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Hotels in Cebu

The famous holiday destination of Cebu, actually comprises of Mactan Island, which is what made it famous, and also Cebu City, which is across the bridge on the mainland, therefore it can be a little misleading, when talking of Cebu in general terms.

All the resorts with a few exceptions such as Allegre, Badian Island, or Pulchra can be found on Mactan Island.

Cebu city itself does offer numerous city hotels such as Marriott and others. However the city hotels are just that, and to be perfectly honest if you are fortunate enough to be travelling to Cebu on business, then we strongly recommend you to stay on Mactan Island and enjoy the beautiful resorts, beach and sea whilst you are there. After all, what is nicer than breakfast overlooking the sea or even an evening stroll along the beach after a hard days work.

Below we review therefore only the major hotels on Mactan Island, to help you decide which is best for your taste, and requirements. In each review, we tell you off the resort in general terms, internet connectivity, the difference in rooms, their locations and other useful information you will not find anywhere else.

As to be honest, there is not an awful lot to do on Cebu, the resorts tend to be very much self contained by which we mean that they have all the facilities you need to never leave the hotel, and in fact most hope you won't. Whilst this may be some peoples idea of an idyllic vacation, spending one or two weeks in the same hotel, without moving around may be a little stifling, we therefore have added a new page to our site about the different restaurants in Cebu, which whilst they are all in other hotels, we hope you will be able to take advantage of and at least get to see a little of this small island even if it is only going from one hotel to another.

One thing you will need to know if you do plan to move around a little and try the restaurants in different hotels, is that security at the hotels is the tightest (verging on ridiculous) we have seen anywhere in the world. It is so tight that our editor (a Caucasian male) who was recently in Cebu, was refused entry at the gate of one hotel even though he had an appointment with the general manager of that resort, simply because the security did not have permission to allow in his chosen method of travelling from one resort to another - a tricylce!! Having said this the hotels all seem to be as consistent as one another here, but we do suggest you call the hotel in advance to let them know you would like to come to lunch or dinner at their hotel (silly we know but hopefully something that the management of these resorts will find a way to manage conveniently for tourists who have flown a distance to enjoy Cebu and potentially their hotels).

Cebu City

Marriott Cebu City - An excellent choice and without a doubt one of, if not the best hotel in the city. Check Special rates and availability.

Hotels on Mactan Island

Cebu Beach Club :  As part of the Tambuli three hotels featured below (under Tambuli) staying at this hotel means that you are able to take advantage of all the facilities of each hotel and even sign in each of the restaurants. We would regard this property as the middle of the two other Tambuli properties in terms of quality, with Tambuli West being possibly best and Tambuli East being the third choice in terms of quality.  The Cebu Beach Club, is in itself a great small resort, with the beach at one end and the rooms forming an open rectangle that look out onto just one of their three swimming pools. The swimming pools are very nice and offer something for anyone, one of which is an enormous pool complete with slide (that adults can use !). The rooms are adequate in that they offer guests , a bathtub, television, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Coral Reef Hotel : What was for many years the best and only hotel (by choice) to stay at on Mactan Island, the Coral Reef hotel is one of the very few resorts to offer guests their own private (due to its seclusion) beach. It was so busy/exclusive at one stage many other hotels considered it as more of a private club than a hotel. The hotel is all low rise with the buildings only being 1 storey high, and spread out in a horse shoe shape around the landscaped gardens facing the pool and beach. The staff are tremendous and extremely hospitable, and would not be out of place in the best 5 or 6 star hotels around the world. We highly recommend rooms 231 - 240 because they offer the best view of the beach and pool, there are also three which are outstanding in their location as they face out onto the sea, these three suites are 221/222 (2 bedroom) 223 (1 bedroom) and 224/225 (2 Bedroom) the best. There is also one other room which is without a doubt the highest quality room in Cebu, room 335 this room is amazing, well furnished, with small living area in the bedroom, two queen beds, with mosquito nets, and the most incredible bathroom. The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by sliding doors that opens into a large and ver well furnished bathroom. Separate shower, two wash hand basins, and a splendid large sunken bathtub with Jacuzzi that occupies the centre of room and is encircled by comfortable window seats. Wow. Unfortunately the hotel seems to somehow have lost its way, possibly by trying to expand too quickly without concentrating on its existing product and this has sadly caused  certain inconsistencies with the hotel.  Staff has been cut, and the only restaurant at the hotel serves an extremely limited choice of food and also beverage.

Shangri-La Mactan : Part of the Internationally renowned Shangri-La hotel chain, this is a large 547 room hotel. The hotel has a wide variety of restaurants, including an Italian, Seafood, Chinese, and Asian. It has to be said that this is a lovely hotel with landscaped gardens, secluded beach, and a great swimming pool. The hotel follows along similar lines to any other International hotel, and even has an executive floor (or Horizon Floor as known by Shangri-La guests), where complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails are offered. The hotel offers tea and coffee making facilities in every room, and the rooms themselves are well appointed. With this hotel having more rooms than any other hotel they can even afford to have non smoking rooms. If you need large and an international name then this has got to be it. Check Special rates and availability.

Maribago Blue Water : This hotel to put it very simply, is great. The hotel product, the service, the beach, the resort itself is definitely one of, if not THE best resort in Cebu. Why ? The hotel itself is well looked after and maintained and the quality of the service is excellent, however the one factor which really stands out is the fact that it is so Philippina. You know you are a long way from home, yet the courteous smiles, Philippine style staff uniforms and an attitude with the staff that everything is possible, and who aim to ensure that your holiday is the best you will ever experience, makes this a truly unique resort. The resort has two separate living areas, the garden view area which is slightly back from the beach and overlooks lush green gardens, and the beach section, where the rooms needless to say are closer to the beach. The Garden view rooms have just finished an enormous and complete room renovation and they look great. They are divided in villas with four separate rooms per villa (two upper level and two ground floor level), the villas enjoy not only the exotic foilage but also their own large swimming pool, the second that the resort offers guests. The two story villas are thatched and are covered in ivy which creates a very exclusive and almost club/homely feel. Each room within this newly renovated section comes complete with a queen and double size bed. The remainder of the hotel comprises of the beach area, the few rooms which are literally on the beach (with nothing in front of you except sand and sea)  are Deluxe rooms, numbers  36 A + B, 32, 33, 34, and 35 and three Royal Bungalows, numbers 1, 5, and 6. It is important here to mention that the beach side of the resort rooms only have twin beds (two single beds), except for the Royal bungalows which now all have queen size beds (except room 10). This hotel though, actually does use its guest questionnaires, to not only learn what improvements guests would like to see, but also implements the majority of these suggestions, to ensure that your needs and requirements are adhered to. Therefore the hotel will, in the second or third quarter of 2001 be adding queen size beds in the rooms that do not at present have them. The Royal Bungalows are very large with a separate living area, and guest bathroom, very long verandah, and nice size bathroom, these rooms are the equivalent of a suite. As the hotel offers a large beach area that faces out to what can be a Typhoon invested sea, the hotel built a water break that has evolved and has now become a separate island around 200 metres off shore, which makes an ideal place to sun worship in absolute peace and quiet. You will not get board at this resort, as they offer a whole range of amenities o keep you occupied if sun bathing becomes too much, with just  a few of the choices including, mountain bikes, internet station, games room with pool and darts, jacuzzi and sauna, a shooting range (with a wide variety of guns) which is the most advanced in Cebu, and tennis courts.  For dining options, the hotel has one amazing buffet breakfast that would do a 500 room 5 star international hotel proud, they also offer an International style restaurant close to the pool that serves a la carte as well as buffet dinners, and a famous Seafood restaurants that serves live seafood from the end of a purpose built jetty.  Great Choice. See pictures, special rates and online reservations from the Maribago Bluewater here.

Plantation Bay : What an outstanding, and very unusual hotel. This resort built in the style of an old colonial plantation village has all its rooms spread around an enormous lagoon and swimming pool, that is itself the largest pool in the Philippines. All the rooms can be found in separate two floor buildings, each building has 16 rooms. No matter which room you are in you are pretty much guaranteed splendid views of the lagoon and pools. This is the only hotel in Cebu we could find that uses comforters (or duvets) in their rooms for you to sleep under, instead of just sheets and/or blankets. The rooms are very well furnished and have a very relaxing and homely feel to them. Each room has tea and coffee making facilities in every room, with some of the rooms having mugs made from the ash of mount Pinathubo. The rooms also have remote controlled air conditioning, and separate shower, with separate bath tubs that are deep and even have an unusual seat in them to help you relax. The lower rooms offer direct pool/lagoon access and the upper rooms small balconies. The hotel only uses feather pillows, but does have anti-allergenic available upon request, in fact service is a major part of the resort, with each 16 rooms having their own butler, who is there to tend to your every need. In fact has thought of a lot of the small things, such as the fact that the sand used by the lagoon is specially made so that it  retains its coolness during the heat of the day. If you need a resort that has it all then this is a great choice, with a games room comprising of a small yet adequate gym, internet access, play station with a large choice of games, table ice hockey, two pool tables, pinball machine, darts, and even fishing in a special pond by the lagoon where if you catch your own fish you can eat it at the restaurant (you still pay for it though) ! This is without even mentioning the numerous water sports that are also available to keep you busy. The hotel does have a small secret called its Winiward Villas. These eight villas are privately surrounded by a large wall, that ensure the ultimate in privacy. The villas each have a small private pool and jacuzzi, small garden, and outdoor dining area. These villas are extremely private and are highly recommended for honeymooners looking for additional privacy. Plantation Bay also offers a nice range of restaurants from its beach side Seafood restaurant, its fine dining Italian, its International Kilamanjaro restaurant which is set in the midst of one of the lagoons. Very unusually, yet very thoughtfully the hotel has even gone so far as to place large mosquito nets around the restaurants to ensure that you are the only one dining, and that no annoying insect is enjoying a quick bite. Very nice hotel.

Tambuli : Tambuli comprises of three resorts, the Tambuli East, Tambuli West and the Cebu Beach Club (reviewed above). There are quite significant differences between the three so please read carefully. The hotel management has devised a very useful club aspect to the resorts in that you are able to stay at any one of the resorts and use any of the facilities at any one of the resorts, including signing for food or drinks. We would regard the Tambuli West as the most deluxe resort of the three, the Cebu Beach Club in the middle with the Tambuli East bringing up the rear. They are all nice resorts, however they do differ in terms of luxury in respect to room quality, price and also the surroundings, gardens and beauty of the grounds.   

Tambuli East : is possibly the most basic of the three Tambuli resorts, but is a great alternative if you are on slightly more of a budget as you are able to enjoy all the facilities of the other two resorts. The rooms come in two choices, all are airconditioned, however you have the choice between a Standard and a Superior room. The Standard rooms are basic accommodation and suitable for anyone who does not require a tv, bathtub, or refrigerator. The Superior rooms come complete with TV, refrigerator and bathtub.

Tambuli West : offers guests a substantial more amount of luxury than the Tambuli East, the gardens are beautifully landscaped, and all the rooms are Superior - Deluxe, which include bathtub, cable tv, mini bar, and refrigerator. All rooms come complete with one double and one single bed, and a small balcony for you to enjoy the splendid gardens. We highly recommend rooms 416 - 420 which are the few rooms where you can enjoy an angled view of the sea. The other rooms offer garden and pool views. The hotel has two lovely swimming pools one of which closes at midnight for those wishing for a more romantic swim.

White Sands :  Without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beautiful resorts on Mactan, Island Cebu. Why ? The hotel only has 15 rooms ! This in itself means that the quality of service and attention to detail is excellent and that you are also guaranteed a quiet vacation away. The resort even though it has only 15 rooms has a lot of ground and the owners are looking at ways of expanding, but as this hasn't happened yet, stay there before they do. The rooms come in two categories, Deluxe (13) and Senior Suite (2), and are located in two separate buildings. One building is set behind the other and is 2 floors and the one at the front is only one floor. The rooms are very comfortably furnished, with mini bar, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, and a small private balcony  in every room. Deluxe rooms in the front building are room numbers 101 - 105, these rooms offer more view of the pool and sea, however the are slightly darker in decoration than the other deluxe rooms. They are still very nice, however the other rooms have a lighter interior design which some people may prefer. In the 2 floor building the lower rooms have more of a 'garden view' yet we would recommend the upper rooms (numbers 211-216) in this building which offer a more landscaped view. Every room has a single and a queen size bed inside except two deluxe and the two Senior Suites which have king. The Suites if budget and availability allow are an excellent choice and are beautiful. They have wooden rather than tiled floors, have a larger bedroom area, are lighter as they are on a corner and have very large bathrooms. The bathrooms in the suites even have a heart shaped bath jacuzzi, hand held shower, and are separated from the bedroom by a frosted glass sliding door, which adds to the intimacy of the room.  The telephones can easily be connected up to a computer if needed.  The swimming pool is beautiful and faces out directly on the beach and sea, it does not close until 11pm for those intimate dips. The hotel has an excellent lunch buffet served in the small yet romantic beach side restaurant, and and at only 299 Pesos served from 11 am - 2 pm should not be missed, even if you are not staying at the hotel. Excellent choice.

Others

Badian Island Beach Hotel - Located South of Cebu almost on its own exclusive Island, this hotel is ideal for honeymooners, divers or anyone simply wanting to escape to a luxurious tropical haven. We hope that this hotel will be reopening the second quarter of 2001 after renovations.

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