Monday, 4 April 2016

Cebu Day 1: Manila to Radisson Blu Hotel

We took a flight from Manila to Cebu in the Manila Domestic Airport. It's actually not that small, as far as domestic airport goes.

Manila Domestic Airport, Philippines
Manila Domestic Airport

Air Asia Airline, Manila Domestic Airport, Philippines
Our ride, Air Asia

When we left Cebu airport, somebody loaded our luggage into the boot of a taxi. He then scribbled something on a piece of paper. After a few days, I realised that this is a Cebu thing. Porter/hotel concierge would write down info about your cab ride like their license plate number, etc. So that if you left something on the taxi, this info will be useful in tracing it back.

After handing me the taxi info card, he stood there, saying "Happy Christmas!" to me. And I said it back to him, but he repeated it. After a couple of such exchanges of Christmas greetings, Ada suggested that he was waiting for a tip. I did a quick mental exchange rate conversion, and handed him a ₱50 note. His final Christmas greeting on receiving my tip was quite joyous. I think ₱20 would have been sufficient. Well, it's Xmas.

Don't know if this tip is to be expected normally, or because it was Christmas Eve.

When our taxi pulled in front of Radisson Blu Hotel, I thought to myself, the building looks white to me (btw, "blu" is Italian for "blue").

And then I saw the lady concierge who opened the door dressed in blu(e). Just to prove that I'm not lying or coloured blind, here's a photographic evidence.

Concierge, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
Lovely hotel concierge in blue Pinoy national dress
Harpist, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
Hotel's blue musician, not blues musician

As we made our way towards the lobby, in keeping with the hotel namesake, most of the Xmas decors are in blue.

Reception, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

Lobby, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
View of hotel's atrium as seen from a cafe in the mezzanine above the reception area

Christmas tree, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines Christmas tree, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines Christmas tree, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

Santa Claus, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
Blue Santa? Well, this isn't Radisson Rouge...

Fountain, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

If it weren't for Christmas, there would be a lot less blue.

We stayed on Level 21, which also has a separate reception area for the business class rooms check ins. Behind it is a little restaurant where there's free food and (non-alcoholic) drinks served in the afternoon. We waited there for 45 mins for the room to get ready. The food is decent.

Aerial view, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
Pano view  from the restaurant on L21

At first, I thought that the hotel's location wasn't good because it's located next to a container terminal, and it's 15 mins taxi ride from the historical centre/sights in Cebu. Once you've visited the historical centre, you'll understand that this is indeed a good location with a large SM Mall next to the hotel. In the historical centre, you won't be able to find food or any shopping conveniently.

The hotel can be located in the more convenient commercial centre of Cebu, but it's also further from the old town centre  as well as the airport. Beside, while the scenery here isn't breathtaking, but it's open and near water edge. Preferably than located in the more crowded city centre.

Carpark, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

Aerial view, Container terminal, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu, Philippines
The busy container terminal, which has lots of blue as well. It's all part of the decor matching the hotel's colour theme...

The room lived up to a 4 - 5 star international business hotel standard. Quite satisfied with the staff, and services overall.

Here's a time lapse photography of the view outside of hotel window. My ever first time lapsed photography while travelling.

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