I continue to be fascinated with how establishments are adapting in these strange, unprecedented times. There are so many things to consider now, all the same but different as well—full face shield, or half? Contact tracing in several mall outlets, but not to the entrance of the mall itself? Is border control even still a thing?
So many inconsistencies, it’s comforting to know one thing that remained constant: Radisson Blu Cebu. After a few months of being closed because of the pandemic, this beautiful city hotel with the best beds ever recently reopened their doors. They did so in epic fashion as well, with the excitement-inducing drone shots of their room windows counting down the days.
It was such a delight to finally be back, yet it’s striking how the hotel’s once-bustling lobby is eerily quiet, though not any less welcoming. Radisson Blu Cebu is SGS-certified and follows a 20-step hygiene protocol that includes social distancing measures, implementing hand hygiene stations around the property, and increased frequency in cleaning and disinfection.
At the door, they had contract tracing protocols, temperature checks, and sanitizing stations as is part of the new normal. What is a first for me, I was amused to experience, they had a dedicated spray gun for disinfecting purses and other belongings—they are not messing around for sure!
One significant change Radisson Blu Cebu made is that the Lobby Bar isn’t just a lounge anymore. It’s now the hotel’s main dining outlet in the meantime, with more tables and chairs properly distanced throughout the large space. At the same time, it’s also a co-working space with dedicated single-person stations, each with its own desk lamp. These are especially perfect for people in work-from-home arrangements who need better amenities, especially on rainy days because hem, hem, internet in the Philippines.
All these, I got to explore and learn more about over lunch with Radisson Blu Cebu’s new General Manager Björn-Henning Buth, Marketing & Communications Executive Tin Estrella, and fellow writer Sinjin Pineda. We sat in opposite corners of a gargantuan round table so we can safely take off our masks.
The Lobby Bar is currently offering a pop-up menu of a la carte meals derived from some of Feria’s most frequented stations. As I always pivot towards the Indian section, it was a no brainer to order the North Indian Mixed Thali with chicken tika, lamb rogan josh, aloo gobi, dal tadka, basmati rice, mixed pickle, and naan bread. And if that wasn’t enough, I just had to get Chilean mussels for starters, because I miss feeling fancy (and also mussels). For dessert, a deceivingly light yet absolutely tasty Calamansi Custard Pie was the perfect way to end the meal.
Having been in isolation for six months, I was honestly worried I didn’t know how to carry a conversation anymore, especially to people I’ve only met like the General Manager 😂 It was surprising how being social came back easily, and there were so many things to talk about: Changes to the hotel in line with Radisson Hotels’ #SafeTravel Safety Protocols, inconsistencies in how new normal measures are implemented, places in the Philippines for Mr. Björn to check out, Star Trek Discovery, and dogs who sleep in their hoomans’ beds.
It was a welcome respite from being stuck at home, and it’s also comforting to be in a place that’s looking out for your welfare, just as Radisson Blu Cebu always has been with every visit and stay I had.
- Not into Indian food? The Lobby Bar’s curated menu features highlights such as Australian Grain Fed Rib-Eye Steak and Grilled Norwegian Salmon.
- The Lobby Bar at Radisson Blu Cebu is also open for breakfast! Start your day right with delicious breakfast sets, each at Php 550 net. Choose between American Breakfast, European Continental Breakfast, and Asian Breakfast with a seasonal fruit bowl, bakery basket, fruit preserves and spreads, cereals, oatmeal, eggs, and yogurt pots, chilled juice, and coffee or tea.
- If you’re still staying home as much as possible (as one should), Radisson Blu Cebu’s culinary offerings are available on GrabFood.
- Be productive at The Lobby Bar. For only Php 300 per person, enjoy free-flowing coffee and tea, 20% off food and other beverages, high-speed WiFi and other utilities. This offer is available daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- NEW! Upgrade your co-working pass for Php 998 net and enjoy access to the swimming pool, use of towels, showers, and a personal locker; and a Php 500 dining credit at The Lobby Bar.
RADISSON BLU CEBU
S. Osmeña Boulevard cor. Juan Luna Avenue,
Cebu City, Philippines
+ 63 32 402 9900 or email | Advanced bookings are required.