Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crimson Resort and Spa Day Trip

I was back there lately, and thankfully not for another evening party! This time, I had two friends who wanted to hie off to a seaside resort in Mactan, in place of a cancelled trip to Malapascua. Just for a day trip, since they were already checked-in at my little flat!

My first choice for them was actually the Imperial Palace as there is a waterpark. Last year, we really enjoyed Plantation Bay. So, I was thinking they’d have a ball at IP. We went there without calling! But when we were already there, things changed. The price! It is now P3,500 per head. I went to IP’s public phone bank to call up Crimson. Where'd I get their number? From IP's desk itself. Yep, that helpful! And we learned that Crimson is cheaper by a thousand at P2,500 per head. So, we went for it!

Hah, I must say, I was ecstatic! Why? Because this was like the nth time I was entering Crimson, but first time on a high noon! Not another evening party nor another wedding reception! Well yes, I’ve conducted two training sessions there, but what do you see at a resort when you are the sole trainer, right? No time! Thus, I have been imagining how this place looks during the day. Yey! Fulfilled!

Let’s hear my story…

On arrival, we were immediately ushered to the elevator and down to Saffron Cafe where the lunch buffet was to be had. Oh yes, we were told that the payment etcetera formalities would also be done there, at whichever table we settle at! The works!

The buffet! We were first in the area, so we had a ball taking pics of this and that.

I even did a video clip! (now still uploading) The staff you'll see approaching was the girl who processed our registrations, paperwork, payments and those waterproof wrist tags!

What can I say? Ah eh… am no authority in this arena… I am just on see-food diet, like when I see food, I eat! But let me do some comparisons… with Imperial Palace

The place, the lunch area I mean.., probably just a third of Imperial Palace’s Familia Buffet Restaurant.

The entrĂ©e choices… probably also just a quarter than what IP serves!
Not to mention that IP has an entire section just for Japanese food (none here). Rice alone, there are 3 (or was that 4) choices at Imperial Palace.

There are also more at IP, more colorful and more attractively presented than these I saw here at Crimson. Am not fond of them anyway :) But all look cute!
I do know how to describe all of them... "sweet", right? hehe!

Fruits? There were only Mangoes, Pineapple, Watermelon and Papaya at Crimson...
Over at IP, there are even those that I am not familiar with hehe! Like kiwi. Plus, at IP they even have a bar where crews busy themselves concocting shakes or juices from fruits you pick at the same bar!

Salads? (upper-right of photo above) Crimson does have a respectable array of everything salad, but it does not come even half (in terms of variety) to that at IP.

The taste? Ah, both are undeniably superb. Well, both are manned by no less real professional chefs from everywhere! I liked the grilled fish at Crimson. Was that tuna or tanguigue? Not so many herbs and spices to discern but just the fish taste, and I had the freedom to put in whatever I wanted (e.g., more soy sauce, more suka or even smudges of butter from my bread plate hehehe)!

The ambiance? Crimson for me is just right. Kind of intimately cozy. While over at IP, it feels like dining in the middle of a gymnasium where millions of spectators are watching you hehe!

Ah, let’s go outside, shall we?

Nice trellis-like area, but useless during lunch hour. Mainit!
There is a similar area at the other side but it is also ‘sunny’ being just glass-roofed. Ironically, the front area (turn left over at that end) is just bare without tables, but it is breezy there and covered from the sun by the building’s shadow. Probably even a good breakfast area since it is facing east.

Well, there are two native-style kiosks at both corners but can fit only a table each.

Let's roam...

From the native kiosk outside Saffron, these are the views...
We sat here a while, to smoke, let the food in stomach settle... and people watch!
Warning: with a full stomach on a breezy afternoon, you could snooze the day away!
Even nice listening to the faint drop of water from those four spouts! Hypnotic lull!

So I walked up this bridge, to keep the brain cells active!
This crosses the infinity pool. Nice views wherever you turn to!

Looking right, a nice view of the main building... Oh there is my myself and I!
Yeah, My Royal Highness reflected on that glass door of 'Score' - the sports bar!

Still on the bridge, looking left is this lovely view. We'll get to that other bridge soon!
And that is still a pool (even bigger) behind that bridge! And the sea further down...

Off the bridge, I saw these...

This one is called "CrimZone"... to keep your tykes really busy with kiddie fun
No adults allowed in there, so you better go where adults are!
Don't worry, there are crews and staff to monitor your dear little kulits!

Let's go down to the waterfront area...

Now now... this is what Imperial Palace does not have!
A wide white sandy beach area...
Where you can play, sun to tan...
Or just frolic in the sand at the water's edge!

How about some massage with a view? You see that hut to the left?
Yes, this!
Wouldn't that feel good?! Ah....

Oh yes, the 2nd bridge...

Alright, standing on the bridge, looking inwards, this is the view...

Looking out to the sea, this is the wonderful beautiful scene...

But that was not it!

Here is my 'likest', and this is where we took time doing nothing!
It's breezier here...
With even nicer vistas...
But let's come back to this place later. Something invited our undivided attention...

The "Four O'Clock Habit"!

A unique kind of activity/attraction in a resort! How is it done? Well, simple and easy...
At 4PM an instructor, together with two exercise buddies, appears at poolside...
Music plays, and voila! An instant aerobic exercise for people in the pool!
Yes, we joined them! The dance music and easy to follow movements makes this unique "4 o'clock habit" all too enticing! Healthy pa!

After huffing and puffing and swimming at the pool, I went back to water's edge.

For more of the panorama at sunset...

Ah this is my kind of chillax place... The Azure Pool Bar
That wall keeps changing colors. Aliw!
And they probably read my heart! Music was a continuous run of the best reggae hits!

But let's go back to the main building, shall we?

Everywhere you look is a nice view at dusk...

One last thing I like in this place... a simple yet dramatic 'evening ceremony'!

At 6PM, I was out of the showers while my two ladies were still in there. And I knew it was going to take more time. Women! But I was fine chillin' by the poolside when suddenly, Bob Marley stopped singing... and what came immediately on was some kind of glorious, dramatic instrumentals. More of like a movie score really. Then lights at the pools dimmed, some path and post lights even went off.

Hmm, I sensed there was something, but I could not discern as to what and where...

Suddenly there they were, dancing with the music. More of like slowly swaying actually. Dancers clad in native visayan costumes, carrying lanterns, inching their way on both sides of the pool, going towards the beach. Wow! And of course, everyone around stopped what they were doing to ogle at or follow the dancers. I did! Tried capturing them with stills and videos to no avail. Fuji cameras just don't like darkness!

I know this ceremony. I've seen it somewhere and I have even adapted this for an event sometime ago. The anti-climactic end of this thing is actually the cute highlight - and the most tweaked, depending on the celebration. I was hoping Crimson had some gimmick or something that would follow this 'walk'. None! The dancers just said "Good Evening Crimson"! Anyway, appealingly beautiful enough that the few who were still by the pool and at the Azure bar applauded. And of course took chance of the photo-op! Nice one!

Then I returned to main building finding my two friends already shopping at the souvenir stores - which of course I arrested hehe, telling them whatever they want in this place there will be the same thing at a cheaper price anywhere in the city!

Out and about? Yep, but after my lovely friends grabbed things from this corner...

Oh, just a heads up to those taking cabs out of this place. It's a long queue in the evenings. Why? Because of many K friends who are either done with their day trip just like we did, or K friends who are checked-in but going out to the city for dinner. In our case, I counted the number of groups waiting... we were 9th. But the 5th group were 7 people and the 8th group was all of 21 people.

Technique? Gamble on departing from the norm. Which norm? Where the Crimson crews call the cab companies and you just add an extra P50 to the meter amount. Even if they keep calling and telling the companies to send more cabs, there are not so many who would head this way at such a time (rush hour in the cities).

So, gamble on grabbing the next cab that arrives bringing passengers into this place (there are a number of them anyway). That means you do not ask the Crimson crews to call a cab for you. This is what I did and the 3rd in line was not even close to departing when we left the place hehehe! Wala pang "plus 50"!

'Twas a nice day trip!


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