IT WAS never a problem requesting for an accommodation at the Waterfront Airport Hotel, Mactan whenever I need a place to stay for a quick stop in Cebu before heading to my destination, even during a high occupancy rate season.

It was 100% on the day I arrived, negative, actually (a hotel term when they are fully-booked in terms of guest capacity), but it’s never a problem with them, “Our housekeeping department is very efficient.

They’re quick to make-up the rooms after guests have checked out. Rooms will be ready for the next occupant in no time,” said Hanski Garcia, the hotel’s Marketing Communications officer.

It will always be my first and the wisest choice, and why not? I always feel at home in this place.

It’s convenient location, literally just a few steps crossing the ramp of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is a major (major) factor as well (even with this short walking distance, the hotel always insists on picking me up and sending me off using their van. How’s that for special treatment?). The travel time saved making my way to Cebu City and back would rather be spent in bed at the hotel.

The traffic in Cebu City has worsen due to the on-going repair of two bridges in the city proper that resulted to the extension of the original travel time of one hour to more than two hours now. An advisory was even issued to all travelers to travel early to the airport, four hours before their scheduled flights.

On most of my arrivals (not counting the red eye flight arrival to Cebu), the hotel team lead by the general manager makes it a point to personally welcome me at their hotel. This time it was the handsome General Manager, Benhur Caballes, Rooms Manager Ali Banting, Sales & Marketing Manager, Mychylle Teo, and MarComm Officer, Hanski Garcia. If it’s a coincidence that everyone is at the hotel lobby upon my arrival, then I must be the luckiest person on the planet. I particularly always like the greeting of “welcome home”.

I luckily experienced the Chinese New Year’s feast prepared by the new Executive Chef Bien at Café Uno and liked what I saw. The food stations are more distinctive- Filipino, Chinese (how can I resist not having some servings of freshly cooked buchi with ube filling as my appetizer?), Japanese, the grilling station, salads and starters, and dessert.

“This will be a permanent set-up,” said the chef, “The menu will be different daily and the buffet will offer a wide variety to cater to the guests of different nationalities, in-house or on lay-over, at any time of the day,” he added.

After eating my late lunch in the afternoon, I was guided to my room on the top floor of the hotel. I must say that I was in a Executive level where the new Executive Club Lounge is already on its finishing touches and will be opening anytime soon.

I have stayed in countless hotels across the globe and greeted by welcome notes and treats, but the treat on this stay tops it all. On my desk was Chef Bien’s trio of morning shots of fruit and vegetable concoction, and Pastry Chef Ryan’s dessert samplers of cakes and fresh fruits presented ala nouvelle cuisine. It was impressive as it was heartwarming.

Late lunch plus the room’s welcome treat, I knew I would be skipping dinner. Now tell me, why should I leave the room at all?

I was awake at the break of dawn to catch my morning flight to Boracay. But before walking to the airport across the street, an unhurried breakfast first of a Cebuano specialty—the danggit, a request granted byChef Bien as it was not served on the buffet table on that day.

Short and sweet, that’s how it was on my most recent stay in the hotel I can call it my home in Cebu. Daghang salamat, Waterfront Mactan Hotel!

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