“Only one day at Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu? What a waste!” and a flurry of other dismayed admonitions from colleagues and friends were hurled at me when I told them of my extremely brief stay at this luxury resort in Mactan, Cebu.

The last stop of our TBEX Dumaguete – Siquijor – Cebu FAM Trip is at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa Cebu. We arrived there at about 8pm (super late check-in because of the long bus ride from Bluewater Sumilon to Mactan) and have to check-out by 4pm the following day to fly to Manila.

I could really see why Shangri-La Mactan reviews have been all thumbs up, not to mention that the hotel has received multiple awards for being the best hotel in Cebu.

My stay at the resort has been nothing short of magnificent. This is my first time to check-in on a Shangri-La property and it’s right up there for sure on my list of my best hotel experience. The staffs were all so courteous and extra nice.

There was an incident wherein I got lost within the compound and can’t figure out how to get to my room. Our tour agent was the one who checked us all in so I have no idea where my room is located. They are the ones who brought our bags to our room because dinner is already prepared and we were all hungry so we went to the Cowrie Cove restaurant first. After dinner, I tried to navigate my way back to the lobby but I obviously failed and have to ask a maintenance staff for directions. I was just asking him to point me to the right direction, but he insisted that he’ll just take me to the reception area and bring me to the front desk officer. From there, the front desk officer also did not just give me directions but walked with me to my hotel room to make sure I won’t get lost. That’s what you call 5-star service! Very helpful staffs of Shangri-La Cebu!

The whole compound is just gorgeous. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to really sit down and savor the whole experience.

Thinking back now, I could enumerate at least 6 things I wished I had done during my stay at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa but did not due to lack of time:

1. I wish I was able to sample all the sumptuous fare at Tides breakfast buffet, as well as, tried the other restaurants at the resort. Acqua serves Italian fare, while Tea of Spring features Cantonese cuisine and loose-leaf teas. Even when I was at Tides, I didn’t really take the time to try different items, because we have to leave soon for our island hopping tour.

I had a 5-star welcome dinner at the Cowrie Cove though. It was excellent!

2. I wish I could have lounged in my room a little bit more. I was staying at the main wing of the hotel, which offers a garden view theme featuring color schemes that constantly reminded me of the refreshing ocean and the golden sands of the beach. I also had a pretty good view from the private balcony of my room but wasn’t able to really spend some time to take it all in.

3. I wish I had visited the Marine Sanctuary. It was only a short distance away from the beachfront but I didn’t get a chance to experience it. I saw other people had loads of fun as they went on a snorkeling tour and were able to view dozens of colorful marine species. And since parts of the beach were really shallow, kids had fun standing in the water while schools of fish swam around them.

4. I wish I had tried some exciting water sports. The hotel offers a wide variety of water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle boarding. Actually, they gave us a complimentary pass to try one of those activities. It’s just sad I wasn’t able to use it.

5. I wish I had tried training at the gym and pool. The resort’s pool offers a daily 6:00 AM Swim and Run session which you do along with triathletes and lifeguards. I could have gone for a nice cool dip at the infinity pool afterwards. The gym also has a daily 30-minute fitness training session to keep my muscles toned and reduce stress. Too bad I had to forego these!

Enough of regrets! As they say, there’s always another chance. So next time, I will really make sure that I could stay a little bit longer at the resort so that I will get the chance to try the facilities and activities I’d missed.

Perhaps the one thing, that I was able to enjoy the most in Shangri-La Mactan is their signature Chi Nurture at CHI, The Spa. This massage based on natural healing methods uses exotic ingredients like warm coco oil and banana leaves. I felt so relaxed. It’s the first time that I actually fell asleep during a massage.

I’ll see you again soon Shangri-La Mactan in Cebu! 😉

Shangri-La Mactan welcome drink

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(Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa Cebu graciously welcomed us and provided our accommodation. Thank you very much for hosting us and for your hospitality! My opinion, as always, are solely my own.)