To be a king in the Queen City of the South

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


IT'S been ages since I visited Cebu. To find myself in the place brought back fond memories of friendship and family when I called it my home years back.

The place has changed a lot. The Queen of the South has transformed its once barren landscape into a sea of infrastructures, busy streets and a city astir from sun up to sun down. It has become one of the busiest metropolises in the country.

Perhaps, the one thing that remained the same about the city is the warmth of the place offers, and if there was a change, the welcome has become warmer. That kind of welcome I received from Radisson Blu. It was kingly.

The 400-room Radisson Blu is one of the key landmarks that cropped up in the center of Cebu's commercial hub. It's close proximity to the airport, shopping (it's right beside SM City), dining and historical sites make it an ideal place for businessmen and leisure travelers to stay in. This hotel was my home in Cebu for the short visit.

The smiling faces of the ladies in blue provided the warm welcome in the wide, impressive entrance hall where the morning and afternoon sun can shine its bright light through the vast picture windows of the vast lobby. I was quickly whisked through it and lead to the Business Class Lounge for my check-in. This reception, along with the access to the exclusive lounge where breakfast (that also offers the Cebuano fare of dangit-dried fish- for an added local flare and flavor to international buffet), all-day refreshments and evening cocktails, is extended to all guests staying in the Business Class Rooms and Suites.

My stately accommodation was a well-appointed Business Class corner room on the 19th floor that offered scenes of Cebu from a higher point of view. It was a nice spot to reminisce about the old city and get a glimpse of how it has transformed today.

In all my travels, this was the first instance that I was in no rush to explore the city. Although I met up with my good friends and spend quality time with them over drinks and dinner, I stayed most of my time in Cebu within the cool, stylish comforts of the hotel and enjoyed the Radisson Blu experience -- a delightful meal at the very impressive restaurant, Feria, with an old-time friend whom I met in Tagaytay and now in Cebu as the hotel's Assistant Manager, Zenaida Alcantara, and finding new ones in General Manager Lyle Lewis before he bade the hotel farewell, Marketing Communications team, Director Rica Rellon (now with the Carlson Hotels corporate office) and Assistant Mae Jimenea; a tour of the hotel's beautifully designed suites, a big gym and pool area; an enjoyable evening of cocktails at the Business Class Lounge with an awesome view of the city's skyline at night; and, a very relaxing time at the Blu Spa where I had my hilot, a traditional Filipino massage. It was the perfect way to cap the visit to the Queen City of the South.

With the city's renowned festival coming up, the Sinulog, why not discover (or rediscover) the Radisson Blu experience and live (or relive) the "Yes, I can" trademark hospitality the hotel is known for? You will definitely enjoy your stay in Cebu City. It's like living like a king in the Queen City of the South.

Radisson Blu Hotel is at Sergio Osmeña Blvd, corner Juan Luna Ave., Cebu City. For more information, visit their website at http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-cebu.

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 12, 2014.

Lifestyle

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