Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shangri-la Value Vacations

Whenever we plan our holidays now, the first thing we check is if there is a Shangri-la at the destination that we're thinking of going to.

Our first holiday with two kids under 3 years old was to Cebu and we stayed at the Shangri-La Mactan. We didn't go for any of the package tours that the travel agent recommended, but instead opted to book the plane tickets and the hotel separately. We had specifically wanted the Value Vacations offer that Shangri-La had on their website.

Our travel agent didn't know about this offer, even though it is a groupwide offer that Shangri-la does. Fair enough, as this is something that Shangri-la doesn't really promote to the travel agents, because they get direct bookings for these most of the time. We could have booked directly online, but because we were bringing our helper along and wanted her in the same room with us, we decided to let our travel agent do the work in checking this and that for us.

When we got there, the King bed that we had requested turned out to be ginormous! It might have been two Queen or King beds put together. The whole family could sleep there with plenty of room to roll about! There was another pull-out bed in the room, next to the balcony, which opens up to a lush, green lawn.

The Value Vacations deal offers free daily buffet breakfast and buffet dinner, which was sooo convenient, especially if you are traveling with kids. There was a great variety of food to choose from and I didn't have to stress over what food to give Josh and making sure that he would eat whatever we ordered. For me, what made meals so wonderful were the yummy ripe mangoes that were just there for the taking. I totally feasted on them. Some have been peeled and sliced up; others were whole mangoes that I've seen some guests take plenty of to bring to the beach or pool side with them.

The Value Vacations rate includes:

  • Late checkout at 3pm
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Complimentary buffet dinner
  • Free buffet meals for children under 6
  • USD 20 credit for recreational facilities
  • Free use of water sports facilities (non-motorised)
  • Unlimited laundry - This is great, because (1) you won't have to bring so many clothes with you and (2) you won't be lugging home a suitcase full of dirty laundry.
  • Complimentary broadband Internet access
  • A minimum 2-night stay is required
Note: We went to Kota Kinabalu and stayed at the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru. Same deal, but this property was less flexible about the number of people they allow into each room --maximum of only four, including the kids. Also, the King bed was much smaller. I guess after the beds at the Shangri-la Mactan, one gets spoiled for any other!

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