CULTURAL POTPOURRI| A Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel Treat

    “GREETINGS from Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong. We love to go back to the Philippines to meet our media friends and share the exciting news about our three Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong. As such, we are cordially inviting you to join us on October 24, 2017, at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Join us for a fabulous night…” was the pleasant surprise message I got from Samantha Poon, the Director of Communications of the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, Gateway Hotel and Prince Hotel.

THE DELUXE Class Marco Polo Plaza Cebu which was inaugurated on April 27, 2006

THE DELUXE Class Marco Polo Plaza Cebu which was inaugurated on April 27, 2006

    It’s been a while since I last visited Cebu so I readily accepted the Marco Polo Hong Kong invitation. I missed the opportunity last year when I had my scheduled vacation in Vancouver. Goodness, but the one hour travel by plane from Davao to Cebu was faster than the more than one hour van ride from the Cebu International Airport to get to Marco Polo Plaza Cebu which has its location at Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Apas, Cebu City. Oh yes, Cebu’s traffic is more horrible than what we experience here in Davao City. But arriving at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu with Marco Polo Davao’s Jeline Gison escorting the Davao media representatives, the country’s oldest City’s only 5-star hotel more than makes up for the long ride. The Hotel is situated on a sprawling area with an altitude of 600 feet at Nivel Hills. The Hotel’s location provides a panoramic view of the downtown area. Oh yes, Marco Polo Cebu is a lot bigger than our Marco Polo Davao; and it has buildings comprising the Marco Polo Residences which we don’t have here.

WELCOME lunch for the Davao media at the Cafe Marco with Manna Alcaraz

WELCOME lunch for the Davao media at the Cafe Marco with Manna Alcaraz

Upon setting foot at the elegant Marco Polo Cebu lobby, the Davao media group was warmly welcomed by Marco Polo Hong Kong’s friendly Director of Communications Samantha Poon and Assistant Communications Manager Angel Wong. Also introducing themselves to us were Marco Polo Cebu’s Director of Sales Gemma Baz, Communications Manager Manna Alcaraz and Director of Sales & Marketing Lara Constantino-Scarrow.

The welcome lunch at the Cafe Marco was truly a treat as the Hotel was holding its last day of its annual Khana, a celebration of Indian Cuisine. Just like in Davao’s Cafe Marco, the buffet spread at Cafe Marco Cebu is a foodie’s culinary paradise to relish both Philippine and International cuisines. Thanks goodness that Cafe Marco Cebu also offers the famous Cebu lechon. After lunch, I took the opportunity to go visit the Ayala Commercial Center and was surprised to see it’s extension which houses Rustan’s and the other designer brand shops. Afraid of getting caught in the traffic, I didn’t spend that much time window shopping and decided to go back to the hotel for the Marco Polo Hong Kong 6:00 media event.

(L-R): JELINE Gison, Angel Wong, Michael E. Dakudao, GM Brian Connelly, Samantha Poon, Manna Alcaraz

(L-R): JELINE Gison, Angel Wong, Michael E. Dakudao, GM Brian Connelly, Samantha Poon, Manna Alcaraz

The venue for the media event was held at Marco Polo Cebu’s Blu Bar and Grill at the top floor of the hotel. We were introduced to Cebu’s media personalities headed by the veterans namely Flor Ynclino, Shari Quimbo, Cookie Newman, Nelia Neri, Honey Loop, and Jaime Picornell. It was also a pleasant surprise to meet again Zee Lifestyle’s Shari Quimbo and Margaux Camaya, a travel blogger of a social worker from Manila who found her home in Cebu. It was a pleasant encounter I had with Marco Polo Cebu’s amiable GM Brian Connelly from the USA.

Then it was time for Samantha Poon and Angel Wong to do their promotion on Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotels which started with a mini fireworks display at the open air terrace for good luck. Their good news is that Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel has recently completed an extensive upgrade to its building facade as part of the Hotel’s continued quality improvements. Marco Polo Hong Kong is situated in the heart of Kowloon and is an iconic favorite of many wealthy Hong Kong based families; and a preferred destination for business and leisure travelers. “The landmark hotel is renowned for providing warm and welcoming quality service; and is a popular choice known for its splendid harbor views of one of the world’s most recognized skylines,” said Angel Wong.

BLU Bar & Grill dinner with the Cebu & Davao media representatives

BLU Bar & Grill dinner with the Cebu & Davao media representatives

“We are committed to provide each guest with memorable stays and experiences. Our dedication to enrich our product and service is just one example of delivering exemplary standards for the industry. A fresh new look allows for our hotel, one that holds fond memories for so many, to shine like a jewel on Hong Kong’s harbor front. Not only do the rooms overlook the stunning Victoria Harbor and beyond, but the restaurants also hold great memories for many of Hong Kong’s multi-generational families,” promoted Samantha Poon. Samantha assured us that Marco Polo Hong Kong, if we decide to stay in the hotel on a visit, will provide us with the best experience. I believe her.

Dinner that night at the Blu Bar & Grill consisted of a seafood cocktail on a plate for appetizer; seafood and clam chowder; one’s choice of pan-fried sea bass or tenderloin of beef for the entree and pistachio opera cake for dessert. It was a pleasant dinner paired with various good wines.

As Samantha Poon and Angel Wong promised, it was a delightful night to remember. Thank you ladies of Marco Polo Hong Kong. Thank you, Marco Polo Cebu.

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