When I finally confirmed my flight date and time, I started excitingly searching for a place to stay in on Mactan Island. Among the many candidate hotels and resorts in my list, I decided to spend my sleep at Costabella Tropical Beach Resort.
I thought Costabella was the best place in terms of distance from Mactan Cebu International Airport, environment, offered rate and worth of my time and efforts.
Certainly, you always consider lots of things when deciding anything big and even the trivial matters. For me, I reckoned that I spent about a day or two deciding to finally pick Costabella as my choice of accommodation on Mactan Island, Cebu.
One of the main reasons for choosing this property is because the photos featured by the official website and other online resources had impressed me a lot. Were the photos worth thousands of words? Some of these photos that captured my taste are those taken from the top floors of the resort’s tallest building, the one located closest to the beach area. These photos overlooked the central part of the resort giving a bird’s eye-view – the two bluish swimming pools, coconut trees with leaves (and some greeneries) that sway and dance with the sea breeze. These bluish pool water and green leaves are being contrasted with the orange-brick-colored tile-roofed smaller structures of the resort itself. That scene alone totally convinced me to pick the place.
Second, now I am sure that the place can satisfy my taste and needs, at the back of my mind I thought that this is not an ordinary place and it would really cost me something. As you would agree (I presume) I say that “you get what you paid for”. Yes, the place is a bit dear but since it was not peak season (third week of October) Costabella’s management offers great and affordable discounts online. Accessing the resort with around 30% discount was not only a fantastic offer but also an opportunity to try a high-end resort and accommodation. That’s right, price also matters.
Third, the comfort, service and sense of satisfaction about everything it offers. I know that I can sleep soundly knowing that I am in a safe room and comfortable bed after a long journey and arriving in the middle of the night (arrived Mactan-Cebu International Airport at around 11 P.M.). I slept like a log until 7 am!
Yes, the place was amazing! As soon as I got into my room ushered by the kindly resort staff, I readied my camera to take photos of the resort’s night views. I did the night photo shooting since I realized, as a neophyte photographer, that night scenes can be totally different and surprisingly wonderful when compared to a day photo of the same subject. In particular, most cities, places or other subjects can be more inviting and mystical when viewed through a camera’s lens than during day time.
The somehow isolated and secluded resort made it all the more interesting – this is when the taxi that brought me there searched its way into the resort’s territory and being guided by dim lights along the road sides. We passed through two guarded gates and was warmly welcomed after having satisfactorily answered the security officers’ query – just confirming that I am their guest.
A warm greeting by a male staff ushered me and my luggage towards the Reception Area and being greeted with a warm smile by the lady behind the Front Desk. It seems that all was well as I was a bit worried that I came almost in the middle of the night and my inquiry through email was not returned to confirm my coming. Anyhow, I was confident that everything will be well according to my plan as I already paid the whole stay and I thought my room had been reserved for me alone. Yes! No problem at all!
After my night’s initial and quick night photo shooting session, I prepared to go to bed by taking a warm and soothing shower. Without any doubt, I slept well (and maybe snoring) through the night and only got awakened when the sun was already up.
I was already very excited to see the whole place unmasked by the cover of darkness and naked under the sun. Leaving my room excited, I tried to suppress my excitement and just barely scour the places I passed by and kept walking towards the restaurant. But even then, I already started clicking my camera taking my first shots of my buffet dishes. Various and delicious choices for my breakfast all the more excited me knowing that this meal will certainly fuel me up and will keep me the whole morning taking photos to my hearts content.
I started taking photos inside the restaurant and moving outside it towards the kid’s swimming pool. By the poolside, you cannot but notice the sunbathing beds, parasols, egg-shaped (or oval) shades with cushions in them. Although these facilities are fantastic, I know that I don’t have much time to really enjoy them except taking photos and keeping them in my life’s memory.
Aside from the enticing bluish and cool pools, the beach was one of my major interests. And so, after the pools, I moved towards the beach area passing through the coconut trees then towards the huge round-shaped loungers that looked like beds but half-covered by the same material – woven rattan-looking loungers.
The beach is white and the water was sparkling as the small waves dance with the breeze blowing towards the resort. I moved around looking for suitable angles and clicked many shots whenever I feel the scene fits to my taste gained through my personal experience.
Feeling satisfied that I have enough photos taken on the ground, I then asked the staff -who was looking after the swimmers enjoying the cool pool water – if I could go to the topmost floor of the building so that I can take photos from there. The staff kindly replied and signaling that I can go up to the 7th floor and then ascend higher through the stairs to reach the terrace where I can have a much better view and vantage-point for phototaking. Rightly so, I was enjoying taking the shots from above and confident that I took good photos.
I felt very satisfied with the resort and feeling at home thinking that it is my home country, among other factors. Although I would have preferred to stay longer to cherish the friendly and tranquil atmosphere of this tropical resort, I need to leave and keep my plan for this home visitation and trip. My mind and body prefers to stay but time is short and I must move on.
The good thing about this first Costabella Beach Resort experience is that it proved to me that it was worthwhile my time and resources. I believe that I should visit the resort at least once more in the near future to relish my time fully either alone, with my wife or with a group.