One of the coolest places for a holiday is the beach. There’s just something about the sand on your feet, the beautiful sea view and of course the loads of fun beach activities to have a good time! Recently, we brought Nadine for a special just Daddy+Mummy+You beach holiday. (Nicole and Nathan had upcoming exams, so it’s a no-go for them!)
We went to the beautiful island of Cebu, Philippines and stayed at the gorgeous gorgeous Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa. We loved it so much that before the first day ended, we already told all our close friends and family that they MUST have a holiday at this resort.
I’m not even sure how to put it into words… so here’s 8 reasons why Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa is the holiday destination for your family!
1. You save lots of travelling time from the airport
Cebu has won many Best Destination Tourism awards. But what makes it “best” is the beach, thus it makes sense to stay at the Beach. Cebu is a province with 167 islands, and the island to go for with the beautiful beaches is Mactan Island.
If you stay in a hotel in Cebu City, it takes at least 45 min (on a very good day) to get to the beaches at Mactan by car. And my favourite part about this? The Airport that serves Cebu is on Mactan Island! Wooohooo!! So Shangri-la Mactan is 20 min away from the airport. Certainly a very big PLUS with the traffic conditions!
2. There’re so many things to do for the kids
Nadine had loads of fun at the Adventure Zone, which is a multi-level indoor playground. It is HUGE! And the slides are FAST!! (and you can see the very scardy-cat me!) The playground is clean and well maintained, so that settles a lot of our minds!
Apart from the playground, there are daily children’s activities too. Everything is with the staff supervision, so you can safely leave your child here while you have your couple time! For younger kids below 3, there’s a Toddler’s Zone (away for the older giants!) For the toddlers, they need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.
And the best thing for all kids? The wonderful Pool and Aquaplay area! I must say the slides at the pool weren’t as fast as the ones indoor! Nadine had to push her way down sometimes!
3. There’re so many things to do for the Kid in YOU
We spent close to 2 hours per night in E-zone—a special set aside room with Video Arcades, Pool, Air Hockey, Table Soccer, Pin Ball machines.
I must clarify that 70% of the time, it was the husband playing to his heart’s content, we girls enjoyed the simpler games like Pac Man and Race Cars. (It costs 1 token per game, and that’s about S$0.28!) There is also a miniature golf course for the entire family. (And for the true golfer, there’s a 6 hole golf park)
4. Endless possibilities for those who want to keep fit
The usual Gym and Tennis courts are here. But there’s also a natural running track and a Zipline! Wooohooo!!
And the part the took away our breath? The sheer size of all the pools here!
The usual sea sports are also available—Catamaran sailing, Jet Ski, Kayaking, Wind Surfing, Schba Diving etc etc etc… The Sea Sports centre offers a full range of these activities and some are for an additional fee. You see, Shangri-La Mactan spans across 13 hectares!! The tremendous space alone is a luxury for us!
5. WIFI is everywhere!
Yes, the wifi signal is very strong everywhere in the hotel. From the rooms to the poolside, to the beach, to the far ends of the resort, you get good wifi!
And all for free, and it’s VERY stable. I could easily send out emails, skype with my kids, send them videos of what we’d done. And this is so so so important to stay connected!
6. Free Access to a Marine Sanctuary
The beach at Shangri-La Mactan is an official sanctioned Marine Sanctuary! Imagine over 160 species of marine life, including around 70 giant clams, are found in the six-hectare Marine Sanctuary.
Shangri-la Mactan is the first resort in Philippines to achieve ISO 14001 recognition. That’s the standard for being an environment Friendly resort facility! And what adds to that is their own in-house Marine Biologist! Coming from Singapore, we weren’t very aware of the dangers that corals and marine life face. Irene, our very friendly Marine Biologist taught us all about conserving marine life. And we got the chance to make a Fish House! Check out the architecture and interior décor of our fish house! After it is dried, Irene will ‘plant’ it into the Marine Sanctuary and wait for tenants to come.
*Irene emailed us two days ago that she has planted our Fish House, and within a day, we had a tenant–A Blue Star Fish!* So exciting! I’m seriously so happy to see that we contributed to saving marine life! When you bring your family to Shangri-la Mactan, you can build your own fish house to do your part for conservation!
7. No boat rides needed for snorkelling!
We tried snorkelling in other venues before, and it was always necessary to take a short boat ride out to the ‘spot’ before we can snorkel.
Not for Shangri-la Mactan. We just had to step out to the beach, and you can see all the fishes there and corals too. In fact, even Nadine went snorkeling (albeit her fear to put her head in the water!) Check out what we saw!
As the resort encourages guests to be aware of, and to appreciate, marine life. Supervised trips to the marine sanctuary are included in the scheduled children’s activities at the Adventure Zone, while adults get to enjoy complimentary snorkeling safari trips daily. I love the entire experience!
8. The People, the People, the People
The service here is perfect Shangri-la style. Everyone from the front desk to the butlers, the waitresses to the chef, the lifeguards to the activities in-charges, were all at work solely to serve the guests. We were so spoilt to have many of our needs anticipated and met, to have friendly smiles and most engaging conversations.
And we all know, Filipinos are the best in service, the friendliest in communication and the warmest in their smiles. We loved every moment of our stay.
And I’ve not even mentioned the yummy food, the award winning spa, and the total lack of usual tourist crowds! There you have it–8 reasons why you have to check out Shangri-la Mactan Resort as your next holiday destination! And there’s a special promotion for families now!
Family Fun Package
The Family Fun Package includes round-trip airport shuttle bus transfers and a one-time dinner buffet for the family during their stay. Families seeking outdoor adventure are invited to dive in and make a splash at the resort’s six-hectare marine sanctuary and they can take advantage of unlimited use of a kayak and snorkeling sets. For added aquatic fun, guests can delight in special fish-house-making ventures with the resort’s resident marine biologist. Along with the use of the mini-golf facility, package perks also include unlimited access to the Adventure Zone, the resort’s carefully cushioned, multilevel indoor playground.
Available for stays from September 1 to March 31, 2015, the Family Fun Package which includes adults’ access to the whirlpool, steam, sauna and gym at the Health Club.
The Family Fun Package is available from P12,500++ (about S$355.17++) per night, requires a minimum stay of three consecutive nights, may not be combined with other special offers, requires confirmed reservations and is subject to room availability.
For more information, please check out the Shangri-la Mactan Resort & Spa site.
Coming to Mactan, Cebu
Mactan is about 3.5hrs away from Singapore. Silk Air flies daily to Mactan direct and we had a comfortable flight for our entire family! The flight timings were also BEST! (no strange midnight stopovers or early morning departures!)
*This is a sponsored review. Air Flights were sponsored by Silk Air, and Accommodation was from Shangri-la. All views and opinions are 100% my own.