Since we needed to travel from Baguio City to Manila and then Manila to Cebu we had to take the 11:00pm (September 17,2011) Victory Liner Bus in order to arrive just in time at the airport (NAIA Terminal 3). The expected time of arrival in Manila is around 8:00am, but to our surprise it arrived 2 hours earlier which was not part of our plan. So instead of heading straight to the airport, we decided to have breakfast at Jollibee which was located a few blocks from the bus terminal in Pasay. After breakfast we took a cab going to the airport which cost us about Php80.00; this is actually the first time that we got to ride a taxi wherein the taxi driver suggested a shorter route with less traffic because we got to the airport in less than 15 minutes.
We arrived at the airport at around 7:30am and went straight to the web check-in counter. After checking-in we had 2 more hours to spend before the boarding times so we freshened up and changed our clothes.
Tip # 1: Always keep a set of spare clothing in your backpack or hand carry when travelling. This lessens the hassle of rummaging through your luggage in case you need to change.
Tip # 2: A good book is the best travel companion especially during those long waiting hours at the airport.
Tip # 3: Bring your own snacks and drinks when travelling. This can basically help you lessen your expenses.
Upon arrival at the Mactan International Airport, we were already planning on looking for a white taxi as our mode of transportation going to Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa. But then we saw a person holding a signage for Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa. Although we did not make prior arrangements for our transfer, since the personnel whom we talked to during our reservation for the “A Day In Paradise” Day Tour advised me to just take a cab going to the resort, we tried to push our luck by talking to the person in charge of the transfers going to the resort. Good thing there were available seats on their shuttle and we scored a free ride.
Tip # 4: Never hesitate to ask for: directions, free transfers, cheap hotels, etc. It is in asking that you get answers, and it is in those answers that you’ll gain more information.
A View Of The Mactan Shrine From The Shuttle
Arrival at Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa
Since we went directly to the resort from the airport, we still had our luggage on hand, but this was not really a problem because you can leave your baggage with the hotel concierge without extra charge. But don’t lose your claim stub.
After we left our baggage with the concierge we went to the shop called SENSES where we purchased our “A Day In Paradise” stubs. We already made a reservation two days prior to our arrival which made the process easier. Since we arrived at around 12:10pm, it was already time for lunch so we went directly to Tides restaurant for the buffet lunch which was included in the day tour package. Upon entering the restaurant we were overwhelmed by the food most especially the dessert section (which is featured in most of our pictures).
Tides dessert section 1
Tides dessert section 2 (there is supposed to be a third section but there were several people during that time which made taking a picture impossible)
It was a weekend (Saturday) when we went there so the place was packed with tourists and locals as well. The buffet consisted of many different dishes including Japanese, Indian, American, Arab, Chinese, and more. The lunch alone was already worth Php 2,500/ person which was the day tour fee.
Tip # 5: If you plan on taking this day tour, don’t eat breakfast, make room for the sumptuous food especially the dessert!
DessertSSSS anyone? These were only some of the many choices found on the buffet counter; too bad we were not able to taste them all.
We were done eating lunch at around 1:45pm, we headed out to explore the resort. Places of interest include: Chi The Spa, Ocean Pavillion, The Marquee, Main Pool, Beach, Dive Center, Buko Bar, Cowrie Cove, and the Gym and Health Club.
Here are some of the photos taken all over the resort:
Here are some photos of the beach and pool area: (Take note that the other bloggers who experienced this day tour were not kidding when they said that there is an unlimited supply of towels in the resort. You can use as many towels as you want whether in the beach, pool, or spa area.)
Fortunately we were able to take underwater photos even if it was not very clear with the help a “waterproof” bag. Note to self: invest on a durable waterproof camera in order not to miss all the underwater fun next time.
We lounged at the pool area until 5:30 pm and then decided to proceed to the Health Club to shower and enjoy the free spa amenities which are included in the day tour. Sorry but we were not able to take photos. However here is a rundown of what to expect: once you enter the facility you will be asked to write your name on a registration sheet and you will be given one locker each. The men’s and women’s spa area are separate. Inside your locker you will have one big towel, one small towel, one pair of rubber slippers, and a laundry bag. There is no need to bring your toiletries when you are inside the Health Club because they will all be provided including the shampoo, liquid bath soap, conditioner, cotton buds, tissue, body lotion, and deodorant spray; a hair dryer is also available.
From the Health Club, we went back to the hotel concierge to inquire about the shuttle service going to Cebu City, it was 6:30pm and we were just in time because the last shuttle will be leaving at 7:00pm. The shuttle service is Php 100/person and the slots are only limited which is why you need to reserve beforehand; good thing there were still slots available so we were able to reserve two seats. The shuttle destination: first, SM City Cebu, and next Ayala Mall.
On board the shuttle going to Cebu City.
Our destination was Ayala Mall because is the area near our hotel. From the mall we took a cab going to Gran Tierra Suites, the taxi ride was Php 80.00. Upon arrival, we were given free pastries and then were led to our room which is featured on the previous blog post.
It’s time to rest and the next day we were off to Bohol for HIS birthday celebration.