Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dreaming of chocolate

EVER had that dream of just being surrounded by chocolate? With the launch of The Land of Chocolate by Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu, that dream is possible as guests are basically surrounded by chocolate in the resort. From the resort grounds down to one’s room, it’s there waiting.

In what resembles a miniature forest stands a garden tucked in the property where the cacao farm and chocolate-making facilities are located. Guests who wish to tour the garden get to know the techniques behind the art of making tablea (cacao liquor) with the guidance of its chocolate sommeliers—the first of their kind, both in the Philippines and within the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts group—who underwent training to guide its guests through the experiential journey. The tour includes the chance to discover native sikwate (cacao) from different regions: Cebu, Bohol and Davao.

Included in this latest initiative are the many chocolate-themed treats waiting at the Lobby Lounge. There’s the chocolate high tea filled with sweet and savory treats paired with either tea or sikwate; the traditional Cebuano merienda of biko (Filipino rice cake) and mango with the sikwate; the Chocolate Flight featuring a selection of sweets; as well as drinks from the cacao-infused liquor and the non-alcoholic Cuddle in a Cup.

Guests staying at Ocean Club rooms get a complimentary artisanal chocolate. Craving for more? There’s a range of retail chocolate bars at the Lobby Shop should one wish to bring some as a present, or for giving in to one’s cravings.

The Land of Chocolate is an initiative overseen by the resort’s general manager René D. Egle in collaboration with The Chocolate Chamber founded by Raquel Choa, also known as the “Chocolate Queen of Cebu,” and Auro Chocolate, a bean-to-bar company founded by Kelly Go and Mark Ocampo.

With the promise of it being both enjoyable and educational, The Land of Chocolate is a signature journey that lets its guests, both locals and tourists, enjoy Filipino chocolate in a new style.


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