Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines, is known for its rich history and beautiful attractions.
Its downtown area, also home to the country’s first street – Colon Street — was the business and commercial hub for decades. Last week, the Queen City of the South welcomed the latest addition to its landscape – One Central Hotel, a premier business hotel.
“The birth of this hotel in this historical and heritage district of downtown Cebu City links our city’s colorful past to the future of our city’s premier position as a preferred destination for travel and business,” said the hotel’s chairman and CEO Steven Yu during the launching.
One Central Hotel officially opened its doors to visitors on 4 October. Offering affordable luxury accommodations, the hotel has 157 well-appointed guest rooms ranging from deluxe single to deluxe double, deluxe twin and junior suite. All rooms offer panoramic views of the city.
Facilities include a grand ballroom and meeting rooms, a gymnasium, a swimming pool that overlooks the beautiful skyline and a roof deck that offers a 360-degree view of the environs. It is also home to the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Café Tartanilla (a Cebuano term for horse-drawn carriages, which played a part in transporting the passengers to and from the Cebu’s old train stations).
Conveniently located at the corner of Leon Kilat and Sanciangko Streets, the hotel is the perfect starting point for business and leisure travelers. Its strategic and convenient location means low carbon footprint travel.
One Central Hotel is ideally located for guests going to seaport terminals for trips to Bohol and other neighboring Visayan islands, as well as for those heading south as the South Bus Terminal is just a five-minute walk from the property.
The hotel is within walking distance to historical landmarks as well as universities such as the University of Cebu, University of San Carlos, University of San Jose-Recoletos, Asian College of Technology, as well as government offices.
The area where the hotel stands used to be the site of the Yu family’s 70-year-old Luzon Lumber business.
It also used to be a part of Cebu’s Central Train Station, which was instrumental in the early progress of Cebu’s trade and commerce and has been a witness to the city’s modernization.
The 57-mile railway stretches all the way from Danao up north to Argao down south. There is also a short railway that leads up to the port along Leon Kilat Street.
The name One Central Hotel originated from this part of Cebu’s history.
One Central Hotel is managed by Bluewater Hospitality, known for its homegrown and wholly Filipino-owned chain of resort hotels in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Bluewater Hospitality brings over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry along with their uniquely Cebuano approach to hospitality which they call “amuma with excellence.”
“Our amuma hospitality will also be one of the reasons why people would want to stay at One Central,” said Julie Alegrado, Bluewaters Resort president.
Amuma is a Visayan word that means caring or pampering.
“One Central Hotel is the first hotel that is managed by a local brand, and I’m sure that the hotel will kick off the development in this area. We are the pioneer in this area and in ten years, you will see a different area,” said Margie Munsayac, Bluewater Resort vice president for Sales and Marketing.
Nearby tourist spots
Cebu is one of the country’s top tourist attractions, from white sandy beaches to historical treasures and classical museums that define Cebuano culture. Only about a 10-minute walk from the hotel are renowned historical landmarks.
There is the Magellan’s Cross, said to have been planted by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and considered a symbol of the introduction of Christianity to the islands, as well as the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú, commonly known as the Santo Niño Basilica, the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country which houses a revered Flemish statuette of Santo Niño (Christ child) that dates back to Magellan’s time.
Other nearby attractions in the Parian district include the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House, which was built in 1675 and is considered one of the oldest houses in the Philippines. The house’s red clay tile roof and coral stone walls are 95 percent original, and on display are intricately carved old furniture, well-crafted religious images, and a lovely array of antique collection.
Another popular attraction is the Museo Parian sa Sugbo 1730 Jesuit House, or The Jesuit House Museum. It is said to be the oldest dated house in the Philippines. This claim was based on the relief plaque bearing the date “Año 1730” on the second floor of the house. The house used to be the residence of the second highest official of the Jesuit society in the Philippines and was the rendezvous for priests coming from other provinces.
Also within walking distance is Casa Gorordo, a historic two-story house museum that encapsulates the Cebuano-Filipino history, culture and arts. Decorated with intricate carvings and filled with antique furniture, the house was built in the 1850s and was occupied by the Gorordo family in 1863 (the year Cebu opened to world trade). Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. bought the house in the 1970s, turned it into a museum and opened its doors to the public in 1983.
Its strategic and convenient location means low carbon footprint travel.
“Come to One Central Hotel and experience the jewel in the heart of Cebu City,” invited architect James Jao, the pioneer of eco-architecture in the country who designed One Central Hotel.
For more details about the hotel, visit www.onecentralhotel.com.