When it comes to upscale accommodations in Cebu, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa is usually the first that comes to mind. Since its establishment in 1993, this world-class resort property has been bagging awards left and right from both the local and international travel community for its genuine service, high-end suites and amenities, and wide array of options for dining, entertainment and recreation.
On our way to the property, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. But, all hesitations were erased when we were greeted by huge smiles from their welcoming staff. In fact, this didn’t only happen at the lobby; everyone greeted us whichever part of the huge 13-hectare property we went. The rooms and amenities were all well-maintained and beautifully designed that we couldn’t believe this place has been around for more than 20 years already.
Whether you want to go on a gastronomical adventure at any of their six specialty restaurants, get in for a dip in their two swimming pools and beach cove, or simply want to pamper yourself at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La – every corner of this deluxe resort property is setting the bar high for the hotel and hospitality industry in Cebu and the rest of the Philippines, for that matter.
This may be the most basic room but it certainly does not fall short on luxury. In fact, what really caught our attention was its beautiful huge bed, which we found out uses 220-thread-count bed linens. There’s room to get some work done, for when you just can’t let go of it, as well as for relaxing. You can opt to choose the bed or you can simply sit by your private balcony while you sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the lush greeneries and landscaped surroundings.
Families can also stay inside a deluxe room without feeling too cramped as there is plenty of space in this equally luxurious room. It comes with two Queen-sized beds which means there’s a lot of bed space for kids to play and roll around. Entering the bathroom made us feel like royalty – it comes equipped with a bathtub and a separate shower, complete with plush cotton towels, high-quality toiletries and exquisite bathrobes and slippers.
Both deluxe rooms mentioned above come with breathtaking views of gardens and landscapes but if you would like to opt for something else, there’s this room, too. It’s basically the same room except that you get treated to an endless view of the blue waters of Mactan Channel from your private balcony.
If you are looking for something a little more luxurious than the deluxe rooms, why not give the Suite Rooms a shot? When we made our way into the Mactan Suite, it felt like we were transported into a separate space. This one-bedroom suite comes with a separate dining and living area, making it perfect for entertaining guests or for bringing in a small family. Guests who stay here can even take advantage of full Ocean Club benefits so they can enjoy meal time with lesser crowds.
A slightly upgraded version of the Mactan Suite, this luxurious one-bedroom accommodation is perfect for families with small kids. What makes it great is that it comes with a separate kid’s room that has a daybed and ensuite shower room. Meanwhile, the separate living room also has a pull down sofa bed for extra sleeping space. For the adults, the marble bathroom with soaking tub and shower cubicle provides the perfect way to end a tiring day.
For slightly bigger families, the Shangri-La Suite is perfect as it has two bedrooms to fit everyone in. Stepping into this place felt like having a home within this luxury resort – aside from separate living and dining areas, it also has a huge private balcony and a separate pantry.
Although the most basic of all the room types in the Ocean Wing, the Premier Room did not disappoint us at all – it is very spacious and can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children that are 11 years old or younger, or 3 adults and 1 child that is under 12 years old. That’s how huge the space is! This room can either be facing the pool or overlooking lush gardens in a secluded setting. Still, we felt like we had paradise all to ourselves.
Sure, you can enjoy Shangri-La’s beautiful private beach but wouldn’t it be great if you can enjoy stunning ocean views from afar, too? Stay in a Panorama Room and we tell you, the views here are a sight to behold! The private balcony has a coffee table and seating for two, perfect for a quiet morning of introspection or afternoon chit chats with a friend.
Twice as big as the Panorama Room, the Panorama Suite lets you enjoy uninterrupted panoramic views of the Mactan Channel and nearby islands right from your own private balcony. On top of that, this one-bedroom suite also has a separate parlour, dining area, and marble bathroom. This suite is truly intimate and romantic, we can already imagine our next staycation here with our significant others.
Guests staying at Ocean Club room enjoy views of the Mactan Sea from the private balcony. Although it has the same size as the Panorama Room, guests at the Ocean Club Room enjoy full Ocean Club benefits, including complimentary daily buffet breakfasts and access to the Ocean Club Lounge with all-day non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, and evening cocktails. We can say that the benefits you get from staying at this room more than make up for the price you pay.
Everything was exquisite and huge when we checked out the Presidential Suite – from the two bedrooms to the separate parlour and dining area. It was perfect for entertaining guests during your stay. We also love the attention to details. Did you know that the beds come with 800-thread-count linen? Just imagine the comfort when sleeping! Oh, don’t forget to take full advantage of Ocean Club benefits and enjoy some privacy in the morning when you take your breakfast. That is, if you were successful enough to get out of bed early!
Interact with the sea creatures at the Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary
We’ve talked about the private beach but, really, there’s something more awesome about the resort’s beach than just providing privacy to its guests. The closer we came to the shoreline, the more we saw just how many schools of fish were swimming with the other resort guests. The fish here had actually become “at home” because they are well taken care of by the guests and staff.
Since its opening on 1 Feb 2007, different species of fish “migrate” to the area and among those spotted are angelfish, bannerfish, blue tang, butterfly fish, clownfish, clown sweetlips, goldfish, lionfish, pipefish, puffers, rainbowfish, wrasse, giant clams and many more.
In support of the Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary is the Maco’s Hub at the beachfront, where regular fish feeding sessions are held and guests can join the diving programmes and many other marine conservation activities. Isn’t it heartwarming to have a holiday and make a positive impact on Mother Nature at the same time?
Try a variety of leisure activities
As we strolled around the entire 13-hectare property, we saw a variety of leisure facilities that everyone of all ages can enjoy – Toddler Zone, Adventure Zone, E-Zone, Swimming Pools including the Ocean Wing Pool which is exclusive for Ocean Wing guests, Health Club, Tennis Centre, Pitch & Putt and Mini Golf. There are also regular scheduled activities such as yoga, circuit training, swimming clinic, volleyball, billiards tournament, Zumba and garden tour. There are too many facilities and activities to choose from that we couldn’t decide which ones to try first. Happy problem!
Take a relaxing day at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La
We all want to go on a staycation to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and that was exactly what we had in mind when we pampered ourselves at the CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. One of the largest of its kind in Asia, it is a whopping 10,000 square metres area complete with villas, gardens, pools and baths, perfect for those who simply want to relax and rejuvenate their bodies and minds. With over 35 customised therapies, we were simply spoilt for choice!
It’s hard to find someone who isn’t crazy over chocolates. Our heart nearly skipped a beat after finding out that Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa offers this one-of-a-kind experiential journey that will let you know more about the Philippine cacao. The first of its kind in the Philippines, La Tierra del Chocolate is a quaint garden hideaway boasting of its own cacao farm and chocolate-making facilities, where chocolate sommeliers, who have been trained by The Chocolate Chamber, heartily prepare signature chocolate-rooted creations for you!
On top of the premium limousine services, guests can avail of Shangri-La’s Five-Star Journeys – an ultra luxurious transport fleet comprised of the gentleman’s yacht, speedboat, helicopter and luxury sedan.
The award-winning gentleman’s yacht, the Celandine, boasts huge interiors and can house six guests in three cabins with ensuite bathrooms. It can also accommodate up to 40 guests for cocktail events and up to 12 guests for set dinners. Can you just imagine bringing in your closest friends for a fun cocktail party on an exclusive yacht? Guests can also take advantage of the speedboat Rainbow Runner which is used for airport transfers, departing from Cebu Yacht Club to Shangri-La Boat Jetty and vice-versa. It will also be deployed to transfer guests to Cebu City, significantly reducing travel time. If that isn’t enough to give you a grand entrance (or exit), it’s also possible to hop in a helicopter right at the resort’s very own helipad. We can’t wait to experience this VIP treatment soon!
Did you know that behind the signature dishes of Shangri-La’s four award-winning restaurants – Tides, Tea of Spring, Acqua and Cowrie Cove – are talented chefs whose culinary careers have been honed in the world’s finest kitchens? Truly world-class! No doubt about that after feasting on some of their culinary preparations ourselves.
Cebu is considered as the gateway to many destinations in and outside the country.
Via air – The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is made accessible through regular domestic and international flights from various airline companies.
Via sea – Cebu’s port also offers several trips to and from neighbouring islands as well as other ports in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa is located in Punta Engaño Rd, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. To reach the resort from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you can avail of the resort’s limousine services or roundtrip airport shuttle bus transfers. Just give the resort a heads up about your arrival and departure schedules. From any point in Cebu, it is best to take a taxi or book a Grab or Uber for more convenience.
Cebu is best known for what might be the grandest festival in the country, the Sinulog Festival. This happens every third Sunday of January and can gather more than one million local and foreign visitors every year. If you can’t join in on the festivities, it’s possible to just stay in the resort and witness a preview of the Sinulog dances during the Cultural Show at the Buko Bar.
Another thing that you should not miss out when visiting Cebu is its delicious sweet mangoes. The island is home to several mango farms and actually ranks among the top mango producers in the country. Most tourists bring home dried mangoes as souvenirs but you don’t have to wait out until you’re leaving to enjoy it. In fact, the Lobby Lounge and the Buko Bar at Shangri-La’s Mactan offer a refreshing drink of fresh mango juice while you unwind and laze the day out.
Cebu is certainly a top destination, no matter what your travel plans may be. Whether you love history and culture, want to explore dining and entertainment options or just want to frolic in the beach, the island has it all for you.