We love the Phillipines. From surfing in Siargao to cliff diving in Boracay, the natural beauty of this 7000 island archipelago never fails to fill us with wonder. Thus, we jumped at the chance visit Lapu-Lapu in Cebu, courtesy of Shangri La’s idyllic Mactan Resort & Spa.
Located a speedy 20-minute drive from Mactan-Cebu International Airpot, we were checked in and lounging in the balcony of our Panorama Room (in the Ocean Wing of the resort) in less than two hours of setting foot on Filipino soil!
Overlooking the brilliant blue expanse that is the Visayan Sea, the room we’re calling home for the next couple of nights is 36 square meters (387 square feet) of pure luxury – think pillow menus, plush cotton towels, 220-threadcount bed linens, a voluminous bath tub, and more.
Nothing but empty bellies could have gotten us out of that room, so we scooted off to fill our tummies with some much-needed food fuel at international buffet restaurant Tides. While it’s great to see that many cuisines are represented at the buffet, we highly recommend making a beeline for the local food section. Do try the Lechón – a Filipino pork dish and a specialty of Cebu.
For pre-dinner tipples, Waves Bar has a decent list of classic cocktails on offer that you can indulge in while watching the sun dip dreamily below the horizon. Helmed by Chef Paolo Pelosi, next-door restaurant Cowrie Cove is a great option for a fine dinner if you wish to stay in the resort. Presenting Italian cuisine inspired by Japanese sensibilities, Cowrie Cove wins with its gorgeous al fresco, seaside dining area.
Food aside, Shangri La’s Mactan Resort & Spa also offers a wide variety of activities on resort grounds. Adventurous guests will have a ball of a time at the water sports zone, with catamaran sailing, jet-skiing, kayaking, para-sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and wind surfing available on a daily basis.
If you enjoy encounters of the tranquil kind, make it a point to visit the serene Chi The Spa, where massages and treatments are based on natural Filipino healing methods. We especially liked the Philippine Hilot, which began with warm coconut oil and banana leaves placed over our bodies, followed by a soothing rub-down that left relaxed – body, mind, and soul.
While Shangri La’s Mactan Resort & Spa is perfect for couples and intimate groups of friends, those looking for a kid-friendly resort will be pleased to know that the property caters to young ‘uns of different age groups with a toddler’s zone, an adventure zone for older kids, and a free-for-all E-Zone entertainment multiplex.
With so many things to do at this beautiful sanctuary, you might just be tempted to stay in the hotel grounds for the entirety of your trip. There’s plenty to see and do in Cebu, but if you’re looking for luxury and consistency, there’s really no better place to stay than Shangri La’s Mactan Resort & Spa.
Shangri La’s Mactan Resort & Spa is located at Punta Engano Road, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, 6015, Philippines, p. (63 32) 231 0288.