Discover Cebu – Indulgence at Majestic Marco Polo Hotel

Are you looking for an upmarket retreat in vibrant Cebu City? Do you want to stay in a beautiful mountainside location away from the bustle of the city centre? Would you like to pay less than £100 for a night of complete luxury including breakfast? How about cooling off in a huge swimming pool in a lush tropical setting? All this and more is available at one of Cebu’s finest hotels: the 5 star Hotel Marco Polo Plaza.

Situated in Nivel Hills, on Cebu Veterans Drive, the Marco Polo Hotel is perfectly located for anyone looking for a bit of respite from noisy, chaotic Cebu. Within walking distance are a few high end restaurants, but you’ll need a car or taxi to reach the Temple of Leah higher up into the city’s hills. While the main malls are quite a distance away, taxis are readily available and easily affordable.

Why the Marco Polo?

During many years of residence on Siargao Island, Cebu was just a gateway to our island home. Therefore, budget hotels or nights on ships became the norm when visiting the city. However, last year just before moving from Philippines to Saudi, we had two memorable splurges: a night in the Best Western Plus Lex and an evening in the Blu Bar. It was the evening in the Blu Bar which inspired us to book the Marco Polo Hotel this year. A final night of luxury in Cebu before we return to an extended season in the Saudi Kingdom.

Deluxe Room at Marco Polo Hotel, Cebu

The check-in could not have been any smoother. Like always, we had taken the slow boat from Surigao and arrived in Cebu early in the morning. This meant we were five hours early for check-in, but this didn’t bother the receptionist in the slightest. She was extremely friendly, agreed to book us a table at the Blu Bar for later, and ordered the concierge to look after our belongings. After a morning of street and mall exploration, we returned to the hotel, claimed our luggage and took the lift to a deluxe mountain view room on the sixteenth floor.

Our deluxe room was really impressive: beautiful furnishings, a huge, comfortable bed, and a surprisingly stunning mountain view. The bathrooms contained everything we needed for a flawless time, including plenty of luxury toiletries and large fluffy towels.

Swimming Pool at Marco Polo Hotel, Cebu

As usual Rafael requested pool time almost immediately after arrival; such is his love for the water. However, the pool attendant asked us to return later due to heavy thunder and lightening in the vicinity. Fortunately, the cartoon network amused Raf for a couple of hours before the sunshine emerged again. The improved weather allowed us to sample the large, luxurious pool in gorgeous late afternoon weather for a couple of hours. Raf particularly enjoyed swimming beneath the flowing waterfall feature. Mirasol decided not to join us in the pool. Instead she ordered poolside drinks and relaxed on one of the super comfortable sun loungers. Only one other family joined us and it felt awesome to have such space and luxury almost to ourselves.

Marco Polo’s huge main pool, flowing waterfall, kids pool and beautiful tropical flowers combined to make it our favourite pool area in Cebu so far. While the pool water was slightly cold, the outdoor humidity made it a perfect place to cool off. If you decide to stay here, don’t miss the chance to get wet or relax poolside.

Blu Bar at Marco Polo, Cebu

After our swim, we slipped on suitable attire for a return to the unbelievably scrumptious Blu Bar; situated just nine floors above our room. Just like last year, Cebu’s best rooftop bar delivered amazing food and service under starry skies. Alongside the spectacular seafood starter, we loved their delightfully prepared pork and chicken main courses and house red wine. Once again, the super attentive staff gave us a complimentary dessert and an evening to remember.

Seems like #whenincebu you should always choose Blu Bar, a place where culinary perfection and sweeping views collide to make a perfect Philippine dining experience.

Breakfast at the Marco Polo, Cebu

Unfortunately, the slightly crowded atmosphere meant we couldn’t fully relax in the luxury of Marco Polo’s amazing breakfast buffet. However, at least the friendly waitress found us a seat in a less busy area and we really did love the food. In addition, nobody noticed me tackle five plates full of local and western breakfast fare. Meanwhile, Raf and Mirasol were satisfied with just a couple of plates each.

The breakfast buffet is well worth considering at the Marco Polo, especially with few options nearby and the minimal discount for no breakfast. Alternatively, if you prefer cheap fast food you could just have a lie in and head for something more affordable when the malls open at 10am.

Marco Polo Wrap-up

In conclusion, we loved Marco Polo, Cebu. Their beautifully furnished rooms have wonderful mountain views and extremely comfortable beds. The large swimming pool tops off the exterior and offers a great opportunity for quiet relaxation. While the nightly rate is a bit expensive for Cebu, it’s still a fraction of the price of something comparable in UK or Europe. In short, it’s an ideal place for couples and families keen to relax looking down upon the metropolis below.

Follow in our footsteps

– You can book the Marco Polo, Cebu on Agoda, Booking.com or the hotel’s own website.

– Mountain view rooms at Marco Polo, Cebu start from 90 GBP / 6000 PHP per night, including breakfast and tax. Sea view rooms start from 107 GBP / 7250 PHP per night, again including breakfast and tax.

– Taxis are available right outside the lobby to anywhere you need to go. Alternatively, you can walk to a few upmarket restaurants just down the hill like Anzani which comes highly recommended by others (but we have yet to go!) or Korean Tops.

– Cebu’s Airport is 15km away. Expect to pay at least 250 PHP for a metered taxi to the airport. Allow sufficient time to reach the airport (45 minutes early morning, 90 minutes during rush hour) to make your trip stress-free.

– If you’re looking for a beach, take a taxi to Plantation Bay. Situated 18km away on Mactan Island, you can escape from city life and enjoy artificial lagoons, a small beach, use of bicycles and kayak for 2000 PHP per person daytripper package.

– Of course more exciting, natural beaches are available too, by taking a bus anywhere on Cebu Island, but this will take more of your time.

Comments

  1. I have a rental house in Cebu with similar feel of Marco Polo but it's in the other side of Cebu near SM Seaside Cebu road on the way to South Side of Cebu but no doubt Marco Polo is very nice love that place too! their food is wonderful!

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    1. Yes, we love the Blu Bar at the top of Marco Polo so much. It’s an oasis from the hectic city down below. We’d love to check out your unit, especially as we’ve never been out towards SM Seaside.

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