Travel Thursday on Empty Streets: Cebu CIty, Philippines

Posted 6:14 AM by Mezhal Ulao in Labels: , ,
Cebu city is one of the most popular places to visit here in the Philippines. I always love coming back to this city because within its territories lies a history longer than anyone could imagine.

Here are some cool things to know about Cebu:

Cebu is a booming metropolitan area with all the conveniences of a modern city. At the same time, it boasts of natural resources like countless of white sand beaches (both commercial and untouched), as well as historical sites that reflect its cosmopolitan past: from the birth of Christianity in Asia, to early commercial trade with Mexico and China, to vestiges of the American colonization of the Philippines.

To Get in by plane

Note that you MUST have an ongoing flight ticket or a visa in your passport when flying to the Philippines as your carrier will not allow you to board without one. In practice, this may not actually be true.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (IATA: CEB) (ICAO: RPVM), [1]. This international and domestic airport is a modern alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. There are numerous direct daily flights to and from Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and scheduled flights to Japan, Qatar, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China. Aside from this, the airport serves several seasonal charter flights to Russia, China, the United States, and other nations.

Mactan Cebu International is also the main domestic hub outside Manila with a variety of flights around the Philippine archipelago such as Manila, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Boracay, Clark (just near Angeles City), Siargao (Surigao), Zamboanga, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Camiguin, General Santos, and Tacloban, among others.

Passport control and baggage handling is fairly fast and efficient. The airport is on Mactan Island in Lapu-Lapu city. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to the actual city of Cebu. From the Airport you will need to hire a taxi. If you are staying at one of the nicer hotels they usually can send a free van to pick you up at airport. If you forgot to ask for this you may find that the van of your hotel is there to pick someone else up and you can hitch a ride if there is room. Facilities and amenities at the airport include a shopping center, duty-free shop, souvenir shops, cafés, business centers, food shops, communication facilities, banking facilities, car rentals, hotel and resort reservations, and beauty and health services.

Visitors from North America, Europe, Middle East, and the rest of the world may fly first to Singapore or Hong Kong or Seoul or Kuala Lumpur or Doha to catch a flight to Cebu. If you don't mind braving the horrendous traffic and the cacophonic noise of Manila, you will get a faster connection to Cebu, for there are more than 20 flights daily between the two cities or almost two flights every hour. There are also flights to Cebu from Clark International airport, from which there are further flights on discount airlines to Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and other points.

Cheapest Airlines to travel on are Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines Express, Asian Spirit, and SEAir.

By boat

Cebu City's domestic port is the country's busiest. Cebu City is home to almost 80 percent of the country's passenger vessels. The country's largest shipping lines, namely WG&A, Sulpicio Lines, Trans-Asia, George & Peter Lines and Lorenzo Shipping Lines, are headquartered in Cebu.

Large passenger ferries with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 passengers ply the more distant routes such as Manila, Davao, Butuan City, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. Medium-sized vessels such as the roll-on/roll-off (roro) types ply nearer destinations while fast ferries transport passengers to and from neighboring islands in two hours or less depending on the destination.
Getting Around the City

The simplest way to get around is by hopping on a taxi. Almost all of the taxis that you will find in Cebu are metered taxis. A typical trip can cost about 60-70PhP or slightly more than a U.S. dollar if one goes by the meter. Currently, flag down rate is at 30PhP and 2.50PhP per succeeding 200 meters and 2.50PhP per waiting time of two minutes. Drivers however may bargain if they notice that you are a tourist, hence the cost of the trip may double in price. However, you have the option not to agree and may report such to local authorities. If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, this is still the fastest way to get to your destination. Most drivers know where almost everything is. If they don't, then simply flag down another one. If the driver is pleasant then it is nice to pay 10-20 pesos extra for nice service and a bit more if he loads or unloads your bags. Most drivers do not have, or will tell you they do not have change, so be ready with 50's and 20's if you are going on short trips.

It is best to avoid the "Private" taxis. They take advantage of tourists and they charge 5-10 times the price that should be paid. You will find these taxis at the some of the nicer hotels, they are called "Hotel" taxis and are usually owned by the hotel to make extra money, they will charge you 500 for something that should cost 60. Some hotels make it very hard for other taxis to pick you up at their hotel and you may need to walk outside to save money. Another place that uses private taxis is the airport. The arrivals terminal only allows taxis that have a special airport permit that costs thousands of pesos per month, but these taxis get to charge you a much higher price. If you want to avoid them simply ask a porter for help and ask for a metered taxi, you go up a ramp and there are a large number of metered taxis waiting for you. You can also wend your way upstairs to departures where there are lots of metered taxis dropping off. Fare down town to Ayala or SM Malls should be around 150 pesos on the meter. You may be told "500" by the driver. Just grab the door handle and say "what, you don't have a meter?" Don't travel unless the meter is used.

Alternatively, if you opt for more adventure, then do as the locals and catch a colorful jeepney. Simply ask around for which route to take. They are available 24 hours and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city. Airport to Lapu Lapu City (LLC) costs about 7 pesos while across the bridge to Mandaue or Cebu City costs more than 10 pesos.

Buses are also available but these tend to ply exclusively along the north-south route.
Places to Visit:

There are historical and famous places in Cebu City you must see.

* Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
* Fuente Osmeña
* Cebu Provincial Capitol
* City Cebu
* Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines.
* Ayala Center Cebu
* Fort San Pedro
* Taoist Temple
* Tops Skyline Garden
* Fort Santiago
* Tops
* Mt. Manghilaw
* Sta. Rosa Falls
* Life Size Statues of Popes, Stations of the Cross and Mysteries of the Holy Rosary (Danao City)
* Cebu Parkmall and Cebu International Convention Center

* Cebu City is well known for two spacious and modern malls outside Manila. SM City Cebu and the Ayala Center Cebu are the most famous and luxurious shopping centers at the heart of the city. Boutique shops, mini-malls, themed malls, fine and alfresco dining include ParkMall, Banilad Town Center, among others.

* Fuente Rotunda is an especially scenic spot at nights. Many locals hangout here inside the park premises near the fountain. A variety of shops, fastfood chains, a mall, eateries, and restaurants surround the area. Be sure to bring a camera to take a shot where the old style province meets the vibrant and sophisticated urban lifestyle.

* Fuenta Rotunda is the arguably the center of the city with roads stretching out into different parts of the city. One road leads to General Maxilom Avenue, where most of the Cebu night life exists. Disco bars, coffee shops, comedy bars line this busy avenue with bars opening at around 8pm. They usually close when the last customer leaves.

* Another stretch from Fuenta Rotunda is the Osmena Blvd. With bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops leading all the way to the Provincial Capitol, which is particularly scenic at night. The Provincial Capitol is by far the largest provincial Capitol building anywhere in the entire archipelago. Its original design is a miniature of the White House and was built during the American Era.

* Just in one of the roads near Fuenta is Larsian Barbeque. The locals here love and eat and the barbeque in this place is one of the best and the cheapest around the city. The barbeque portions are small so you have enough space to store dessert. Try various kinds of barbequed local delicacies not for the faint of heart: innards, coagulated blood, squid, hotdogs aside from the usual pork and chicken varieties.

* Head to Ice Castle, one of the local favorite Halo-halo shops. Halo Halo is a local desert that comes from the Filipino word 'halo' which means 'mix'. With shaved ice, ube (purple yam), leche flan (creme caramel), corn kernels, corn flakes, gelatin, shaved coconuts and practically anything are mixed together and topped with a scoop of ice cream or more.

* Just adjacent Robinson's Mall is the Crown Regency Cebu which is the tallest building in the city. Adventure seekers may head to the top floor to experience a breathtaking view of this modern city and its environs. You may also opt to join in the Xtreme Rides that literally puts you on the edge of the city, or you may walk around the edge of the building (don't worry, safety cables are attached) to experience this once in a lifetime experience. All of these you can enjoy for a small fee.

* Drive by Colon Street, the oldest street of the country and brave the cacophonous traffic for some nice worn out classical buildings dating back to the American Era. At nighttime, this street transforms into a night market with unbelievably good buys here and around everywhere. Be wary of pickpockets though.

* Just at the end of the street turn a few blocks and you will see the Heritage of Cebu, a massive and particularly detailed monument showcasing nothing else but the heritage of Cebu from the old Spanish to the American colonial era.

* Head to the Casa Gorordo, a well preserved Spanish Colonial Mansion complete with patio. This house is turned into a museum and it gives a rather detailed view of how the high society lived during the Spanish era.

* Fort San Pedro is the smallest Spanish Outpost in the Philippines during the colonial era. It features a small museum showcasing the wreckage and treasures from the sunken San Diego Galleon from Mexico. The area, which used to be scenic, is unusually chaotic due to the construction of the Subway section of the Coastal road linking Southern Cebu to the North Reclamation Area.

* See the Taoist Temple for a unique look at the island's Chinese heritage. The Chinese make up a significant part of the population, with much of the locals having full, half or part Chinese ancestry.

* Go to Tops, which literally sits at the top of the Mt Busay for an unobstructed view of the entire city at night. A few shops and restaurants stand along the way for a short stop.

* The historic Magellan's Cross is opposite the Cebu City Hall. This is where the Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan planted the first wooden cross upon converting the original inhabitants to Christianity. The original cross is nowhere to be found though. Historians say the original wooden cross was made into a firewood by the local inhabitants when the Magellan fleet headed somewhere else. Admire the small unique structure where the replica of the cross is planted. This city icon also has a mural on the ceiling. Take time to appreciate the various candle sellers who dance around during worship and while selling the candles. The very large and old Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino is just on the next street. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is a few blocks away.

* In Lapu-Lapu City, head to Lapu-Lapu Monument. The first local hero who defeated Magellan and his army during the historic Mactan Landing in 1521. A small marker dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan is just nearby. A few minutes walk away is Shangri La Mactan Hotel Resort and Spa which is a tourist spot in its own right. The compound is a big park where visitors (even if they don't stay in the hotel) can roam the huge reception and its environs. Check out the beachside, the chapel, and the various restaurants and spa while inside.

* Waterfront Hotel Lahug/Mactan Airport is a five star hotel with a very notable castle-like structure that dwarfs the city. It has several boutique shops, award winning restaurants all aptly priced for a five hotel. It also has a Duty Free Boutique Shop and a Duty Free Grocery and Appliance Center, quite similar to the one at SM Northwing but with a more classy ambiance. It also houses a branch of Casino Filipino where you can gamble your life away.
* Head to Cebu's old quarters in Carlock Street and try riding a horse drawn carriage called a tartanilla. Remember to negotiate with the driver before taking a ride.

* The island gets especially busy on the third Sunday of January due to the Sinulog Festival. It is the local way of honouring the Child Jesus. Main thoroughfares around the city are blocked for an all-day and all-night loud and colourful street party. Don't forget your dancing shoes!

* Visit the newly refurbished Museo Sugbo (Cebu Provincial Museum). The exact location used to be the city jail before a modern facility took over its operations. Don't worry, its interiors are newly renovated and its ambiance is a whole lot better than before. The problem seems to be its unlikely location; not many tourists pass this area as this is a largely undeveloped area with overrun buildings nearby. This is, however, a short ride from Fort San Perdro and transportation should not be a problem.

* Try riding in the most colorful and most popular mode of transportation in the country: the jeepney. Unlike in Metro Manila, Cebu jeepneys are far more colourful with drivers having a little more respect to their passengers. (They simply don't start driving until all passengers have either seated or disembarked completely. Manila jeeps tend to run even if your one foot is still on the street.) Cebu jeeps also have numbers or route numbers, unlike in Manila. You won't have to read every jeep's routes if you have seen their numbers. Fares start at P7.00; or 12 US cents.

* The Marcelo Fernan Bridge or Second Mactan Bridge offers some interesting views of the city at night, and is even picturesque from below. Arrange for a taxi to take you there.

* Spend a day at paradise in one of Mactan's numerous beaches, or Olango Wildlife Sanctuary which is just a short boat ride away. (Well, it might not be a good idea to go there if Avian Flu measures are in force.)

Places to go Shopping:

Cebu City has many shopping malls - the biggest being SM City Cebu, which is a four-level shopping mall with a huge department store, supermarket, movie theater and over 200 shops and restaurants. A more upscale shopping mall is the Ayala Mall, it also has a large department store, two supermarkets and a movie theater, and it offers more restaurants and stores that appeal to tourists. These are modern buildings with lots of western goods in addition to local stores. There are other, older and smaller malls dotted all over the city, such as Country Mall, Robinson's Mall, e-Mall, Mango Square and Cebu Parkmall. In addition to this there are many stores and places to stop. One nice place is the Colon part of the Old Downtown.

For great deals on books be sure to visit National Book Stores, located all over the city. If you need to fix something there are hardware stores in all of the malls. Cebu Home and Builders Center along AS Fortuna-Mandaue, Mactan (near old bridge) and Cebu Parkmall is the home depot style that carries the most complete line for finishing and building materials. There is a large warehouse store called Makro, located near SM that offers good prices on goods in bulk. Another great place to buy household goods on the cheap is White Gold, also near SM. For furniture the two best places to go is Sun Gold and Mandaue Foam, just remember to ask for at least 10-20% off the price. If you want to buy groceries just like you would get at home the two supermarkets located in Ayala Mall are by far the best choice. You may opt for SM Supermarket in SM City or for best value go to SaveMore Supermarket in Mactan Marina Mall, e-mall and it's largest branch in VisMin at Cebu Parkmall.

Places to Eat:

The great thing about Cebu is that, while being an island paradise, on the one hand, it's also a sophisticated city, with a wide range of pretty decent restaurants to choose from.

Cebu has Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Continental, Fusion, and of course local Restaurants. It also has International Cuisine like American, Spanish, Thai and Indian. For tourists the two best areas to find great restaurants are Ayala Mall and IT Park. Ayala Center Cebu recently opened a modern extension called The Terraces with an abundance of food choices adjacent to Marriott Hotel. It also has two grocery stores with large sections of food imported from the rest of the world. The IT Park has over 20 great restaurants and most of them are open 24 hours a day. Both of these eating areas offer free Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, SM City Cebu also opened an extension to the main mall called SM Northwing with more than 10 choices of local and international cuisines waiting to be discovered.

Street-food abounds in Cebu and is amazingly cheap. You can buy all sorts of Philippine delicacies from the many street stalls scattered around Cebu City. Traditional Marinated Sweet Pork or Chicken Barbeque on sticks is a must-try, along with "Halo-Halo", a refreshing mix of grated ice, sweet beans, tropical fruits and ice cream.

Best Theme Restaurant "OUT of AFRICA BBQ STEAKHOUSE" PARKMALL, Exotic Foods,Crocodile, Ostrich,Wild Boar,Carabao,Turtle, Deer,Lamb,Venison. Kebabs. Museum Ambiance: 100 year old Antiques,Paintings, Sculptures. Upstairs Safari Lodge Function Room

* Cielo, 2nd Level, The Forum, Archbishop Reyes, 412-9887, cielocebu@gmail.com Open daily, except Mon., 11am-2pm and 6:00pm-12:00am. Lounge is open till sunrise on weekends. Cielo is an authentic Italian Restaurant with a contemporary bar and lounge, the interior and music is quite reminiscent of NY City. Specialties include gourmet pizzas, pasta, osso buco, scallopini ala marsala and traditional Italian desserts such as bread pudding, panna cotta, tartufo.

* La Buona Forchetta da Paolo Ristorante Pizzeria at the Advent Business Center (139 Acacia St, Kamputhaw) is popular among foreign residents for offering authentic Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Equally noteworthy Italian restaurants are La Tegola (with outlets in Busay and Banilad) and Brescia (Salinas Drive, Lahug), which also boasts a wide range of imported wines.

* Se Bens Authentic Cebu Lechon Popular for its Native Cebu Lechon has branches in Savemore Mactan Supermarket Airport Road Going to the Cebu International Airport Opens Daily and at Island Market at Mabolo, opens Sat and Sunday. And its newly open Lehon and Grille located across SM City Cebu on the Cebu Famous STK Food Street offers Su Tu Kil "STK" Sugba Tuwa and Kinilaw, offering Sinugbang Panga, tuna belly, squid and the famous Bisaya Chicken, we boasts of our Pochero or Bulalo, Caldertang Kambing along with other Filipino dishes for locals, local tourists and foreign tourists. Everyone is welcomed to enjoy the Filipino Foods together with Cebuano Hospitality to complete your visit to Cebu. Please call for directions and reservations at 032 4129799 or email to sebenslechon@gmail.com. See Yeah!!!

* Golden Cowrie in Salinas Drive and SM Mall are without doubt the best native food in the city at reasonable price.

* Giuseppe's in Marie Luisa Drive, Banilad has the best authentic pizza in the province. The rest of the menu at this excellent Italian restaurant is good if not a little expensive.

* KK's Malaysian Restaurant in the IT Park prepares some of the best wok cooked food around. Fresh, authentic and driven by a team of father and his 2 sons.

* Spice Fusion in Banilad Town Centre and a new branch in SM offer a wide selection of SE Asian food.

* Hola Espanol for that perfect Spanish cuisine while in the Philippines. Try their Paella Negra, and other paella varieties.

* A Taste of Mandarin for one of the best Cantonese cooking, in Gaisano Country Mall.

* CNT Lechon for the authentic and the best Cebu Lechon (roast suckling pig). Their restaurant branch is alfresco and is located outside SM City Cebu. Remember what Filipinos say all the time: The best lechon is from Cebu. The best lechon in Cebu is from CNT. So this is simply the best of the best! It is also possible to bring back some piece (or whole!) of the finest lechon to friends and family as far as Hong Kong by asking the personnel to provide you a take out box for a nominal fee.

* Jo's Chicken Inato for that delectable inasal or Chickecn barbeque, a local favorite.

* Alberto's Pizza, opposite Vicente Sotto Hospital in B. Rodriguez Avenue, offers a good and rather affordable locally made thin crust pizza.

* Ang Manok ni Senor Pedro specializes in Lechon Manok or roasted chicken which is a local favorite.

* Chika-an, Cafe Laguna, Lighthouse Restaurant, Gerry's Grill, La Mesa Grill have quite similar themes: Filipino cuisine, with varying budget levels. The first three being quite pricey but good; the other two being priced like almost all usual restaurants.

* Moon Cafe for that Mexican chimichangga, very well priced with a traditional Mexican ambiance.

The more adventurous can choose from numerous franchises that offer local Cebuano fare: Goodah-Gud, Neo-Neo, Tsibogs, Ang Manok ni Senor Pedro(to name a few). The first three, Goodah-Gud, Tsibogs and Neo-Neo, have an almost identical theme - you can choose from a selection of fresh seafood and meat which can be cooked any way you like (that is, grilled, steamed, baked, etc.). A popular term for a combination of dishes is called Su-Tu-Kil, short for "sugba" (grilled), "tula" (soup-based/with broth), and "kilaw" (raw, soaked/pickled in vinegar).
[edit] Desserts, Pastries and Cakes

* Postrio Bakery and Cafe - Cebu-based bakeshop and cafe
* Red Ribbon Bakeshop - Nationwide bakeshop owned by the Jollibee corporation with several outlets in Cebu
* Chedz Designer Cakes - Cebu-based bakeshop specializing in designer birthday and wedding cakes
* Goldilocks - Nationwide bakeshop with outlets in Cebu
* La Marea - Cebu-based bakeshops specializing in cakes
* Leonas Cakes and Pastries - Cebu-based dessert and pastry shop with several outlets in Cebu. Try their Banana Walnut Cake! It's simply the best!
* Dessert Factory - Dessert restaurant in Ayala Center Cebu
* Cebu La Fortuna Bakery. Try their masi, a Chinese Filipino sweet product of crush nuts and sugar wrapped in rice paste. This is their only excellent product; the others may not be worth much for a try.

Places to hang out to Chill and Drink:

Mango Avenue and Mango Square is where the bulk of the nightlife is located. The typical venues are nightclubs, bars and KTV's. There is also a variety of strip clubs lined up on Mango Avenue leading up to Mango Square. There are also dispersed strip clubs and local-frequented bars off the beaten track. Ask a local taxi driver of their whereabouts.

Juliana's, a large dance club in Mango Square, is crowded every night of the week. A local beer will cost you only PHP45. The more expensive drinks are around PHP280. Excellent bar staff. This establishment is especially popular with young Japanese and Korean tourists

Se Bens Authentic Cebu Lechon offers the Authentic Cebu Lechon Tastes and Quality with other pulutan menus with your favorite beer along with its Native Filipino short orders such as Pochero or Bolalo on its newly open restaurant and grille. Visit Se Bens to experience the Cebuano Hospitality.

Waterfront Hotel and Casino Cebu - Gamble away your kid's college fund and drink all night in this 5-star hotel and entertainment center.

Crossroads is an array of shops and restaurants that offer an alternative nightlife to IT Park which is just nearby.

Places to stay:

Budget places

* Sugbutel Bed & Bath, S Osmena Street, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, ☎ (032) 232-8888, . checkin: 2 PM; checkout: 12 Noon. Located within 3 - 5 minute walk from SM City Cebu Mall complex. Sugbutel (www.sugbutel.com) is the best and the most affordable hostel accomodation in Cebu and has fully airconditioned accomodation area with free wifi internet access, 24 hour security with CCTV cameras, 24 hour back-up generator and entertainment area with wide screen LCD TV. ONLY Php250.00 (approximately US$6.00) /person/night.

* LJD Dormitory, 0363 Tudtudstreet Nasville Nasipit Talamban, Cebu City, ☎ (032) 345-4486, . checkin: 6 AM; checkout: 5AM. LJD Dorm is located in the heart of Cebu City at the fringe of the universities, business and commercial district is within close proximity to several restaurants, parks and malls. The amenities are flexible depending on the needs of the clients and tenants. Catering, loading, computer services, game and sports facilities are also available...they've got everything right where you want it. Php500.00 (approximately US$11.00) /unit/night.

* Days Hotel Cebu, Airport Road Matumbo Pusok Hills, Mactan Island, ☎ (+632)4955381 / fax 011-6332-4955386, . Situated right in the emerging investments powerhouse of Cebu, Days Cebu Airport Hotel Mactan- enjoys the accessibility of the two-minute drive to the new Mactan International Airport and advantage of the single biggest instrument of the development for the island, the Mactan Export Processing Zone. It is just a 30-minute drive to Cebu City, shopping malls and the financial district. With this ideal location, Days Hotel Mactan-Cebu is the most convenient place to stay while doing business or simply jetsetting in the south.

* Cebuview Tourist Inn, 200 Sanciangko Street, ☎ (032) 254-8333 / fax 254-9777. located in the seedy downtown area, near all jeepney routes. not safe, has bad reputation,pimps at entrance. 640 pesos.

* Casa Rosario, 101 F. Ramon Aboitiz Street, ☎ +63-32-253-5134, . This is a simple, but very relaxed and friendly place to stay. High speed internet is available in some rooms. Best rates on official website start at US$18.

* Cebu Northwinds Hotel, Salinas Drive, Lahug, ☎ +63 (0)32 233 03 11 (info@cebunorthwinds.com, fax: +63 (0)32 232 55 07),.

* Century Hotel, Corner Colon and Pelaez St., ☎ +63-32-2551341 to 1347; 2551652 (fax: +63-32-2551600). checkin: may 26; checkout: may 27. Budget hotel offered accommodations at very backpacker-friendly rates. Current rates (25.Jan.2009) are P550 single/double room, P790 triple room, P860 family room (1double, 3single beds). All with cable tv, hot water and air-con. Single rooms go for PHP385.00 ($US8), PHP440.00(with cable); double economy for PHP444.00 ($US9); double standard for PHP484.00 ($US10), PHP539.00(with cable); Double deluxe for PHP594.00; twin for PHP627.00; family for PHP737.00, and suite rooms for PHP902.00 ($US19).. (,1 day)

* Golden Valley Hotel, 155 Pelaez Street, ☎ +63-32-253-8660 (fax: +63-32-253-8482). New, clean and friendly hotel in the downtown area. Best rates on official website start at PHP750 (US$15).

* Hotel de Mercedes, 7 Pelaez Street, ☎ +63-32-253-1105 (fax: +63-32-253-3880). Your comfortable stay in Cebu City, Philippines is assured at Hotel de Mercedes. Its wide range of services and facilities and 110 fully air-conditioned guest rooms fitted with all the modern amenities ensure a relaxing and worry-free stay. Best rates on official website start at US$15.

* Island and Sun Beach Resort

* Kiwi Lodge, 1060 G Tud Tud Street, Mabolo, ☎ (06332) 232 9550 (fax: (06332) 232 9550). KIWILODGE is a family run hotel in Cebu Philippines owned, built, and operated by the Dunlop family since 1998. The Dunlop family have lived in Cebu for many years, and have created a comfortable relaxing atmosphere for travelers. We are centrally located in the city between Ayala and SM mall, the two largest malls in Cebu, and the Pier for those Island forays, as well as midtown and historical downtown areas, about 5 mins from the bar nightlife and only 30 mins to the Airport. Our Air conditioned rooms are clean with ensuite bathrooms with hot water. For bookings or enquires click here. For off season discount details go to our discounts page also monthly discounts may be available Our friendly and helpful staff are only too happy to help you with your queries, The large bar and Western style restaurant provides cold beer and a large array of Western style food, catering for the foreign traveler in Cebu. The Bar is open from 7am to 11pm. Many patrons are expatriates who live in Cebu and are very helpful in giving advice on 'how to' or 'where to 'on things around Cebu and nearby islands. Make yourself welcome and dont hesitate to ask for any information on Cebu or the Philippines. Our restaurant has a selection of over 80 favorite dishes from Britain, Australia and of course New Zealand. The Menu selection ranges from our ever popular all day Breakfasts (real bacon and eggs anyway you like) to "down under" meat pies, fish and chips, right through to Roast dinners using imported Lamb and Beef. Best rates on official website start at US$20.

* Pier Cuatro Hotel, 3rd Avenue, North Reclamation Area, ☎ +63-32-236-7437. checkin: 12nn; checkout: 12nn. The most convenient place for people looking to do business in the city's port area. 24/7 room service and complimentary in-room wireless internet access in all rooms.

* Stakili Estaca Beach Garden Resort, Km. 23 Estaca, Compostela Cebu, ☎ +63-32-425-8188 (fax: +63-32-425-8062). Set on a beach line that stretches up to 1.2 kilometers and covered by tall palms, balete trees and other tropical greens, the Stakili has forty rooms of varying sizes and features giving guests the comfort of home. Best rates on official website start at US$15.

* Westpoint Inn, 297 Don Gil Garcia St., ☎ +63-32-254-3433 (fax: ++63-32-254-4524). This budget hotel is simple yet elegantly designed with a warm, friendly atmosphere any business or leisure traveler would appreciate. Best rates on official website start at US$13. edit

* San Remigio Beach Club Address: Prime Movers Cmpd., Bacalla Subd., Holy Name St., Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines 6000. Phone Number: (+63) 32 231-0382 , (+63) 32 422-4070 , (+63) 32 231-7075. Price: P1,500.00

Mid-Range

* Diplomat Hotel, 90 F. Ramos St., Cebu, Philippines, ☎ (63-32) 2530099. Diplomat Hotel enjoys a central location in downtown Cebu. It is about 40 minutes from the airport and only 15 minutes away from the nearest ferry station. Rest comes easy in the comfort of the 100 air-conditioned rooms at Diplomat Hotel. Relish the convenience of having a cable TV, mini-bar, room safe, and hot & cold shower at your disposal.

* ALTA Resort, Cordova, Mactan Island, Cebu City, ☎ ☎ +63-332 496-7399, 7427. ALTA Resort, Cordova, Mactan Island, Cebu City. Website: www.altacebu.com ALTA is a boutique resort that has the quaint architectural appeal of Pacific Islander village with all modern comforts and conveniences. ALTA has the distinction of being Cebu's only 4-star resort that is American owned and operated. Widely acknowledged as the “Best Garden Resort in Cebu” by guests and industry professionals, ALTA is also known for the room décor, with each room having a uniquely special ambiance. Our friendly staff gets consistently good reviews for their genuinely caring attitude. With 9 function rooms and an overall capacity of 1000+ seating (2500 indoor +outdoor), ALTA is also considered one of the best places for conventions and government and corporate conferences. The resort is perched on the waters of Alta Bay, with breathtaking views of city lights. The Mangrove Cove restaurant is famous for its many scrumptious delicacies and wide selection of fine wines. $69. Contact us at info@altacebu.com Phone : 032 496-7399 (7427) Fax: 032 496-7427 Cell: 63 917-321-2198

* Rajah Park Hotel, Fuente Osmeña, ☎ +63-32-412-3337 (fax: +63-32-412-4899). The eight-story Cebu Hotel offers 89 standard and deluxe accommodations. Most of the rooms have a great view of Fuente Circle, a beautiful park. Each air-conditioned guest room at Rajah Park is elegantly decorated and is equipped with modern amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. $35 for the basic to $100 for a huge suite.

* SDR Serviced Apartments, Mactan Island, ☎ +63-32-238-3929 (fax: +63-32-340-7902). SDR Serviced Apartments is just 3 minutes from the airport. Excellent value for money. All apartments have kitchen and full cooking facilities. Their smallest rooms are huge: 36.5sqm Their weekly internet promo rates is USD288 (7 nights).

* Casa del Mar Golf Resort, Brgy. Maño, Bancasan, San Remigio. Casa del Mar Golf Cebu Resort's charming Spanish architecture and cozy Mediterranean interiors are embraced by Cebu's pristine white sand beach and crystal clear waters. Offering unmatched and premier elegance and comfort, this golf and dive hotel is designed in the tradition of classic upscale resorts Cebu is famous for. Best rates on official website start at US$63.

* Castle Peak, F. Cabahug cor. Pres. Quezon St, Villa Aurora Mabolo. Rates: 1. Standard- 1188/2. Superior- 1388/3. Deluxe- 1688/4. Executive suite- 1888/5. Castle Peak suite-2488/extra bed-400.

* Cebu Grand Hotel, Cebu Capitol Complex, North Escario St., ☎ ++63-32-254-6331 (fax: +63-32-254-6363). Guests of Cebu Grand Hotel can expect comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations from this cheerful boutique hotel! All of its 99 guest rooms are tastefully appointed with all the necessary amenities. Best rates on official website start at US$36.

* Cebu Midtown Hotel, Fuente Osmeña, ☎ +63-32-253-9711 (fax: +63-32-253-9763). The ten-story Cebu Hotel offers 200 standard and deluxe accommodations with breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Each air-conditioned guest room at the Cebu Midtown is elegantly decorated and is equipped with modern amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Best rates on official website start at US$39.

* Costabella Beach Resort, Buyong, Mactan Island, ☎ +63-32-231-4244 (fax: +63-32-231-4415). This scenic resort in Cebu, which takes its name from the Spanish for 'beautiful coast,' lives up to its name by offering its guests a scenic coastal view, complete with white sandy beaches and green tropical palms and foliage leading you to an awe-inspiring expanse of Philippine ocean. Best rates on official website start at US$70.

* Crown Regency Residences, V. Rama Avenue, Guadalupe, ☎ +63-32-255-7541 to 48 (fax: +63-32-255-5060). Crown Regency Residences boasts of unmatched accessibility with its strategic location along V. Rama Avenue, Guadalupe. This places the hotel minutes away from the provincial capitol, historic Fuente Osmeña and Guadalupe Church. Each of Crown Regency Residences' 167 guest rooms is designed to provide a homey ambience to ensure your utmost comfort. Best rates on official website start at US$32.

* Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, Osmeña Blvd, ☎ +63-32-4187777 (fax: +63-32-4187161). The Crown Regency Hotel & Towers is a newly launched hotel in Cebu City, standing over Fuente Osmeña. This two-tower structure - one stands 23 storeys, the other 38 - holds 18 floors of a full-amenity hotel, as well as a medical diagnostic building, several shops, and office space. Best rates on official website start at US$80.

* Nalusuan Island Cebu Resort and Marine Sanctuary, Olango Reef, Cordova, Mactan, Cebu, Philippines, ☎ +63-32-492-4388 (fax: +63-32-425-8062). This Cebu beach resort lets you fully enjoy aqua sports activities like wave runners, jet skiing, scuba diving, and water skiing. Snorkel in the protected coral garden and marvel at the beauty of the Philippines’ marine life. The Nalusuan experience so truly rustic and back-to-nature that, from 8a.m. to 6p.m. daily, this island paradise resort is powered by two things: the sun and the smiles of its staff! Best rates on official website start at US$30.

* Nalusuan Island Cebu Resort and Marine Sanctuary, Olango Reef, Cordova, Mactan, ☎ +63-32-492-4388 (fax: +63-32-425-8062). This Cebu beach resort lets you fully enjoy aqua sports activities like wave runners, jet skiing, scuba diving, and water skiing. Snorkel in the protected coral garden and marvel at the beauty of the Philippines’ marine life. The Nalusuan experience so truly rustic and back-to-nature that, from 8a.m. to 6p.m. daily, this island paradise resort is powered by two things: the sun and the smiles of its staff! Best rates on official website start at US$30.

Splurge

* Alegre Beach Resort, Calumboyan, Sogod, Island of Cebu, Philippines, ☎ 63 (0) 32 2556388. Located along the northern prt of Cebu, Philippines, Alegre Beach Resort is sought for its quaintness and breathtaking scenery. Spend your holiday in a world all your own, walking along the pristine white sand beaches anf basking in the brilliant sun. Alegre offers options for romance, dun and relaxation for vacationers of all ages, making your stay an unforgettable experience. Best rates on official website start at USD 190.00.

* Badian Island Resort and Spa Cebu, Badian Island, ☎ +63-32-475-1103 (fax: +63-32-475-1101).

* Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa, Mactan Island.

* Crown Regency Suites Mactan, Maximo Patalinhug Jr. Avenue, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines., ☎ +63-32-341-4586 to 94 (fax: +63-32-341-4595). Crown Regency Suites is comfortably close to the Mactan Export Processing Zone II and is only minutes away from one of the world's best beaches and the Mactan International Airport. Best rates on official website start at US$85.

* Mactan Island Shangri-La Resort and Spa, Mactan Island.

* The Marco Polo Cebu Plaza, Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Lahang, ☎ +63-32-253-1111 (fax: +63-32-417-2980).

* Marriott Hotel, Ayala Business Park.

* Plantation Bay, Marigondon,, ☎ +63-32-340-5900 (fax: +63-32-340-5988).

* White Sands at Maribago Beach, Mactan Island, ☎ +63-32-233-7893 (fax: +63-32-233-7891). Cebu White Sands Beach is situated on the east coast of Mactan Island off the main island of Cebu.

* Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan, 1 Airport Road, Lapu-lapu City, ☎ +63-32-340-4888 (fax: +63-32-340-5862). If your routine calls for the most convenient location, this hotel is located literally a stone's throw from the airport terminal. Five-star accommodations and a variety of amenities, facilities, and services make it a no-brainer for a Cebu business trip or vacation.

* Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino Mactan, 1 Salinas Drive, Lahug, ☎ +63-32-232-6888 (fax: +63-32-232-6880). The Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is a mere 30 minutes away from the airport, and with its ideal location in the heart of the Cebu capital, this hotel provides a luxurious and opulent home base from which to do business or explore this historic island.

* Cordova Reef Village Resort, ☎ (6332) 2381878 / 2363343 / 2363344 / 4968079. The Resort is surrounded by Camotes Sea in the east and Bohol Strait. It is located at the coastal town of Cordova. Cordova, Mactan, Cebu Philippines. Room Rate starts at US$ 150.00+.

* Island and Sun Beach Resort, ☎ (6332) 2381878 / 2363343 / 2363344 / 4968079. Island and Sun Beach Resort nestles in Hilutungan Island, Cordova, Cebu, Philippines. It houses a total of 25 Deluxe Rooms with 5 Single Deluxe Villas and 20 Double Deluxe Villas, all of which have air-condition, cable television, refrigirator, bathub, private toilet and bath wit hot and cold water, and a fully stocked mini-bar. Room Rate starts at US$188.00+.

* The Resort Club at Hilton Cebu, ☎ (+6332) 492-7788. The Resort Club at Hilton Cebu lies 10 minutes away from the Mactan International Airport. It is close to Magellan's Cross, Mactan Island Aquarium Museum, and Tops: a sightseeing spot offering a view of Cebu City. Some of their facilities includes a swimming pool, spa, salon, and Internet access within the resort's premises. Room Rate starts at $250.00.

Get out

* The island of Cebu is made up of various cities, small municipalities and towns. The most prominent, and perhaps, well visited are the three main cities in the island: Cebu City (the capital of the island), Mandaue City, and Lapu Lapu City (where the airport is located).

A day trip to the northern and southern municipalities and towns are recommended if you are looking for unspoiled beaches (and if you are trying to get away from the populated and commercial beaches of Mactan island). Hop on a car and head to the towns of Moalboal, Danao, Liloan, Bantayan, Minglanilla, and many more to experience the best beaches in the country.

When traveling to the south of Cebu, forget about driving along choked South Expressway. Head the South Coastal Road for a scenic drive down south. The South Coastal Road cuts travel time from the city to the Hispanic town of Carcar by almost an hour. And oh, on a clear day, you can see the mountains of Bohol island on the horizon.

* The Mactan Cebu International Airport has two terminals situated next to each other under one terminal building. If you arrive by car, you will arrive at the International Departures first before the Domestic Departures area. Expect to pay P200 for domestic flights and P550 for international flights.

* A day trip to Bohol, Ormoc is possible with a variety of fast passenger ferries that service the islands.
Here is a video Commercial of what else one can expect from the Beautiful City Of Cebu:

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