LUX­URY TO LODGE

Suite life or inn, there's room for ev­ery trav­eler

Sun Star Cebu Yearbook - - FRONT PAGE - BY FIONA PA­TRI­CIA S. ESCANDOR PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY JONOLIN M. LUAB

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.

Find­ing value

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

AES­THET­ICS.

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.

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