Liloan town in Cebu province has a lot going for it these days. The first-class municipality is bouncing back strong from the COVID-19 pandemic and is on the verge of becoming a city itself—like its western neighbor, Cebu City—once a bill to that effect pending in Congress is signed into law.
Christina Garcia-Frasco, the town’s former mayor, also helped vault Liloan into the national spotlight once she became the campaign spokesperson of eventual Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio. A few months later, the daughter of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia did one better, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed her as Tourism Secretary.
Thanks to the homegrown Duros Group of Companies, Liloan has one more reason to be proud of—One Tectona Hotel, the tallest structure in town that is billed as the first premium golf destination hotel in Northern Metro Cebu that aims to deliver five-star service.
Tectona philippinensis is the scientific name of the Philippine teak tree that abounds in Liloan, particularly in Barangay Yati (the Visayan name for the hardwood plant) where One Tectona Hotel is nestled, in the middle of the Woodlands Park Residences enclave also developed by the Duros Group.
But why the golf connection, you say? Duros Group founder and chairman Rafaelito “Lito” Berino is a certified linksman – so much that he designed and built the par-72 Liloan Golf Course and Leisure Estate five kilometers away from the hotel, which in turn is meant to host golfers and their families before and after they hit the greens.
Unveiled in a soft opening ceremony last February 24, One Tectona is the flagship of the Duros Hotels arm of the group led by Berino and his wife, Duros Group president Fe M. Berino. They also built the Cebu Quincentennial Hotel and The Padgett Place Deluxe Suites in downtown Cebu City, and the Duros construction pedigree shows in every inch of the 14 floors and 102 rooms of One Tectona. (The Berinos also revealed they plan to erect a 100-room hotel near the airport in Panglao, Bohol).
Even non-golfers, local tourists, and Cebuanos themselves who want to get away from the frenetic pace of Cebu City will appreciate the One Tectona experience. It feels very much like an expanded golf clubhouse, from the open layout of its dining and guest areas on the ground floor down to its dimpled golf ball-inspired cups we were gifted as a token of our visit.
Going up to the Zen-inspired rooms, One Tectona doubles down on its forest feel with well-appointed wood paneling, accents, and furniture. Its balconies also open to the serene, verdant view of Magellan Bay, the Metro Cebu skyline, Liloan’s highlands, and the hotel’s two infinity swimming pools beside its clubhouse, which is open for events.
A gift bag full of rosquillos and other baked products from the town’s other famous business, Titay’s, only enhances the rooms’ welcoming vibe (disclaimer: we’re not sure this comes standard with every room in the hotel). But when in-room snacking on Liloan’s famed rose-ring cookies and complimentary coffee and tea is simply insufficient, Teak Modern Cuisine is more than up to its task of all-day dining for hotel guests, serving a parade of Filipino and continental dishes with fresh, locally grown ingredients.
One Tectona certainly has a lot more to offer than just Cebuano delicacies, Duros Hotels managing director Adie Gallares stressed when he sat down with our group of Manila-based journalists corralled by the inimitable Pete Dacuycuy (with big props to homegrown Cebu Pacific, of course).
The hotel rooms come in Deluxe, One-Bedroom, and Executive Three-Bedroom variants, and those looking to stage their next meeting or convention will find its 80-seat Function Hall spacious and welcoming. The Executive Boardroom and Lounge will open soon for cocktails, date nights, and meetings or parties for 25 persons, Gallares added.
Those who want to get in the swing of things need not go to Liloan Golf (despite the free shuttle service going to and from the hotel), as Woodlands Golf Academy’s driving range is just a few steps from One Tectona and offers experienced instructors to get the pesky hitch out of your, er, swing.
While Dad and Mom are “clubbing,” the kids could also try the pools, the state-of-the-art fitness center, the game room, and soon a bike trail that underscores the hotel’s health and wellness goals. Of course, with the right transportation, all of Cebu’s traditional offerings are within reach of One Tectona, and its exquisite beds are sure to put even the most wearied tourist to a sound sleep.
Ultimately, Liloan’s refreshing environs and the chance to play a round of golf without needing a club membership is what will bring tourists—mostly Japanese, Koreans, Pinoys, and their balikbayan relatives, hotel management says – back and again to One Tectona. It certainly helps that Cebu Pacific flies from Manila to Cebu 13 times daily, as well as from other cities across the country.
But in One Tectona Hotel, the Duros Group did not make just another boutique hotel experience; as their company name (drawn from the Latin word for strength) and their affinity for the teak tree imply, the Berinos have built a masterpiece that stands tall, one that aims to outlast the test of time and for all Liloan and Cebu to be proud of.