I found out last January that my Mabuhay (PAL frequent flier) Miles were about to expire and I had not planned any trips yet to use them up. Since the husband had not been to Cebu before, I decided to make a quick booking there and just plan our itinerary later.
After my successful flight booking, searching for a place to stay and what to do were next on my list. I looked back to the past brief stays I had in the city and apart from the usual trips to see the Mactan cross and the MacArthur monument, I was totally out of ideas. Where to spend three whole days to do nothing? 😀
I looked up beaches that were not too far from the city. Sure, Bantayan is fantastic but I doubt the husband (or I!) would have the patience for the long trip to go there, plus we’d need at least a week off to enjoy it. So I figured we’d need some place that did not require a boat ride and just 2 hours tops from the airport. I looked at beaches with good reviews online and narrowed down my choices.
Alegre Beach Resort and Spa seemed just the perfect place. I made our room reservations via Agoda without telling the husband; I wanted to surprise him. I did manage to keep it from him for about a month until he saw an email exchange with the resort’s staff. Still, the gesture put a smile on his face (or I’d like to think so!).
I love flying PAL mainly because the airport isn’t too crowded. The PA system left a lot to be desired, on the other hand. I didn’t understand half of what the announcer was saying. I tweeted @flyPAL about it but I didn’t receive an acknowledgment, as expected. We were right on time for our flight at terminal 2, but the plane actually left the hangar an hour late. We didn’t let a slight delay dampen our spirits, though. The husband slept throughout the one-hour flight, as usual :P.
Our ride flashed a placard bearing my name at the arrival area of the Mactan Airport, and we were immediately on our way. The car drove along the coast of Mactan for about 1.5 hours and I was getting more and more excited by the minute as I caught a glimpse of the sea. Our driver was very quiet and a little trigger-happy on the brakes. I was only too glad that the husband was holding my hand throughout most of the trip. The airport transfer was provided by Alegre but we had to pay an extra Php 3,000 for it.
You can tell right away that Alegre is a private resort. Our names were cross-referenced on the guest list at two separate checkpoints. You’d have to go deep into the compound, about a 5-minute drive, until you reach the main reception area. We were greeted with smiles and cocktails upon our arrival, and cold towels which was very considerate of them.
The resort is made up of several areas, and the private cabanas were situated at the left side. It was a long walk to our assigned cabana, but that only assured us of our privacy. I loved everything about the room – its size, the large windows (with heavy drapes for privacy), the king-sized bed, but mostly it’s the bathroom that left me in awe (for a few seconds).
It was past 4 in the afternoon and we certainly didn’t want to stay a second more indoors, so after securing our stuff we stepped out armed with my trusty camera phone. It was a long walk again to the beachfront and we discovered that it was, in fact, a cove, after having descended several flights of stairs. Aside from a couple who had just come out of the water, we were the only ones around. Glorious!
I honestly did not expect Boracay sand, but was a bit disappointed that I had to wear slippers on the beach because the pebble-y sand was just too much for the soles of my feet. The sand was white, but not powdery-white, that’s for sure. Still, the empty beach was very enticing. We capped the day with drinks and barbecue for dinner at the restaurant just a few steps away. I can’t wait to see what the place looked like in the daytime.
Would you look at that? It was a bright, sunshiny day, and I knew that at the same time it was raining in Manila so that made the experience sweeter :D. There were some guests from Convergys who were staying for the day, so the place was quite lively for a few hours. We went up the clifftop restaurant (aptly named “The Cliff”) and had this amazing view during breakfast.
By this time, we had already gotten used to the extra polite and courteous staff who insisted on speaking to us in English even if they were spoken to in the local dialect :). They made our stay very comfortable and relaxing! It made up for the noise coming from the ongoing construction they were doing nearby.
We spent a few minutes after breakfast on the other side of the cove where some lounge chairs were set up. It was so peaceful there.
It got too warm for us at some point so we decided to head on up to the pool (which was also almost always empty, by the way!).
There was a game room where I let the husband beat me at a game of foosball :P. In the room were gym equipment as well as a tv with gaming console (didn’t see which kind). Some girls were already on the pool table when we entered so we ended up on the foosball table but they switched to it as soon as we left (probably learned from us how to use it hehehe). We took a quick trip to the spa but the price was too steep for a one-hour massage and decided to just have one back in Manila. Besides, I was already experiencing mild sunburn at that moment.
We spent most of our day lounging at the resto when it got too hot by the beach or the pool, but the husband’s favorite place was this gazebo tucked away atop the cove at the far right of the resort.
I couldn’t disagree with him on this one. It was the most relaxing spot in the resort, really. I think we dozed off in our chairs while staring at the sea at one point. True, there were a couple of hammocks scattered around the resort but the breeze in this spot lulls you to sleep.
The day was over too soon, and we had to get up early the next day for our flight back to Manila. But we had the most fantastic and relaxing time and will definitely be back in Alegre Beach Resort and Spa for another summer Cebu getaway.