First Fairfield by Marriott in PH opens in Mandaue City 2
A quiet place: The façade of the Fairfield by Marriott Cebu
Travel

First Fairfield by Marriott in PH opens in Mandaue City

The Fairfield is a chain of business hotels now owned by Marriot.
Edmund Dennis Ladaw | May 21 2024

My last glimpse of Cebu was way back in 2018 when pandemics were still unheard of. Thus I was thrilled to return to the Queen City recently. I was among the media guests hosted by Marriott and we’d been tasked to experience its new hotel in Mandaue City, the Fairfield by Marriot Cebu.

Mandaue is a place I had often taken for granted. It was set in my mind that it was a part of Cebu City. I’m not going to make that same mistake again. Mandaue has come into its own. The fact that a new Fairfield hotel has opened here speaks volumes of the progress it has made. Commerce has been thriving. Furniture manufacturers, car dealers, and others have been sprouting throughout the city. Correspondingly, several high-rise residential condominiums are being constructed near Fairfield.

The elegant lobby provides an ambiance and feeling of exclusivity but at a reasonable price.
The elegant lobby provides an ambiance and feeling of exclusivity but at a reasonable price.

The Fairfield is a chain of business hotels now owned by Marriot. Being a business hotel, the Fairfield isn’t large. It has a small lobby and has single and twin sharing guestrooms. It’s not expensive but it has the look and ambiance of a much more expensive hotel. It might even look intimidating to some. 

Blame it on the elegant lobby and the elaborate lighting system which reeks of modern glamour. The place also feels hushed. There are no crowds rushing in and out. It implies exclusivity though it never feels impersonal and cold. On the contrary, the warmth of the hotel personnel makes anyone feel so welcome, whether he’s a guest or not.

The luxurious single-bed guest suite.
The luxurious single-bed guest suite.

The hotel also didn’t scrimp on comfort and amenities. My single bed guestroom is spacious. There’s more than enough room to catch up on work. Yet the room won't make you want to work. It's so relaxing you'll just want sit back and enjoy the view of the city. Like the lobby, the room looks pricey. Guests may be left wondering if he'd been taken to the right room. But this is what regular clients of Fairfield have come to expect.

Of course, the hotel can also be an ideal place to spend a vacation. It has an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen that prepares Filipino and international cuisine. A breakfast buffet is served every day. There’s a pool deck on the sixth floor, a 24-hour fitness center, and three event rooms for special occasions and seminars.

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The all-day dining Restaurant features an open kitchen.
The all-day dining Restaurant features an open kitchen.

While on the subject of events, the hotel is quickly becoming a happening place. Fairfield played host to a dazzling fashion show at its pool deck. Some 12 beautiful contestants of the Miss Mandaue Beauty Pageant modeled an array of colorful summer outfits. It was literally and figuratively a splashy affair. 

The ladies, after posing for photographers on the makeshift stage, quickly jumped into the water. The fashion show was now a pool party. We wished we could jump in too. Cebu wasn’t impervious to the relentless heat wave pervading throughout Southeast Asia. We left the pool party and took a respite from the heat in our luxurious air-conditioned room.

The hotel’s pool deck on the sixth floor was used as the venue for a summer fashion show with the contestants of the Mandaue Beauty Pageant modeling the creations of Cebu fashion designer Lemuel Rosos.
The hotel’s pool deck on the sixth floor was used as the venue for a summer fashion show with the contestants of the Mandaue Beauty Pageant modeling the creations of Cebu fashion designer Lemuel Rosos.

Our hosts toured us to some of the more interesting attractions of Cebu. It was a well-planned itinerary. We crossed the third and newest bridge to link the islands of Mactan and Cebu. Christened the Cebu-Cordoba Link Expressway, the bridge has displaced the San Juanico Bridge in Leyte as the longest span in the country. We wished we could stop in the middle of the bridge to take pictures but then again, we'd run the risk of having a heat stroke.

New to me was the National Museum – Cebu, which occupies a beautifully restored building called the Aduana. Built in 1910, the building used to be occupied by the Bureau of Customs. The museum has a number of galleries spotlighting various paintings, dioramas, and an extensive collection of artifacts both authentic and reproductions.

A highlight of the tour was Fort San Pedro, a military defense structure built by the Spaniards in 1565. This may be Cebu’s answer to Fort Santiago. The history lesson continued when we stopped at the oldest ancestral home in Cebu, dubbed the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. Built in the 17th century, it’s fully furnished and adorned with family heirlooms. The house was built by a Chinese trader known as Don Juan Yap. It was Don Juan’s great-great grandson Val Mancao Sandiego who turned it into a museum. Still, he intends to maintain that lived-in quality in the house by spending every weekend in the place.

Indeed, I’ve been to Cebu more than a dozen times since I was 10 and with each visit there has always been something new to see or experience. Yet it was also a delight to revisit such venerable attractions like Magellan’s Cross and the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebu. The piece de resistance, of course, was lunch at the famous House of Lechon along Acacia Street.

It was a relief to get back to the comforts of the hotel to escape the heat.  Heat wave or no heat wave, the Fairfield is so nice to come home to. It was easy to hail a cab from the hotel. I paid the driver a P100 bill. He insisted on giving me the exact change. This is one of the reasons I love Cebu.