Back in 1946, some clever ad man coined the term Schweppervescence to sell the carbonated creations first brought to life by Jacob Schweppes in Switzerland. It’s a word that, at least back in the eighties, was taken to describe the involuntary refreshed ‘ahh’ after having gulped down an ice cold beverage. In 1948, Swiss hotelier Ueli Prager founded the Mövenpick brand. Both Swiss, both refreshing.
Away from the crowds of Manila, Cebu is a sudden blast of blue, and the short drive (just six kilometres) from Mactan Cebu International Airport to the hotel is awash with colour. As we step into the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, all white bar the odd splash of teal, all I can think is, “Schweppervescence”.
The Lobby Lounge is more like an atrium that opens out to the sparkling ocean on which the property sits. It is bright and airy and unexpected.
We hurriedly check in, desperate to get to that ocean, but we’re distracted by our room and its view. The room, like the rest of the property is the epitome of refreshing. Everything feels light and fresh, so you can’t but help to feel the same.
The hotel pays homage to its surroundings, cleverly designed to always take a back seat to the natural beauty of Mactan Island. No matter where we walk around the property we’re rarely out of sight of that delicious ocean, so once we’ve unpacked we hightail it to the hotel’s private beach, stopping briefly for the fabulous Mövenpick Chocolate Hour and its offering of native hot chocolate.
While most who visit Cebu will likely be heading out to its nearby islands for snorkelling and the like, Movenpick Hotel’s private beach reveals an amazing underwater playground.
Only hunger can drag us from these warm waters and so we head back to the room to prepare for dinner at the buzzing Ibiza. If it weren’t for the gentle lapping of waves to the shore, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d suddenly been transported back to the country’s capital so good are the drinking, dining and entertainment options here.
Ibiza's signature cuisine is the Balearic-inspired, 15-course grill, but if like us, you’re vegetarian and cannot take of the succulent meat and seafood on offer, you will be overwhelmed by the magic conjured up by the chefs here. And, of course, you MUST order the ice cream! The singers soon get the crowd pumping and suddenly people are dancing. Our little one, tired from a day at the beach is asleep on our laps and so we head up to bed, tired but still somehow energised by the meal and the music.
Having almost eaten to excess the night before, we doubt we’ll have a big breakfast, but breakfast at The Sails is not to be missed. Here, those new to Filipino cuisine can sup of native and unique fusion offerings like ube (purple yam) croissants and pineapple coconut and papaya jams.
The only good thing about leaving this hotel is returning to it. We’ve spent the day exploring the waters of the nearby islands and come back spent. But our homecoming is just as refreshing as our arrival. So we head to the spa with a renewed zest ready to work out the kinks in muscles sore from a day of snorkelling and a couple of weeks of travel.
Spa Del Mar is like heaven’s own heaven. The staff are not only skilled but welcome you in like family. All the members of staff of this hotel, whether guest facing or not, take hospitality to another level.
A lot can (and has) happened in 70 years, but if Prager, who created Mövenpick on the simple premise of ‘doing normal things in an extraordinary manner’, were to visit Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, he’s be impressed by a hotel and a team that has redefined extraordinary.
Traveltalk were guests of the property and used it as the perfect base to explore Cebu’s watery offerings.
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