Monday, September 27, 2021

Salvador: Waterfront Cebu, the city skyline icon

Jeepney Jinggoy

I WAS back in Waterfront Cebu City Hotel for a quick R&R. I can’t put my finger on the date the most recent time I walked under the iconic ceiling mural of the hotel lobby. The huge painting — an antique rendition of the world map with tableaus of Cebu’s history on the fringes — is as breathtaking as it was the first time I saw it.

Perhaps the expansive artwork is one of the distinctive features that make the hotel easily identifiable in pictures. That, along with the unique architectural detail that juts out of the city skyline. The roof’s castle-like distinguishing feature, which can be seen from a distance, stands as a city landmark.

Since the spires first lit up in 1998 signaling the 562-room Waterfront’s services opening, the hotel has maintained its hold as a premier business and entertainment destination in Cebu. It stood its guard, so to speak, and maintained its position on the top spot of Cebu’s best city hotel list for 20 years now.

“Being a Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) hotel was our advantage. We are the only hotel with dedicated group check in and check out lounge with separate luggage area. And we have the biggest pillar-less ballroom which won us the MICE Venue award last January in Thailand,” said Antoniette Elmido, Waterfront Hotels’ group sales manager for VisMin.

“In terms of creating loyalty, most of the big organizers keep on coming back because of our ability to customize based on their requirements. We also have a proven track record of handling major events professionally for the past 20 years so the clients can be sure that we have a consistent level of quality service,” she shared.

The hotel is a favorite among leisure travelers as well. Its central address makes it convenient for guests to enjoy the city’s nightlife or head off to a nearby destination.

The Japanese was once Cebu’s number one tourists. Believe it or not, it remains so at Waterfront Cebu to this day, even with the heavy influx of Koreans and Chinese tourists.

“Most of our Japanese guests are repeat clients,” Elmido said. They must be doing something right to gain guest loyalty.

Loyalty is gained from their employees, too. Two Waterfront personalities, icons in their own right, can validate this. For 20 years now, chefs Low and Ken Imamura, have been whipping up their oriental specialties for their diners at Tin Gow Chinese restaurant and Mizu Japanese restaurant. This explains the consistency on taste and quality of the dishes served.

Put me on the list of loyal guests. The couple of restful nights in a spacious deluxe room and feasting on the oriental culinary delights of Tin Gow and Mizu did the trick.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is located at Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines.

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