I didn’t know that my relationship with the beach or even with pools and/or swimming in general will be rekindled. I grew up in a coastal town of Batangas where my family used to have a private resthouse just right in front of the beach. I somehow got tired of the beach in general and I ended up gravitating towards the the city life more. Who would have thought that one weekend with my baby is all it takes for me to fall in love with swimming once again?
Last November 15-17, I went to Cebu with my in-laws and we had to choose between staying at Shangri-La Mactan or Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan. Good thing we decided to stay at Crimson because it was such a lovely place that I could not have anything but the nicest words about it. I literally fell in love with Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan that after the trip, all I can think about was that beautiful resort.
We came as a family of four couples with two babies and two nannies. Everyone in our group got the Deluxe Garden Rooms while I, my hubby and baby got to enjoy the Pool Villa. We paid a minimal amount for the nannies which included their own bed and breakfast buffet.
One of my high school best friends has been working for Crimson since it opened and he has been inviting me and our two other best friends to come and visit him. I was always busy and that whenever I find time to take a few days off from work, I instead spend it traveling to another country. So I was very ecstatic and thankful that my in-laws thought of spending a weekend in Cebu. Believe it or not, it was my first time in Cebu and I swear, it won’t be the last!
As expected from best friends, we were given huge discounts 🙂 My friend referred me to their reservations manager with whom I communicated about our booking. She was very courteous and she made booking very easy. Aside from the discounts (we got the pool villa at almost half the price of a deluxe garden room!), they also allowed late checkout for us. The usual checkout is 12noon but they also allow late checkout until 1pm. But for us, we were allowed to use the pool villa until we were ready to leave for the airport and that meant staying at the pool villa until 4pm on the day of our departure! I understand that this extra accommodation is not available to everyone but what really touched me was their thoughtfulness and sincere care for our baby. They wanted our baby to feel comfortable as we wait for our van back to the airport.
We got Room 539, a pool villa, which has its own plunge pool. We loved our room because we can swim anytime we want to! It was really something that we were very happy about. It made our stay a whole lot better.
We were also given complimentary bottles of wine and fresh fruits. The mangoes were sweet! We don’t just love that the villa has a pool, that we have extra provisions, but more importantly, what made our stay great was the friendliness of the staff. They have very friendly, helpful and thoughtful staff at the concierge and room service. They replenish items regularly and give extra bottled water for free. Because we traveled with our baby, they would always offer to bring us to our villa (or around the resort) through their golf carts. Umbrellas were also provided in case it gets really sunny/rainy.
We had dinner at the Azure Beach Club and the staff were very patient and nice. Almost all their dishes were grilled and spiced so they do not appeal well to babies. But they were kind enough to temper the spices so that our babies can eat their food. We enjoyed the flat lobsters, tiger prawns, red snapper, and sole fish. They were all fresh and spiced and seasoned well.
Our breakfasts and lunch on our third day were spent at Saffron. The staff were equally accommodating. They went around passing on fresh fruit juices (four seasons and ripe mango for the win!) and coffee. They were very attentive in that we need not ask for a high chair because every time they see us settling to our chosen table, they would hurriedly come over with one and help us put our baby in. I also liked their buffet selection. It’s not much but everything you would want for a breakfast is there. What stood out for me were their breads and pastries and the refillable danggit, a Cebuano specialty.
I will not write a detailed review about the pool or their beach because I am not really into swimming. I am only starting to involve myself into swimming because my baby likes it so much. I like that the water in their plunge pool and the three main pools are of the right temperature. I don’t exactly know whether they have a mechanism for it but what I liked was that the water temp control was really great that my 20-month old baby enjoyed swimming for longer than 30 minutes to almost an hour without developing colds. Based on experience, he would always have colds after swimming for more than 20minutes. Because of this, my baby would swim at 6am, or 9am, or 7pm and still end up not having colds after!
I also liked that they have Crimzone for the kids. My baby loved hanging out at Crimzone because he can ride the slide, play with balls and blocks, watch cartoons, play with the other kids, and lie down at their bean bags to recharge. They also come up with their Daily Ritual, more like a calendar of activities that you can join for the day. They dropped it off our doorstep every morning along with a bowl of flowers. They have fitness activities for the adults (yoga, aerobics, zumba, etc.) and they also have activities lined up for the kids (painting, dancing, movie time, etc.). Truly, you don’t need to get out of the resort because they also figured out what you might be interested in. Very thoughtful indeed.
Some people would compare it with Shangri-La Mactan Resort. True, Shangri-La is Shangri-La. No doubt this international hotel chain will satisfy you. But considering that Crimson Resort and Spa is relatively new, started from scratch, with rooms, service and facilities that are top-notch, exudes a real resort feel not something hotel-like, and is proudly local (Filipino), it makes the resort more special. Just thinking about how they’re now being compared head-to-head with Shangri-La really amazes me.
If you are travelling to Cebu with the family and have kids in tow, staying at Crimson Resort and Spa is the best decision you will ever make. To get to the resort, we took a van from the aiport for P800. We went to the city the following day and we rented another van for the whole family and paid P3,000 for a 7-hr day trip. Going back to the airport on our last day, we got the same van for the city tour and paid P1,200. The resort is about 20-25 minutes away from the airport.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Til my next post.. Annyeong