Dizzying Heights at Crown Regency: Cebu City, Philippines

Edge Coaster--thrills with a bird's eye view.

Edge Coaster–thrills with a bird’s eye view.

Head into Cebu City at night, and you can’t miss the Crown Regency Hotel and Towers. Neon lights flash up and down the 38-story building in a palate of stripes as the colors change. Since neon is not a common feature of most Cebu City hotels, the neon is a definite eye catcher. The neon is just the beginning of the Crown Regency’s offerings that are a cross between luxury and over the top Las Vegas. I felt like I was going over the top when I took a whirl on the Edge Coaster.

The Crown Regency zip line goes between two buildings at the 37th floor

The Crown Regency zip line goes between two buildings at the 37th floor

Billed as the “world’s first edge coaster,” the ride tips riders to a 55-degree angle at the edge of the 38th floor in the first few seconds. Happily, after the first terrifying tilt, riders can control the angle from none at all to 55 degrees as the car makes its way around the building’s perimeter. I tipped at all angles since the ride took 4 minutes and I like thrills. Plus, there was a photographer that was snapping shots and insisted that I kept doing the 55-degree angle with one hand up in the air. She was determined.

crown regency pool resizeThe Edge Coaster isn’t the only fun at the top of the Crown Regency. The Sky Experience Adventure that makes up the hotel’s 35th and 38th floor includes: a zip line that goes between the Crown Regency and the building next door; a climbing wall, where climbers can get quite the Cebu City view while scaling the wall’s 32 ft. height; and a sky walk which is a stroll around the outside of the building on the 37th floor. Each seemed safe enough to me. I kept my eye out for safety talks and equipment checks. All occurred.

For indoor fun, there’s a 6-D movie theater (think movement, bubbles, rain etc.), virtual golf and a virtual firing range, billiards and a video arcade.

The sign boasts the thrills up above

The sign boasts the thrills up above

Whether thrills and entertainment are your thing or not, the Crown Regency offers much for anyone who wants a break from Cebu City’s  bustle, but wants close proximity to what the city has to offer.

As a four-star hotel, the amenities are plenty. I did have a pedicure in the salon and found the staff fun and charming. The salon furniture needs an update, but supposedly, renovations are coming. There’s also a spa with a variety of massage options.

Along with an indoor pool, there are three outdoor pools and a hot tub with plenty of furniture for lounging and great views of the city. The hotel’s exercise facility is much more than the few pieces of equipment typical of many hotels.  Enormous windows offer great city views while you pedal, pump or jog–or just lean and contemplate. Trainers are on hand to give pointers.

Several restaurants–10 in all– offer dining options from Asian to western. We ate one night at the 50s Cafe since there was a happy hour price on a bucket of beer and a live band. The 5o’s Cafe is worth it just to see the variety of the memorabilia that ranges from gas pumps to cameras. It is quite the collection. Although the band didn’t know some of the songs I requested, they did have other songs by the same artist in their repertoire. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” did make the cut.

The buffet breakfast has ample choices to make everyone happy

The buffet breakfast has ample choices to make everyone happy

The buffet breakfast is a mix of everything from made to order omelets to steamed dumplings. Most items like the German sausage could have doubled for lunch.

For a coffee fix, there’s also Starbucks on the 1st floor.

Hard wood floors add to the earth tone appeal.

Hard wood floors add to the earth tone appeal.

Rooms range from deluxe rooms with two queen-sized beds to two-bedroom executive suites. Each room is appointed in earth tones and modern furnishings. Cable TV,  a full bath, a hair dryer, and broadband Internet access are included.  Right now a Superior room is roughly $86 US for a night. This is for two people. WiFi is free and there’s a welcome drink.

The buffet breakfast is about $10. You can also order items off the menu.

If you go, check out package deals. Some include spa treatments, buffet dinners, Sky Adventure options, etc. I paid for my Sky Adventure without a package. The total was $10.60  which got me up in the roof to wander around and the Edge Coaster ride. A package could have included a buffet dinner, a massage and something else. I just didn’t have the time for all that.

The lobby where you'll find murals of old Cebu City, the 19th century carriage and the artwork of Dr. Jose. P. Ruiz

The lobby where you’ll find murals of old Cebu City, the 19th century carriage and the artwork of Dr. Jose. P. Rizal

One of the things I appreciated about the Crown Regency is its commitment to promoting Cebu history. There are framed copies of several historic photographs throughout the hotel that show what the city was like in the late 1880s to early 1900s.  The lobby decor also includes lovely pencil drawings by Dr. Jose P. Rizal, circa 1886-1888. Rizal is one of Philippine’s national heroes.

The lobby also boasts a 19th century horse drawn carriage and murals that depict 1899 Cebu City life.

You can book at Crown Regency’s website or check out Hotels.com. The starting rate there is $57.  The hotel is located near Fuente Circle, about a 30 minute taxi ride from Cebu International Airport

Post and all photos but Edge Coaster photo courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Writers Association. Edge Coaster photo courtesy of Crown Regency.


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