LUXURY TO LODGE
Suite life or inn, there's room for every traveler
BACKPACKER or businessman. Pilgrim or party of five. Patrician or plebeian.
The metropolis has attracted travelers of every nationality, age and social group with its expanding range of business and leisure options. With 728 establishments and 21,303 rooms, Cebu has accommodation options to serve every purpose and price point.
Couples and families will enjoy the five- star beach resorts lined up on Mactan Island. Business travelers will find convenience in the city hotels situated strategically in key locations, and backpackers and value seekers will revel in the extensive amenities provided by budget- friendly lodges.
Revolutionizing economical accommodations in Cebu is the twoyear- old Tune Hotel, which practices a pricing mechanism similar to that of airlines. A sister- company of budget airline AirAsia, Tune Hotels has a reservation system that allows rate flexibility depending on the demand and how early a booking is made.
Another bargain point of Tune Hotel is its unique “pay- as- you- use” concept in amenities like television and Internet usage, and towels and toiletries. It draws in occupants who are out for most of the day and seek accommodation for the sole purpose of having a place to sleep and leave their belongings.
In the port district of Cebu is another place for the budgetconscious, Hotel Pier Cuatro, an ideal option for visitors who go on sea transit. A no- frills establishment, the hotel integrates a functional mindset in providing its services. In 2013, it was awarded by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice as part of the 25 bargain hotels in the Philippines.
IN THE PORT DISTRICT OF CEBU IS ANOTHER PLACE FOR THE BUDGET- CONSCIOUS, HOTEL PIER CUATRO, AN IDEAL OPTION FOR VISITORS WHO GO ON SEA TRANSIT
Quest starts here
For business travelers, nestled in the heart of the city is a selection of midrange, standard hotels.
With function rooms and halls well suited for business gatherings, Quest Hotel & Conference Center mainly caters to working travelers, ranging from top executives to young professionals. The hotel has standard facilities. But should the need arise, it can also provide special amenities to VIP guests.
Less than a year after it started operations in 2012, the hotel received a Service Excellence Award from TripAdvisor and was nominated as a Top Ranking Hotel by online booking engine Expedia. As for Best Western Plus Lex Cebu, the first local branch of the international chain takes pride in its luxurious amenities offered at affordable rates. Aside from its business facilities, each of its guest rooms boasts of premium amenities like pressuresensitive memory foam mattresses and built- in LCD monitors in the bathrooms.
Quest Hotel & Conference Center and Best Western Plus Lex Cebu both have swimming pools and bars situated on their top floors, also catching the attention of leisure tourists.
The boutique- style The Henry Hotel, meanwhile, features artisan accommodations with each of its 38 spacious rooms sporting unique and quirky interiors and furnishings. Opened in 2012, it is the pioneering design hotel in Cebu.
It has a mixed guest profile: businessmen, vacationers and even locals who want to bask in the hotel’s aesthetics. The Henry Hotel also houses Scrapyard Lounge, Rica’s Restaurant and Qube Art Gallery.
Reach for the stars
The leading five- star accommodations within the city are provided by Marco Polo Plaza and Radisson Blu Hotel. Offering recreational and business amenities, these international hotels cater to guests of varying backgrounds. Corporate clients benefit from their extensive banquet services. Leisure tourists enjoy their recreational facilities, while many non- staying locals patronize the hotels’ selection of dining outlets.
Marco Polo’s Café Marco and Radisson Blu’s Feria are among the renowned international buffet restaurants in the city. Café Marco has been recognized as the 5th Best Restaurant in the Philippines by Miele’s Guide, while Feria was included in the 2011 and 2012 lists of Best Restaurants in the country by Philippine Tatler.
Positioned in Cebu’s resort hub, Lapu- Lapu City, on the other hand, are the five- star beach resorts that are favorites of foreign travelers on holiday breaks. In the first four months of 2013, the Department of Tourism said, more than 50 percent of all foreign visitors to Cebu went to or stayed in the island city. Lapu- Lapu occupies most of Mactan Island.
The island’s first five- star resort, Shangri- la’s Mactan Resort & Spa, offers world- class comfort
and recreation. Known for its Chi Spa and its diving center, the resort is home to a six- hectare marine sanctuary with abundant marine life. The 20- year- old resort was recently recognized as an Asean Green Hotel by the Asean Tourism Forum.
One of the newest names in Mactan’s roster of resorts is the proudly Filipino- owned Crimson Resort & Spa. Unlike most other resorts, the sprawling property features luxurious villa- type accommodations, each housing its own private pool. The resort is accentuated with a three- tiered infinity pool, a private beachfront and a spa.
In 2013, Crimson Resort & Spa made it to Conde Nast’s List of Recommended Resorts & Spas and was awarded The World Luxury Award in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.
IN RECENT YEARS, EVEN NON- PEAK SEASONS HAVE SEEN BETTER OCCUPANCY LEVELS DUE TO THE AFFORDABLE AIRFARES MADE AVAILABLE TO DOMESTIC TRAVELERS
Globetrotter’s second home
At the end of 2012, Cebu hit the two million mark in tourist arrivals. This represents a doubling of the figures that the province recorded eight years earlier.
Leading the list as top visitors were the Japanese, Korean and Chinese, followed by the Northern Europeans and Scandinavians.
The first quarter of the year is traditionally the busiest period for Cebu’s accommodation establishments, according to The 2012 Yearend Report by Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu president Hans Hauri. This is because of the Sinulog Festival held in January, the Chinese New Year, the general traffic of balikbayans ( returning Filipinos), and visitors from cold areas like Northeastern Europe seeking tropical weather.
But in recent years, even non- peak seasons have seen better occupancy levels due to the affordable airfares made available to domestic travelers, who visit Cebu for quick weekend getaways. A first since 2007, a double- digit increase in domestic visitor arrivals was recorded in 2013.
For travelers to Cebu, it’s not the journey but the destination that counts, bed and board included.
QUEST HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER
ART MEETS BUSINESS. IT’S NOT ALL
BUSINESS FOR EXECUTIVES WHO
CHOOSE QUEST HOTEL & CONFERENCE
CENTER ( ABOVE) FOR THEIR FUNCTIONS,
AS THEY CAN ALSO RELAX AT ITS
TOP- FLOOR POOL AND BAR. FOR THE
MORE ADVENTUROUS, THERE’S THE
HENRY HOTEL ( RIGHT) WITH ITS QUIRKY
THE HENRY HOTEL
CAFE MARCO AT MARCO POLO PLAZA CEBU
HIGH MARCO AND POLO WIDE. PLAZAAT THE CEBU HIGH-( LEFT), RISE
RECREATION AND BUSINESS FIND A
DELICIOUS BLEND IN THE GASTRONOMIC
FEAST AT CAFÉ MARCO, WHILE AT
THE SPRAWLING CRIMSON RESORT &
SPA ( BELOW), GUESTS DON’T NEED TO
MINGLE; THEY CAN SOAK THEIR CARES
AWAY AT THE PRIVATE POOLS IN THEIR
VILLA- STYLED ROOMS.
CRIMSON RESORT & SPA
GRAND WELCOME. NO ONE WILL BE BLUE
AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL, WHERE
THE GRAND LOBBY GIVES A FORETASTE
OF THE HOTEL’S GRAND HOSPITALITY. ON
PAGE ___, A HOTEL EMPLOYEE PREPARES
TO WELCOME VISITORS WHO MAY EMERGE
FROM THE ELEVATORS.