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Friday, October 26, 2012

Happily Blu In Cebu

It is such a refreshing feeling to have your expectations exceeded in a plethora of ways, seeing as many things, as of late, tend to swing toward the other end of the spectrum - horribly disappointed - and I'm glad the former was what happened when we checked in the Radisson Blu.

Ironically, it's the "small stuff" that leaves an impression.

I knew next to nothing about the hotel before Art and I arrived here, except the knowledge that it is part of a hotel chain worldwide. (I count that as a good thing because I have no preconceived notions or expectations.) When you enter the lobby, the sheer size can overwhelm even those who think they've "seen it all".

A welcome change from cluttered reception areas.

Even in reviews by foreigners in travel sites, part of their "have-to-mention" parts have to do with the enormity of space in the lobby, even by their standards/what they're used to. We spent the evening listening to live music at the lobby, feeling so much at ease with the spacious surroundings that after awhile, it seemed natural to just run back up to our room and take a much needed respite.

We were booked into a Superior Room but we were (luckily) upgraded into a Premier Room (and I was made aware that this was different from their Premier Suite). They have the label down pat, because it really was an experience that can be described as "premiere". I would gauge the room to be around 80 square meters, what with the different areas that were encompassed by one room.

We entered through a mirrored hallway that led into the living room.

You can be lazy here and stop apologizing for it.

The hues of the furniture and the general theme were agreeable to both of us, because we aren't fans of wild, crazy color schemes, and when you get to a hotel, the mindset is generally one of rest and relaxation. The general feel of this area will get you into shut-eye mode.

*Sigh* If you must work, here's the office area.

Right across the "living room" was the workspace, where there was a ready ethernet connection, and at this point, I need to applaud the fact that they had free in-room wifi. (Which was quite strong.) So whether you love your wires or value mobility, you can stay connected at Radisson Blu. Note to other hotels: Stop charging for wi-fi service. It will get you more customers if you make it complimentary, guaranteed.

Spoiled for choice in this area.

The "office area" leads into the door of the "master bedroom": there is a small hallway where the closet and cabinets are, luggage space, in-room safe before it opens up into the sleeping area and the bathroom.

Do you prefer a stable showerhead, one you can detach, or soak in a tub? All three choices are available for you. The same color theme - simple but rich hues - continue throughout the bathroom. The toilet is situated a little further (as if to keep the possible olfactory delights, uh, contained) in the farthest corner. One minus is the lack of a bidet, but which is no problem for us, because Art cannot travel anywhere without his beloved tabo.

I should make special mention of one fact that was much appreciated: there are two toilets in the Premier Room. I don't know if this is standard as well for the other choices, but it was such a boon to have this convenience.

The pillows - particularly the large one - were so soft, I felt my head was drowning the first time I laid on it. They thoughtfully placed electrical outlets by the side of the bed - both sides - with the light controls as well. (With the plethora of mobile gadgets these days, it was such a pleasure to not have to ask "why did they place the outlet behind the refrigerator?!?" just to charge any appliances.) One side had an iPod dock, as well as a digital clock. The flatscreen TV ensured maximum laziness, just in case the comfortable bed still doesn't do the trick.

After we checked out our room, we decided to do a tour of the other amenities. They had an asymmetrical swimming pool (with little bridges over the "smaller areas"), with a lifeguard on duty as well as an attendant to hand out towels to guests. We also saw a rather large fitness center that would make "professional" gyms bow their heads in shame. Art wanted to check out the spa services, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that they had an in-house spa, although we were thrown by the prices (some of which were double the rates of the most expensive spas in Manila). Needless to say, to achieve peace of mind, we decided to forego any spa service.

Strolling the grounds at night is a cinch with the lighted paths.

This way, please.

One of the biggest conveniences the hotel offers is that it is next door to SM Cebu. I know my environmentally-minded friends will not approve of this as a plus, but for travelers, it is a practical godsend to have such a big "convenience store" right beside the hotel: in fact, there is a shaded walkway from the hotel to the mall for easy access of guests.

A hint of (delectable) things to come.

And for your dining needs, the in-house restaurant, Feria, does a marvelous job of keeping you satisfied. We had such a great experience (we took dinner and breakfast there) that I decided that it deserved a post all on its own.

The amenities, facilities, dining experience and service all came together to provide an unmistakably satisfying stay. It rates as the best hotel experience in the country for me as of this point in time, which surprised even me. (I've made no secret in one of my previous posts which hotel used to occupy that position. But at half its' price, this is such an unbeatable way to recharge, away from the craziness of Manila.)

We were anything but blue in our stay at the Radisson Blu in Cebu. On the contrary, it managed to give us back much needed smiles borne out of a superb hotel experience.

We will be back.


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  2. Thank you very much for featuring us in your blog. looking forward to your return.

  3. I wish I see this first before I choose Summit Circle Cebu. I'm looking forward to stay in the beautiful Cebu Hotel.