Header image courtesy of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan
After the world moves on and heals from the pandemic, many of us will probably be booking the first flight out of the city to enjoy a relaxing holiday—a real one that requires a passport, that is. Aside from witnessing the escalation of air traffic once again, it is expected that the price of plane tickets will skyrocket. Nevertheless, there’s no need to fly to the Maldives or shell out a sizeable chunk of your savings to enjoy a luxururious beach experience. Here are some of the best beach resorts you have to visit in Cebu, Philippines, for that glorious holiday feeling.
At the top of our list is the Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, the ultimate destination for an unforgettable Cebu experience. When we say that it is highly lauded, we are not joking in the slightest—this hotel has been recommended by Condé Nast Johansens for seven consecutive years, starting from 2013. What’s more, Crimson has won the Best Resort Hotel award from Best of Cebu for three consecutive years!
You would be relieved to hear that this alluring beach resort is only a 20-minute drive away from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, making it highly accessible. In addition to its prime location, the resort offers guests access to an exclusive beach, a marine sanctuary for diving, a water sports centre, two large pools (including an infinity pool facing the open waters), three restaurants, and three bars.
As if you needed more reasons to visit, Crimson also has an award-winning spa—the Jet Lag Relief massage is as delightful as it sounds, and it’s a treat for those who wish to melt away their muscle pain, whether or not it’s from your recent flight.
Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Seascapes Resort Town, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 401 9999
Shangri-La has long established itself as the go-to place for luxury experiences globally, and its Mactan resort is no exception. A white sandy beach is the centrepiece of any tropical vacation, but Shangri-La Mactan goes above and beyond by offering an endless list of activities for guests who wish to fill up their itinerary and make the most of their stay.
At Shangri-La Mactan, guests can enjoy a six-hole golf park, water sports, diving at a marine sanctuary, a tennis centre, a fitness centre, and an E-zone with arcades, karaoke, and a billiard room, plus two pools (one with a water slide), four restaurants, two bars, and a spa.
Shangri-La Mactan, Punta Engaño Road, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 231 0288
Water parks and beaches don’t always come hand in hand, but at JPark, they are just a short walk apart. At this two-in-one luxury getaway, you are able to experience both the manmade thrills of large, looping water slides and the all-natural, soothing sound of ocean waves with warm sand under your feet—all within the same afternoon!
JPark’s waterpark, which comes with several pools, is undeniably the highlight of this resort, but there is no expense spared in creating a wholesome experience for guests. Aside from the beach, pools, and slides, guests can play a round of mini-golf, enjoy water sports, ride a go-kart, and more. For dining options, five restaurants and two bars seal the deal.
JPark Island Resort & Waterpark, M.L. Quezon National Highway, Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 494 5000
Choose between three hotels at Solea Mactan Cebu: Solea Palm, Solea Mactan, and Solea Seaview. As seen from its map, each hotel provides easy access and closer proximity to certain facilities—Solea Palm and the adjacent Solea Mactan are closer to the two infinity pools, the main pool, and a few bars, while Solea Seaview is closer to the inflatable waterpark, the Nina pool, a diner, the gym, the Karen garden pool, and the spa room.
Aside from the facilities near the hotels, Solea Mactan Cebu also offers access to a private beach, basketball court, playground, aquaplay area for children, and various entertainment options like karaoke, water sports, board games, and more. Of course, guests are able to access all these facilities regardless of which hotel you choose out of the three.
Solea Mactan Cebu, Victor Wahing Street, Alegria Cordova, Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 517 8889
Who needs to fly all the way to Europe’s beaches when you have Mactan’s five-star Mövenpick Hotel? Only a 10-minute drive from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, this resort has the most prime location on this list and a glamorous vibe to go with it.
This Mediterranean-inspired beachfront resort also proudly boasts the first Ibiza Beach Club, a seaside restaurant—take that as literally as you can—with themed dance performances, show bands, and a signature 15-course grill. Its lounges and bars offer a wide range of tropical drinks, scrumptious snacks, and, of course, Mövenpick ice cream. Other leisure facilities include water sports and areas made for children, too.
Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Punta Engaño Road, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 252 7777
Note: Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Dusit’s remarkable Cebu resort embodies precisely why this brand is the leading hospitality group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Despite its relatively small beach, the massive 100-metre infinity pool, with its unobstructed view of the sea, is a marvel that not only makes up for this minor hitch, but also takes your breath away.
Once you have dipped your toes into the world-class infinity pool and enjoyed your time soaking up the sun, head to The View—Dusit’s modern bar with an open-air lobby—for cocktails made by a master mixologist to take your relaxing afternoon to the next level.
Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort, Punta Engaño Road, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 888 1388
If you are looking for a luxury resort further away from the city centre with an infinity pool and luxurious rooms, put Kandaya Resort on your next vacation itinerary. If the private beach and main pool are not enough for you, book yourself one of the beach pool villas or garden pool villas instead of a regular (but very stylish) room for a pool all to yourself.
Kandaya Resort also offers family-friendly water sports and recreational activities like beach volleyball, island hopping, tennis, basketball, and more. While it’s a three-hour ride from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you can book a van for your group (for up to six people) for a worry-free journey to the secluded gem at the northern tip of Cebu. The ride comes with complimentary snacks, drinks, and other little surprises, and before you know it, you have arrived at the resort, with the sandy beach beneath your feet.
Kandaya Resort, Agujo, Daanbantayan, 6013 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 260 3150
While it is a slightly smaller resort compared to the others on this list, Cebu White Sands offers guests a white sand beach (the hint is in the name), two restaurants, and two pools.
For those wishing to explore more of Cebu’s neighbouring islands, Cebu White Sands organises a four-hour island hopping tour across the resort-owned three-islet cluster. The tour includes a picnic lunch at Islas Tres Rodas and entry to the islands—you can either visit the marine sanctuary at Hilotongan Island or the bird sanctuaries of Olango Island.
Cebu White Sands also offers a wide range of massages, including a Swedish-inspired Anahata signature massage that promises one-and-a-half hours of pure bliss, and a handful of traditional Filipino massages with indigenous origins dating back centuries.
Cebu White Sands Resort and Spa, Maribago Beach, Mactan Island, 6015 Cebu, Philippines | (+63) 32 268 9000