Vista Mar Beach Resort and Country Club
Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu
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The Vista Mar Beach Resort is this quiet place in Mactan fronting Olango Island. It faces the east, and is alongside the same seashore as Movenpick and Shangri-la.
Vista Mar is a place of solitude, because there aren't a lot of places in the area to actually go to, aside from the Mactan Newtown which houses a Mcdonalds and 7-11, and which is still a motorcycle ride away. The resort is nothing fancy, and some parts of it are still under construction, but it was home away from home during our stay in the neighboring condominium.
Location-wise, the place is not bad. It's right beside a port that can take you to Olango Island. It has a great view of the sea and Olango Island, and you can see many of those who partake in jetskiing and other sea-activities. Sadly, it's a bit out of the way, so you'll have some difficulty making it to and from the place. But as I mentioned earlier, it's somewhat isolated, which makes for a good vacation.
Amenities-wise, so-so. They have a small infinity pool, and another swimming pool. In terms of pool-side amenities, i think it's a bit lacking. It only had 2 lounge chairs, and some of the surrounding chairs and tables are not exactly compatible with acting as dining tables. Infinity Pool was not quite large, and other pool not as appealing.
Food, also so-so. Not exactly an amazing dining experience, but hey- you come here for the view and not for the food.
Prices are not bad. You have to pay (per visit/daily) 100 to use the pool and the beach, but I think that's the discounted rate if you're staying at the neighboring condominiums. Food was a little expensive considering it wasn't anything special, but as I mentioned above, you dont come for the food.
Service is lacking. There are a lot of staff, but they're either unfamiliar with their services, or they're not paying attention to guests.
Example 1: I was having lunch by the pool and could not seem to find any servers to call to refill my glass of water. All of the servers were inside despite there being a number of guests outside with me.
Example 2: I was still having lunch when a server came up to me with a bill I did not yet ask for. Apparently, the previous server attending to me was going off, so she endorsed me to this new one, who immediately thought to bill me. Had them take the bill back because I was not yet finished.
Example 3: Despite serving many foreigners, staff English levels here need major improvement. I was speaking in English because of my Indonesian companion, but had to constantly switch to Cebuano because they were stuttering and not understanding me, and I had to make sure we were on the same page.
Example 4: Had a 50% coupon for our stay which I decided to use on a Sunday. Asked two members of the staff how to use the coupon, and they directed me to the lunch area and the buffet. It was only when I was paying that I found out that the coupon could not be used with the buffet. I was even told that when I asked management at around 1130, it was impossible for them to have directed me towards the buffet table because the buffet area was not yet open..which is weird because it opens at 11am (as per a staff member i asked the day before). Told the girl that I specifically asked her how to use the coupon, for that purpose, and how could I have gotten food if the buffet area wasnt already open and serving food.
Atmosphere, quite good. Was quite annoyed though at the Koreans throwing each other into the infinity pool when it specifically said No Diving. But otherwise, the view of the beach and the sea is AMAZING.
I would probably re-thinking coming here, though I liked how it was more affordable than staying at a hotel. I hope their staff improves, and that they build a few more amenities in the future. Some of the kids of the seaside living people were able to come into the compound and starting begging money from us when we took a walk...not exactly a great experience.
P.S. If I could count the times I was mistaken for a Korean by staff, who were surprised when I decided to speak in Cebuano, I could probably get a free lunch here! Haha.
P.P.S. Review is at 3 because the view trumps the other mediocre things that an OC person like me observed.
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