Balearic indulgence at Movenpick

It was a getaway that promised a weekend of flight, gastronomical pleasure, pampering and re-discovering Cebu. How could I refuse such an invitation from Movenpick Hotel and Philippine Airlines? Traveling is I live for (and I wouldn’t mind the fancy perks that come along with it at all).

Rediscover Cebu in this piece of heaven. Why not?

Philippine Airlines, recently re-launching its inter-island routes, put me on board the Airbus to get reacquainted with the carrier’s Davao – Cebu direct flight. The short and smooth ride plus the in-flight amenities and better-than-punctual arrival in Cebu proved again why this carrier is a personal favorite.

Philippine Airlines relinks Davao to Cebu. 

Stepping on the Queen City’s soil, the deluxe treatment took over.

Stylish, modern & chic. The lobby of Movenpick Cebu

Movenpick is a 5-star beachfront hotel six kilometers from the airport in Mactan Island. It’s my first time in this property and my first staying in an island hotel off the airport area. As promised, the stay was indulgent—club floor check –in and lounge access, nights in a chic, well-appointed room, excellent personalized service— but the gastronomic and bacchanalian episodes took the gold.

Club Floor check-in & check-out, & Club Lounge access are the menities offered by the hotel.

Daily turn-down service.

The host spoiled the newly formed clique— media peers herded by PAL to the city from Manila and Mindanao who established good rapport instantaneously (clearly the Universe was at work)—with lavish treats that revolved around wine. The days started with mimosas, sparkling and rose wines at midday, whites and reds at moonrise. This was the Movenpick hospitality, and more importantly, the best avenue to present the host and property owner Manny Osmeña, as a wine connoisseur and collector, and the man behind the wine brand, Manny O.

The weekend visit revolved around wine. Mimosas in the morning….

Sparkling wine & Rose at midday….

Reds & whites at moonrise.

From the weekend sojourn, my most memorable events were at the Ibiza Beach Club. The white washed architectural construction at the marina is a head turner and Movenpick’s Balearic-vibed hot spot. It’s the place to be at sunset, and after, when it turns into a must-dine spot in Cebu.

The Ibiza Beach Club at the marina is the best place to be at sunset.

And after sunset. See how the club glows at night. Alluring!

Served at the club’s al fresco dining, the Churrasco can take the meat eater to carnivore heaven with its 13-meat course. Straight from the grill, the aromatic skewered temptations are served hot. Temptation was high to try everything, but I opted to feast on the seafood fare that came along the choices.

Hot off the grill, the Churrasco offering at the Ibiza Beach Club

Tender & juicy, one of the 13-meat skewered treats

Of course, wine was flowing. If there was that go and stop coaster to put the wine glasses on, mine would have turned the red face up after a few servings.

Outdoor dining at the Ibiza Beach Club for this bunch on the first night.

The media got shot. :) Mindanao & Manila media with Movenpick & Manny O crew.

From the outdoor fiesta atmosphere, the next night’s gathering at the club’s chic conservatory was on the reserved note. In order was a degustation and wine-pairing affair hosted by the big man himself.

Degustation & wine pairing on the 2nd night at the Conservatory of the Ibiza Beach Club. 

Wine 101 with Manny O. was a most interesting experience.

The man in Manny Osmeña & the brand is Manny O. 

The degustation menu.

Interesting because the connoisseur didn’t only pair his award-winning creations with the courses, he found a connection between food and wine where possibly most will overlook—red wine with soup? Red wine with chocolates?

Soup with wine? Sacrilege! But Manny Osmeña was able to bridge the 2.  The Parmesan Wafer on the Lobster Bisque bridged the soup dish with the Discipulus Syrah, a fruity red wine that goes well with cheese.

Red wine with dessert? The Manny O Sumiller's deep fruity flavor can stand up against the bittersweet taste of the chocolate dessert. 

Engaging because the presentation was interactive. Both presenter and audience got to ask and answer questions that arose—what kind of grapes was used in the wine? What’s the perfect time to harvest the fruit and age it to achieve the wine’s quality? Why does it pair well with the dish?

Making the wine pairing presentation interactive.

To the discerning, the taste and aroma of the wine will reveal it all. From the Manny O array of red and white wines, the knowing nose detected scents of tobacco and hints of truffles on the reds, and on the white, peaches and tropical fruits with the “hint of papaya” –a comment that must have surprised Manny O and made his head turn towards Kenneth, a wine lover himself. Davao, represent!

Agapitos was derived from "agape" meaning delicate. This Rose has a light & delicate flavor … and, no, I didn't consume this wine by myself.

In good company, with great food, wine and conversation at the center, time will fly. It was past midnight when hands finally let go of the wine glasses. Taking its place was the Manny O Wine 101 “diploma”.

The graduates.

This quick escape to Cebu I wouldn’t mind taking again, but maybe on the next plane ride, I get to sit on the right side of the curtain. Now, that will truly make the sojourn first-class all the way.

The signature selfies & more photos of these affairs:

The clique during Charrasco night

And on degustation & wine pairing night.

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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 24, 2015.

At the Degustation & WIne Pairing affair with The Manny O's Manny Osemeña & Movenpick Executive Chef Chrsitian Bouby

Manny O's Lorrain Kendrickson & Mia Navarro

Movenpick MarCom Manager Meghann Hernandez & Olkonomos, Intl.'s Manuel Osmeña II

Travellife's Gel Bayona & Movenpick Asst. Dir. for Sales Dale Alcantara

People Asia's Gerry Vera Cruz, Gina Osmeña & Edge Davao's Kenneth Ong

Metro Society Magazine's Justine Convento, Marbee Go of Travel Now & Gael Sastre of Metro Weddings Magazine

PAL Loyalty Marketing's Kit Javier

John Magsaysay of Philippine Star