It may sound like a monotony but the term shangri-la was coined as a fictional place described in a 1933 novel by James Hilton as a mystical, harmonious valley with a monastery–synonymous as an earthly paradise or a mythical utopia. Hmm come to think of it..Hilton created shangri-la..odd..
Anyhow, amongst the many resort hotels among the numerous 7,107 islands of my country, stands Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. Admittedly, it is quite dated, but they have been constantly evolving. Just for the heck of it? Having been here only thrice and stayed at twice…. a definite Yes..I would say this is my favorite place to stay in Cebu.
The highlight of any stay here would be the welcoming and breezy lobby (too bad the last time I stayed here it was being renovated), the spacious rooms and the excellent pool and private beach facilities, the courteous and staff are very professional .
On the outside, Shangri-La Resort and Spa Mactan is impressive, with traditional tiled roofing, high-ceilings and breezeways, and all rooms have balconies to maximize the breeze coming from the sea, giving guests the impression that they have indeed arrived in paradise.
Unfortunately, during our stay, the hotel lobby and the main restaurant was being renovated so views towards the pool and the sea at the main lobby was partially obstructed. I had mentioned to the check-in staff that I was not informed when I had booked my stay so they apologized for the inconvenience. I was told that the breakfast buffet will be had on two locations instead, the Acqua Restaurant on the Ocean Wing and the Main Ballroom. We chose the former of the two during our three-day stay.
The Deluxe Seaview Room was stunning. Renovations were completed back in 2013 so the facilities were still up-to-date. It was large by hotel room comparison, and felt just right for resort hotel standards.
Equally, the Garden view rooms almost look the same, except that it afforded views of the hotel parking lot and some trees and buildings on the opposite side of the coastline.
The beds were very comfortable and the pillows provided just the right support after a full day of activities exploring the city of Cebu.
There is also a large work desk and flat screen TV opposite the beds. The closets containing the ironing board, safe and bathrobes are opposite the bathroom upon entering the bedroom
Complimentary rubber slippers are also provided, as the norm for resort hotels in this area.
The views of the grounds, the pool and the beach towards the horizon was just gorgeous
The hotel has two large pools, the main pool has a large area for kids, while the newer infinity edge pool by the Ocean Wing is closer to the beach. I prefer the Ocean Wing pool since it doesn’t get as crowded and I can just stay here while gazing at the beach…
Shangri La Mactan Resort and Spa also features a wide expanse of private beach. Though not comparable to Boracay or Palawan, its popular for kids and families. The sand is quite fine, and the beach offers a shallow area where kids could wade while small fishes can be seen swimming in the area as well.
Although I was not able to have any Spa treatments while we were in the resort, I decided to check Chi Spa grounds for myself…
As I’ve mentioned earlier we chose to have our breakfasts at the Resort’s Acqua Restaurant, which was small, but the staff was very efficient in handling the amount of guests during breakfast. Good thing we had an early start each morning, so table wait was shorter as families (and their kids) would tend to wake up later. Buffet selection was quite extensive and I kept coming back for the unlimited Cebu mangoes which is one of the best in the world in my opinion 😉
Over-all, this resort gets my top pick among the resorts in Cebu, and I would love to be back here. Tip: When booking, check the website for on-going promos, otherwise, ask for Local Residents Rates when booking via Shangri-La Manila office.