Opened to guests who are at 16 years and above, Mangenguey Island is located in Palawan Island, a splendid and peaceful location that sits on the clear waters of The Philippine Archipelago. Offering untouched beauty, it provides access to the center of the Coral Triangle, and is blessed with natural wonders like limestone cliffs, wild orchids, and white sandy beaches, as well as breathtaking natural scenery. Founded by design visionary Helena and her husband, Richard Mander, they focus on creating a utopia, blending untouched nature with culture and art at its best. The resorts interior is architecturally designed to show off classical forms with indigenous materials creating a cultural fusion for a unique experience. Boasting incredible rooms that have views of the sea and surrounding islands, it is the perfect getaway. They also feature various activities like water sports, bird watching, island hopping with gourmet picnics, or taking in the gorgeous view while trekking through the forest. Mangenguey Island is a resort that not only offers a vacation, but also gives you the Filipino cultural experience, stylish and artistic accommodation, a perfect example of Utopian Living.
The dining experience on Mangenguey is like no other: fresh sea air to stimulate the appetite, gorgeous views of the ocean, superb cuisine, warm and friendly service, and interesting conversation.
Helena’s simple and approachable Catalan-inspired cuisine is definitely one of the highlights of the Mangenguey experience. Guests have called her amazing food “fabulous beyond words”, an “Epicurean extravaganza” for the senses. One called it “like… a Michelin starred restaurant stuck on a tropical island”.
Gathered around the gracious table for communal dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, meals on Mangenguey reflect the distinctive character of Helena: her Spanish childhood, her years of travelling throughout different continents, combined with her knack of using of local ingredients. Private and romantic meals are also served upon request.
Mornings at Mangenguey are luxuriously simple: delicious seasonal fruits, buttery croissants, and coffee, tea, and juice. Lunch and dinner are always special events with Helena’s beautifully plated dishes. Some lunch favorites include “The Pepito” a pork tenderloin sandwich with red and green sautéed peppers, onions, and aioli on ciabatta bread, served with crispy French fries; the “Salade Mangenguey”, Helena’s native adaptation of Salade Nicoise, with spicy grilled local tuna surrounded with an array of fresh local vegetables, drizzled with calamansi vinaigrette and sprinkle with onions, olives, and topped with red eggs; the “Tortilla Espanola”, a Spanish classic: a delicious potato, onion and egg frittata with grilled farm bread rubbed with garlic and topped with freshly grated tomatoes, Spanish ham, and drizzled with virgin olive oil. Dinner specialties include the house pate, “Mousse de Volaille au cognac”; a Catalan Bullavesa with fish, prawns, clams, mussels, and squid all cooked together in a rich broth of saffron, herbs and garlic; Vegetarian Ravioli with pancetta and leek sauce; Chateaubriand steak with ube mash, buttered green beans and carrots and Helena’s spicy sauce Béarnaise; baked Philippine scallops in the half shell; Braise duck with a citrus sauce of dalandan and calamansi finished with a Catalan “picada” served with sweat potatoes and sautéed greens.
Meals are capped off with delightful desserts: imagine fresh ice cream made with slivers of tender coconut meat; freshly baked warm chocolate bread pudding and strawberry short cake; and “Mel y Mato”—fresh carabao cheese drizzled with wild Palawan honey and roasted pine nuts.
For those with special diets, vegetarian meals can be prepared provided advance notice and an extra charge.
Guests can also enjoy a variety of classic cocktails and a selection of wines, spirits, and beers. A truly luxurious moment on the island is the pre-dinner drinks at the main villa: sip the house champagne or imbibe a chilled beer as tantalizing aromas waft from the open-style kitchen.
Helena’s signature cocktails include “The Genguey”—the island official drink of rum, coconut, and lime; “The Maligaya”, which is Cava, dark rum, lime and mint, and “The Helenita”, the version of a margarita from Helena’s Famous Tapas Bar in New York City.