Staycationing in one of the world’s best islands

By Patricia May P. Catan


THERE’S always that dream vacation planned in one’s mind. But more often than not, these dream vacations remain just that: a dream. Many factors prevent plans from becoming reality. For instance, dream vacays require a lot of your time, effort and, of course, money. Tough as it sounds, don’t fret because there’s always a Plan B. Instead of going to these far-flung places, why not enjoy a little bit of paradise in our hometown that in itself equally makes for a dream vacation? Save Plan A for the future and enjoy a staycation close to home, right here in one of the world’s best islands, Cebu. Giving you options on where to spend your next staycation, SunStar Weekend rounded up one resort and two city hotels that will fulfill the wishes of your wanderer’s heart.

Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan

Ocean Front Villa

As soon as you step into the hotel, you’re instantly greeted by the magnificent view of the infinity pool and ocean surrounded by swishing palm trees. These are only a few of the sights to see when at Crimson. This sprawling sanctuary that stretches six hectares gives guests not just a view but a total tropical experience.

But before anything else, get settled in one of the 290 guestrooms that are adorned with neo-Asian décor and contemporized accents, or stay in one of the 40 villas that exude comfort and style, each with a private plunge pool and earth-toned furniture.

While one can opt to stay in his room for the entire day, there’s still so much more to explore and discover in this paradise. One can kick off the day’s adventure by the beach. Take advantage of the gleaming emerald waters and swim to your heart’s content or snorkel his way through the ocean and witness fishes swimming not long away from the shore.

Aum Spa

For adrenaline-pumping activities to perk up one’s mood, hop on a jet ski or ride a banana boat. Either way, both spell fun for adrenaline junkies. The hotel also offers kayaking, island hopping tours, and scuba diving trips. Then, bask under the sun at the resort’s lovely infinity pool, a cool drink on one hand, and enjoy the view of Mactan’s waters.

Apart from the infinity pool, the resort has the perfect spot where adults and children alike can further spend a marvelous time. Just head to Crimzone, Crimson’s newest area where families can make the most out of their stay. Crimzone offers top-notch dining and drinking options, a pool for everyone to enjoy and, of course, the Crimzone Club, an indoor and outdoor play den that’s designed for the little ones. At the Crimzone Club, little explorers can run, slide and roam around in every corner of the play den while adults sip a cocktail or two by the poolside.

As the afternoon closes, what better way to end a day of adventure than with a pampering session at Aum Spa. Experience fully a reinvigorating body massage, as well as the outdoor jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and relaxation room.

One can then cap off the night with a hearty meal and thirst-quenching drinks with Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan’s various offerings. For a taste of the artistic fusion between eastern and western dishes, Saffron Café is the rightful choice. For a gastronomic journey to Europe, Enye by Chele Gonzales serves authentic Spanish cuisine that’s masterfully manipulated to fit the Filipino palate. Bringing one back to Asia is Azure Beach Club serving modern Asian cuisine with dishes that are full of flavors. Azure is also where one can choose from a fine selection of cocktails and tipples fitting for a nightcap.

Montebello Villa Hotel

Montebello Villa Hotel
Montebello Villa Hotel

One doesn’t have to drive far away from the city to experience leisure with family and friends because tucked at the heart of the oldest city in the Philippines lies Montebello Villa Hotel, the only garden hotel that brings tranquility and serenity to guests amid the bustling metropolis.

Montebello is a sweet escape from the busy life within the city, and here, one will find comfort as if it’s his own home. This four-hectare hacienda greets you with the richness and charm of Cebu’s Spanish heritage right from the lobby and into its well-appointed rooms.

Premier Garden Room

With its newly renovated heritage rooms and suites there’s more to love from this hotel than meets the eye. Its wooden floor and cozy bed feels like a blast from the past where everything was just as simple, but now a little spiced up with a hint of luxury. The view of nature from one’s window is also a refreshing sight.

A dip in the pool is even more refreshing. Picture this: you swimming in the glistening pool under the sky, then relaxing at the lounge chairs around the pool area to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun.

A stroll around the property is recommended after swimming for a bit of fresh air from the surrounding greens. What’s not to love about nature? The garden hotel’s colorful flowers and beautiful leaves heighten the senses and instantly puts one in a good mood. One can walk up on the Bridge of Love and enjoy the sight of fish in the pond or simply enjoy the sound of nature.

Montebello’s wonderful garden setting adds a unique touch for a different dining experience at La Terraza. The restaurant offers the finest selection of international and Asian menu made by its in-house chef. Also serving satisfying food is Café Bougainvillea, which offers a la carte tapas and sandwiches daily, as well as delectable cakes and breads to complement one’s perfect cup of coffee.

Dining is even made better with live acoustic entertainment at La Terraza every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Apart from providing a place for music entertainment, Montebello now provides an event venue with the recent unveiling of The Glass House. The single-storey glass tent is positioned to be the venue for special occasions and joyous celebrations.

Bai Hotel Cebu

Bai Hotel Cebu
Bai Hotel Cebu

Sprouting along the busy roads of Mandaue and Cebu is a contemporary chic business hotel and culinary destination. Named after a Cebuano term that locals often use to address a friend, Bai Hotel Cebu is the newest addition to the country’s top business and leisure destinations.

The 23-storey building gives spectacular harbor and city views with exceptional amenities and facilities. Bai boasts of its luxe accommodations with 668 guestrooms and suites, all of which are meticulously adorned in contemporary hues that suggest modern luxury.

One’s stay at Bai is nothing short of a fuss-free five-star service because of its unmatched hospitality that makes the hotel one’s home away from home.

Marble + Grain Steakhouse

While one enjoys the comfort within his hotel room, guests are also treated to world-class amenities such as the 25-meter infinity lap pool, spa and a fitness center with sauna and steam rooms, to mention a few.

Now living up to being one of Cebu’s culinary destinations, Bai is where all the gastronomic celebrations happen. The hotel has over eight premium restaurants, and six of these are fully operating, namely: Wallstreet Coffee & Bar, Lobby Lounge, UME Japanese Cuisine, Marble + Grain Steakhouse, Cafe Bai, and the Pool Bar. Each of these restaurants offers an excellent selection of various cuisines, notable wines and high-quality spirits.

Also serving business travelers, Bai Hotel holds 12 conference rooms appropriate for strategic planning and incentive meetings. Aside from providing an ideal venue for meetings and the like, the hotel also caters to celebrations of all sorts in its ballroom, which can accommodate up to 400 guests.

Bai Hotel Cebu is positioned as a destination that will soon enhance the beauty and transformation of the highly urbanized cities of Mandaue and Cebu. All these holds true as Bai is a member of the renowned WorldHotels that promise quality accommodations for travelers with an authentic and local experience.

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