During the long weekend last week, my whole family went to have some fun at the Imperial Palace in Mactan, Cebu.
While we were in Seoul a few years back, my sister, H and I stayed at the Imperial Palace in Seoul. It was a magnificent hotel, truly majestic. Aside from the fact that the two have the same owners [though now, I hear the Cebu resort was already sold to a Chinese owner], and the fact that their breakfast buffet are both grand as though you have traveled the four continents and ate breakfast there, their similarity stops there. The Imperial Palace in Seoul was just a hotel in the middle of the bustling city, while the one is Cebu is a resort, a waterpark to be precise.
It was the peak season when we were there, so it was naturally crowded, even in the reception area. However, I guess we have to thank that it was so full because when we checked in, we were told that the deluxe rooms we had reserved in advance were no longer available. My mouth literally hang a silent ‘wth’… but it closed as fast when the lady said that instead, we’ve been upgraded to the villas. yipee!
The hotel has over 500 rooms, majority of which were located in the main two huge buildings up front. The villas were scattered further near the pools and the sea. Ours were near the pools. It was good that we were upgraded there. Had we stayed in the deluxe rooms, it would have been a longer walk to the waters. Our villa was spacious. It had a receiving room, a king sized bed, a very large bathroom, a refrigerator, a mini bar, a microwave and a thermos. It was prohibited to bring food from the outside and except for water, we didn’t bring any. However, I don’t see how they’ll know if we bought some food… and we could conveniently heat them in the microwave, lol. The best part of the villa is the balcony which housed our own jacuzzi. As in, my sister and I didn’t swim so much at the pool and the open sea because it was too hot [my skin!]… so we just drowned in the jacuzzi night and day [sometimes turning off the temperature] at the convenience of our villa and certainly without the scorching heat.
Looking at the location map, there appeared to be different pools because of the various names indicated thereon. However, it’s actually one vast pool, and only named according to the deviations along the way… I was surprised. I was expecting different pools at different locations like that of Plantation Bay. It’s only the open ocean that was independent of them all, lol. Imperial Palace is best known for its waterpark, more particularly those high slides. Unfortunately, I cannot elaborate further because I didn’t try it — it was so hot, there were just too many people in the pool and… and… I chickened, lol. There’s also the wave pool [part of the vast pool] and I always see this kind in the Korean channels… but the water was just shallow and the waves weren’t that exciting [as the big waves in the open water]… just enough to move the floaters. The kids in the pool enjoyed it, btw.
There were a number of restaurants in the resort, but we only dined at the Chinese Restaurant. The food was actually good, and the price wasn’t that high — just comparable with the ones in the malls. The waiter said an order was only good for two, but it could feed at least four or five. I ordered Jjajangmyun [Black Noodles] and they said it was only for one person. Whoa, when it came served, it was so much, I had to share it with everybody.
There were just too many people when we came that I missed the quiet moments we had in Plantation Bay. I mean, I can’t even swim a decent distance because I kept bumping with some stranger. Yes, it was that crowded. Too many Koreans and Chinese were vacationing that time. And of course, the domestic tourists who made use of the long weekend added to the list.
When I remember Imperial Palace, I think my fond memory will only be the good times I spent in the jacuzzi, bwahahaha! Seriously, I’ll remember it a place where I had some quality time with my loved ones. If I had to go back to Cebu for a similar itinerary, I think I’d try going to Shangrila ’cause I haven’t been there… or go back to Plantation Bay.