Close View of Pool at Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort

Shangri-La, Mactan

“Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. In the book, “Shangri-La” is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia—a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. The word also evokes the imagery of exoticism of the Orient. The story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in Tibetan Buddhist tradition.” Impressive write-up, but that’s courtesy of Wikipedia.

What’s more impressive, however, is Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, a five-star hotel and resort. It’s a paradise where you could choose to frolic in the beach or the number of swimming pools.

Should you proceed to the beach, there are a number of water activities including jetski. Don’t forget to bring crumbs of bread to feed the fish in the water near the beach. You could choose among the number of dining options, although I prefer the Cowrie Cove, where you could enjoy fresh seafood right by the beach. You could relax in the spa or spend the night in solitude, contemplating about anything at the wharf. There’s really more you could do, that is, if you could pull yourself out of the room. With a soft bed, a balcony overlooking the swimming pools and the beachfront, and with a significant other, why would you get out of the room?

I didn’t have much chance to enjoy this paradise the first time I was there, when I served at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Ministerial Conference, held here way back in 1996. I promised myself, just like MacArthur (although Gen. MacArthur made his promise to the entire country), to return and enjoy this paradise, but not on taxpayers’ money. I kept my promise, almost ten years and a couple of pounds after. Really, there’s too many places to see and so many things to do, with so little time to do it all. See the Philippines every chance you get, because there might not be another chance to do it.

Just a caveat, there are less expensive options (also discussed in this blog) if you want to enjoy Mactan. Still, if you have money to spend, Shangri-La is one of the best options.

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