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What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

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What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

I would love to get input regarding what is the best location/island to stay around Cebu. We are flying in and out of Cebu from HK and only have 3 days (last week of Nov). We want to minimize travel time if we are going to stay on another island. We also want to pick a place that is less touristy but still has pretty beaches and enough things to do. I have been to Caohagan (1 hour away from Lapu Lapu) many years ago but would like to try a different place this time (actually didn't spend time in Cebu at all last time). I would really appreciate advice from you seasoned travellers.

I have read about Boracay or Bohol, but this seems to add on travel time. Are these places MUCH MUCH better than Cebu?

If we are going to stay in Cebu, do you know of any hotels/lodges that have a lot of character (not those big hotel chains)?

Thank you so much!!

Australia
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1. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

It is only about 90 minutes by fast ferry from Cebu City to Tagbilaran Bohol. That is quicker than it takes to get to the best spots in the island and/or province of Cebu.

The best island in the province of Cebu, in my opinion is Malapascua Island.

Others will disagree but the best hotel in Cebu City, in my opinion, is Waterfront Hotel in Lahug. It is not by the water

It certainly does have character. It looks like a big castle. It also has a duty free shop, casino, very pleasant landscaped pool area and more. Check their website here

waterfronthotels.com.ph/cebu/index-non-flash…

Boracay is just a little dot compared to the islands of Cebu and Bohol. It is the party island. If you want to party, go there. There is plenty of partying available in Cebu City too.

Bohol has plenty to do. On Bohol, you can

- Dive and/or snorkel

- Go whale/dolphin watching

- Swim underground in the hinagdanan cave

- swim from white sandy beaches

- Take a lunch cruise on the loboc river

- cross the loboc river on a bamboo hanging bridge

- check out one of the oldest churches in the Philippines (1596), the Baclayon Church

- Interact with butterflies at the butterfly sanctuary

- See the world famous chocolate hills

- At fist size, see the smallest primates (our distant relatives) in the world, Tarsiers.

Regards: Jim

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

I have not been to every island close to Cebu - for instance, I have not been to Camotes Island - but I second the ever reliable Big Jim.

Malapascua is wonderful. However including the bus trip to Maya and the much shorter banca (boat) road, it is about five hours travelling time - part of the fun and very cheap!

Read my review of it (and how to get there) by searching 'Malapascus Island': if it does not appear, search my username and then look under my 'contributions' and you will find it.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

In the post above, I meant boat 'trip' not 'road'; search 'Malapascua Island', not as I spelt it above. Apologies.

4. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

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5. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

Do you think Bantayan Island not worth a visit? It was never mentioned in your post...

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6. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

FlowFlow,

if you only have three days, the most practical would be to stay at a resort in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island (where the Int'l Airport is located).

Bantayan, Bohol, Boracay are all phenomenal places but if you do go there you will feel like you're constantly on the move... catching a flight, boarding a ferry, taking a bus, taking a cab. You should definitely try these three B's when you have more time. Bohol and Bantayan are quiet and idyllic, while Boracay is truly the Cadillac of all island getaways in the Philippines.

In Mactan, the best resorts are: Abaca, Shangri-La, and the Hilton. I haven't stayed at Abaca, but between Shangri-La and the Hilton, I would pick Shangri-La. I would avoid Plantation Bay, which for me seems rather tacky and artificial.

GeoVan

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7. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

your time is too limited to be wandering out of Mactan to be practical because instead of relaxing, if you go to another island it will be filled with boat rides or bus rides. I always go to the Shangri-la Mactan to just unwind. If you want to check out another island from here, there's the Sta. Rosa island where they have their floating restaurants that will serve you seafood straight from the sea (fish or seafoods scopped from under the restos). Sta Rosa is only 15 mins away from Mactan island but the rough seas may prevent you from exploring it. The boat fare is only 10 pesos too :-) so you can stay in a resort in Mactan and still explore another island provided the sea is not so rough.

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8. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

i forgot to tell you too, if you really bent on going to another island near Cebu, theres Sumilon island which is like 4 hours ride from Mactan but the van hire might be pretty expensive from Mactan (you either go there by van or bus). The bus ride is cheaper but more hassles from airport to South Bus terminal. I think you can also book it thro Sumilon Bluewater Resort, the only resort in the small island. Theres nice beach for snorkeling or diving but the sandbar moves depends on the tide if you want to swim. For sure this island is very private as you have to take motorized boat from the town of Oslob.

9. Re: What is the best island/hotel to stay around Cebu?

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