Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Imperial Palace Resort

The Imperial Palace is a relatively new resort in Mactan, Cebu. Opened in 2008, it has been touted as a true Shangrila opponent. I've been here a couple of times already, so let me share to you what it looks like.

Like Shangrila Mactan, the place is also sprawling. It looks brighter probably because it is still new. Imperial Palace is owned by the Koreans, and has other locations in Fukukoa in Japan and in Seoul, South Korea.

Did Imperial Palace live up to their name? Does it look like a palace? With its marble floors and gigantic pillars, it does feel like one, but I find something off with the over-all design. It strives to have an outdoor feel, with a lot of open spaces and views from the lobby.

And since it is owned by Koreans, the clientele is composed of Koreans, mostly on a honeymoon, who are dressed in matching attire.

As you go out of the main building, you will feel the grandess of the resort. The pool is huge, and located at the heart of the resort. I think they lacked trees though, thus, the heat is unbearable especially during lunch time.

I moved further inward, and saw these lovely luxury cabanas at one end of the pool. Called Cabane, you can rent these European style cabanas, and bask in style while sunbathing.

The cabanas have LCD TVs and a living area, which I think is perfect for a day's excursion. There are complimentary beverages to keep you cool. There's even free wifi in the cabanas. I plan to do this soon when I have the time. There are two areas for the cabanas, one on the main pool and one facing the beach. I wasn't able to ask how much the cabanas cost though. Even in-house guests have to pay.

I guess the main attraction of the resort is the waterpark. This is something you don't see in Shangrila. I've heard of stories of accidents in the waterpark, but I don't know if they are true. Nevertheless, Imperial instantly becomes a magnet for families.

We had lunch in one of their restaurants, which was disappointing. This is something Imperial can improve on. Also, their service is a bit lax, as the staff was not as attentive as Shangrila. We had dessert in the lobby, and it took 30 minutes for our ice cream parfaits to arrive.

Imperial Palace has no nice beach, but it does offer watersports. You can snorkel as well but I don't think you'll see much. I also like that Imperial has spa and jacuzzi villas which are all detached from the main hotel building.

The verdict: Imperial Palace Resort and Waterpark is a welcoming addition to the growing number of luxury resort in Mactan, but I still think Shangrila is the best. Imperial Palace may look palatial but their service must improve to meet the standards of royalty.

Imperial Palace Resort and Waterpark
Bgy. Maribago. Lapulapu City Cebu 6015 Philippines
T: (63 32) 494-5000

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