The Best Hotels to Book in Mactan, the Philippines

Enjoy the relaxing ocean views on a getaway to Mactan
Enjoy the relaxing ocean views on a getaway to Mactan | Courtesy of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan / Expedia
Sarah Gillespie

The island of Mactan in the Philippines is the place to go to enjoy private beaches, world-class scuba diving, an exciting culinary scene and spas with accomplished massage therapists. It’s not unknown for a traveller to step off the plane in Mactan with the intention of heading north to Malapascua or east to Bohol, but instead end up captivated by the natural riches just minutes from the airport. Here’s our guide to the best hotels on Mactan island.

1. Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort

Resort, Luxury

Vast atrium with many cushioned chairs and bench seating, plus tall chairs by a central bar at Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort
Courtesy of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort / Expedia

Thailand comes to Mactan at this elegant five-star resort on the Punta Engaño Peninsula, an 10-minute ride from the Lapu-Lapu Monument. Feast on prawn pad Thai made by Thai chef Thanaphon Jeenphuad at Benjarong restaurant, let experienced therapists work out muscle knots in the spa or just kick back with a coffee and complimentary slippers in your room. However, the biggest draw is the massive infinity pool overlooking the ocean.

2. Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

Resort, Spa Hotel, Luxury

Many sunloungers covered by white parasols face the sea from the sandy beach at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan
Courtesy of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan / Expedia

It doesn’t get much more luxurious than this. Edging an exclusive white-sand beach in the Mactan district, this resort destination has four pools – including an infinity pool with views over the reef – and wellness options galore. Drop the kids off at the enormous Crimzone play area, work out at the high-end gym and sink into a hibiscus-filled tub at Aum Spa. Cebu is a place for good food, too, so round off the day at restaurant Enye, with Filipino-Spanish fusion tapas by chef Chele Gonzalez.

3. Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel

Sofa, two cushioned chairs and dining table with six chairs in room with seaview balcony at Shangri-Las Mactan Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu / Expedia

You could fill several days strolling the bougainvillea-laden gardens and enormous private beach of this magnificent resort. Walk past koi-filled ponds to Chi Spa, where therapists tailor a menu of tropical fruit scrubs and massages to your personal element. Main-wing rooms come with a balcony and Philippine-made dark wood furnishings – splurge on an Ocean Wing room to get a private pool. Round off days of snorkelling with a seafood platter at Cowrie Cove restaurant.

4. Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort

Resort

Tiled indoor dining area with many tables and chairs underneath a wood-beamed roof at Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort
Courtesy of Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort / Expedia

Luring guests back time and again with an exclusive beach, multiple pools and Filipino contemporary art gallery, the Bluewater stands out even among the posh resorts of Maribago. Unwind at the Amuma Spa while an experienced therapist applies banana fronds to your skin during a traditional Hilot massage. Follow with a siesta in your room; draw the capiz-shell shutters and drift off on a bamboo bed. Feast poolside at Allegro – choose from Filipino mains including beef kare-kare (beef in peanut sauce) and sugpusoy (pan-seared sea bass).

5. Appleton Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Two adjacent single beds in room with wall-mounted TV and a desk at Appleton Hotel
Courtesy of Appleton Hotel / Expedia

With 55 rooms, this boutique is just 10 minutes from Mactan Island Golf Club and the airport – ideally placed to get the jump on the notorious airport-bound traffic, especially when you can utilise the free airport shuttle service. Many of the slick, clean-lined rooms come with air conditioning, an ice machine, electric kettle and toaster. A basic breakfast is available in the on-site restaurant, and there are plenty of independent restaurants and fast-food chains nearby.

6. JPark Island Resort & Waterpark

Resort, Hotel, Luxury

Private tiled outdoor pool with two shaded loungers beside it at JPark Island Resort & Waterpark
Courtesy of JPark Island Resort and Waterpark / Expedia

Right in front of Kontiki Marina in Maribago – arguably the best shore dive site in Mactan – you’ll find this massive 568-room luxury resort with a private beach. Kids will love the water park, with its swirling technicolour flumes, and six pools with themes ranging from the Amazon River to Captain Hook. They’ll also find go karts, minigolf and giant chess sets. Meanwhile, adults will appreciate the range of watersports on offer, as well as the 10 dining options including sashimi at Nonki and Caribbean cocktails at Havana by the Sea.

7. Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown

Hotel

Several cushioned chairs and a sofa in the airy, cream-toned lobby of Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown
Courtesy of Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown / Expedia

Bang in the middle of Mactan district and a short drive from the Lapu-Lapu Monument, this modern hotel is ideal for business travel. Stay sharp between meetings with a workout at the gym or in the outdoor pool. Unwind with light bites and beer at the poolside, or Asian fusion food at the Savoy Cafe – think fried dumplings with Chorizo de Cebu chilli oil. Room amenities are simple – tea and coffee facilities and toiletries – but the design is high-end.

8. Plantation Bay Resort and Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel

Two massage tables under a wooden roof by an open-air hot tub amid climbing plants at Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa / Expedia

Escape the crowds at this secluded resort in Marigondon, where white villas ring a lagoon so large you can kayak and paddleboard on it. Couples should plump for the ground-floor Water’s Edge Room with a four-poster bed, which opens straight onto the lagoon – families can get a similar experience with a Lagoon Side Room. Sample Filipino pancit (noodles) and New-York-style cheesecake at Kilimanjaro Kafe on the lagoon, or try fresh seafood at the beachside Fiji Restaurant. And of course, for a great spa in Cebu, you won’t be disappointed here.

9. Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino

Resort, Airport Hotel, Casino Hotel

Double bed facing TV and wooden desk in white-painted room with two armchairs at Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino
Courtesy of Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino / Expedia

You can practically roll off the runway and into check-in at this four-star resort right in front of the airport entrance. Rooms are geared towards a relaxing evening with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a complete minibar. Tuck into the lavish all-day buffet at Uno followed by cocktails and live music in the Lobby Lounge. The Pagcor casino features both slot machines and traditional table games.

10. Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Hotel

Two massage tables on a wooden floor in a room at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu; a jacuzzi is outside
Courtesy of Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu / Expedia

Lording over a slice of private beach in Mactan district, this five-star resort boasts an impressive array of amenities. Life at the Mövenpick revolves around lounging by the pool, being pleasantly pummeled at the spa, and chilling with a cocktail and live music at the Ibiza Beach Club. The Sails serves a famously lavish breakfast spread, and the Forum serves light snacks and tropical drinks. There’s also a watersports centre on site.

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