A retreat within reach
THERE’S something about waking up to the sound of chirping birds at the start of day that I can’t put my finger on what it is.
Donning my yoga attire and stepping into the morning, there was something offbeat at the sight of golden streaks of daylight emerging through the branches at an expansive green garden, and that smell of wet grass under the fresh morning dew. With the restless urban strip within proximity, the place maintains a tranquil energy.
“Beautiful morning, beautiful place,” I heard someone say. Startled, I turned around and an American in his late 40s next door seemed to have the same sentiments as mine.
I came to learn that he and his wife were from California and that they seemed to have a bit of problem at the Immigration Office so they had to wait for five days before they get feedback. They picked Montebello Villa Garden Hotel because it’s within the city. And they didn’t regret their choice of hotel.
Montebello Villa Hotel is an oasis in the midst of bustling Cebu metropolis. It is a seemingly secret nook hiding behind the concretes of the city, and first-timers often express delight at the sprawling four-hectare landscape of an Old-World charm that reflects Cebu’s Hispanic heritage. The general low-rise buildings create a picturesque upper-class country house meshed with the equally elegant Filipino craftsmanship. A range of earth tones and varying shades of white perfect the artisanal touch of furniture pieces, interior wood wall designs and tile flooring. Add to that abstract paintings and pendant chandeliers at the entrance hallway with the ground-floor wings at the sides—a quaint and posh feel on your Instagram photos.
For 45 years, Montebello has been the only garden resort hotel in the city. Couples and families frequent the place for the reason that they don’t need to leave the city to experience a countryside oasis. Guests can do fishing in the lagoon. There are three swimming pools. The main pool, which glows at nighttime, provides a romantic and cozy ambiance. Cap the night with a selection of tropical delights at the Pool Bar with live acoustic and jazz from Wednesday through Saturday nights. The menus feature a delicious mix of international and traditional cuisine. The La Terraza Restaurant offers signature dishes like callos, lengua and Cocido Espanol, plus the all-time favorites, Montebello Burger, Gambas Al Ajillo and Carne Amore pizza. Sugba-Sugba Night is on every Friday.
For young professionals with preoccupied life-work but constantly seeking ways to improve their lifestyle, Montebello is the perfect choice to relax and have a cup of coffee, read a book, catch up with friends, or better yet, finally make good of that overdue summer vacation plan for a day or two without the long hours of travel—an escape within reach. I, for one, surely didn’t overlook the wellness gym facing the garden view, or miss the scheduled Yoga by the Garden that day.
A healthy and hearty breakfast at the La Terraza completes my morning routine.
Montebello is set to launch more active recreational activities like Frisbee, mini-golf, billiards and biking for kids and adults, game room set to open sometime this month.
For this coming Easter Sunday, Montebello holds the Candy Land Easter Fun Fair. There’ll be Easter Olympic egg hunt, egg coloring, amazing bubble show, face painting, and candy game stations.
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