Our final night in the Philippines was spent in the bustling city of Cebu. We decided on getting hotel close to the airport since we had a fairly early flight the next morning to Manila then on to Taipei, Taiwan. Since it was our last night we decided to splurge a little and stay in slightly upgraded accommodations. We decided on the Eloise Luxury Hotel. The hotel is relatively new and was unknown to several of the taxi drivers at the airport. Despite the confusion finding the airport and having to stop and ask directions mid cab ride the hotel was a perfect end to an amazing journey in the Philippines. The inside of the hotel is very modern and luxurious by any standards. Our room was clean air-conditioned and had comfortable beds, pillows, and linens. The bathroom was also amazing complete with a rain style shower head and glass shower door. Most of the bathrooms we experienced at our stays did not have shower curtains separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom. Most also didn’t have any type of floor border to prevent water from soaking every inch of bathroom floor when you used the shower. It was a welcome change.
The room was also clean and cooled by a powerful air conditioning unit. Any damp clothes we had dried quickly and we didn’t have to worry about them becoming moldy on our next day of travel to Taiwan. There was also something the room lacked which every other room we stayed in from Manila to Dumaguette had - ants. Regardless of the cleanliness of the room or the age of the hotel, every - and I mean every - place we stayed contained small biting ants to some degree or another. At night they would occasionally wander into your bed and give you a bite just to let you know they were there. Eloise did not have this problem what so ever. Thank you Eloise. Though I did venture out to stock up on drinking water, beer, and fruit (though we splurged on the hotel we still tried to keep budget with everything else) we opted to relax in the room and order room service for our dinner. The room service menu was mediocre at best and was also reflected in the taste of the food. Luckily the extensive buffet breakfast complete with an “egg to order” station wasn’t as bad. The free coffee was also brewed rather than instant - another welcome change from earlier resorts that offered a free breakfast with a room reservation. For just one evening on a stop over in Cebu, Eloise Luxury Hotel was perfect. Though we would love to stay in such luxury throughout our adventure, our budget dictates otherwise. A great was to end a memorable journey in the Philippines.
Cost: Not really for the budget traveler, but still affordable for a splurge. We found a deal on agoda.com that offered 40% off the room and jumped at it. Yes the room only had 3 twin beds rather than one queen or double we still loved the luxury offered at the price. The free breakfast buffet, good wifi, and free airport transfer that came with the room were icing on the cake.
Accessibility: We’re still not sure why the taxi driver had a difficult time finding the hotel. We thought the first two drivers we solicited just didn’t want to take us on such a short fare, but it turned out they really had no idea where the address was. The third driver who reluctantly agreed to drive us had to stop and verify directions half-way into our drive there. The hotel is right near Cebu-Mactan International Airport which is convenient if you have an early flight the next day.
Activities: We didn’t have much time to venture out to explore or tour any of the well known areas of Cebu so we relaxed, enjoyed the air conditioning, and worked a little. On my way back to the hotel from refilling water and procuring snacks and some beer, my tricycle driver offered to help me find a “girlfriend,” be my guide around the city, and take me to a shooting range where I could fire a fully automatic M16. So, despite our lack of adventurism on this stop, we know there are plenty of things to do in Cebu.
Food: We were not impressed with the room service offerings. The restaurant on the main floor may have been different but we did not try it at all. The buffet breakfast that came free with the room was delicious and offered a wide variety of traditional breakfast items as well as things considered dinner or lunch dishes.