If there’s something the avid Filipino traveler should know in 2014, it’s that there are still many places in the Philippines waiting to be discovered, which may even give them a taste of something from the outside world.
Take for instance the Swiss hotel brand Movenpick in Mactan Island, Cebu, which was previously the Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa.
“We bring a lifestyle experience that is different from most luxury hotels you see in the Philippines. This is what sets us apart because Movenpick has different themes for every location, [thereby]creating that variety and versatility in hotel management,” asserts general manager Knuth Kiefer.
Since re-launching in December 2012, the hotel has especially gained popularity for bringing the world-famous Ibiza beach party experience to Cebu, via its on-site restaurant, and lounge bar, the Ibiza Beach Club.
Distinct from most other party places in the vicinity, the Ibiza Beach Club encapsulates the ultimate outdoor club experience. The wooden beach deck overlooking the ocean offers lavish afternoons in the sun that easily transforms into sophisticated cocktail evenings with delicious Mediterranean tapas and spectacular house music, Ibiza-style.
To achieve this experience, hotel owner and famous son of Cebu Manny Osmeña flew in Ibizan-native Francisco Beltran, to become Movenpick’s director of entertainment and events.
Describing his life in Spain, Beltran shared with The Manila Times, “Ibiza is a peculiar place. It is the party capital of the world where Top 10 DJ’s in the worldwide music industry would go to play every night. It’s been like that for over 30 years, and it was only right to bring that kind of scene in the Philippines—but of course, we had to change it to fit the Asian taste.”
To do that, Beltran continued, “We have a 12-member in-house roster of performers, dancers and singers. We have about five shows a week with themes like retro pop, Latin, disco—anything that we can think of. We also have fire dancing, salsa, and even ‘80s themed nights.”
Of course, no party will ever be complete without good food and drinks, so much so that Movenpick even whipped up a 14-course Brazilian churrasco dinner of meat and seafood, featuring filet mignon, rib eye steak, baby back ribs, buttery rock lobsters, huge grilled prawns, lamb chops, and grilled chicken. Every single one of these fire-roasted skewers are basted with a special Brazilian marinade and spices concocted by Ibiza Beach Club’s talented chefs.
Daniel Trumpfheller, meanwhile, the hotel’s German food and beverage manager, is responsible for this gustatory experience.
“Since we wanted to create a laid-back atmosphere, we decided to try out the churrasco idea. This requires an interactive type of service, same as what we have in Movenpick Phuket, Thailand. So we have a constant supply of high quality meat and seafood here for our guests to enjoy,” he related.
Other restaurants within the hotel give guests a variety of dining experiences to choose from. The Forum—the bar located by the pool—is best for corporate functions while The Sails is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant that offers a wide range of Filipino, Japanese, Korean and other international delicacies.
The hotel also offers water sports activities such as diving, Jet Ski, and parasailing, and for less stressful activities, one can enjoy relaxing treatments at Spa del Mar.
As for accommodations, the beachfront hotel features 245 luxury guestrooms and suites, which together with everything else that Movenpick has on offer, not only provide an escape from bustling Manila, but an experience that will surely take visitors to places further away than Cebu.
Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu is located at Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu. For information, call +(632) 492-7777 or log on to www.movenpick-hotels.com/