A few years ago, I learnt (from experience) that one of the best kinds of family holidays to have is a Beach Holiday! I know farm stays, city sightseeing or adventure trekking are great, but there’s something about a beach holiday that resonates with everyone. It somehow brings you away from the realities of Work and for the kids, realities of School. (unless you live by the beach!)
But it’s not that easy to find a nice beach resort that would add value to a beach holiday. No one likes to have sand on your feet all the way from the beach to your room. And worse, to take a shower in your bathroom, with a sandy floor. And no one wants to lug wet towels from the beach back to the towel counter. And the food’s got be qualitative since one is always hungry after beach activities! I can come up with an endless No-no list for beach holidays and I’ve the experience to back that list!
When we first arrived in Cebu for our latest Beach Holiday recently, I was not too sure what to expect. While we stayed at the Shangri-la Mactan Beach Resort, and I knew we were in for a 5-star experience. I mean, it’s a given, we will get beautiful rooms and wonderful wonderful views. But I don’t just want beautiful rooms, which is a given. What about the food?
When we were there, the main restaurant—Tides was closed for renovation. We heard Tides serves a super wide array of dishes for breakfast, and we thought we missed a good food deal. But, the substitute venue for breakfast did not disappoint! Breakfast for the guests were served in the Italian restaurant—Acqua and the spread was very impressive. But one huge favourite was the freshly baked bread and really juicy & delicious bacon. Yummmms. We also tried Italian at Acqua during lunch. And midway through the meal, I knew they have one of the best Italian chefs around! Chef Franco from Sicily makes the tastiest pizzas and we thoroughly enjoyed his pasta dishes and Sicilian Eggplant with mushrooms. It was WOW!! And when you are at a beach holiday, you need to have seafood. We all know, if you stay near the beach, the seafood would be the freshest and cheapest. So check out what the resort’s Seafood Restaurant had to offer—Cowrie Cove. First, look at how beautiful this al fresco restaurant is! Now check out the food! During our trip, we had an interesting picnic by the sea! It was a pity it drizzled that day, nonetheless, the food was good and I’ve never had such a professional looking picnic basket before! There are other food outlets at Shangri-la Mactan. So even if you have a very hungry kid with you, or if you need more food, there are options around the resort. And my favourite? It was perfect. After a swim, or after time at the beach, you can purchase a cone, a cup or a yummy banana split. Scoops is planted just next to the main pool. Seriously, I think it is the best spot to have some ice cream! It’s an ingenious idea!
I have been to hotels/resorts with restaurants that serve ‘passable’ food. You know, the “ok-I-have-no-choice-but-to-eat-here” food. Many do not focus on providing good food that even non-hotel guests would pay for. But not the Shangri-La Mactan. We loved Acqua’s Italian servings, we loved Cowrie’s fresh seafood, and we loved the Cultural Dinner we had.
The cultural dinner happens once a week. It’s a buffet of some western barbecued meats and some Filipino traditionally cooked dishes. The food was ok, but during dinner, we were treated to an amazing Filipino Cultural Show! Look at what we saw! And we joined in to dance too! (Daddy was obviously more co-ordinated than I was!)
So we have good hospitality, beautiful rooms and yummy food. Did the Shangri-la Mactan meet our expectations of a perfect beach holiday? Yes Yes YES!!! (And that’s excluding my experience in their award-winning Spa!!)
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.