What to do in Cebu for Short Visits

A lot of travel blogs, when discussing a certain province or city outside of Manila (in this case, Cebu), often refer to beaches or resorts or historic sites. What is mentioned are the likes of Shangri-La Mactan, Plantation Bay or even the new Imperial Palace (which by the way my mom is raving about). If you are actually just on a short business trip, or just a mere visit to Cebu City, there just aren’t that many reviews available.

This post will be the exception — it’s written for those who plan to stay for two or three days in the City and if you are on a tight budget. If you do not have a friend’s house or a relative’s house to stay in for the weekend, we recommend that you check out these low budget hotels.

1. Castle Peak: accommodations are at Php 1200 to Php 3000. This is where I booked a place and take note, the deluxe room was good for three people. The room had a twin bed and another bed for an extra person. The room was pretty huge, although quite stuffy when I entered. The room had cable, a refrigerator and of course, the bathroom had two large towels, 2 hand towels and toothbrush, soaps and shampoo for you to use. No gym though for us fitness buffs!

There is no WiFi though in the room. You have to go to the ground floor area or to the restaurant just to use WiFi, and it’s at 20 pesos per hour. Not bad actually.

The restaurant where you will have your breakfast is at the ground floor. The building is quite old so the restaurant is quite old, as well. The food is very basic. You have your white and wheat bread. You also have your fried rice, longanisa, scrambled eggs, corned beef and sardines. Unfortunately, for those craving for cereals and muesli, there is none available. Food is quite decent and the place is clean.

Contact Details:

Castle Peak Hotel
F. Cabahug corner President Quezon Streets, Villa Aurora, Mabolo, Cebu City, 6000, Philippines
Trunkline: +63 32 233 1811
Facsimile: +63 32 232 6838
Email: reservations@castlepeakhotel.net

2. Golden Prince Hotel and Suites: We didn’t get to stay here but our colleagues say that it has the same price range as Castle Peak and the hotel is newer. Some of our friends like staying here, but some like it better at Castle Peak (not sure though on what they don’t like about the place). It is located further down the street from Business Park. Parklane is nearer to Cebu IT Park and to Cebu Business Park.

Contact Details:

Golden Prince Hotel and Suites
Acacia Street, Corner Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City
Tel. No. : (6332) 233-8660, 412-8660
Sales/Telefax : (6332) 232-8482
Email ad: reservations@goldenprincehotel.com

3. Parklane International Hotel: This place is more expensive than the two earlier mentioned but still quite affordable. In our next stay, I plan to book here because of its great location. It is very easy to go to Cebu Business Park and to the restaurants in IT Park.

Contact Details:
Cebu Parklane International Hotel
N. Escario Street, Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Tel. No. : (6332) 411 7000

What to see in IT Park: Going to IT Park reminds me of Northgate Alabang. There are a lot of restaurants and coffee shops where you can just hang out and relax. We also saw some restaurants that are only seen in Cebu and I still haven’t seen branches of such in Manila. Due to time constraints though, I didn’t get to review them all. Also, Waterfront Hotel and PAGCOR Casion is near the area. A lot of concerts are held also near this area.

What to see in Cebu Business Park: Well, Cebu Ayala Mall is there, so if you want to go shopping, you can visit this place. For Joggers, both IT Park and Cebu Business Park are great places where one can jog, although the Cebu It Park is better since it is well lighted.

Where to eat: Abaseria

This is the Café Juanita of Cebu! When you see this place, it is actually situated in a residential area. You will actually see houses beside it and even residential units right across. It will not be hard to find since this quaint little place is well lighted and the design of the restaurant is like a little wooden house from the outside.

When you enter, just like Café Juanita, it is decorated with different art pieces and functional displays that are on sale. They also have two shelves of Southern delicacies that customers can buy and take home as pasalubong.

I love the table arrangement. The placemats were made of woven material in different colors. The tables were all wooden and so were the chairs. I loved the homey feel that it gave to me. When we were seated, the server came to our table and offered us the menu. The menu was just a simple back-to-back menu with a capiz border and all entries in the menu were choices of dishes that were all home-style cooking.

In our attempt to be ‘healthy’, we ordered the Bangus Belly in Adobo sauce, Grilled Tangigue, Pinakbet and, get this, red rice! It’s a nice surprise to see a restaurant with some red rice on the menu!

It took a while for them to give us our orders. I think they have to improve on this aspect, but the wait was worth it! Everything was so delicious! We liked the Bangus Belly in Adobo sauce the most. The fish was fresh. The onions that they mixed were crunchy and the sauce was just right to complement the fish. This is a good dish even on its own and even without rice, but rice makes the experience amazing!

The grilled tangigue was cooked perfectly and you would know that the fish they used was fresh. I loved the sauce! It had a little spice to it. You would see the little seeds of the ‘sili’ in the sauce.

Again, in out attempt to be healthy, we ordered Pinakbet. But, of course, much to our surprise (fortunately for us since our diet was only an ‘attempt’), it had chicharon bits spread on top of the different vegetables. Of course, we ate the crispy okra, pumpkin, string beans, ampalaya with the great bagoong sauce while trying to avoid the chicharon (hmmm… or not!).

Overall, this is a unique dining experience in Cebu City but of course patience should be exercised since service is quite slow. The food however is really worth the wait… every minute of it!

Next Post:  Manila Reviews in Cebu (Part 2) – Mactan and Boosog!

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4 Responses

  1. Manila Reviews

    Hi Kat!!

    You are so lucky! haha! Great advice on getting a room that's not facing the street. I think mine wasn't. The next time i visit, i'll try that restaurant. My friends there mentioned about this restaurant. Thanks for the tip! :)

    Reply
  2. Kat

    We always stay at CastlePeak! Ok naman the 1200 room and … I never paid for WIFI! May bayad pala un? Hehehehehe. :) Just make sure you don't get the room that is facing the street. SUPER SUPER NOISY! It's walking distance to… WAKAMATSU YAKINUKU restaurant which is my super fave Japanese Restaurant in Cebu! :)

    Reply
  3. Wen

    Part 2 na. Recommend more resto. Hehe. I’ll be going to cebu this april and this is really useful.

    Reply

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