WHAT’S IT LIKE? A Mediterranean-style resort with a powerful pink-tinted theme throughout. The hotel also has its own modest private beach.
WHERE IS IT? On Mactan Island, about 7km from Cebu International Airport and 10 minutes by taxi.
HOW MANY ROOMS? A total of 246 guestrooms.
ROOM FACILITIES: Although definitely a leisure-oriented resort, the business traveller is well catered for with complimentary Wi-Fi in all rooms and decent desk space to fit a laptop and associated paraphernalia.
RESTAURANTS: Manny O’s is named after the resort’s owner and following the Mediterranean motif, combines Spanish-style tapas with Asian influences. Situated at the end of a wharf, it has spectacular ocean views. The resort’s all-day dining restaurant, Vanilla Beach Café, has a slightly retro feel and is the morning’s first port of call for breakfast. Staff were super helpful and friendly and various cuisines were on offer – European, Chinese, Japanese and Filipino. As its name suggests, the 158-seater Seas restaurant takes advantage of Cebu’s island location by focusing on the catch of the day, while an Italian influence is at work here too.
BARS: The Pink Lobby Bar has high ceilings and a French bistro-type feel. Cocktails, mocktails and the like can be sipped surrounded by huge palms and a view out to the ocean. The Sapphire Pool Bar, with its pink pagoda, offers snacks, fruit shakes, iced coffees and cocktails while overlooking the infinity pool. If you’re spending quality time on the beach, the Coconut Station stall can mix fruit smoothies or shakes to keep you well hydrated.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: A small efficient business centre can offer secretarial support, photocopying and other essentials.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The SPA is one of the many good reasons for staying here. Treatment in a private room by skilled therapists isn’t indulgence but simple necessity. Here again, the welcoming staff make you feel right at home, even if you’ve only just stepped off the plane. Highly recommended.
PRICE: From US$95 with the new Hilton Minibreaks promotions.
VERDICT: With less than 48 hours on the island, this trip was all too short. The hotel is compact and cosy and I’d happily have extended my stay by a few more days.
CONTACT: Punta Engano, Mactan Island, Cebu, 6015, Philippines, tel 63 32 492 7777, www.hiltonworldresorts.com