by Abigail Javellana
Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort is one of Cebu's high-end resorts situated on the 7-hectare tropical paradise of Mactan Island, Cebu.
You'll get that Filipino lifestyle experience whenever you're staying at Bluewater's group of resorts. From indulging in their Pinoy-themed buffets and staying in their modern Filipino rooms, down to the warmest greetings from their fully employed all-Filipino staff.
We love the resort because of its family-friendly vibe, multiple pools, white sand beachfront, and sumptuous themed dinner buffets. Here's a photo essay of our stay...
Buyong Maribago, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu Philippines
Phone: (63 32) 492 0100
The resort is only 20-minutes away from the airport and the city. It's a perfect stay if you're looking to head down to the city but at the same time get that quiet island beach resort feel.
The beach front is 110 meters of white sand surrounded by coconut trees and huts with beach beds.
A closer look at the white sands of Bluewater Maribago.
(Note: You get free rubber slippers when you check-in)
They have their own private island that separates the beach front from the open sea.
The sandy floor beneath the water is shallow and safe for kids but with lots of seaweed.
For recreation, try playing with the life-sized chessboard and some beach volleyball.
The resort takes care of a few baby sharks, which you can feed at 4 pm every day.
There are three wings in the resort: the Garden wing (with its own pool), the new Amuma Spa wing (also with its own pool), and the Beach wing (near the main swimming pool and the beach).
The main pool is beside the beach and Allegro Restaurant.
The pools are shallow and designed to be safe for kids.
Gym by the poolside.
Rooms at Bluewater Maribago
The best accommodations are the beachfront rooms designed by Benjie Reyes.
The Royal Bungalows and the Premier Deluxe Rooms are located on the beach, each with a separate living space and spacious balcony. They offer views of the white sand beach and Bluewater private island.
The rooms reflect Benjie Reyes' signature take on Modern Filipino architecture.
What makes the Bluewater Group of resorts distinct is their love for big spacious bathrooms!
There's a bathtub perfect for an afternoon bubble bath with sunlight seeping from the roof.
Breakfast at Maribago's Allegro Restaurant
One of the best parts of our stay was having a delicious Pinoy-style breakfast.
Allegro Restaurant is Bluewater's main restaurant. It has an al fresco patio dining area by the pool.
They serve daily buffet breakfast and dinner, and lunch a la carte.
For starters, you can go with their fruit and yogurt section.
You can even have dried mangoes, raisins, pineapples, and nuts as toppings. Cebu’s dried mangoes are famous for their distinct sour and sweet taste.
But we liked the yogurt with fresh fruits and diced Cebu mangoes better.
Choose from their selection of refreshing tropical fruit juices.
Cheese and cold cuts selection.
Check out the different bread selections like croissants, cinnamon rolls, french bread, bibingka, empanadas, and more.
The bibingka, also known as Filipino rice cake, is one of our favorite treats on their breakfast buffet. The Mandaue bibingka is special because it uses manually pounded rice instead of the commercially available rice flour.
The flavors and texture are far better than its commercial counterpart.
The Chinese section has good congee, pork & shrimp siomai, and steamed pork buns.
You can also have them custom-make your Chinese noodles.
They also serve Filipino breakfast sausage (longanissa) in the buffet.
For a more healthy option, there's sweet chicken tocino.
Dried fish is a specialty food sought after in Cebu. It is often served for breakfast and best paired with sunny side up eggs and garlic rice.
The fish is quite light and crispy and goes well with their local vinegar dip.
Bluewater's Themed Buffets
One of my favorite Bluewater Maribago buffet themes is the "Cebuano Street Fest." It's designed for the adventurous traveler looking for that authentic Cebu experience.
They have everything Cebu is known for--from Cebu lechon, ngo yong, and chorizo, to sinuglaw, saang, and much more!
There's even entertainment by live serenaders and a cultural show that highlights native folk dances.
Themed dinner buffet at Allegro restaurant is at Php 1050 net per person from Sundays to Thursdays, and P 1300 net per person on Fridays and Saturdays, with a 50% discount for children 6-11 years old.
As of this quarter, the themed dinners are:
Sunday: Mondo Mediterraneo
Monday: Sizzling Barbeque Night
Tuesday: Flavors of Asia
Wednesday: Cebuano Street Fest
Thursday: Tapas and Pinchos
Friday: Fishing Village
Saturday: Barrio Fiesta
Eating lechon is central to your Cebu experience! Dubbed as the "Lechon Capital" of the Philippines, Cebu prides itself in having perfected the art of roasting pigs.
Bluewater's lechon is delivered from Rico's, which the locals have dubbed as the best lechon in Cebu.
We love its crunchy golden-brown skin and the bursting aroma and taste from the garlic and leeks infused in the meat. It is best eaten as is to better savor its flavorful and tender meat. But we still prefer to have it with their homemade Suka Cebu (vinegar) and calamansi.
"Kinilaw" is a local term that means "eaten raw and fresh." A Cebuano comfort food is the "Kinilaw na Lato and Guso Salad" made up of seaweed, chunks of ginger, red onions, and chili peppers tossed in a vinegar dressing.
The fun part about eating this salad is the bright green lato seaweed. It has a grape like formation that pops in your mouth and gives out this salty liquid that's reminiscent of the ocean.
Sinuglaw is a famous dish that originated in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions. It is a combination of two dishes--inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly) and kinilaw na tuna (tuna ceviche).
We love the perfect sync of the spicy and tangy flavors from the kinilaw and the sweet hearty flavors of the liempo.
Nilarang is the way of cooking fish by simmering it in tausi (fermented blackbeans), garlic, onion, and ginger. It is hot and slightly sour.
One favorite street food of Pinoys is barbecue--pork or chicken meat giblets skewered on sticks and cooked over a charcoal grill.
Their selection includes pork bbq, chicken bbq, isaw (chicken intestines), chorizo, chicken feet, squid, and fish.
Also known as Filipino sausage or "longganisa", cebu is known for its red, fatty, sweet, and spicy chorizo. This is a must-order.
You can find all the popular Pinoy street food on a stick from Shrimp balls, ngo yong, and kwek-kwek (deep-fried batter coated hard boil quail egg), to tempura, squidball, chicharon bulaklak, and pig mask.
Ngo yong or Ngohiing is one of Cebu's most iconic street foods brought in by the community of Chinese settlers in the area. Similar to fried spring roll, ngo yong is mostly filled with ubod (heart of palm). The rice paper roll is deep-fried containing ubod, singkamas, ground pork, minced shrimp, onions, and garlic then seasoned with ngo yong powder (cinnamon, star anise, Sichuan pepper, cloves, and fennel seeds).
Dip it in their soy-based sauce or starchy sweet-and-soy sauce to make the dish even more delicious.
Saang or conch shells is also a popular street food in Cebu. Often cooked in boiling water or grilled, the meat is quickly picked out using a fork.
It is very meaty with a sweet, tender taste. Dip it into their vinegar mix for that extra sweet kick.
They also have local scallops and creamy-milky oysters.
The oysters best paired with their local vinegar.
The dessert section is filled with classic Pinoy delicacies including Cebuano favorites like Pintos, puto cheese, hotcake, consilba, ampao, Mandaue Bibingka, palitaw (sweet flat rice cake with sesame seeds), mosi, and otap.
Pintos is steamed ground corn wrapped in corn husk. It has a pudding-like texture with a sweet taste coming from the coconut and milk.
Otap is one Cebu's favorite pasalubong items and is made from coconut, flour, shortening, and sugar. We love it's flaky and sweet taste.
The buffet even has a fruit and DIY halo-halo section.
There's also a dirty ice-cream cart! (The ice-cream isn't dirty...it's just the name.)
Overall, we loved our stay at Bluewater Maribago because of:
- Quiet island beach resort feel
- White sand beachfront with a mini private island
- Multiple pools that's safe for kids
- Great selection on the themed buffets
- Friendly Filipino Staff
- Filipino architecture and interior design
- Conveniently near the metro where you can do a city tour or discover new restaurants
Buyong Maribago, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu Philippines
Phone: (63 32) 492 0100
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We were guests at Bluewater Maribago. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.