Best for: The big-time vacationer looking for an all-out getaway
The low-down: With a whopping 668 rooms and 12 function halls, this 23-storey luxury hotel is the biggest outside Metro Manila, with rooftop lounges and swimming pools providing a scenic view of the city. Its impressive size and luxurious finishes make it a superlative choice for a grand vacation. Amazing, bai!
The chow down: Meat lovers flock to Marble & Grain Steakhouse for their “steak-all-you-can” lunch and dinner specials. Feast on limitless US-certified Angus beef steak alongside their fine selection of wines.
Bai Hotel; Ouano Ave corner Seno Blvd, Mandaue City; baihotels.com
Mad Monkey Hostel
Best for: The backpacker out to mingle with locals and fellow travelers
The low-down: After successfully launching in Boracay and El Nido, this regional hostel chain invades the southern city, converting a five-storey apartment building into a budget traveler’s hideaway with dorms and private rooms, topped with a rooftop bar and swimming pool overlooking the city.
The chow down: Try their Filipino-Western fusion dishes like their Chicken Adobo Coleslaw Wrap or Pulled Lechon & Apple Sauce Burger.
Mad Monkey Hostel; 79 Echavez St, Cebu City; madmonkeyhostels.com
Best for: The health and wellness buff on a wholesome holiday
The low-down: Its name taken from the Cebuano word for “good” or “well”, this 301-room accommodation promises to be more than just a four-star hotel but a total wellness destination. Maayo Hotel‘s state-of-the-art out-patient facility offers a wide range of services that includes cosmetic treatments, fitness tests, physical therapy and nutrition counseling.
The chow down: At the lobby resto, take a pick from their Southeast Asian-inspired menu that includes Cebuano-style Pochero (beef marrow stew), Beef Rendang and Chik Kut Teh — a chicken version of bak kut teh (pork rib stew).
Maayo Hotel; 168 Plaridel St, Mandaue City; maayohotels.com
Amethyst Boutique Hotel
Best for: The pleasure seeker stretching their budget
The low-down: Tucked right next to the Cebu Provincial Capitol, this shiny-new 52-room accommodation offers creature comforts at reasonable rates. Check out the plush lobby decorated with crystals and, if you’re into some pampering, the Thai massage parlor.
The chow down: Anton’s, their full-service restaurant, specializes in classic Chinese dishes. Feast on family favorites like Braised Honey Pork Spare Ribs and Steamed Lapu-Lapu with Soy Sauce.
Amethyst Boutique Hotel; 7 M. Velez St, Cebu City; amethystboutiquehotelcebu.com
Seda Ayala Center Cebu
Best for: The shopaholic who wants to be in the middle of the action
The low-down: Located at the heart of a premier commercial district, the 301-room business hotel linked to one of the city’s most popular malls has been renovated into Seda’s flagship hotel in the Visayas. The hotel chain’s earthy palette and minimalist interiors lend a stylish yet inviting atmosphere for both work and leisure.
The chow down: Sinuglaw — a deliciously tangy and textured combination of sinugbang baboy (grilled pork) and kinilaw (fish ceviche) – is one of the reasons guests come back to Misto restaurant again and again.
Seda Ayala Center Cebu; Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu City; sedahotels.com
Cebu Pacific flies daily to Cebu, which also serves as a key hub for flights around the airline’s destinations around Asia. cebupacificair.com