The idea behind this page is to give you some advice about Cebu. This comprises a wide range of fields. Hotel, Shoping, Dining, Dancing etc. etc. All our statements are totally subjective and we state, what we experienced at a certain time at a certain place. As Service changes often within days, depending on the crew on duty and many other factors which are out of our control, there is no guarantee that you can experience something similar if you visit the same place.
In addition, we don't intend to ruin a shopkeeper, restaurant owner or so. So if me made very bad experiences we rather don't write anything about that, than telling "avoid this place". That the reason, why you will find in the majority very positive reports.
Hope you find this section helpful.
Former Cebu Plaza, now Marco Polo Plaza
This was a very nice Hotel on Nivel Hills overlooking most of Cebu City. Nice rooms and well equipped. We spend there a few nights in 2002 and we celebrated Happy New Year there. Special internet booking rates +- 50$. After a closure time it re-opened as Marco Polo Hotel.
We had the chance to stay about 5 days in this luxury hotel on Mactan Island. Yes it is outstanding in many ways. Modern luxury rooms, beautiful view from the balcony into the wonderful tropic garden and pool area. Its not a pool it is a pool landscape - multiple pools nestled together with different depth and geometries. The garden invites to rest in the shadow or to walk between the countless blooming flowers. The breakfast buffet is remarkable, also the choice of restaurants, discotheque, nightclub - you have it there. Sports including scuba diving is available too. However at the price of 50$ for one dive, I let this one pass. Talking about prices - my best offer through internet booking was at about 130$ a night. Not a bargain, but an experience.
Another place in paradise. We choosed to have our wedding there. It is really unique in the world. Top service, top location, the biggest pool area in the world, romantic islands in that pool, spa area and whatever you have in your dreams, they have it. Starting at 148$ a night, you can be sure its worth each of them. As for the wedding they were flexible enough to offer a complete package, ceremony on an island, flowers, pidgeons, menu and drinks including a suite for the bride and groom to enjoy the wedding nite. We had to pay in 2002 something around 1000 Peso/pP, with a minimum of 50 persons. If you compare that to the potential costs for a first class marriage in Europe at a first class location with first class service - it appears to be almost a freebee. Highly recommendable to make that special day in your love life truly unforgettable.
One of our favorite places to stay for the 1st night after arrival or the last before departure. Very impressive architecture. Rooms are not state of the art but still belonging to the better category. Visit t he pool or the casino and try your luck or dine at one of the theme restaurants they offer. For our taste they offer the best and richest breakfast buffet in Cebu - not only in Cebu, if I am honest - in the world. If you are lucky you can get an internet booking for about 70$ which we consider as a good price / value relation for this hotel.
This is our favorite accomodation in Moalboal. The nice bungalows are directly on the seaside and you have a marvellous view over the sea and to Pescador Island. The bungalows are equipped with the necessary items you need. Double bed, air condition, ceiling fan, cooler, mini bar, shower and toilet. Its clean and well maintained. Prices arround 25$ a night.
My 1st alternate place in Moalboal. Its located in a tropical garden in the second row just behind the Savedra Dive Center. Again nice, well maintained bungalows equipped with Double Bed, airco, ceiling fan, cooler, mini bar and shower and toilet. Prices arround 22$ a night including a basic breakfast. Backdraw - no direct sea view.
Our favorite Disco Club in Cebu-City. It's one of the two Discos which you find in the Ayala Shopping Mall. Nice seating with good view on the stage from almost all places. It offers live music sets, interchanging with conserved music. Pop music for dancing and entertainment. Food is good and not overpriced. The crowd in there is a pleasant one, mixture of all ages from 18 to 60. Foreigners welcome. There is for cover-charge of about 500 Peso/P depending on how famous the singers of the evening are. In Europe you are forced to wear Jacket & Tie for certain places - in Ratsy you have to wear socks. (No bare feet, no slippers)
We have enjoyed in this bar real state of the art live music. The athmosphere is nicely enhanced through the waiters and waitresses dressed up as angels and little devils. Its not the wild place for the kids, but it is definitely a nice place to spend an evening for the experienced man or woman.
Very big disco which is quite popular with the young folks in Cebu-City. Pop music, dancing to moderate prices. Drinks as well as entrance fee are very affordable (Peso 150). It seems to have developped to be the favorite hangout for Cebu's GROs on their free day. Nevertheless it's a nice place to dance and have fun.
Cebu City Lahug
Marco Polo Plaza Restaurant
Within the Marco Polo Hotel you find a very distinguished Restaurant. For the price of 800 Peso/pp you are offered a buffet style "all you can eat" menu. The choices are huge for any taste. Its all international food, including Sushi bar, Korean food, Pinoy delicacies. Rounded up by endless fruit desserts. Last course is an Italian espresso. Not very much Filipino style but upper class international taste, well worth the money!
This is our favorite restaurant in Cebu City. It offers perfect fine dining with international and Filipino cuisine. It`s specialty are fresh Sea Food platters however also meat dishes are recommendable. Choose the living crab at your table - a few minutes later it will be served cooked to your taste. The service is outstanding, very pleasing but always decently in the background. Same is true for the live music provided by a group of blind musicians. In May 2006 the place was completely renovated. Pleasant atmosphere, nice tasteful interior, see for yourself on our photos. Business class ambiance - business class prices. But every peso spend there is well spend.
One of the places we never miss out when we are in Cebu-City. Nice restaurant Filipino style and cuisine. Choose between eating on the covered terrasse or inside. Meals are typically served on a banana leaf. Nice waitresses taking care of your rice supply from a bag they carry in front of their belly. Overall good service and quality. Plenty of foreign guests, prices are accordingly but still afordable.
Grand Majestic is very original chinese. The food is of excellent quality and excellent taste. We are not impressed about the layout and atmosphere. It is a huge eating temple which can host hundreds of guests at the same time. Due to the hectic activity of the waiters the noise level in this huge hall is uncomfortably high. On top of that, we could not observe that the service personal is trying to act quietly and in the background, just the opposite, when closing time approaches hectic cleanup activities are started right next to your table, rattling carriges with plates and glasses are moved forward and back ... you don't want to stay longer. Good food - but the rest sucks.
Shoe-Mall is probably the biggest mall chain in the Philippines with malls in all major cities. The layout and atmosphere is like in all "super" malls, no matter where in the world they are. Big magazines and small stores of all kinds together with all the big players in fast food are available. Price levels are relativ "upmarked" compared to other philippine stores but the choice is overwelming. You can find almost everything there. They even have a so called "Solingen-Store", where you can find typical german products from the city of Solingen (metalware mainly). I found in this store a diving torch (power LED-Type) considerably lower priced than in the factory outlet of the producer in Solingen itself.
It is similar to SM with the same stores and chains represented. It is located in the business / bank district of Cebu City and tries to attract the financial capable costumer. A typical lifestyle mall. Lots of luxory stores and nice boutiques. Prices accordingly.
Typical mall in the middle of Cebu City. Here buys the usual Filipino. Huge choice on everything for low prices. Exellent for standard clothes, electrical appliances etc. etc.
Colon the old center of Cebu offers a huge variety of shopping facilities ranging from big stores through small stores to markets. If you are adventurous and want to make a bargain - go there. From branded bags to branded shoes, all "originals", the latest DVDs, the latest Software releases, you will be amazed how cheap it is. But leave everything which identifies you as "rich" at home. For your own security - no credit cards, no watch, just a few bills in the front pocket of your pants - is all you require in this shopping paradies or hell. (Depending from the viewpoint)