I have very very discriminating tastes when it comes to five-star hotels.
There are only 3 five-star hotels in the whole Philippines which pass my very stringent standards: Raffles Hotel Makati, Makati Shangri-La and the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu.
I always call Radisson Blu as the "Raffles of Cebu" as I view this hotel as my premier destination and stay at any time I'm in Cebu. I first came to Radisson with my family in February 2010 when the hotel was just 3 months into operation and it was also the first time in my life to have stayed in a SUITE room. There were only 3 of us in the family group and the Executive Suite they gave us was beyond huge and beyond outstanding!
At 113 square meters with 2 bedrooms (1 had 2 beds while the master bedroom had 1 king-size bed) and at a very very friendly rate of PhP6,000 / night, this was the ultimate suite to end all suites and rooms that I have ever stayed in all my life! (Check out my photos) The view from the windows offer a clear view of the two main arteries of Radisson - Serging Osmena and Juan Luna Ave. The air-conditioning in the suite was very cool and comfortable and each of the bedrooms had its own individual air-con controls and thermostat. The bathroom of the master's bedroom is beyond imagination: Separate shower stall, toilet and boat-shaped bathtub make taking long baths and soaking in tubs a pleasure on the marble-tiled floor. even the LCD TV in the master's bedroom has games which you can play using the remote control, including Tetris! =)
The only disappointment in the suite was no DVD Player!
When we walked into Radisson for the first time back in February 2010, no less than then-GM Grant Gaskin who personally waited for and welcomed us at the fantastic opulent and gigantic front entrance 1,200-square-meter Main Lobby of the hotel. On our second visit on February 2013, it was Assistant-GM Zenaida "Zen" Alcantara who welcomed us. A grand winding staircase to the side of the lobby led up to the second floor just above where the nightly band plays on the ground floor Lounge and on the second floor, there was an internet kiosk with 6 computers you can use for free if you're just passing thru.
There was no need to check-in as 2 high-ranking officers and 2 bellboys whisked us straight to our huge suite.
Everything was first class and five-star. We had everything we needed in our huge Executive Suite which, aside from the great bedrooms, also included a big living room with office desk, fax machine, visitor restroom, coffee machine, refrigerator, wide LCD TVs in every room, comfy sofas, etc. You name it and they had it! This entire hotel is fully air-conditioned and centralized and you don't have to worry about breaking a single drop of sweat when staying at Radisson Blu!
Service was top-rate and sincere and personalized as they gave us everything we needed and all the staff members treated us very well and remembered our names. Daily chocolate snacks in our suite, fresh fruits, newspapers, whatever we sent for or ordered for, we immediately got, including complimentary hotel-airport transfers and free rides to any destination in Cebu in their rental car, which was a brand-new black Toyota Camry. Our 2 car drivers, Romeo and Patrick, were both very knowledgeable and gave us good service from start to finish.
As we were staying in the Executive Suite, we had access to 2 very important dining places in Radisson Blu: Feria, the all-day dining buffet restaurant at the Lobby and the Executive Lounge near the top floor which offers limited breakfast and snacks but has a quiet cozy and formal atmosphere for those who want a bit of privacy. the Executive Lounge also has an adjacent library, business center and 2 private rooms for internet surfing (although the connection is a bit slow sometimes and you need to go to the second floor to get faster speed).
Feria is the crown jewel of Radisson. The breakfast buffet is almost limitless. Before Radisson opened, we used to stay with Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu and their buffet is nothing compared to Feria at Radisson Blu! The breakfast buffet spread at Radisson Blu is like 1,000 times more and better compared to Waterfront and the place is like 50 times larger!
Pancakes, Waffles, bacon, breads & pastries, cereal, noodles, fresh fruits, ice cream, rice, sushi, juice, hot chocolate, everything is served at Feria. I would have to write an encyclopedia if I were to describe all the available food at Feria! This place is not 5-star, it's 7-star! I could eat 3 meals a day at Feria for 1 year and never get tired of the food here! It's that good!
The dinner buffet at Feria has less food than the breakfast but still fantastic. Pizza, Asian cuisine, and affordable juicy steaks are a must-try in the evenings at this fantastic hotel! They gave me 2 big slices of steak at only PhP 900 for the dinner ala carte. Chicken and french fries are also very good!
For those of you who like to swim, try the huge swimming pool at Radisson Blu rear side. It features a "two-level" pool, one area for the adults while the other is for the kids but since it's like a mini-waterfall and overlaps, anybody can swim to and fro fro either side. (Check out my pool pictures). There's a wooden bridge if you want to walk across from either side, and this is also a favorite picture-taking spot for couples and lovers. Very nice scenery here at the pool! If you wanna take a break from swimming, there's a nipa hut on the lawn beside the pool area where they serve fresh fruit juices and other refreshments for swimmers and this is also where they do the barbeque in the dinner parties outdoor in patio.
I didn't get to try their Spa in either of my 2 visits to Radisson as massage is not my thing but I'm sure that the therapists are very well trained and very good!
For those of you who are night owls, there's the Lobby Lounge which features bands playing almost every night at a stage platform on the ground floor or the second floor. An incredible wine bar near the front entrance lobby linked to the lounge serves all kinds of wines in a picturesque setting with bar stools and glass bar table for those of you who want to get drunk. The only disappointment with the Lobby Lounge is that the bands stop playing as early as 10 or 11 PM and the Lounge closes at 1 AM. The Executive Lounge closes before 12 Midnight, if I'm not mistaken. Radisson is more on the wholesome side, for kids and family. Not like Solaire, which caters to gamblers and partyphiles.
If you like shopping, you'll be very pleased to know that Cebu's largest shopping mall, SM City Cebu is right next to the hotel just across the street and virtually sitting on the same tract of land as Radisson and SM Cebu are both owned and operated by SM Shoemart, the country's No. 1 shopping mall and company. So if you're not satisfied with Feria, just cross the street under the covered walkway and there are hundreds of possible restaurants for you to choose from at SM City Cebu. There's also a Starbucks there and Gelatissimo Italian ice cream at SM City Cebu.
For the religious, the famous Taoist Temple of Cebu, which is a tourist attraction in itself, is just around 5 or 6 kilometers from Radisson by car or taxi, which you can easily hail by walking across the street to SM City Cebu.
Back to Radisson Blu, I noticed that there's a huge sign near the Front Desk that says that the tourism law requires that you register all the visitors going into your room at the Front Desk as mandated by law. Even without this sign, I know that this is the general rule in all hotels nationwide so I'm wondering as to the redundance of this sign.
For men like me who like staring at pretty ladies, there's a beautiful female staff / model dressed in an ancient Maria Clara costume standing at the elevator banks of Radisson Blu hotel so that whenever you go up or come down, they usher you in the right direction so you do not mistakenly crash into a wall near the elevator, which is covered by mirrors. Although the pretty ladies are a welcome sight, but their Spanish-era costumes are a bit outdated as we are now in the year 2014 A.D. Perhaps you can try making these ladies wear mini-skirts next time.
My 2 visits to Radisson Blu made me realize that this is actually an underrated hotel. Meaning it should have been made 7 star instead of 5 star!
Although I was not there during the recent October 15, 2013 earthquake which shook Cebu, but based on the positive reviews I've read from the hotel guests, it looks like new GM Lyle Lewis and the Radisson staff did an excellent job of ensuring the safety and welfare of the guests, showing once again that Radisson truly cares for its valued patrons.
I hope to be back here again soon for Radisson Blu Cebu Part 3!
Radisson Blu is forever! =)
Get the Executive Suite, very affordable and worth every penny!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.