NUSTAR Resort & Casino is a monumental undertaking that’s still very much a work in progress, but a preview of its signature hotel, Fili, promises glitz and glamour for the Visayas Region’s first integrated resort
With a reclaimed area connecting the island to mainland Cebu, the resort is situated on Kawit Island off the coast of Cebu City in the South Road Properties, closer to the Mactan Cebu International Airport via the new Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.
Fili Hotel has 379 sizeable rooms: 318 deluxe (41-49m²), 27 premier deluxe (61-70m²), 31 suites (89-231m²) and three villas (421-942m²). The suites and villas have butlers or mayordomos.
My deluxe seaview room featured relaxing earth tones, with paintings by local artists in summer-y colours and splashes of turquoise decor completing the tropical feel.
It is tastefully luxurious with quality beddings and amenities, top-of-the line bathroom fixtures including smart toilet and huge bathtub, a user-friendly working table, and high-speed internet access for multiple devices.
Little details of generosity warm the heart, like the four complimentary big (not medium-sized) bottles of mineral water and a sumptuous welcome tray of artisanal chocolate concoctions with Cebu’s famous dried mangoes and pineapple.
Five restaurants were open as of press time, including the first franchise in the Philippines of Mott 32, with Michelin-awarded executive chef Lee Man Sing at the helm. While I did not try this strictly-by-reservation-only restaurant, a journalist friend, who is used to eating in the world’s finest restaurants, gave high marks to Mott 32’s modern approach to Chinese cuisine.
At Il Primo Steakhouse, chef Luca Angioletti’s potato gnocchi is delectably smooth, almost melting in the mouth. Done medium well on the Josper grill, the steak is just right and succulent.
Services available include concierge, limo and car rental, baby-sitting and childcare. However, the pool and function rooms were not yet available during my stay.
Despite ongoing construction work, our room was well sound-proofed against the noise.
Opening next year apart from Fili Hotel’s facilities, are NUSTAR Convention Center, The Stage NUSTAR stage theatre, The Boardwalk which connects NUSTAR to Cebu on the 580m scenic walk, The Wharf for boarding yachts, and the 116m Skywalk with stunning views of the sea and cityscapes.
From check in to check out, the hotel staff are friendly with chirpy greetings and warm smiles. They are also conversant, typical of Filipino hospitality.
Part of their training must have included photography – not only did they seem to expect to be asked by guests to take photos, given the elegance and opulence of the hotel, the photos also always turned out great!
Whether by day or night, NUSTAR Resort & Casino stuns. I arrived at night and the integrated resort was like a palace with its shimmering lights reflected in the waters surrounding the island. Came morning, it boasted a lovely and full view of the sea, mountains and the city.
Once more facilities open next year, it will certainly be an awesome place to visit over and over.
Tel: +63 32 888 8282