Best places to stay in Cebu
Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines, steeped in history and still holding on to some of its old world charm. The city boasts a busy seaport, making it a bustling city that welcomes tourists that use the city as a base to explore further afield. Cebu City may be a stop off point for many but for others, the large shopping malls, great street food scene and lively nightlife make it a great place to hang loose and let your hair down. Cebu City is loud and dusty, so it is not a place to stay if you are wanting a family holiday. It is much more suited to singles or couples, looking to take in Filipino culture and enjoy an energetic city holiday. Whilst Cebu City can look a little tired in some parts, the dust is shaken off by the large hotels that offer a luxurious stay for foreign guests.
All of the best sights are enjoyed by strolling around town and soaking up the atmosphere but there are tourist attractions to explore, such as the 16th Century Fort San Pedro that was built when the first Spanish settlers discovered Cebu. The great infrastructure of Cebu means that tourists can spend a few days in Cebu City before moving on to one of the islands for a more traditional beach holiday.
Hotels in Ceby City
Separated from Cebu by the Mactan channel, and conveniently home to the Matcan-Cebu International Airport, holidaymakers will find themselves on an island that satisfies the tastes of families and young adults alike. Designated a coral island, Matcan boasts pristine, clear waters and Instagram-worthy scenery. The island flaunts excellent beach resorts, ranging from budget to five-star, many of which are self-contained so that visitors don’t have to wander too far to find what they are looking for.
The coastline is sheltered, making for exceptionally calm waters and safe swimming conditions. While the San Vincente and Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuaries offer exquisite snorkelling opportunities, the best can be discovered through the advice of friendly locals, some of whom offer day trips on their boats. With the water sporting dense coral reefs and exquisite marine life, visitors can experience scuba diving at its finest. Adrenalin junkies can also enjoy water sports and shark diving.
Mactan is comprised of Lapu-Lapu city and the municipality of Cordova. Despite being urbanised and densely populated, Lapu Lapu is popular with families thanks to hotels offering child-friendly facilities. Visitors can explore the modest neighbourhoods and support the local economy by indulging in some of the finest foods and shopping at local stores. Nightlife is lively in both Lapu Lapu and Cordova. With rooftop, beach bars and floating restaurants in picturesque settings, visitors are spoilt for choice. Visitors can also get a taste of history by visiting the Magellan shrine, and the Lapu Lapu statue. Tourists and locals can be found sharing a laugh as they pose in front of the statue, imitating the noble stance of the native hero.
Hotels in Mactan
Moalboal is the place to go to dive in Cebu, with thousands of divers visiting the town every year to enjoy the wonderful sea life in the area. Panagsama Beach is the hub of all of the action in Moalboal, with hotels, bars and restaurants that offer plenty of choice for differing budgets. Panagsama beach can get very crowded during the peak season but there is a quieter beach further down the coast: White Beach. White beach is a lot more laid back and is much cleaner than the busy Panagsama beach, making it attractive for locals as well as tourists looking for a little sun worshipping.
The area mostly attracts young adventure seekers, with canyoning, sea kayaking and river climbing popular activities, alongside diving. There are diving schools for newcomers, with classes and equipment hire readily available and with plenty of friendly beachside cafés and shops, you will never be short of advice from the diving community.
Hotels in Moalboal
Malapascua Island offers a true taste of West Pacific paradise, with its clear blue seas and long golden beaches. Couples and honeymooners, looking for a romantic place to stay head to Malapascua Island for a chance to unwind and to be spoiled in the luxury hotels in the area. There are a few high rise hotels on the island but the majority of accommodation choices come in the shape of small bungalow huts, that are nestled in-between the houses of locals.
The resorts on Malapascua Island offer everything you would expect from an exotic beach holiday: sun, sand, sea cocktails and if you really want to push the boat out some resorts even offer high class living in beachfront rooms. There are pockets of the island that are popular with backpackers wanting to get away from it all, so you will find budget accommodation on the island too. Once again, diving is the most popular tourist attraction, with dozens of diving centres offering professional support for people looking to get to see the delights of the ocean.
Hotels in Malapascua Island
Situated just west of the northern tip of Cebu Island and across the Tañon Strait lies the gorgeous island of Bantayan. If you are wanting to relax on powdery white sand beaches and swim in warm turquoise waters, this is the perfect spot for you! Bantayan is the perfect beach resort to stay in as it is so serene and tranquil. Once just an island with a sleepy fishing village called Santa Fe, Bantayan now has 40 places to stay and all of them are remarkably reasonably priced.
The best places to stay include Anika Island Resort and La Playa Estrella Beach Resort which are both mid-range hotels. The best way to get around Bantayan is to rent a bicycle or tricycle. There are numerous lovely beaches to discover –including four near Santa Fe. The other main excursion is to discover the Obo-Ob Mangrove Eco Park which can be explored by boat, kayak or on foot.
Hotels in Bantayan Island