Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bayfront Hotel Cebu - A Modern Beauty in Cebu City

I am a sucker for "clean and modern spaces" so when I accidentally came across Bayfront Hotel's page in Agoda, my interest was piqued. On any well-lit night, the top 6 floors of its 168 guest rooms look like stacks of cards in organized disarray. Got it? 

Once you get inside, you'd be enamored by the ceiling-and-wall design: ribbon-like strips of wood that irregularly head towards a single direction, looking like the aurora borealis. There's more, wide benches in pitch black, shaped like ribbons, complement the aforementioned irregular lines. Take about nouveau art.

A deposit of PhP1,000 was collected, then I headed straight to my room at 618. It had been a long day waiting at the airport since most Cebu Pacific flights can't seem to follow time tables and schedules. There's always a reason for delay. They have quick, albeit perfunctory apologies and "hoping to make it up to you on your future flights". These days, their delays are as normal as your morning bowels, you'd probably win the lottery jackpot if the plane flew on time. But I am digressing. Back to Bayfront, security is assured among guests because the use of the elevator would need your key card.

There's an elongated abstract painting adorning my rather spacious room. Silky black-and-gray draw curtains hanging down the glass wall. Outside, you get an eyeful of the north reclamation area. There's a container shipyard just outside. Just across the hotel is the vast SM Cebu grounds, with Radisson Blu to its left. Every part of the area's mercantile activity is within walking distance. Ain't that cool?

It's my first time in the area. When in Cebu, I usually stay at the Capitol site near Jones, Llorente and Mango (Maxilom) or at the Ayala area. But this location seems perfect if you consider the neighboring mall a prime component of your traveling existence. I don't, to be honest, but I figured this would be "new" for me. Moreoever, there's a 7-11 and a BDO ATM machine just beside the hotel entrance. How convenient is that.

My bed is firm and reasonably comfortable. They're actually two standard beds plaed beside each other. The amenities are more than adequate: a long table covered with glass; a Samsung LCD cable TV; an inverter A/C; a refrigerator, a safe, toiletries; there's even a torch (flashlight). The only other hotel I remember having a torch in place was a new hotel in Male (Maldives).

Under the mirror is a USB socket with LAN and phone connections. There's a desk clock, a big lantern hanging down the ceiling and a pair of lamp shades beside the bed. No doubt about it. This is a well conceptualized room, from the lobby to the interiors of each room. Agoda booking includes breakfast. There's no swimming pool, but there's a small gym at the 6th. Bayfront, which opened in 2014, seems particularly popular for celebrations: birthdays, weddings, graduation, etc, mostly because of its convenient location.


My Agoda booking is inclusive of breakfast at Cafe Breeze at the first floor. It's a curious name for a restaurant, and makes you think you have to catch up on your laundry. But then is is probably thematic because of the hotel's name. Bayfront should have breeze, right? The restaurant has two buffet tables laid out at one corner, in a cramped restaurant that, on most mornings, cater to SRO crowds.

One table serves Pinoy dishes: longganisa one morning and corned beef the next; fried fish, a variety of noodle dishes is alternated; poached egg one day and scrambled the next; there's "suman" one morning and "biko" the next; plain boiled rice or fried rice. The other table has a variety of breads served with jam or butter; little pancakes that don't get replenished after 9:30 AM (buffet opens at 7 AM and closes at 10AM); seasonal fruits like bland, almost-tasteless pineapples and watermelon slices. On the whole, their very thick "tsokolate" was sumptuous, as well as their "longganisa". Orange juice is watered down to a diluted concoction, you almost don't taste the orange. But for what you pay, you can hardly complain for the hit-and-miss breakfast encounter.

Anyone caught smoking inside the room (stench alert) and you pay PhP2,000. How's the wifi connection? Each room has its own allotted wifi connection so you can understand the limited speed provided per room. Nevertheless, it's serviceable. Just don't expect you'd be able to download a hundred movies during your stay. A hotel room, after all, isn't for that. In my stays in Cebu, M Citi Suites along Llorente and Capitol Central Hotel still have one of the fastest wifis in this whole city.

Bayfront Hotel Cebu is located along Kaohsiung Street, North Reclamation Area, just across SM Cebu and Radisson Blu Hotel. Most drivers know it. Just tell them it's across SM.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Like aurora borealis.

My bed at 618.

SM Cebu and a container yard at the North Reclamation area.

View from 618.

Painting in my room.

6th floor hallway

Cafe Breeze

Breakfast buffet on my first morning meal.

SRO crowd. There was no place to sit down but the lounge chairs near the entrance.

Breakfast haul

My seat because I couldn't find a proper table. Place was ful at 9 AM. 

Small gym room at the 6th floor. Hardly anyone uses this.

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