MANILA, Philippines – International recognition continues to pour in for the resort island of Boracay, which has just been named among the world’s most romantic islands by readers of an upscale travel magazine.
In the February issue of Travel + Leisure, Boracay island in Aklan provinces was listed as the No. 5 island for romance based on votes from readers of the magazine.
Boracay was ranked higher than Southeast Asian rival Bali in Indonesia.
The Tahitian island of Bora-Bora was voted the most romantic island, a new category in the magazine’s World’s Best Awards survey.
“Once a backpacking haven with only the most basic accommodations, this 5-mile-long island now rivals better-known Asian destinations such as Phuket and Koh Samui, Thailand,” Travel + Leisure’s Christine Ciarmello said about Boracay.
Describing the sand of Boracay’s White Beach, Ciarmello wrote it “may just be the softest in the world.”
Ciarmello recommended the island’s Mandala Spa & Villa, which “feels like a true retreat, with daily yoga classes and massages included in room rates, along with all the mangoes you can eat.”
She also recommended Mandala’s traditional “hilot” massage as well as the Mediterranean mezes at the restaurant Kasbah near Station One on White Beach.
Here are the 10 most romantic islands in the world, according to the magazine:
1. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
2. Capri, Italy
3. Santorini, Greece
4. Kauai, Hawaii
5. Boracay, Philippines
7. Maui, Hawaii
9. Vieques, Puerto Rico
10. Bali, Indonesia
Boracay is no stranger to awards, having also been named the world’s best island getaway by Travel + Leisure magazine last year. It has also been voted by users of the travel website TripAdvisor as one of the world’s top beach destinations for 2012.
In 2008, a poll by the travel magazine Smart Travel Asia showed that Boracay is among the best holiday destinations in the region.
Earlier this month, Boracay was named the best place in the world for relaxation, according to a poll conducted by hotel booking site Agoda.com.