When you’re traveling on a shoestring budget, you have to forego the luxury and the non-essential perks and dive right to the basics that will give you every penny’s worth. While in some travel destinations in other western countries, tourists can go extreme backpacking and spend the night in tents or in subway stations, that is not recommended in Cebu given the safety and sanitation concerns especially in public spots within the city. Luckily, the city is a haven of low-cost lodging and budget-friendly accommodations. You’ll find heaps of inns, pensions houses, and hotels that offer the bare necessities when you visit the commercial district and midtown Cebu. These budget hotels are ideal if you just need a place to stay the night and keep your belongings safe and secure.
Budget hotels are far from the ranks of 4 or 5 star hotels. Although these properties don’t have that posh or luxurious element, they serve their purpose of safe and secure hotel accommodation for the budget conscious traveler. Generally, when you book a budget hotel, you need to make sure of the inclusions of your room rates and the amenities that are provided by the hotel. Some of the budget hotels don’t come with the basic hotel offerings such as hot and cold shower, WiFi access, cable TV, free parking (subject to availability), etc. So if these items are essential for your travel convenience, you have to ask the reservation officer if they have these amenities and facilities. Also, it will be helpful to skim through reviews of previous guests of the property so you will be given an idea of what to expect should you choose to book a room. It is also advisable to book weeks in advance since these budget hotels have very limited number of guest rooms and tend to be fully booked during high peak seasons.
Here are the top 5 favorite budget hotels in Cebu City:
No. 1 – Hotel Stella
Who says budget friendly has to be tacky and cheap?
Hotel Stella is located in Midtown Cebu where commercial and business hubs abound. You’ll get plenty of options for dining and entertainment from nearby establishments. This budget friendly hotel gives any traveler the basic hotel accommodation with a flair of modern architectural design. With very affordable prices, booking a room in this hotel may be a challenge especially during peak seasons such as Cebu’s Sinulog festival. You’ll get clean and comfortable rooms that will give you a nice place to rest after a day out in the city. The hotel also includes the bare essentials in amenities and toiletries. With your booking, make sure to ask the reservation officer if it includes breakfast as most of their rates do not include breakfast. Each room is fully air-conditioned with free WiFi access and on demand cable TV. All 31 guest rooms have their own private toilet and bath with hot and cold shower. If you are just after basic board and lodging, this hotel gives you great value for your money.
- Pros:Comfortable and elegant rooms and light on the budget
- Cons:Place gets fully booked fast during peak seasons.
- Hotel Star Rating:Star Rating: 3 Stars
- Price Range:$
- References:Hotel Stella Website
No. 2 – Red Planet Hotel
Basic comfort meets excellent convenience
Red Planet Hotel Cebu offers a crisp and fresh look and feel to your budget hotel experience. You’ll get extremely low rates, especially if you book weeks in advance from your travel dates, that is such a steal given the sweet location of this hotel. This property is in very high demand since it’s just a stone’s throw away from Cebu Business Park and Ayala Mall. It also gives travelers easy access to the public transportation terminal. Tourists can also make the most of their stay in Red Planet if they plan to do city or out of town tours. The hotel is 15-20 minutes away from top tourist spots in the city and 30 minutes away from the airport, bus terminal, and sea port that will take you to your target destinations. This hotel is an excellent jump off point if you want to visit other local travel destinations in Cebu Province or neighboring regions.
- Pros:Walking distance to Ayala Mall and Cebu Business Park
- Cons:No in house dining
- Hotel Star Rating:3 Stars
- Price Range:$
- References:Red Planet Cebu Hotel Website
No. 3 – Castle Peak Hotel
Superb business class hotel without the sky high prices
Castle Peak Hotel has got to be one of the most favored properties by business travelers. The value for money from the hotel amenities is one to beat. Although it is considered primarily as a business hotel, they have very affordable rooms that have bathtubs. This perk can definitely be a game changer for weary business travelers after a long day at a meeting or conference. Rooms are fully air conditioned and have their own ensuite bath, they also come with unlimited WiFi access and some room types have a mini fridge. The hotel offers room service for dining and meals. They also have an in-house full service spa and dipping pool that will give you more options for rest and relaxation without the exorbitant prices of having to book at one of the high end hotels. Like all budget hotels, you need to ask the reservation officer if your room rate is inclusive of a plated breakfast. Apart from the amazing amenities, the location of this hotel is also conveniently situated near Cebu’s business and entertainment district.
- Pros:Complete amenities and exquisite accommodation that’s well within a backpacker’s budget
- Cons:Traffic getting to the hotel can be heavy during rush hour
- Hotel Star Rating:3 Star
- Price Range:$$
- References:Castle Peak Hotel Website
No. 4 – Cityscape Hotel
Family and budget friendly getaway in the city
Cityscape Hotel has two properties in Cebu. The one that is most preferred and closest to the business and commercial centers in the metro is the Cityscape Hotel Cebu branch. This property is a hotel-condominium wherein several floors are owned/rented by either locals or foreign expats. The rooms offer basic hotel accommodation and toiletries. Rates when booking at this hotel mostly include a plated breakfast. One thing that stands out with this hotel is that they have a full size swimming pool for their residents and in-house guests. Although the hotel leaves much room for improvement when it comes to facilities and amenities, it makes up for this by being strategically located and reasonably priced. The hotel also offers travel and tour packages as the property is also a good starting point if you wish to visit tourist destinations.
- Pros:Full size pool for their in-house guests and free breakfast
- Cons:Can be a challenge locating the property
- Hotel Star Rating:Star Rating: 3 Star
- Price Range:$$
- References:Cityscape Hotel Website
No. 5 – The Maxwell Hotel
Basic accommodation in the center of Cebu’s commercial strip
The Maxwell Hotel is a go-to property when you are looking for a decent and cost-efficient place to stay when you visit Cebu. It is conveniently located in the middle of the city’s leisure and entertainment strip, which will give you tons of dining and recreation options. One favorite feature of travelers who book this hotel is the Original Lechon Belly restaurant on the ground floor that is open 24 hours! That’s sumptuous Cebu lechon available anytime you get a craving. The property also has a spa that offers room service massage to give you that much needed pampering after your city tour. With its most basic room offerings, any traveler can’t complain for the bang for their buck when they book a room at The Maxwell Hotel.
- Pros:Right in the center of Cebu’s commercial strip
- Cons:Property can use a little renovation and upgrade
- Hotel Star Rating:2 Star
- Price Range:$
- References:Maxwell Hotel Website
If you’re all about plain and basic when traveling, these budget hotel options are terrific to give you your need for quality lodging without breaking the bank. It’s always great to plan ahead too, even with these budget hotels as their prices may vary from season to season. You might get great deals with room rates and inclusions when you book ahead. And again, you should read reviews of these properties so you can get tips as well when booking a room. And although budget doesn’t necessarily mean cheap when it comes to quality of services and facilities, you have to set your expectations when choosing to book a budget hotel room.