For many years since Cebu Plaza opened in 1983, it has always been lording over the accommodations industry in the Queen City of the South.
Figuratively, because it was the only deluxe hotel in the city then, thus immediately becoming the favorite of domestic and foreign tourists. Literally, because its hilltop location gave it a magnificent view of the entire city below, including Mactan and Bohol on a clear day.
I remember, every time the international airline I was working for then would have a big event in Cebu City, we would always hold it at this hotel because it symbolized elegance and class, enhancing the image of the airline.
However, with the advent of newer deluxe hotels and resorts like the two Waterfront properties, the Plantation Bay Resort, and, eventually, the Marriott, Cebu Plaza suffered such competition and was forced to close for several years.
But just like the phoenix, it rose again from the ashes as the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, this time with newer and better facilities, exemplary service, and a complement of caring and ever-smiling staff, always ready to prove that Cebuano hospitality is beyond compare.
With its re-energized marketing efforts, backed up by the attractive, reliable, and strong recall of its international brand, the new Marco Polo Plaza Hotel immediately charmed domestic and foreign tourists, putting the hotel on top of the list again. This time, it shimmers like a jewel on the hill.
Chatting with the energetic and hard-working marketing duo—Lara Constantino Scarrow, director of sales and marketing, and Manna Alcaraz, communications manager—I learned that 70 percent of the hotel’s business is from domestic sources, bannering its lead in the local MICE industry.
As we all know, all hotels, always target this lucrative and high-yield business from MICE events because they do wonders to the hotel’s coffers.
Personally, I always enjoy my stays at Marco Polo Plaza. Its seamless service and delectable cuisine, enhanced by a breathtaking view of the city, make the property a winner. Walking through its humongous lobby, accented by a long, elegant staircase that seems to lead up to heaven, is always such a delightful experience.
But, what captivates the hearts of guests is the willingness of the hotel staff to go the extra mile. This attitude always puts the hotel up front, when guests choose their accommodations in the city.
When I decided to try out the hotel’s Blu Bar and Grill, located at its Sky Deck, I couldn’t find a table right away, but the service attendant told me to just be seated comfortably on the bar while she made a quick arrangement for an extra table to be set up for me. In a jiffy, I got my table right on the edge of the open-air Sky Deck, with an unobstructed view of the city at night, glimmering with a galaxy of bright, multi-colored lights, a view that can easily soothe any weary soul.
Small wonder why this 329-room deluxe property runs an enviable 75 percent year-round occupancy. I’m sure that many other visitors are like me, choosing an accommodation that we could retreat to, for some peace and quiet, after going through the hustle and bustle of city life the whole day. This is why I always choose Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, Cebu’s “jewel on the hill.”
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