Day 1: Our Summer 2015 Officially Begins in Mactan, Cebu

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View from the lobby

Our summer 2015 officially began with a four-day staycation at the stunning and grand Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, at the lovely Mactan Island in Cebu.

My wife and I were very excited as the big date neared since this is our first family trip together. It was actually my sister-in-law who organized our trip.

Plus, who would not be excited about Mactan Shangri-La? After all, Shangri-La is known for its luxurious hotels and resorts. Add to that the fact that Cebu is one of our favorite destinations, with its cosmopolitan vibe but without the clutter and harried pace of Metro Manila.

We were booked for an early flight via Cebu Pacific because we wanted to have time to explore Shangri-La. While we were at NAIA, we were a bit nervous for any last minute flight delays but thankfully there was none.

Upon our arrival at the Mactan International Airport, we saw one of the coasters of the hotel. We found out from the porter that it was arranged for one of the foreign guests. My sister-in-law and her husband tried their luck and asked the porter if we can hitch. We were allowed a ride but it was for a fee, to be billed upon our check out.

After around 30 minutes through regular traffic, we arrived at the hotel. It was as I had expected Mactan Shangri-La to be – spacious, impressive and superb-looking. The lobby is a big open space which easily took in the cool sea breeze. There are also comfortable sofas near the front desk where guests can lounge around. Be sure not to doze off though.

DSCN8684Elegant pieces

4Chandelier at the lobby

Our rooms were not yet ready when we got there so we decided instead to go to Cebu City to buy supplies and explore the city if time will permit. We took one of the shuttle buses going to SM City and Ayala Center and back to the hotel.

We got down at Ayala Center and had quick lunch in a fast food restaurant. We bought supplies to last for the duration of our stay and headed back to the hotel afterwards.

Our rooms were ready when we got back to the hotel. We immediately checked out the amenities once we were inside our room. Our room was at the ninth level which gave us a good view of the sea. The big queen-sized bed looked comfortable and inviting!

DSCN8719Our room gave us a good view of the sea

We had a 21-inch LCD TV, a refrigerator and all the standard amenities. The toilet likewise had all the standard facilities and toiletries. We were expecting L’Occitanne toiletries though, similar to that in Makati Shangri-La, but what they had were Shangri-La-branded soaps and shampoos.

DSCN8730Wall decor in our rooom

DSCN8711Another wall decor

DSCN8707Bath tub

DSCN8708Bath Amenities

DSCN8715Soap

Much as we wanted to take a nap, we did not want to waste time so we headed out and explored the property. We checked the pools and the vast gardens traversed by concrete walkways. It was a visual feast because each corner was as lovely as it should be.

23Outside lawn leading to the poolside

DSCN8769Interior garden

benches

Benches

24

Exploring Mactan Shangri-La

We wanted to go down to the beach but it was already getting dark. So, with nothing else to do, we went back to our room to watch TV.

1213Outside seats at Acqua Restaurant

Come dinner time, we went to Acqua Restaurant. We ordered sinigang and crispy pata. The crispy pata was good but the sinigang was too sour. I will provide more details about food and dining in a separate post.

After dinner, my wife and I craved for coffee so we headed out to the lobby lounge. There was a band playing, so if you want to relax over drinks, coffee and music, then this is the place to stay.

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Getting our caffeine fix

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Cafe Mocha

DSCN8801Cafe Latte

We scanned the menu and, aside from coffee and alcoholic drinks available, there were also sandwiches, pasta and pastries available. What is good about it is that food is much cheaper here as compared to Acqua.

Tired from our early morning flight and walking for almost a whole day, we got to bed early. Tomorrow will surely be a busy day for us since we plan to explore each corner of the property.

Up next is Day 2: Exploring Mactan Shangri-La.

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