Mactan Shangri-La

Ushering in the new Tides
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

Mactan Shangri-La Resort & Spa, nestled amid 13 hectares of lush greenery, manicured sprawling lawns, and a 350-meter exclusive white-sand beachfront, is the quintessential modern-day nirvana. An exciting refuge for nature lovers and a favorite amongst those on holiday sprees, the enclave is a fusion of rustic surroundings, urbane conveniences, and genuine Filipino hospitality.
Tides, the breakfast hub of Shangri-La Mactan, is getting a facelift and the launch is happening sometime next month. “The Tides restaurant will now be the all-day dining restaurant where guests will enjoy the best of international cuisine served buffet style in Cebu.  Tides will be a ‘service market’ restaurant, open throughout the day with a distinctive approach to each meal period.
“Three remarkable changes that will surely make the new Tides the talk of the town are the much anticipated charcoal roasting pit which will be serving a whole lechon, a dedicated children’s buffet, and an outdoor piazza with a retractable roof,” revealed F&B director Ben Martlew.
The refreshed Tides will don three more food stations than its past self, all of which are theater kitchens that will feature its interactive and talented chefs.
Tides’ cuisine philosophy will be ‘Fresh out of the pan, hot off the grill, and right out of the oven.’  Culinary stations will include a section for raw and fresh food items, a charcoal roasting pit, individual areas for western, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisines, a corner for broth and pastry, and a dedicated children’s buffet.
“Rather than the addition or removal of dishes, our focus is really more on the ingredients we use.  Our culinary team firmly believes in utlizing locally grown fruits and vegetables.  We are also strong supporters of offering only sustainably sourced seafood and certified organic, chemical and pesticide free local produce.
“Our on-site herb and vegetable garden provides daily inspiration for our menus and our skilled chefs regularly come up with innovative signature dishes that make use of produce grown in our own backyard,” continued the resort’s chief toque.
Nicely tucked in lush tropical landscape within a crystalline coastline, this resort hotel in the Queen City of the South is an award-winning, premier deluxe seaside property. Mactan Shangri-La is highly-acclaimed for its spacious and well-appointed guestrooms and suites as well as in the variety of entertainment, sports & recreational activities, and dining options offered within its paradisiacal setting. It is also home to Chi, The Spa, one of the largest spa villages in the whole of Asia.
Mactan Shangri-La has 547 guestrooms and suites, including the presidential and specialty suites as well as the Ocean Club that’s located on the topmost floors of the resort hotel’s Ocean Wing. All accommodation facilities give guests spectacular views of expansive verdure, the tranquil seascape, and the outlying islands dotting the bay. This is probably the reason why the French whodunit comic caper Le Marquis was shot there.
“There is a marked difference between the types of hotel or resort properties.  Guest profiling, dining patronage and the cuisines offered must match these demographics for food and beverage efforts to be successful.
“Personally, I believe a city pub caters to a more casual, ‘out of the office’ guest profile with a cuisine style of snacks and small bites. A city hotel, on the other hand, caters more to the business and corporate guest profile where cuisine focus would, to a certain extent, offer fine dining creations paired with a varied wine list.
“While an island resort, like us, caters to a family-friendly demographic where the cuisine style zones are on easy-to-eat comfort food with a large focus on children’s dining habits.  The three main goals our team is working hard on are quality, consistency and value for money. We wish to offer our diners service that is warm, personal and focused on guest recognition paired with a diverse and innovative cuisine selection,” elucidated the Australian national.
Whether for business or leisure, relaxation or luxury, the island resort offers myriad choices for the discerning traveler that includes (though not confined to) airport transfers, shuttle services, Internet access, a medical clinic, children’s playroom, function & banquet facilities as well as sumptuous dining options.
“To better appreciate two of our largest dining markets, the remodeled Tides will offer a section for Korean and Japanese dishes, while our local dining market will be recognized through a special area for Filipino cuisine featuring local delicacies in a customized charcoal roasting pit.
“Uniquely creative food festivals will also be highlighted as we invite colleagues from fellow Shangri-La properties to lend their skills and show off their culinary flair. Our resort already features a dedicated Italian restaurant in Acqua, an elegant Chinese restaurant in Tea of Spring, and freshness on a plate at our signature seafood restaurant, Cowrie Cove. Our guests are certainly spoiled for choice when they dine with us,” Bartlew informed.
When asked if he has sampled any Filipino food and/or beverage and name a few he likes, his quick reply was, “Lechon, lechon and lechon.  I don’t think I need to explain why.  It’s simply the best in the world!”
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La hotels and resorts currently own and/or manage close to seventy properties under the Shangri-La and Traders brands with a room inventory nearing 34,000. These are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury amenities and services.
Shangri-La hotels and resorts are located in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, France Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines. The group has a number of new development projects in Austria, Canada, mainland China, India, Macau, Maldives, Qatar, Seychelles, Thailand, United Kingdom, the United States, and here in the Philippines.
Like Conway, the protagonist in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, all those who’ve etched the allure of Shangri-La foremost in their minds, are determined to find again that Asian paradise and live once more and forever amidst its ‘delicate perfections,’ to feel the ‘dream-like texture’ and bask in the ‘sumptuous tranquility’ of that singular destination which ‘shimmered in repose from which all the fret of existence ebbed away.’

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