"Garden Oasis away from the Mactan congestion"
I have stayed at Alta many times over the years. I enjoy the garden surroundings, cool pools, spa, and restaurant. It is a lot more homey than other hotels. It has a pool table and climbing wall for kids, and a pool, spa, and nice restaurant for adults. My bed was very comfortable...a temperpedic style mattress with plenty of room. The bathroom had plenty of closet space, the television large and clear. It doesn't have a beach, but you can walk out to the water via a skywalk. I've been to beaches on Mactan, and they aren't really worth paying for. Mactan is usually a good basecamp for other things in the area...snorkeling the fish sanctuary, visiting whale sharks, visiting Bohol...but you are near the major airport. Other than the really nice and personal staff, and gardens, and nice homey room, I enjoy this area. All of Philippines suffers from dire poverty, and even Marco Polo is a stone's throw from extremely depressed areas. This area is not different except that it is as the more remote end of small Mactan island and it feels more provincial to me. The people are friendlier, and you don't see the naked street kids sleeping on the street that can be so hard to witness in the city. You can get a measured dose of the Philippines here...take jeepneys and pedicabs to Lantaw restaurant about 10 mins away, or take it easy in the nice restaurant on site.
Forrest from San Francisco, CA