One of the newest places to stay in Metro Cebu is also the biggest in the entire Visayas-Mindanao region. Conveniently located in the North Reclamation Area, near both the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, the 23-storey Bai Hotel Cebu boasts a whopping 668 guestrooms and suites – making it the largest hotel outside Manila! The massive structure of steel, glass and concrete is topped by swimming pools and a rooftop lounge overlooking the entire metropolis, as far away as Mactan Island and the central mountain range of the province. For events and special occasions of all sizes, there are 12 function halls to choose from. This homegrown hotel brand could easily rival those found in major cities in Asia like Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore.
While the sleek and polished interiors look attractive and world-class, my only disappointment is that it lacks local flavor, especially when the name of the hotel, bai, is taken from the Cebuano equivalent for bro, a colloquial term to call a friend, which alone seems incongruous for an upscale hotel. With such a local name, one would at least expect this to be reflected in the hotel’s overall design or perhaps in the uniform of the hotel staff (which currently are Thai-inspired). The ambience would also fare better with some added greenery – for example, indoor plants or outdoor landscaping – to soften the cold, polished overall design, and to make the atmosphere more comfortable and relaxing.
Nonetheless, it’s impressive size and luxurious finishes make it a superlative choice for your next grand vacation in the Queen City of the South.
The enclosed driveway, high-ceilinged lobby, and wide hallways lend a sense of grandeur to the establishment. All guest rooms are contemporary and elegant, fitted with everything one looks for in a standard five-star hotel. While the rooms are truly spacious, however, I find the toilet and shower quite small relative to the size of the bedroom (and the other hotel amenities), and they don’t seem to get any bigger, even if you upgrade to larger room types. All rooms are equipped with in-room wifi internet, chiller, electronic safe and electric iron with ironing board.
Guests enjoy access to the swimming pool, dining outlets (except Club Lounge), Twilight rooftop lounge, and business center. Guests who wish to stay fit while traveling won’t be let down by their well-equipped gym with state-of-the-art exercise machines, lockers with electronic locks, and sauna room. The soon-to-open Spa Garden will be on the sixth floor.
Room rates come with buffet breakfast at Cafe Bai on the 2nd floor, a super-spacious all-day dining restaurant with a seating capacity of 460 persons. This restaurant is so roomy the buffet counters occupy a floor area almost as large as a basketball court! The breakfast buffet consists of both Western and Asian offerings, not to mention local treats like budbod (sticky rice), of course. (Finally, something local!)
For drinks and bar chow, there’s a Pool Bar at the 21st floor, and the Twilight Rooftop Lounge + Bar at the 23rd floor – both al fresco spots with incredible panoramic views of Metro Cebu.
Moreover, the hotel has standalone restaurants at ground level: Ume Japanese Cuisine, Marble + Grain Steakhouse, and Wallstreet Coffee + Bar. For more dining out options, the shopping center of Park Mall is located right across the street.
How to Get There
Outside the Arrival Hall of Mactan Cebu International Airport, take the 30-minute ride by MyBus (PHP 25) bound for SM City Cebu, alighting at City Time Square (behind Park Mall), from where it’s a 10-minute walk to Bai Hotel Cebu, 500 meters away.
Bai Hotel Cebu
Address: Ouano Ave corner Seno Blvd, North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City, Philippines
Contact Numbers: +63 32 3428888 or +63 32 3558888