Yes, the rumors are true. Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa is a beautiful paradise that you just have to visit at least once in your lifetime!
I finally availed of the much-talked about Shangri-La Mactan day tour recently. I treated my brother so it was the two of us who had a grand time at Shangri-La Mactan Cebu. The Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa Day Tour rate, as of October 2010, is P2,500.00 per person (roughly US $65.00) – a bit expensive for many but I must say, our experience was worth every penny.
From Cebu City proper (along Salinas Road, to be exact), we took a metered cab towards Mactan. Travel time was about half an hour, notwithstanding traffic. Fare was around P160 but I paid P200 – just to start the day right Here’s what greeted us when we arrived at Shangri-La Cebu:
Several meters onwards, we finally reached the very spacious Shangri-La Mactan lobby:
Welcome to the world-renowned Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa!
Before I go any further, however, I’d like to clarify that I only used my Panasonic Lumix digicam for the photos in this entry. Figured it was impractical to bring my Nikon DSLR for a day at the beach
So anyways, while my brother was busy asking all about the day tour rates, I took a quick shot of the view near the concierge. Now, if you think the view below is already worthy of “oohs” and “aahs,” wait till I tell you the rest of what happened during our Shangri-La Mactan day tour
My brother was told to purchase the day tour tags from a boutique (instructions will be given to you by the friendly front desk personnel…I already forgot the name of the boutique eh ) A few minutes later, I was P5,000.00 poorer but had a bigger grin on my face. I could also sense that my brother was as excited as I was!
The Shangri-La Mactan day tour package already includes access to their white sand beach, all of the swimming pools, use of all of their facilities (yes, including the gym and spa!), access to towels and a scrumptious lunch buffet at the Tides restaurant. When you avail of the day tour package at Shangri-La Mactan, you can also avail of discounted rates at their Health Club.
Our first stop? Why, the spa of course!
See how generous they are with the use of towels (those green rolled up thingies)? There’s a hot and cold water dispenser, toiletries, local newspapers, hair dryer and tissues. Below are the shower stalls (complete with shampoos, conditioners and bath gels), jacuzzi and sauna. The area was very clean and smelled really nice. There’s another section where you can find the toilet bowls, more towels and huge mirrors. Here’s something that I liked about the Shangri-La Mactan spa – they only use organic stuff I only found all-organic lemongrass shampoos, conditioners, bath gels, body powders and even lemongrass powder deodorant! I loved the smell so much that I got a bit obsessed looking for similar products at the malls
By the way, you will be provided with your own locker and key. Inside your locker, you will find a pair of slippers, more towels (no shortage of towels here, I tell ya!) and hangers for your clothes. Take note, though that you can’t leave your stuff inside your locker and go to the beach. And yes, the spa area for women is separate from the men’s. Here’s a shot of the gym, by the way (it’s in the same area as the spa):
After about an hour, my brother and I met outside the health club and then decided to have lunch.
Lunch buffet at the Tides, which was available from 12 noon until 2 pm, was amazing. We were presented with a wide array of both international and local dishes. There was a section for Japanese food, section for Indian cuisine, section for Chinese dimsum and dishes, section for well-loved Pinoy food and there was a dessert bar complete with an ice cream station.
Now when it comes to buffets, I always make it a point to roam around and check all of the choices first before I start getting food. This way, you can “plan” your meal.
I’m a big seafood lover so as you can see, I filled my plate with these delicious delicacies: (don’t ask how many times I went back to the buffet table :P)
I’d like to give props to the staff, by the way. The chefs really went out of their way to engage the guests. The friendly dessert and pastry chef, for instance, took time out to explain how the pretty chocolate concoctions were made and what the ingredients of their bestseller pies were. I particularly loved the creme brulee, blueberry cheesecake and pudding. I also got a few scoops of ice cream with various toppings.
After lunch, we went to the beachfront. We wanted to rest for a bit so we went to the famous “Rock.” You won’t miss it. It’s a favorite spot of many. From there, you have a glorious view of the vast ocean. There are swing chairs and cozy nooks at the “Rock” and it’s a fabulous place for you to have your picture taken.
View from the Shangri-La Mactan “Rock”:
After several minutes of rest, I took a dip. The water was clear. I could even spot pools of fish! In fact, if you really want to, you could easily feed the fish I failed to rent some snorkeling gear that day (which means that I must come back real soon ) but I had fun treading the deep clear waters. (a little side note: I was part of my school’s varsity swimming team eons of light years ago :D)
My brother and I also took a dip at the Shangri-La Mactan infinity pool: (beautiful, beautiful view!)
By the way, my brother and I were so pleasantly surprised when a pool attendant approached us and gave us this: (those are three pieces of grapes and two big chunks of sweet mango on a stick ) What a pleasant gesture for the hotel guests, don’t you think so? What was also nice was that even if we only availed of the day tour, we were treated like royalty
As our Shangri-La Mactan day tour drew to a close, we went back one last time to the hotel spa to freshen up. Then, we proceeded to the concierge and asked for the shuttle schedule. This Cebu hotel had a shuttle service for those who wanted to go to Cebu City proper. We paid P100.00 each for our fare to Ayala Center. If you want to be dropped off at SM City Cebu, there’s a different rate for that as well.
As you can see, our Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa Day Tour experience was so memorable. My brother and I were pampered for a day. We experienced world-class Filipino service. We had sumptuous food. Perfect weather, perfect day.
Can’t wait to be back! (paging Shangri-La! :D)