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Philippines Travel - Stranded in Cebu

Cebu is just a stopover for your well-planned two-week long Philippine travel vacation. But you intended to stay in the island for one whole day to do your advance “pasalubong” shopping. Cebu, after all, is famous for its guitars and otap, an oval-shaped delicacy that is crunchy like a biscuit but sugar-coated and brittle. You were having the time of your life and you lost track of time. You missed the boat ride and you had no choice but to stay for the night.

Fortunately, Cebu is a progressive city and a stranded tourist will find many hotels and restaurants for the unprepared or spontaneous stay. But, you must be extra careful in choosing the right hotel. Some are not very respectable and will charge you by the hour. They are assuming, of course, that you are involved in a not so honorable profession, such as prostitution. They will ask what rate you will prefer, “short time” or “overnight”. And if you’re not streetwise, you will not understand what “short time” is and will most likely choose “overnight”. We suggest that you hit the road and find another better hotel, preferably one which will state the amenities of their hotel and give you their rates without being assessed from head to foot.

Many prestigious hotels in Cebu charge around a hundred to two hundred dollars, depending on the “name” of the room that you will choose. If money is not an issue, you may go for the Marriot Hotel ($78), the Shangri-la Mactan Island Hotel ($152), or the Waterfront Airport Hotel ($73). Or if you decide to swing it and might as well enjoy the city, you will have a more enjoyable experience when you go to resorts. Most resorts have courts and gyms for the sports-minded. Some of them are the Badian Island Resort ($193), the Cordova Reef Village Resort ($157), the Alegre Beach Resort ($141), and the Plantation Bay Resort ($173).

If a little short on cash, you may use hotels that have lower rates but still offer quality rooms and excellent service. Some of them are the Cebu Midtown Hotel ($42), the Holiday Plaza Hotel ($33), the Golden Peak Hotel ($43), and the Day Hotel Mactan ($32). You may also want to go for lodges and guest houses which charge significantly cheaper. But of course, with these lodges, expect only the most basic comforts and don’t look for a refrigerator, a bath tub, or even a bar. They rarely accept credit cards, too.

The prices we included here are the lowest rates. Check out the hotels’ range of rates before making a decision. You can also do this even if you’re not stranded in Cebu.

Tipping hotel staff is not unusual, so leaving a P20 note, a chocolate bar or something similar with a note explaining this is for the maids is always appreciated.

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