CEBU

Quick weekend getaways: Just what the doctor ordered

AS INTERCITY and international travel restrictions are still in place, hyperlocal travel has been getting the attention it deserves these days. Too often and unknowingly or not, we would opt for vacation destinations outside our own backyard so that our plot of paradise gets overlooked. That shouldn’t be the case as we have a whole host of topdrawer resorts that could launch a thousand Instagram shots.

But what can guests expect now that times have changed? Well, the team can tell you from first-hand experience that check-in and check-out queues are shorter, and cancellation policies have become more customer-friendly.

One favorite escape among Cebuano families is Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, best known for its service that’s attentive and personalized. Guests will want for nothing at the five-star resort, whether it’s a comfort or a necessity. Its chic design is coupled with a luxe atmosphere and that laid-back beach vibe for your much-needed reset.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when planning a staycation in the new normal:

The complete experience

Common areas in the resort are constantly and visibly sanitized.

Guests can sprawl out on the beach with its champagne-hued sand, take a dip in the inviting main pool or sign up for snorkeling and water sports. The award-winning Aum Spa, with its state-of-the-art facilities and top therapists, will make a feel-good last long after you’ve booked an appointment.

The new welcome drink

You can still reach for your welcome drinks -- usually fruity for the kids, spiked for adults -- at the resort lobby, but not before having a few squirts of alcohol—the other kind. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere, and guests are checked for their temperature.

QR codes are used for health declaration forms and contact tracing, and documents and pens at the front desk are frequently disinfected, as are high-touch areas of the resort.

A cocooning hideaway

Masked staff keep a safe distance and remove their shoes at the door before entering your room. A seal is taped over the door and on drinking glasses and remote controls to show

they have been disinfected and haven’t been used since. If that alone doesn’t help you relax, then the four-poster canopied bed, your own plunge pool and views of the sea framed by glass walls from within your villa denitely will.

Eats all good

Paper bags are provided for diners to keep their masks in while they eat. Open-air restaurant Azure Beach Club, which won “Best Luxury Beachside Restaurant in the Philippines” in the 2020 International Dining Awards, serves up modern Asian cuisine and authentic Indian fare. Enye by Chele Gonzalez’s tapas, lechon tacos, croquetas and paellas shouldn’t be missed. There is still a breakfast buffet at Enye and Saron, but stations are surrounded by plastic or glass barriers, and the sta plate the food for you.

Thirsty

It’s always five thirty somewhere but we’re loving this version of Happy Hour at the Rock Bar as it offers buy-one-get-one drinks and does not limit “happy” to just an hour.

We recommend going early to catch the spellbinding sunset views, and with a group so you can try all five flavors of the resort’s bestselling mojito: blueberry, kiwi, mango, classic and strawberry.


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