New Years Eve at Cebu City Philippines

New Year’s Eve is “the” night to celebrate and appreciate the year that has been and welcome the new year ahead. I enjoy the celebration festivities like anyone, the atmosphere, the food, the fireworks, the celebrations. 

Such an event is a shared event across all communities; regardless of age, it’s fun for everyone. 

So when planning a three-week trip exploring the Philippines over the Christmas and New Year period, it was uncertain where to spend New Year’s Eve. We figured it was best to head to a city instead of a township or beachside destination, which could be too quiet. So we opted for Cebu City, where the celebrations would be significant, colourful, and we hoped for some dancing too. 

There were a few options in Cebu City to count in the new year: Radisson Blu, Marriott Hotel, and Marco Polo Plaza. 

We decided on Marco Polo Plaza, for being well known for “the grandest New Year’s celebrations”. Plus, for its excellent location at the Nivel Hills, 600 feet above sea level, it would provide vast views of the city skyline. All reviews mentioned it was “the” place to enjoy the festivities, being well organised, friendly staff, extensive food choices and excellent views for fireworks. 

Marco Polo Plaza for New Year’s, here we come! 

After travelling around The Philippines for over a week before arriving at Cebu City, the hotel provided a welcomed treat of luxurious relaxation. We knew we had made the right decision from being greeted at its grand foyer, all decked out in Christmas decoration and walking into our spacious room. 

Arriving at Blu Bar & Grill, we were greeted with festive hats and wine to start the evening off. The set menu for dinner consisted of lobster, prawn & sea scallop cocktail, mushroom bisque, tournedos Rossini, sorbets, cheeses and cheesecake. Amongst free-flowing wines throughout the meals. 

Leading up to midnight, we walked out to the rooftop balcony to see the new year in with the other guests and watch the fireworks above us. 

I was surprised to see fireworks throughout the city in every direction; they were a mixture of small street fireworks in local communities to the medium size above buildings. I’m used to only seeing large fireworks organized by the relevant city authorities, not personally organised fireworks. It was refreshing, knowing people could celebrate how they wanted to and didn’t necessarily have to venture to dedicated areas to have fireworks. 

Once the fireworks subsided, we ventured down to Level 3, where there was a disco, prizes being handed out, more drinks and dancing. Level 3 seemed to be more suited for locals looking to celebrate, whereas Blu Bar was more for tourists, yet it didn’t bother us; we still partied, drank and danced until the wee hours of the morning. 

The lower level was the more party atmosphere than the more formal style up at Blu Bar. Both areas offered their benefits, although I’m glad we experienced both, as only being at one place the entire night may have been tiring and boring. It was good to mix it up. 

We were glad we chose Marco Polo Plaza Cebu City for our New Year’s, as it gave us time to celebrate in style yet enjoy the local atmosphere.


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