The Henry Hotel Cebu: Fun, funky, fabulous

Fly to Cebu ASAP if only for this one-of-a-kind and outrageous hotel.

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We go to Cebu for so many reasons: to tour the historical city, to watch the Sinulog, to visit the breathtaking islands of Mactan, Malapascua, and Bantayan, to swim with whalesharks, and to stuff ourselves with yummy lechon. Seldom do we go to the Queen City of the South for the sole reason of checking into a hotel to check it out. Hotels aren't destinations—most of them are merely stopovers, a place where we can dump our stuff and sleep. But now there's The Henry Hotel, a destination on its own, the brand-new reason to visit Cebu City.

Let's cut to the chase here: The Henry Hotel is the most hip, energetic, and unique hotel in Cebu...and probably in the entire country. This boutique hotel doubles as an art gallery, a repository of psychedelic artwork. Here are some of the crazy-cool and eclectic items seen inside this design hotel: oversized dining chairs, freaky red statue of a smiling Chinese man, metal scraps from old ships, a Lady Gaga painting, vintage Samsonite suitcases, Chinoiserie door. These should already clue you in on the wonderful and weird universe within The Henry.

Artistic and awesome accommodations

Each of the 38 rooms (categorized as Big, Large, XL, XXL, with prices ranging from P3,600 to P12,000) in The Henry has a different design, motif, and feel. Prepare to be surprised: you could be billeted in a room with a wall painting of Moroccan windows or 12 dapper men fussing over a vintage car. Your room could be the one painted pastel green or wild violet or bright orange. Your room could have red brick walls or floral seats. Whatever the type of your room, expect cushy mattresses, a large LCD TV, free WiFi, and basic bathroom amenities.

The XXL and XL rooms feature a bathtub right next to the bed to simulate a romantic setup. While The Henry positions itself as a couple's weekend getaway destination, with its dim lighting, glass bathroom walls, and doorless showers, it's also ideal for a barkada looking for an exciting photo shoot venue and hangout spot. The Henry is practically the University of Cool: head to the sixth floor and you'll see an orange lobby with buffaloes on the walls, go to the third floor and check out the lone bookshelf containing John Grisham's works and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or down to the second floor which is the actual art gallery that sells the provocative, vintage-inspired paintings of French artist Delphine Delorme.

Everything else is sassy and spunky

The lobby alone is offbeat, and the receptionists look equally quirky in their uniform black-rimmed eyeglasses. The in-house restaurant Rica's and the bar Scrapyard both resemble a paradise of mixed art and junk. Even the ground floor bathroom could hardly be dismissed with its black-and-white paintings of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and other Hollywood icons. Probably the only conventional facility in this hotel is the modest swimming pool.

This eye-candy of a hotel is close to other important establishments, like The Spa at Cebu, fine-dining restaurant Antica Osteria, and well-stocked Japanese and Korean grocery stores. This makes The Henry the ideal place to stay when in Cebu: it's convenient to go to, accessible from other city must-sees, and really, it's just too damn stylish.

The Henry Hotel is located at 1 Paseo Saturnino, Banilad, Cebu. For reservations, call 032-5208877. Check the rates and book through the Agoda-Kristn page! Ongoing promo: Pay only P3,600 for the Big room and P7,500 for the XXL room. The Henry Hotel is managed by Hospitality International, Inc.

Photos by Marianne Celeste Velasco

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