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Mandaue hotel goes big

/ 05:03 AM December 02, 2018
Harvey and Fiona Kekert enjoy the view from the Bai Hotel poolside deck. —MARGAUX SALCEDO

Harvey and Fiona Kekert enjoy the view from the Bai Hotel poolside deck. —MARGAUX SALCEDO

Count on Cebuanos to take cocktails and dining to the next level.

At the relaunch of the Bai Hotel Cebu, their food and beverage team presented one of the longest grazing tables I have ever seen, stretching a good 40 feet, or 12 meters, filled with fine cheeses, hams, dates and even fresh strawberries for guests to enjoy with unlimited wine and cocktails.

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As if the spread was not enough to impress guests, the hotel also had a 3.5-meter molecular dessert station at the other end of the 665-square meter ballroom that would make Marie Antoinette proud.

Watching the spectacular launch, it appeared to me that everything about Bai is big. The hotel itself is not only Mandaue’s biggest hotel, with 23 stories and 668 rooms, but is recognized as “the biggest accommodation facility outside Luzon.” The hotel boasts of 12 event venues, eight dining outlets and an impressive executive lounge.

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“We are the biggest hotel in VisMin (Visayas-Mindanao),” Jenny Syjueco, marketing and communications manager proudly shares.

Christmas tree lighting and formal opening and launch of the Bai Hotel Cebu led by general manager Alfred Reyes and Apac World Hotels president Roland Jegge

Christmas tree lighting and formal opening and launch of the Bai Hotel Cebu led by general manager Alfred Reyes and Apac World Hotels president Roland Jegge

The executive lounge, with its sleek interiors, shows the hotel expects guests who mean business.

Bai Hotel general manager Alfred Reyes is positioning the hotel as a place for what he calls “bleisure” or business with leisure. Reyes believes that within three to five years, their location will be the next Cebu business district.

For guests like myself who visit Cebu for the food, here’s the good news: the Bai Hotel has eight dining outlets. I thought I would have to leave the hotel and travel to Cebu City to do my usual food explorations, but the hotel has enough restaurant outlets to keep any foodie tourist busy for a weekend.

For those who love buffets, there is Cafe Bai, which has been ranked by Trip Advisor as the No. 1 restaurant in Mandaue. It is—again—big, and can seat 460 pax. You can also go “around the world” with their Japanese/sushi station, Italian/pasta station, American/burger station, Chinese station, Filipino station, dessert station and best of all, a lechon station!

Proving that Mandaue is not too far behind Cebu City on the resto scene, the Bai Hotel also presents Marble + Grain Steakhouse which even boasts of dry-aged steak and a menu by British-Filipino chef Jaimes Van Haght. They also have Japanese restaurant UME, with Japanese chef Shiochi Onuki.

My regret is that I was not able to try out these restaurants, thus I will have to go back.

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Coffee enthusiasts might appreciate the Wallstreet Coffee Bar. Party people will love the Pool Bar or the Twilight Roofdeck, both of which have incredible nighttime views of the city, stretching beyond the skyline to the silhouette of mountains in the distance. It is open to the public, so you may have to compete with some locals and foreign travelers for a seat, but the view is pretty.

I personally enjoyed my quiet time at the executive lounge where I crammed in some work. You can really focus there. And if you would like to eat in peace, even if you miss the special breakfast buffet, you can order from the room service menu.

I liked their kesong puti and tinapa pizza, which did not have Neapolitan dough yet the toppings were delicious. And their ramen, though not the ramen noodles we are familiar with, has really good pork.

Congratulations to the Bai Hotel Cebu on its launch and spectacular tree lighting event complete with Nutcracker ballerinas, polar bears and reindeers. I am so happy to see more developments in Cebu, one of my favorite cities in the Philippines.

Bai Hotel. Ouano Ave. corner C.D Seno St., City South Special Economic Administrative Zone, Mandaue City, Cebu.

For inquiries, call +63 32 342 8888 or +63 32 355 8888; or mobile +63 917 141 5888 or +63 998 842 8888.

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