10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU BOOK; Crimson Mactan vs Shangri-La Mactan (+ Frugal Tips)

This post is about my unbiased review of Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan and Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa.

This is from a non-celebrity/non-Influencer POV. No special treatment guaranteed.

Both place were wonderful and will forever be special to me. My husband (then fiancé) proposed to me in Crimson Mactan while we spent our honeymoon in Shangri-La Mactan.

If you have something special coming up and you are still undecided which hotel to choose, you might want to check out my unbiased reviews to help you get sorted out. By the way, we are not celebrities so you can guarantee there are no special treatment from both resorts. Some pictures were enhanced to look good on my Instagram but effects were keep to a minimal level so that what you see is what you get.

1. Check-in, Lobby and Concierge

Crimson: I love the long stretch of lobby leading to check-in area. There were huge, really stark looking wooden furniture in the walls. The lobby is on the 2nd floor so when you look ahead you will be greeted with the iconic layered infinity pool of the resort. It makes you want to swim right away! Though we didn’t have baggage with us, the concierge, being so dear drove us from the lobby to our room.

Shangri-La: I was impressed with the huge lobby with various sofas and waiting benches. Just a few walks further, down the stairs is this really nice garden with trees as high as the hotel building. You will feel like being transported to Singapore’s Garden By The Bay. If you have baggage, make sure to inform the receptionist so that you can make use of the concierge.

Verdict: 2 votes for Crimson Mactan

2. Room

Crimson: We get the room with a garden when viewed from the bathtub. I am not fan of heights so the bungalow/villa set-up of rooms in Crimson Mactan is really ideal for me. There’s table and chairs outside. Inside, the bedroom were huge as well as the en-suite bathroom (there’s TV in there too!). Honestly, its the bathroom that I like the most. I can watch the plants and the sky while taking a lovely bath. Also, I love how spacious the room is, we can scatter our belongings in the floor and the room is just a pleasant walk from all the amenities. The toiletries were enough for the two of us and the coffee is divine!

Shangri-La: We got upgraded to the sea view room and I really appreciate the gesture from Shangri-La Mactan as it was our honeymoon. My husband loves high rise buildings and really appreciates elevated rooms so he was happy and immediately drank coffee in the balcony with the sea and greenery at sight. The room size is suitable for two people but there’s not much floor/space to walk upon. The bathroom is not that huge and the shower is inside the bathtub. I don’t know but I think there should be two sets of toiletries and we only got one.

Verdict: 2 votes for Crimson Mactan

3. Pool and Beach

Crimson: We toured the whole resort, passing through the trees outside the lovely villas. Its a pleasant walk really. We love how huge their pools are. We actually went swimming twice! As for the beach, we didn’t get to swim. It’s kind of rocky, just a small stretch of white sand but a really nice place to chill.

Shangri-La: The resort was huge and there’s a lot of corners to explore. The overall vibes is relaxing with a taste of adventure. The pools were also nice but what we love the most is the beach. They have the nicest beach with lots of fishes. Yes, we actually swam with the fishes.

Verdict: 2 votes for Shangri-La Mactan

4. Bar and Restaurants

Crimson: After it’s dark, my husband and I went for a drink in one of the bars in the resort. The ambiance was nice because the bar was right next to the sea. Surprisingly, the food was delicious and up to this day I still crave for their mojito. The pizza was also yummy its like Kermit’s in Siargao, (there’s no comparison its just the vibes). Place was quite small but since we are early we had the place to ourselves for a while and maybe because we went on a Thursday.

Shangri-La: We also did the same, after dark we went to get a drink and chill. The bar and the adjacent restaurant was huge. The entire resort, as observed, really can cater to many guests especially their public dining areas. I don’t really like their pizza but the margarita made me forgot it. LOL. The bar was in the cliff, not so near the sea, but still a sight to behold.

Verdict: 2 points for Crimson Mactan

5. Breakfast

Crimson: We were kind of hoping for a buffet but it turned out to be plated. Only in the bread, cereal and fruits section we were able to choose but we are just pointing our fingers because the waiter will get it for us. It’s kind of understandable because of safety precautions for Covid. But still. To be honest, nothing was really special during breakfast but the dining area was beautifully designed with gold accents. So elegant and pleasing to the eye.

Shangri-La: The best breakfast buffet I ever had so far. The selection of foods were great, the taste is exceptional, and safety was not compromised at all. My husband and I choose to dine near the pool. You could just imagine the food accompanied by the view. By the way, the dining area is facing the sea and adjacent to the pool.

Verdict: 2 points for Shangri-La Mactan

6. Price

Crimson: Php 7,000.00++ including breakfast

Shangri-La: Php12,000++ including breakfast

Verdict: 2 points for Crimson Mactan

7. View, Facilities, Amenities, Atmosphere

Crimson: We feel like we were in Bali as we toured the resort and the villas lining the streets. We took several shots by the villa doors because they were just so pretty! The resort is not that big so it’s just a few minutes to an hour walk and the rest of the time is just spent on bed, in pool or in the bar.

Shangri-La: The resort was huge and we didn’t really tour the whole place after we checked-in. We visited a few spots and thought that was it! In the morning, we were quite surprised that there was another wing where the breakfast buffet was situated. The view in there was awesome and refreshing. We also swam there in the pool by the restaurant as we wait for check-out. However, I also noticed that there are some facilities which are closed (maybe due to COVID) so I didn’t think we had the full vacation experience.

We also get a free hands-free massage by the pool. Some kind of a promotion for the spa. We checked the menu and oh boy its expensive!

Verdict: 2 points for Shangri-La Mactan

8. Staffs

Crimson: The first thing we noticed upon entry to the resort were the courteous staffs. They were helpful and I love that they respect our space. They were always cheery and they were so cute when they pause and greet the guests.

Shangri-La: I feel like I was in the airport the whole time I’m in the public space of the resort. The staffs were courteous and business like. I like how many they were and can immediately cater to guests with concerns.

Verdict: 2 points for Crimson Mactan

9. Check-out

Crimson: We had a smooth and wait-free check-out in Crimson. The security were also kind to assist us in getting a ride back to Mandaue City. If you come to the resort via taxi, it would really be difficult going back the same way. Just check beforehand if the resort offers a shuttle or any third party shuttle to transport you back to the city proper.

Shangri-La: We actually had a little problem during check-out in Shangri-La. Apparently, we thought our booking includes dining credit but upon check-out we were billed of our orders in the bar (pizza + margarita) the previous night. I booked via their website under the impression that the promotion can be availed (booking and staying date were all correct). It turned out that the confirmation email indeed did not indicate the dining credit. We feel scammed actually. For you to get the confirmation email, you have to book using a credit card and there is no other way to check the dining credit unless your booking is confirmed. In other words, dining credit is a clickbait. It was stressful back then. So if you have time, check if the confirmation booking email you received matched with any promotions you availed while still booking.

Verdict: 2 points for Crimson Mactan

10. Crimson Mactan or Shangri-La Mactan?

There really is no comparison at all. Both resorts were beautiful. If I were to have breakfast and swim, I will choose Shangri-La again. If I want to chill in the bar and in the room, I will choose Crimson again.

These resorts were kind of costly because they provide luxury make sure you read the booking confirmation to avoid misunderstanding and unnecessary additional payments.


Have you ever been to both resorts? What are your thoughts?

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