Going home to Cebu is always something I look forward to. It’s my home, and days before the trip, I am already in my “homecoming mood,” which means, my mind goes full speed ahead in planning what to do, what to eat, who to visit, together with my Cebu-based family.
But an important factor in all my Cebu visits is my choice of accommodations. Since my family lives far from the city center, I prefer to take accommodations where I can easily move around and I’m near the places I want to go to.
The 5-star Radisson Blu is right in the heart of the city. I always ask for my favorite room which is a corner suite that offers a breathtaking view of the Mactan Channel and the southern section of the city. This 400-room deluxe property is only a few minutes away from downtown and is annexed to the biggest shopping, dining, and entertainment mall in the city.
Opened nine years ago, this hotel’s location gives it a unique appeal, rightfully branded by its general manager, Stephan Sieberg, as an “urban retreat” because it is within the city—adjacent to the many places of interest—yet its surroundings offer peace and quiet, further enhanced by the calming view of the Mactan Channel right next to it.
I had a leisurely and enjoyable chat with Sieberg, a hotelier through and through, who started his illustrious career in Cologne, then moved up the ladder of success through various hotels in such cities as Frankfurt, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur before he took on the position in Cebu.
I asked him what he considers his hotel’s edge over the others in the city. Without skipping a beat, he attributed his hotel’s success to the genuine Cebuano hospitality that “flows from the hearts of his 400 employees,” perfectly matched with the world-class Radisson standards that guarantee quality in its service, its facilities, and in the other accouterments.
With the hotel currently undergoing a facelift of its guestrooms floor by floor, I’m sure future guests will delight even more in the upgraded accommodations. I stayed in a newly renovated room, and the trademark Radisson luxurious touch was very evident in it.
The well-designed and fashionable interiors made me feel like royalty. Although the suite offered maximum space that made me very comfortable, yet everything I needed was within easy reach. Of course, its modern amenities, including free high-speed, wireless Internet and iPod docks were much appreciated.
For my gustatory needs, Feria, on the ground floor, is my favorite. Its long winding buffet of Asian and Mediterranean specialties is heaven to foodies like me. There is also Urban Table, an al fresco venue in the Events Plaza, offering a specially curated menu of prime cuts, tasty appetizers, and homegrown specialties with ingredients locally sourced from nearby towns.
But Radisson Blu’s distinct advantage over similar hotels in the city is its array of fully equipped MICE. facilities. In fact, for the recent Annual Summit of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a big international event participated in by tourism experts and leaders from all over the world, our Department of Tourism, the host for the event, took quite some time looking for the proper venue.
The hotel eventually bagged such high-profile business because its grand ballroom could easily accommodate the expected 500 participants, with the foyer being able to take in a wide variety of display booths from sponsors and other participating companies. The hotel also has many function rooms that were used as breakout rooms after each plenary session. Most of all, the hotel’s modern technological facilities made managing the worldwide and multi-faceted event a breeze.
I’m glad my home city has Radisson Blu. It can now take its place proudly among the other MICE-friendly cities of the world. And to my favorite “urban retreat” in Cebu City, I say a sincere, Daghang Salamat!
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