To say that we had the most incredible vacation at the Crimson Resort & Spa in Cebu would be a vast understatement. Of all the places we’ve travelled to and resorts we’ve visited all over the world, I would be hard-pressed to even come up with an experience that even remotely comes close to our experience at the Crimson.
After an hour-long flight from Manila to Cebu and a 20-minute van ride from the airport, we finally get to the Crimson. After dropping our luggage at the concierge, we were ushered to the reception area. While waiting to check-in, we were given the most refreshing welcome drink infused with lemon, lemongrass, and cucumber. It was divine! (I think every time we have guests come to our place, I am going to greet them with this drink too! LoL)
After the very easy check-in process, we met John – our villa host. He explained that for the duration of our stay, he will take care of everything that we needed – all we had to do was give him a call at his special line. Once he loaded up all of our luggage, he whisked us away on one of their golf carts so that we could take a tour of the entire resort. All I can say is WOW.
While the pool, the restaurants, and the lush grounds were perfectly manicured, it paled in comparison to our Oceanfront Villa. And was she a beauty! John explained that while there are guestrooms and villas throughout the resort, there’s only about 20 Oceanfront Villas on the property! Before we stepped into the villa, John led a hand cleansing ceremony as he poured ritual water with flower petals and essential oils to help us relax into our stay.
When he finally opened the door, we were absolutely floored! The Villa was impeccably decorated - all the furniture were made locally in Cebu and you can see the craftsmanship that each piece received. The bedroom, complete with a king-sized four-post bed, was cavernous. The bathroom, with its soaking tub with massage jets, flat screen TV, and rain showerheads, was gorgeous (and huge - it was like an entire studio apartment!)
The whole place smelled heavenly – a wonderful scent of flowers and sweet fruit. (Even the smell of the place is relaxing and soothing!)
The piece de resistance of the Villa is no doubt the infinity plunge pool in the back area! What a view! You can relax in your own private pool while you stare out into the ocean in front of you. It would literally be my version of heaven!
From our first impressions, we knew we were in for an amazing vacation!
As the resort is somewhat secluded from the town (just like we prefer) the resort’s restaurants and 24-hour room service is pretty much your only meal options.
Breakfasts were part of our Villa package and we had the option of either going to one of the hotel restaurants or eating by our pool in the Villa. We had both and each option has it’s own perks.
Enjoying a traditional Filipino breakfast of garlic rice, seafood, sunny-side-up eggs, and fresh squeezed mango juice poolside in our villa, was one of my favorite memories with our Mamang. She really enjoyed that. After breakfast, she would lounge around and drink her tea as she reads the morning paper. Life couldn’t get any more perfect…
Well of course, there’s the amazing spread at the breakfast buffet, complete with their made-to-order omelet and waffle station. You couldn’t want for anything. They had the most buttery delicious croissants and pastries. (It was so good, we had to meet the pastry chef, Mike - so we can tell him how much we loved everything!) They also had great coffee served in your own French press. (I’m a bit of a coffee snob – while I don’t regularly buy Starbucks – I will splurge on gourmet coffee like Blue Bottle when we’re in San Francisco.)
We did manage to eat off-property for lunch one day. John, our wonderful Villa host, made reservations for us to eat at Shangri La-Mactan’s Tides restaurant. (This was the other resort we were potentially going to stay at. While
the resort was huge, opulent, and expansive, it was showing its age and it's in serious need of renovations. We’re so glad we chose the Crimson instead!) We thoroughly enjoyed the dessert station at Tides but felt that the rest of their offerings weren’t quite as tasty. While we’re glad to have visited the Shangri La, we were excited to ultimately go back to the Crimson.
Our most memorable meal at Crimson was our last dinner at the resort. With John’s help, we booked a table overlooking the large resort infinity pools at Tempo, their gourmet piano restaurant. Everything about our meal – from the amuse bouche to our entrees (I had the Lobster Curry – which I LOVED!) to our Chocolate mousse dessert was fantastic – a wonderful meal to remember! The staff helped us celebrate Mamang’s birthday and she felt so special as everyone serenaded her before she blew out her birthday candles.
Needless to say, our foodie-expectations were met and exceeded by the resort restaurants.
I’ve been to really beautiful resorts with sub-par service (I’m looking at you, Kamana Sanctuary!) and that ruins the experience for me. Crimson is on a class of its own when it comes to their customer service. Everyone we met, from the Concierge host to the house-keeping staff, even the grounds crew – everyone greeted us with a smile and we were never 10 feet away from anyone willing to lend a hand or answer a question.
Our Villa host, John, was the epitome of helpfulness. Not only did he make all our reservations for us throughout our stay, he made sure our Mamang’s needs were well taken cared of. When we made reservations to go to Shangri La for lunch, he made sure to send over a golf-cart to pick us up from our villa so that she didn’t have to
walk (we mentioned that her knees were bothering her a bit from our travelling.) He also made sure that all our special dinner plans for Mamang went off without a hitch – even when our dinner was scheduled way past his shift. We could not have asked for a better host. Thank you, John!
From the minute we arrived at the Crimson, we were treated so well by everyone. Kudos to their management team for creating such a warm and happy environment. Everyone we met was happy and proud of what they’re building at the Crimson. Throughout our travels all over the world, their level of excellence with their customer service is second to none. They should bottle this special customer service sauce so they can sell it to all hotels worldwide.
Our special thanks for these amazing friends who made our stay truly exceptional:
- John, our Villa Host
- Michael, our server at Saffron
- Danreb, Madz, Kayla, and Dave, our servers at Tempo
- Chef Mike, for the amazing pastries
- Mario, from the house-keeping staff who took care of all our requests