Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Mövenpick Hotel Experiment

I'm snoozing under the covers in the huge room on the 22nd floor of Mövenpick Hotel when I am rudely awakened by a grand shake and the sound of things crashing... Ha! Just a dream (being at the penthouse) and a nightmare (the hotel crumbling to pieces with me crashing along with it).

True, I am in Mövenpick Hotel, but in a room just five floors aboveground. A relief, given it has only been a week since the earth shook. And a disappointment; I was half hoping to be put up in the penthouse or whatever they call the room at the topmost floor. I am here to act as a guinea pig, might as well put me to the ultimate test.

No, really, I am just happy to be a guinea pig. Put me on any floor you want, Mövenpick, and I shall oblige. It is not everyday that I get to be invited (well, I have never been invited, until today) to stay in a hotel (or anywhere swanky for that matter). I was genuinely happy when Justinne of Babe for Food invited me to be part of this experiment. (Thank you Justinne for thinking me a worthy test subject.)

The goal here is to survive (along with all three Mövenpick towers) the aftershocks and assure everyone, or at least everyone who cares to read our blogs, that the building is still safe after that strong earth shake. Before the survival test, Mövenpick's General Manager, Mr. Knuth Kiefer, assures us that the hotel has been structurally designed beyond the local building code. In layman's terms, no need to worry.

Ibiza Beach Club

The assurance is paired with a Churrasco dinner at Mövenpick's Ibiza Beach Club. Churrasco is, to quote the hotel, "a Brazilian–style barbecue laden with mouth–watering fire–roasted meats and seafood, cooked in a churrasco grill and served from a sword–like skewer at your table." Before the grilled fare is served, we are given a plate with garlic rice, vegetables, and beans, and a separate plate of four condiments for the grilled meats and seafood: chimichurri, butter, red wine butter, and herb butter. Each guest is given a disc, with one red side and the other green. Turn the disc to green to signal the server to start carving the meat, and turn it over to red for stop. Salads can be had before diving into the meats and seafood.

 Please excuse the color cast.
For photos of the churrasco meats and seafood, check out Babe for Food's blogpost

I do not get to flip my disc to green but the servers wielding sword–like skewers come one by one: lamb chop, rib eye, filet mignon, lamb leg, pork belly, pork rib, chicken, ostrich, fish, squid, lobster, prawn. Each one is mighty scrumptious. I think I will lose this battle. By dessert—churrasco pineapple with yogurt, honey, and pistachio—I am as weak as an overfed pig. Weak but, still, I manage to wipe my plate clean with the last bit of pineapple, and pat my happily bulging stomach, "We are done."

Wrong. Something else comes our way: a scoop of maple walnut ice cream, which is not part of the churrasco dinner. I hastily make some space for this creamy, generously sprinkled with walnuts, delight. I spoon some in my mouth, and another, and another. If I had more space, I would have easily finished two or three more scoops. Best ice cream I have ever had. Congratulations, tummy, we are still alive. Those skewer–wielding people almost killed us with their delicious swords, but we are tougher than we look.

 Maple Walnut ice cream
Again, please excuse the color cast.

But we don't act so tough when we encounter SSB—sakit sa baboy. It's time to hit the sack. Nice, comfy, fluffy sack that is. In my room on the fifth floor, I draw the drapes close, snuggle under the covers, and sink (literally) in my pillow. Sweet slumber. And then a big jolt. I sleepily crack my eyelids open, listen to the walls shake, and reach for my watch: 2:42AM. This time it's not a dream. But I remain in bed and wait for the shaking to die down and switch back to hibernate mode.

I am awakened at 630AM. By my alarm. Hey, I'm alive. And the three towers are still standing. After a quick shower, I head down for breakfast at The Sails: A glorious spread of breads, cheese, cereals, waffles, bacon, sausages, eggs (omelet with mozzarella cheese!), soup, salad, yogurt, fruits (lots!), juice. Then explore the hotel one last time to admire the well–maintained beach and pool, and to survey the game room.

 Breakfast at The Sails

I check out early, say goodbye, and rush to work. That part I wish were just a dream. I would have happily stayed under the sheets all morning, with just a short break from bed to have that sumptuous breakfast in between. Thank you, Mövenpick, for that impressive experiment. I am one happy guinea pig.

Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu
(032) 492 7777

Was I was worth this experiment? I hope Mövenpick thinks so.
Rooms at Mövenpick start at Php7800, inclusive of breakfast for two.
Churrasco dinner (all you can eat salad, meats, seafood) costs Php2000. Add Php500 for bottomless wine.
A scoop of maple walnut ice cream for about Php300.


  1. woooot. you are a very lucky man!

    1. Yes, I am! A big thanks to Babe for Food for including me in the experiment!

  2. Wow! Lucky you, Mustachio. One of these days, I will treat myself there. =)

    1. Go Fred. And better not miss the churrasco! And the ice cream!

  3. Nice photos and post, Mustachio! Another fun read. I miss reading your posts! Hehehe. I haven't had much time online since last sem. Anyways, thanks for coming along with us! Hope to have another staycation with you someday! :D

    Babe for Food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)

    1. Thanks Justinne! Na inspire ko nimo mao wala na nako na pa abtan ug 6 months ni hahah! Next time dili na staycation, vacation na! :D

  4. I thought this is out of the country. Mactan diay! This is a new hotel in the island? The food looks tempting!

    1. Yeah mactan! Movenpick opened Dec 2012, they're barely a year old. Do try their churrasco! Thanks for dropping by, adbenturera!

  5. Dear Justinne Go, I am begging you please include me in your staycation-experiment-mailing-list next time. :)
    Dear Mustachio, FC na dayon ko with Babe For Food. hehehe.

    Baktin Corporation

    1. Dear Brennan, Please send your resume to Justinne. Hehehe.
      PS. What's FC? :D

    2. Haha wa gyud ko nakathink mao nang meaning sa FC hehehe I was thinking either football club (which does not make any sense) or fan club (which does not go with your sentence) hahahaha