More about Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort And Spa
Great experience at the Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort
A quick summary if you don’t want to read the rest of this review:
On a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the best, I would rate this resort as follows:
Food – 5
Staff Friendliness – 5
Kid Friendly – 5
Adult Oriented – 2 (do have table 54 dining and Chi Spa for couples)
Pool Service – 1
Restaurant Service – 3 to 5 depending on meal time and restaurant
Room – 3
Overall value for money – 4
End rating – 4 Star, not 5 as is advertised
This resort is very, very kid-friendly! If you’re looking for a couples place with very few toddlers/children, this is probably not going to be the place for you. This resort has a long list of kid-friendly age appropriate activities. They even have a separate play area for 0-2 year olds (must be accompanied by adult). On this trip, we left our 22 month old daughter at home. If we had known how much this place caters to families, we would have brought her along. There were children everywhere. In fact, families are the norm here. In the restaurants, you’ll hear babies crying, kids being kids. Again, if you’re looking for a mostly adult guest resort, this is not the place to come – unless you pick an off peak or non-holiday time. If you have kids 12 and under, this is the place to be!
The clientele here is mixed, Japanese, Korean, Europeans and Australians. Guests are pretty well behaved other than the occasional noisy kids running up and down the hallway slamming doors.
We arrived before check in and only waited an hour as the resort put a rush on cleaning our room. This gave us just enough time to book our Chi Spa massages, our reservation for Cowrie Cove’s Table 54 and to have a refreshing drink in the lobby bar.
The service was quite impressive other than poolside. For example, while waiting for our room, when I returned to the line to see if the keys were ready, I was waiting behind a couple who were engaged in a slow moving transaction. After waiting about 5 minutes, a receptionist who was not working at the large check in counter came up behind me and asked if she could help me at a smaller concierge type desk area off to the side. She prepared our keys and away we went. At most resorts, we would have remained in line at the front desk until it was our turn for service.
Another example of their attention to service, I had arrived at the lobby bar with my laptop under my arm. Wireless service is available in the lobby. I was looking around for a place to plug in. One lobby waitress approached me and asked if I was looking for an outlet and directed me to a place where I could plug in. She had noticed me looking around, and was quick to meet my needs without me having to ask. Other little things like this occurred throughout our 5 day stay.
The workers do not pass without a friendly greeting and a warm smile. The food was excellent, whether it was a hamburger in the lobby bar (not on the menu but you can still order), a wonderful Italian dinner at Aqua (husband had the sea bass; I had the ‘make your own” penne pasta with white clam sauce. Mmmm, DELISH!!!! Or a pizza poolside. Then of course there’s the Table 54 experience at Cowrie Cove. This is a do not miss meal! 5 courses, starting out with cold seafood, a split lobster and large crab, mussels, shrimp, scallop and spicy calamari on a noodle bed. Next seared tuna, then chowder soup, surf and turf filet with jumbo prawn (by then I was so full) topped off with dessert platter of delicious treats. And a bottle of sparkling wine tops off this set menu. This one peaceful, romantic table set far apart from the restaurant is a meal we will never forget. And again, the wait service couldn’t have been better.
With that said, there are some things that were not in line with “5 Star Standard”. For example, the ladies restroom by the game room was out of soap. Two of the three dispensers were broken and the third was empty. One of the toilet paper dispensers was broken as well. I brought it to a worker’s attention, later that day it was still not refilled. The next day though, the one operational dispenser had been filled. As an “FYI”, the restrooms at the Ocean Club pool are much nicer.
Our room was not very impressive. It seemed a bit tired, the teak furniture on the balcony chipped and peeling, the bathing suit rack on the balcony wall rusty, the furniture in the room marginal. But how much time do you really spend in your room? Shower, change, sleep. The rest of the time you’re outside enjoying the wonderful weather.
Another thing in my mind that makes a resort 5 star is if you can satisfy your customers even during peak season when the resort is fully booked. We visited this resort on Lunar Holiday – of course a busy time of year. The first night we could not get a reservation at a restaurant, that’s why we had a burger in the lobby bar which was not that big of a deal. The lobby bar has comfortable seating and a great view and was not over crowded. The next day we called around noon to book dinner reservations at Acqua, the Italian Restaurant, but it was already full. We contacted the manager and in the end, they were able to accommodate our extra table for 2. The buffet breakfasts were jammed packed, only one 4-slice toaster for so many people. Three people waiting just for the toaster. Doesn’t take much to add a second toaster. And the egg station, if you wanted eggs, you had to wait in line to place a custom order. Usually buffets will also have a scrambled egg selection that is already in the buffet line. Little things like that which can keep people from waiting. Understanding the need to accommodate a large holiday crowd, the resort had opened a 2nd restaurant, Acqua, to handle the breakfast crowd. But some things could have been set up a bit better to keep people moving through the food service.
Pool Service was way below average. In many resorts, you’ll see wait staff constantly walking the pools taking food/beverage orders. Sometimes they’ll even offer free chilled water or cold wash cloth towels. Here you had to go get a waiter to place a drink or food order. This was the case every day we were there, and the same for both pools. The 3rd day we were there, the resort ran out of diet pop. For a Shangri-la, this is totally unacceptable. Pool service definitely needs improvement! Also “FYI”, no swim up bar in either pool.
And of course this resort is no different than any of the others we’ve visited. Better get up early to reserve your poolside chairs. I went down to the pool at 7:00 am to select a good location with much required umbrella covering.
Wow, what can we say about a 4.5 hour massage? Wonderful, relaxing, top notch and very professional. The private villas were comfortable, and the couples shower and outside bath area very discreet and private. If you can afford the luxury, it’s worth doing at least once in your lifetime!
Would we go back?
If we had children, definitely! If no kids, it would depend. First, if this was the only trip available, then yes, would still come anyway. But if I was traveling without kids and I had other places to choose from, I would not make this my first choice. Unless it was non holiday or non peak season where families would be less inclined to visit.
Mactan Shrine is a top tourist attraction. Here you can find the monument of Lapu Lapu, the first Filipino hero. In the vicinity, you can find shops selling souvenir items ranging from local crafts to guitars. Nearby is the popular sutukil offering yummy seafood cook to perfection. This place is touristry so expect a high price for the food. You can also walk to nearby Shangrila Mactan Resort & Spa & take a look at Cebu's top resort.
Cebu's High-end Resort
Indulge in the spa at the Hilton Cebu Resort & Spa, set in tropical gardens overlooking Mactan Island. Unwind at the pool and private beach or do business in the Executive Lounge with wireless internet access. Sign up for watersports at Cordova Reefs and later dine in one of 6 restaurants and bars. Enjoy the most expensive burger in Cebu with imported ingredients. Costing at least a thousand pesos! Top resort with world-class facilities.
The Best Hotel Deal on Mactan Island
I just spent 3 months in Cebu, Philippines. Went there for two weeks! And loved it so much I stayed. I was staying at a place in Cebu City and paying sixty bucks a night. Then I heard an ad on the Radio describing a cafe on Mactan Island that had American Style food. I went to the place and discovered the Cadillac Cafe. It's a great American Cafe and has a small hotel on site with six rooms. The rooms are only $35 a nite, and they will cut you a better deal if you stay two weeks or more. It was fantastic! The rooms have hot and cold water, (not all the hotels have hot and cold!) the hotel has it's own generator, (blackouts are common on the island) there is a free dvd player in the room, you cand borrow DVDs at the front desk, they have free mercedes shuttle service to and from the airport, 10 minutes from the beach, free computer station, refrigerator in your room, great service, friendly people....what more can I say....... Every Friday and Saturday they have a live band and the place fills up to the rafters with foreigners and locals alike. People from all over the world are there. Never Boring. By the way, try the barbecued ribs, the pizza, and the rib eye sandwich. When you are in this part of the world it's hard to find good American food but this place has it. I recommend the accomodations highly, the food very high quality and the people who work there are great. It's owned by a retired Hollywood film director and the place is decorated with lots of memorabilia. It's hard to book a room because the place is so popular, but give it a try.. You can also rent motorbikes there. And that's fun! It's the best way to see the island. check out the website. cadillac-cafe.com Great food, great rooms, friendly people, privacy, motorbikes for rent. Lots of single ladies come dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. This is a great place for a bachelor who is dreaming of meeting a beautiful Asian girl.
Fantastic Phiippino Shangri La
I am in the hotel industry and work for Radisson SAS. When I travel abroad I am vert fussy about the quality of hotels I stay in and I can assure you that I was not dissapointed on choosing the Shangri La Mactan Resort!
Rooms: Very modern and up to date. Lovely unit at bathroom sink. Everything in proper working order. Cheap mini bar compared to European 5 star hotel prices! Fresh feel to room.
Breakfast: Out of this world. Absolutely huge selection and all fresh. Never appearts to be lying there for too long like in amny hotels. Food for all nationalities from Chinese. Korean, Japanese to European and American. There was about 200 items to chooses from and restaurant was lovely and chic.
Pools: Had 2 pools but we stayed at ocean wing pool for all of our stay as it was closest to our room. It was gorgeous infinity pool looking right over to the ocean. Hotel had 500 rooms but there were days we seemed to be the only ones by the pool. It was excellent. Tony the pool guy was brilliant to us.
Beach: When I go om my holidays I prefer to stay somewhere where there is a great beach. I did read reviews about beach being rocky. There was lovely sand at beack and water nice and warm but it was rocky. However pool was so nice that we never really need to touch the beach. Went jet skiing one day and it was really good fun.
Facilities: Amazing Rang of facilities: chi spa, deadly tennis court, indoor and outdoor pool tables, 6 hole pitch and putt course, internet cafe, games room, 5 restaurants, lovely lobby bar, water sports, kids club, shops, laundry room s well as beautiful walks around the grounds. The resort was in no way tacky. It was extremely well laid out.
Acqua Restaurant: Italian restaurant in which we ate 4 out of 5 nights stay. Staff very friendly especially Novie and Maricell. Delicious pizza, tomato soup, seabass and tiramasu.
Outside of hotel was very poor area but you never noticed this until you step out front gate of hotel where they have piles of security like every hotel in the philippines.
I would go back to this hotel again and again if I had the money! Look out for Gerry at Ocean Wing Reception. He was an absolute sweetheart and also Sylvie who makes the waffles and pancakes at breakfast!
Thanks Shangri La for a wonderful holiday!
Gorgeous, Amazing, Awesome Hotel. I wanna come back!
I am Louie Salva of Manila, Philippines. We are on our Cebu-Boracay tour composed of the students of Bachelor of science in aircraft maintenance technology and bachelor of science in tourism. And we are more than 60 staying at that hotel. We stayed there from the afternoon of January 20, 2007 until noon of the next day. Between that we have some activities that takes our freedom from enjoying the hotel. I think that this is an awesome hotel. I love its scenery. I love its fresh air. I love its fresh look. I love the hotel staff. It's a big hotel that makes it peaceful especially in off-peak seasons because there's a big possibility that other guests will be away from you. In fact, the rooms of our class are isolated from each other, and I like that. I love the lay-out of the hotel. Inside there a lot of trees and plants that is surrounded by the beautiful hotel building. That shape of the hotel is not the usual shape of a hotel like that of a square hotel or a simple shaped hotel. Its shape is distinct from the others.
The room is great.
The rooms are clean and complete with facilities that are convenent. I love the volume control and the speaker inside the lavatory that lets you hear the operating television while inside the lavatory.
There are great facilities like the big childrens indoor playground, daycare center, pool tables, two swimming pools, and many more which unfortunately, we havent tried because of our lack of time. We should have stayed there a lot longer.
The food is so great. It's so fresh. There are a lot of choices of food from different countries. I didnt even bother to get rice because if you combine those foods, a plate is not enough. Being a Filipino, still, I didnt eat rice.
Unfortunately, We only stayed there for one day because we need to go to Boracay according to our etinerary, and we really didnt have enough time to take advantage of the facilities and the amenities of the hotel like the beautiful swimming pool and the beach. Our class really enjoyed Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort in Cebu!!
It was an OK stay, but could've been better
My wife and I planned to bring our two 3-year-old kids (yes, they're twins) over to Cebu not only to meet the relatives from my side of the family, but also for some form of a vacation.
Since we were already going to the province, we decided to maximize our stay there by staying at a beach resort. And what better resort than Shangri-La Mactan, right?
We booked our 2-night stay at the hotel about 2 weeks ahead of our intended schedule, just to ensure that we would have a room (the resort's peak schedule was approaching, and you know how difficult finding a room can be during those times).
The complimentary airport shuttle picked us up along with another couple when we arrived. When we got to the resort, all raring to hit not just the beach, but also the pools (it was about 3-3:15pm at that time), the front desk personnel informed us that our room was not yet ready.
Wha?!! And here I was under the impression that guests may check-in to their rooms in places like these by 2pm (assuming of course the check-out time is still respected at 12:00 noon).
Well, we ended up passing the time in the Lobby Lounge. I think about 30-45 mins passed before my wife's patience grew (very) thin and she asked me to check if the room was already ready.
Good thing for the hotel, they gave us a positive response (although I think they changed out original room "assignment", based on the erasure on the key card case that was handed to me).
The other disappointing experience we had was a sudden power interruption at the resort. We were all set to head down one morning for breakfast, but then found out that the elevators weren't working. It was good thing the restaurant was only 4 flights down, and the walk down the stairs wasn't too hard.
But then, this is a five-star hotel resort & spa, right? Shouldn't their generators kick-in the moment the power goes out, and that it should be able to allow them to run their elevators?
Overall, though, in spite of the points I mentioned above, a return trip to this place is a strong possibility for us. My twins thoroughly enjoyed the empty spaces (particularly the grassy areas near the main building); the food in their restaurant (Tides) was good (if it was bad, I would've swore this place off); and the staff, especially in the beach area were very accommodating.
Next time, I'd like to try the place with just my wife along with me. With two toddlers around, you end up spending most of your time wondering where they've run off to (remember the empty, grassy spaces earlier?), instead of really finding time to just stretch back on your beach chair and take in the sea breeze.
That'll be a vacation that I will really look forward to.
I stayed in the Ocean Wing of the Shangri-La which had it's own entrance, lobby and check-in counter, separate from the main building -- very convenient. The room was spacious with a garden view, 2 twin beds and the all standard amenities. The only thing I didn't like was the TV -- reception was inconsistent with some channels very fuzzy in black and white with no sound. I didn't spend much time in my room so I didn't bother to call the hotel to have it fixed or check if it was the same in all the rooms. For people who need to watch CNN/BBC or keep abreast with news from home, this could be a problem.
One of the things I loved about the resort were its sprawling grounds and lush gardens. There's lots of space for kids to run around and many winding pathways perfect for an after-meal stroll or morning jog. For those who like the indoors, there's a day care and activity center for kids (with a huge jungle gym). The Entertainment Zone has foosball, pool tables, air hockey, computer games, karaoke and movies on DVD, etc. -- all of which can come in handy when you tire of the beach or during bad weather.
For sun worshippers, there are 2 swimming pools and a private beach, which isn't very big, but has its own restaurant, volleyball court, and the requisite umbrellas and lounge chairs. The sand is white, but not fine powder like that of Boracay. It has it's own coral reef which is great for people learning how to snorkel. While walking back to the shore after snorkeling, I cut my toe on a sharp rock, so I advise wearing booties just to be safe.
I sampled many of the resort's outlets -- Tides, Acqua, Cowrie Cove & Tea of Spring and sad to say, I was quite underwhelmed. No, the food wasn't bad, it just wasn't exceptional. For the prices that they charge and the way they market themselves, it is natural to expect a lot from the Shangri-La. On the other hand, I found the service quite exceptional. People were always friendly and approachable, going out of their way to see to my needs -- when I injured myself at the beach, the attendant was there with a first aid kit right away; the driver who took me to the airport made an unscheduled stop so that I could buy some delicacies to take home because he didn't want me to pay the high prices at the airport shop.
The pride of Shangri-La Mactan is their Chi Spa which is almost like its own little village within the resort grounds. I had the "Indulgence of Time" treatment which involved a footbath/footscrub, Himalayan bath, steam, shower, massage and facial (phew!). These treatments are done in the comfort of a private villa at a relaxed pace (almost 3 hours) which really lends itself to an overall feeling of wellness and pampering. For people who don't have regular massages, a treatment at Chi Spa would be absolutely heavenly (albeit expensive). But to be totally honest, the massage (per se) was just as good as the best massage I've had (the setting kind of makes you expect more), however the whole process of treatments, combined with the beautiful surroundings made for a truly memorable experience.
In a nutshell -- in terms of service, facilities and overall ambiance, this is one of the best resorts I've stayed in. I would've given it perfect marks if not for the issues I mentioned above.
SHANGRI-LA'S MACTAN ISLAND RESORT
SHANGRI-LA'S MACTAN ISLAND RESORT
SHANGRI-LA'S MACTAN ISLAND RESORT
SHANGRI-LA'S MACTAN ISLAND RESORT
Boracay or Mactan Island for best weather Sun to Wed?
They both sound nice. I am favouring Boracay Island, but I'm confused after looking at the weather forecast on www.wunderground.com
I would prefer to go where the weather is the best.
Re: Boracay or Mactan Island for best weather Sun to Wed?
boracay is the best.......
the sand of boracay is like the texture of
"coffee-mate".... its just so nice ;)
Re: Boracay or Mactan Island for best weather Sun to Wed?
Boracay and Mactan aren't really so far from each other. Any weather forecast differentiating between the 2 can be viewed as of limited value. Or perhaps I should word that as- any differing weather forecasts of these 2 places are unlikely to be enough accuaracy to worry about. Whatever.
Remember that forecasts are not accurate enough to make any difference over this area.
However, it may be the case that one of these areas is more vulnerable than the other to prevailing winds, and I would suspect that would be Mactan, being on the E Coast of Cebu...
Re: Re: Boracay or Mactan Island for best weather Sun to Wed?
That's good to here. Yahoo weather & Wunderground sites are giving different forecasts. My mind is made up I'm be in Boracay on Sunday. I better get packing as my flight to Manila leaves early tomorrow morning. Anywhere will be better than here. It's 10 degrees & raining.
Re: Re: Boracay or Mactan Island for best weather Sun to Wed?
Excellent news, don't forget to post some pics and tips!
Have fun, Jem