Cozy, green stopover-A A +A
Saturday, July 21, 2012
THERE’s a boutique hotel in the heart of Cebu City that’s cozy and green. Owned by Jun and Cherry Muntuerto, it is aptly named M Citi Suites, a 36-room hotel on J. Llorente St. It’s a few steps away from Osmeña Blvd. and close to hospitals, to the provincial capitol, to Fuente Osmeña, and a jeepney ride away from downtown Cebu and the Basilica del Sto. Niño.
Jun Muntuerto says he has often heard foreigners say the hotels are expensive in Cebu. This is why his boutique hotel, with its comfortable rooms and free WiFi access, has pension house rates. The most expensive room is its family room at P2,000 net with free breakfast for three.
When they first acquired the building, Jun says, they did not know exactly what to do with it. They finally settled on making it a hotel that would not only showcase Cebuano hospitality but also serve as a venue to hang the many, many paintings he has acquired through the years. Now these paintings can be found in hallways, in some rooms, and in the hotel function room they have called The Gallery. The hallways are powered by solar panels when the sun is out; the hotel utilizes LED lighting to minimize power usage.
The entrance to the hotel is at its MMM Café, on one wall of which hang a painting each from three generations of Alcosebas: father Vidal, son Tony and grandson Darby. The cozy café has varied menu choices, with pastas and meal orders the most expensive, priced at P150, in keeping, says Jun, with the hotel’s philosophy of giving value for money. And in his desire to help the countryside entrepreneur, the café offers budbud (glutinous rice rolls) and tsokolate (hot chocolate), the budbud from Consolacion town and the tsokolate with Tableya sa Sogod… indeed, so good.
The building also houses, on its seventh floor, the law office of Jun. On the ground floor at the back is a shop for one of Jun’s green advocacies, the e-bike (electric-powered bicycles). Also at the back is a diagnostic center, Total Health Check.
Managing the hotel is Stella Monteño, who is a familiar face in media circles because she was once a media practitioner. She happily reports that the hotel is doing well, with some repeat customers who are evidently pleased with M Citi Suites’ brand of Cebuano “value for money” hospitality.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2012.