Since time immemorial, humanity has been on a search to define life and existence as we know it, and – more importantly – as we desire to know it. Whether as lofty as utopian ideals, as sacred as spirituality, as noble as religion and mores, or as intellectual as philosophy, we endlessly search for where the answers to life’s questions lie.
This quest for significance is not surprising, as we all have an innate desire for a life above and beyond the mundane. Perhaps, however, some of the answers lie in the small, simple things that add to our sense of worth, like a fresh apple neatly positioned atop each lecture desk in a conference room. By this small token, the frazzled participant to the rat race feels more human than mouse. Indeed, it is sometimes the small and simple things that spell the difference.
And no one understands this better than the people behind the Quest Hotel Conference Center in Cebu City.
Best of both Worlds, in the Heart of the City
The Quest Hotel caters primarily to the busy business traveler, but this does not mean that things are “strictly business” in this 3-star facility. Executive Assistant Manager Karen Mendoza shares that guests of the Quest enjoy their fair share of pampering and relaxation: “We want our guests to return…we do this by giving our guests value for money while at the same time making sure they have an enjoyable stay.”
Located in the heart of bustling Cebu, the Queen City of the South, the Quest is a high-rise city hotel, housed in a 25-storey building, with 427 guest rooms and 119 residential units. Guest rooms – designed with the clean, comfy and cool modern aesthetic that pervades throughout the hotel – are equipped with basic amenities for your convenience, and come at a very reasonable price. Beyond your room, you may enjoy kicking back by the hotel pool, while sipping on a refreshing drink from the pool bar.
A forty-five minute drive from the Mactan International Airport and merely minutes away from Cebu’s robust central business district, the Quest allows its guests to have the best of both worlds within their reach: convenient access to key business areas and facilities and the comfort of leisurely accommodations. Add to this the fact that the hotel is a hop, skip and a jump from the city’s premier shopping destinations, and only thirty minutes by car to historical tourist attractions like the famed Magellan’s Cross, and you have yourself the perfect combination of business-meets-pleasure.
“Being at the center of a bustling and continuously modernizing Metro Cebu gives us an exceptional opportunity to be where the action is,” Karen says. “We also receive feedback from our guests that our service is truly reflective of the city’s warm and endearing people. When you stay at the Quest, you experience the perfect balance between the robust city life and the laidback island pace Cebu is known for.”
A meeting of Minds, and of Hearts
At the Quest, though the order of the day may be business, theirs is no robotic or antiseptic business sense. It is business with more than a touch of heart.
PR and Communications Manager Mia-Mae Sy explains that this is part of the hotel’s “Redefining M.I.C.E.” Program. Beyond the allusion to the “rat race,” the program seeks to provide not only a well equipped venue for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions, but also create Memorable settings, Intriguing concepts, Compelling rewards and Exciting experiences.
Efficient meetings and seminars are made possible in the hotel’s ten spacious conference rooms, each boasting state-of-of-the-art facilities. To create a sense of shared humanity and meaning, conference rooms are named after innovators, trailblazers and pioneers: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan; astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong; and mountaineer, adventurer and philanthropist Edmund Hilary, to name three.
Special touches of care are evident in things like the (previously mentioned) apple on each lecture chair’s writing surface, neatly arranged water bottle and writing implements, with a pop of color from cleverly designed wine bottles turned into water glasses (also a hallmark of the hotels’ commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly efforts). The Quest likewise provides a complete organizer’s kit so every facilitator can be assured of hassle-free activities.
Furthermore, meeting packages come with the option of themed menus for food breaks: Zen (wholesome and healthy snacks), Zest (energypacked power foods), and Zugbu (Cebuano comfort food), for added flair and enjoyment.
Fulfilling more than just the needs of everyday business, the Quest also offers packages for life’s milestones, such as weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Food Cooked from the Heart
Adding to the pleasurable experience of staying at the hotel is its food outlet, the Puso restaurant. The name works on two levels: it is an homage to Cebu’s famous “hanging rice” packed in woven coconut palms leaves and steamed to perfection, and a reference to puso, the Filipino word for heart (also because the wrapped rice resembles a heart shape.)
“Our philosophy is hearty, healthy, cooked from the heart,” shared F&B Manager Bojic Bacaltos, who infuses her creativity and penchant for trying new things into Puso’s ever evolving menu of tried-and-tested favorites. As Bojic puts it, the restaurant offers unpretentious and familiar dishes. “You don’t have to Google a dish to find out what you’re eating – yet it is satisfying and delicious. This is why we have quite a local following,” she adds.
Familiar dishes are, however, given a fresh and creative spin that customers find exciting and appetizing. “We aim to keep creating menus that will excite our customers, so they can try new things. We won’t stop doing this!” Bojic enthuses.
One such example of this innovative spirit is the restaurant’s flavored puso, a delectable twist to the classic favorite, infused with adobo, paella and curry flavors. Also keep an eye out for their tender and juicy boneless lechon (roast pig, for which Cebu is famous), and mouthwatering Cebu chorizo (minced pork sausages that just about fly off the breakfast buffet – they are that good!)
The Heart of the Matter
If we were to get down to the heart of the matter, business and work are unavoidable and necessary in life. Truth be told, these are among life’s blessings. To take it beyond mere business, though – to a level of deeper value – therein lies the search. And, to play with words, therein lies the Quest.