What I love about Cebu is that every time I come home, the place has always something new to offer: a new mall, new restaurant, new hangout, new beach hideaway, and new friends. No wonder travelers simply can’t get enough of the Queen City of the South, making Cebu the most visited city in the country. Long before Ferdinand Magellan set foot on the island in 1521, this settlement was already a bustling outpost for a slew of Chinese, Thai, Muslim and Hindu traders. Nearly five centuries later, the small settlement of ‘Zzubu’ has grown to cosmopolitan proportions as a booming hub for business and leisure.
At the heart of uptown, the city proudly reaches for the sky. And true to Cebuano hospitality, everyone is invited for an unforgettable ride! Above Crown Regency Hotel, the tallest hotel tower in the Philippines, sits the Sky Experience Adventure, an amusement center featuring spine-chilling rides, romantic dining, and other attractions with a priceless view of Metro Cebu night and day. S.E.A officially opened to the public last December 11, 2008.
The pièce de résistance of this adrenaline haven is the world’s first and only Edge Coaster, which takes guests around the outer edge of the hotel’s 38th level for an utterly breathtaking 360-degree view of Metro Cebu. The seats have state-of-the-art restraint systems built with NASA technology by Interactive Rides, Inc. Thrill-seeking riders can control a lever that tilts the two-seater car up to 55 degrees forward, delivering a gravity-battling view of the streets some 400 feet below. (Bring your cameras at your own risk!)
For thrill at your own pace, take a stroll around the building… 37 floors above the ground that is! At the Skywalk Extreme, guests can test their acrophobia by walking all harnessed up on a suspended walkway around the outer edge of the hotel. The scariest part is traversing the see-through glass portion of the walkway, where it’s like your treading on nothing but air. Bringing of cameras are strictly not allowed here.
Inspired by the famous Sirocco sky bar in Bangkok, there’s a smaller version on the view deck, where you can have refreshments while admiring the stunning expanse of the metropolis and its landmarks: from Mactan Island and its bridges, the South Reclamation Project (SRP) road, the main thoroughfares of Osmeña Boulevard and Gen. Maxilom Avenue, to Fuente Osmeña and the Provincial Capitol, up to The Osmeña Place (TOP) in Busay’s highlands, which is the city’s original “view deck” that offers a more laid-back mountaintop vista.
The Crown Regency Hotel & Towers is located along Osmeña Boulevard (aka Jones Avenue) near Fuente Osmeña. Uptown Cebu is less than an hour’s drive from Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.
The Sky Experience Adventure is open from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M. Entrance to the View Deck is PHP 380.00 (which comes with a snack meal), with rides at PHP 500.00 each. Discount packages are available. Of course, certificates of your death-defying exploits will be awarded! Coin-operated binoculars (PHP 10.00/two minutes) are mounted at the view deck.
I recommend visiting S.E.A. in the late afternoon until the evening, so you can enjoy the vista day and night. Located along the Sinulog mardi-gras route, the hotel is a prime spot to enjoy the January festivities.