The interiors were already promising as we stepped into Maayo Hotel’s basement, and taking a whiff of their signature Hibiscus scent on our way to the seventh floor lobby, we knew we’re in for a relaxing stay. Cebuano folk songs arranged as an instrumental music of ukelele and bandurria can be heard within the hotel’s premises. The familiar sounds transported Mark back to his childhood days as he grew up with songs such as Pobreng Alindahaw (Poor Dragonfly), Dandansoy (a lover’s name in a lullabye) and Usahay (Sometimes).

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Maayo means “well”, “good” or “kind” in Cebuano. Evidently, the hotel holds true to its name. Maayo Hotel is the first wellness hotel in Cebu. Wellness hotels, which are rapidly expanding worldwide, offer spa and fitness facilities. What sets it apart from other hotels is that they have designed therapy or recovery programs for the purpose of alleviating people’s physical, emotional or mental conditions while they are undergoing medical interventions.

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Maayo Hotel was initially established as a place to recover and to complement the services of Maayo Health Center. However, the Hotel grew on its own but kept its advocacy to wellness. They have an indoor pool for those undergoing therapy, a spa called Mahupay (which means to be comforted), a gym, an outdoor jogging trail and yoga space.

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Rooms

We were welcomed with an all-Cebuano goodie box and all of the items in the mini bar are free. We had to confirm if we heard it right twice because as we know, it’s not always the case with hotels. The complementary tea bags were lemon grass, which was also a unique encounter for me.

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We were told that the hotel owners have meticulously designed the interiors to ensure maximum comfort. They uphold the value of color therapy, believing that colors have different attributes and possible medical benefits. Each room has a unique color that will cater to their guests’ needs. Ours was the mustard yellow theme to bid us a happy stay.

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Atticus particularly loved our spacious floor and crawled on its fluffy carpet until he tired himself out.

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Uma

Uma is the in-house all-day dining restaurant of Maayo Hotel which means “to sow or plant”. This buffet restaurant offers an array of food choices. Although we have seen larger buffet spreads, we thought that Uma’s was just right as they go for quality over quantity. Their breakfast offerings still speak of their Cebuano pride with delicious assortments of Chorizo and Danggit. Of course, the catch-all international dishes are available as well. For the two breakfasts we spent there, the choices were different and are all well prepared.

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Traditionally, Cebuanos eat the puto maya with sliced mangoes and sikwate (hot coco) for breakfast. Since we didn’t find any fresh mangoes, Mark partnered it with dried mangoes and muscovado sugar on the side. It’s a combination of something sweet (sikwate), something sour (mango) and something bland with a hint of ginger (puto maya).

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What’s more, their staff were very friendly and proactive. We noticed that they all have an eye out to assist their guests however they can. In our experience, after seeing that Atticus always wants to be with me in choosing food, a server simply followed me with plate in hand, ready to take a serving of what we want. They played a lot with our baby and even offered to prepare a special mashed potato for him for the next day.

Cebuano Pride

The hotel takes pride of the Cebuano culture and has integrated them in their premises from the interiors, furniture, choice Cebuano words (to name their facilities) and down to the most commonly overlooked detail: sourcing their materials locally.

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Green plants complement with the wooden and woven pieces at the hotel. One of the materials commonly used is the rattan or locally called “uway”. The wooden strips are both strong and pliable, making it the perfect material for every furniture designer’s dream piece.

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Maayo Hotel also honors the craftsmanship of well-known Cebuano furniture designers such as Internationally-acclaimed Kenneth Cobonpue. His prized pieces like the green bloom chairs can be found in the reception area.

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Pool

The infinity pool is located at the top of Maayo Hotel which gives its guests a picturesque view of Mandaue. We first visited this at sunset. Perhaps most of the guests knew that the view at this time is attractive so the pool was a little busy with everyone just looking at the horizon while taking a dip or otherwise, sipping a cool drink at the watering hole.

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On the next day, we had a quick dip at their infinity pool. We came in just in time for its opening at 7:00 am so we had the pool all to our party of three. From the rooftop, you can see the famous Fernan bridge (or simply called Bridge Number 2 by locals) and the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.

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Our Takeaways

  • Learning about Cebuano culture is not confined in museums or historical places alone. Maayo Hotel helped me appreciate Cebu and understand Mark’s language and childhood.

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  • Cozy seats and throw pillows give a homey feel in the hotel. They are purposefully displayed across the cafes, restaurants and lobby.
  • Every art or furniture piece is meticulously selected to complement with the hotel’s advocacy of promoting Cebuano artistry. Even the door handles of the grand ballroom are actual bugsay (boat paddles) of fisherfolks.

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  • It’s a hotel that you will appreciate much that you invite your friends over to share the experience. The Tauli family, who are very dear to us, joined us for dinner on our first night. We all enjoyed the pasta, beef shank and organic lechon.

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  • It is accessible to shops and convenience stores. They have a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and 7-Eleven stores on the ground floor.

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Maayo Hotel
168 Plaridel St.
Alang-Alang, Mandaue City
Cebu 6014, Philippines

Phone Number: (032) 517 0200
Email address: reservations@maayohotels.com

Maayo Hotel is located along Plaridel Street, adjacent to UN Avenue that leads to Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Its location is 5 km from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (15 to 20 minutes drive) and 8 km from the Cebu seaports. Further, the area enjoys convenient access to the shopping malls and entertainment hubs in Cebu.

Key places of interest accessible from this Mandaue, Cebu hotel include:

  • Mandaue City Hall
  • National Shrine of St. Joseph
  • Parkmall
  • J Center Mall
  • Pacific Mall
  • Cebu Yacht Club

Disclosure: The bloggers would like to thank Maayo Hotel for the complimentary stay. Even so, they maintain full editorial control of this hotel review.

 

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