlight Lagen Island’s famous rock formation, while vintage hurricane lamps draw attention to the breakwaters.
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