for a "Hilton" that has been in Cebu for the better part of three years, the hotel has never been the top of mind choice for most vacationers and corporations wanting to host events. it's always been THAT hotel by the far end for most cebuanos.
i presume things are changing as Hilton is gearing up to invite people to go just a little further down the road for the Hilton experience.
i got the chance to visit the property courtesy of the new marketing communication manager, red catalan, to enjoy the third year anniversary festivities of the hotel. turn out was good with no less than the governor attending together with some of the diplomatic community and tourism honchos enjoying a fabulous night of filipino dances. the fire dancers and spectacular fireworks capped the show and added zing to a hot event.
ho-hum. after the initial dance presentation my interest wandered over to the food array. unless they do an acrobatic version of the tinikling then it's just the same chopstick and grasshopper dance.
my interest really is the lobby. you see, "beauty from within" is true, specially so if one is not visually, uh... appealing. on the other hand, hotels need to make a strong first impression and lobbies often make THAT statement. so, while the other guests oooohhed and aaahhhhed over the dancers, i snuck up to the lobby and went snap snap snap.
mediterranean. that is definitely in my head as i stepped into the overly pink lobby. symmetric. the lobby is split in half by a rectangular tiled fixture that extends almost the length of the space. tiled in shades between white and dark blue, the waters gurgled and spilled over to the pebbles gathered at the base. on both sides are tables and parasols set for guests and lining the sides are restaurants and shops. the archways of both ends are topped by curiously gigantic sculpted leaves that form a latticework that would allow the sun rays to stream in during daytime. some of the rooms overlook the lobby that further strengthens the feel of a vacation enclave where neighbors spy on new arrivals.
GRAND is not an apt description (a.k.a. visions of chandeliers) but rather TROPIC VACATION. That, in my opinion, is something that they accomplished. A resort destination.