I’ve been to Cebu several times but I’ve never actually seen Cebu. I haven’t seen Magellan’s Cross, the Basilica of Santo Niño and the Taoist Temple. Even during the time I covered the Sinulog festival, I was so focused on doing my interviews that I didn’t get to see the parade.
Hence, when Mon asked me to join his colleagues travel south, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I was so excited I made plans to make sure that I’d be a true blue tourist — I had a color map with my notes and arrows, haha.
My research for this trip led me to Anton of Our Awesome Planet, Bley of Blogalag, PinoyExchange and even PhilMug. Their posts made me decide to focus on the culinary offerings of Cebu — aside from seeing the tourist spots.
To start my series of blog entries on Cebu, I will start with the accommodation. We booked ourselves at Maxwell Hotel, along N. Escario St. It is a fairly new hotel at less than 2 years old.
I was initially hesitant about staying here because there have been very few literature published about Maxwell — but I couldn’t say no to the price. At 1,500 a night for two persons (based on a promo until end-July), it was a steal considering that it was a 3-star hotel. I found several other accommodations less than 1.5k but from the photos, I already knew they were not up to my standards: cozy, clean, professional service by the staff, and inclusion of basic hotel amenities.
Let me get to the pros:
1./ It has the best staff. Its service is like no other I’ve experienced — and I’ve stayed at a few high-end hotels already, both here and abroad. Granted they are not dressed in the best uniforms or have perfect diction, their professionalism and attentiveness were excellent. For example, they always rush to open the hotel door for you. When we ask for stuff from Room Service, they are delivered to our room in NO LESS THAN 3 MINUTES (were we the only guests there? LOL). When we pass by, they stop what they are doing, make eye contact and greet us — I thought that’s a habit that is rarely seen from within the service industry these days. They are generally pleasant and a breeze to deal with: no one looks mataray. They even offer to do your pasalubong shopping, including lechon (two-days advance notice; minimum of 5 kilos at P300 each) for you: just fill up an order form and they’ll prepare the stuff for you.
2./ Maxwell is north of Fuentes Circle and west of Ayala Center — in other words, not bad. It is one jeepney away from Ayala and Magellan’s Cross, though of course travel time would vary. Cabs are always available as the hotel is on a major thoroughfare.
3./ The lobby may be small, but it has free wifi.
4./ We checked-in at 7:00 am at no extra charge.
5./ It has a relatively OK bar/restaurant called Maxim’s that served excellent Beef Steak Tagalog. It has pretty and friendly staff too.
6./ It has the second best massage place I’ve ever experienced. Note that I find it second to Nami’s. More on that on a later post.
1./ I found that the towels, though nice-smelling, had stains. See feedback in the comments.
2./ View leaves much to be desired, unless you enjoy looking at stained roofs.
3./ Airconditioning wasn’t strong, though room temperature was adequate. I’m just not sure if it’d be OK at the height of summer.
4./ Hairdryer they provide is cheap. Mine overheated in less than 2mins of use, to the point that smoke came out of it. Um, unfortunately I didn’t get to report it. Again, see feedback.
5./ Breakfast buffet was bad. Everything was soggy: the rice, hotdogs and eggs. Though, if starving, I’m sure I wouldn’t have minded.
However, given the price and service, these are things one can hardly whine about.