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“Kids didn't want to leave”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
76 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Kids didn't want to leave”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

As with most of my reviews, I give both the good and not-so-good information but we will definitely return to Plantation Bay and it is now our favourite place to stay in Cebu.

THE GOOD:

We preferred Plantation Bay to the ShangriLa Mactan for the following reasons:
1) More variety in the restaurants and their offerings - the breakfast buffet and evening buffet changes countries every day so you don't have the same old things day after day (France was the best followed by Mexican)
2) Great a la carte menus - everything we ate was delicious and of good quality (Great job, executive Chef Mario)
3) It felt like a resort or theme park rather than a hotel
4) More activities for our active 4 and 6 year-old boy - kayaking in the lagoon, cliff jumping at diving rock, waterslides, hide and seek in the water caves, archery, children's center, children's play area, games room with air hockey, ping pong, etc., fishing, hanging out at the beach, my husband did rock climbing and went out on a hobie cat.
5) Liked the lagoon concept, caves and waterslides - it was very theme-oriented
6) No tipping - felt so relaxing not having to worry about it and the service was exceptional
7) Very responsive to my son's treenut allergy to the point where they made sure to communicate it to all of the restaurants and had ingredient information ready for us (also great that a la carte is available so you don't have to worry about cross-contamination and they also made meals that were not on the menu for my children)
8) Spa massage was one of the best my husband has had (shiatsu)
9) The shuttles were great and constant so if you felt like being lazy you could be
10) The 24-hour Kilimanjaro restaurant was great - especially if your children are early risers like ours were.

Yes, the lagoons are man-made as are the rocks, etc. but it didn't bother us. Yes, the food and drinks can be expensive, but the quality is worth it and it is in line with resort pricing. The resort has a lot of Korean and Japanese customers so signage, etc. is in multiple languages. They do special children's activities and even though we were leaving before the Halloween Spooky Forest opened, they did let our children go in earlier.

THE NOT SO GOOD

We were picked up efficiently by the shuttle from the airport and the ride to the hotel was fine but I didn't like that the driver was talking on his phone for most of the drive.

We were in Nile 15 - room approx 200USD / night for 4 people and stayed for three nights. The room was clean, well kept and the beds were comfortable. The bathroom was nice with a separate large shower and unique bathtub. It was perfect for a family of 4. As in other hotels in the Philippines for some reason even though there are 4 people registered in the room they only provided 2 towels. However, when I asked for more towels they were quickly supplied.

While the room was great, I don't recommend this room if there are private events going on at night as the noise is really unbearable. Upon checkin my husband was informed there would be an event but he didn't think it would be a big deal (this from a man who can sleep through 15 children screaming at a kiddy party). We didn't realize how close the event was to our room or how loud the event would be. When I complained, the duty manager did offer for me to have a 'sleeping room' which I thought didn't make any sense. In the end, he did comp our room for that night so it was resolved to my satisfaction.

Room Tip: If they warn you about an event going on, then change rooms cause it can get really loud.
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Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Deb C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Deb C,

We especially appreciate favorable comments from well-traveled guests like you. We're pleased that you rated our service exceptional and that our massage was one of the best you've had. It was also a delight to read about how much fun your children had with our activities and how you liked our food and our daily themed buffet breakfast and dinner. Chef Mario and the rest of our chefs will appreciate your compliments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Plantation Bay soon.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (331)
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  • English first
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English first
Manila, Philippines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Plantation bay is a great hotel as its services are top-notch. I really do not understand why there is much ado about their food prices since it is quite standard for 5 star resorts such as these. At least the no tipping policy assures you that you will get proper service even without shelling gratuity; which i appreciated very much.

The man-made lagoons are amazing and definitely make up for the actual beach which is quite small. It was likewise the safest water environment my kids had a chance to play in. And based on their happy faces, i believe that our time here was indeed money well-spent.

However, it needs an upgrade to maintain the immensely high standards it has set for itself. The initial allure of the lagoons and pool can only go so far, and after a time you would look for something new. But i wouldnt want it to turn into a cheesy theme park with more giant waterslides and wave pools; i was thinking more in the lines of a major facelift to keep up with the changing times. For one, my one bedroom suite had a dysfunctional shower, but i made do. Room service choices were likewise severely limited, so if you want a better selection, you will have to go to one of the four restaurants, order room service personally, and have it delivered to your room for an additional 100 fee. But these are just minor inconveniences and defintely do not affect the amazing experience you will have here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Soloflyer_Manila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Dear Soloflyer_Manila,

Thank you for your review. We are delighted that you found Plantation Bay a great hotel with top-notch service and child-friendly facilities. We're glad too that you found our food prices reasonable and that you appreciated our no-tipping policy.

We are always adding something new to Plantation Bay. This includes "hard assets" such as the recent addition of a coffee bar, and "software" like our new whale-shark-watching excursions to the south of Cebu Island. By the time you come back for your next visit, we hope there'll be something new and exciting for you and your family to enjoy!


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012 via mobile

Was probably one of the best resorts I had seen from the outside you would of not gone in mud and horrible. Once into the resort the pools came right up to most room huge pools with some slides and a bar. Food was okay nothing special we just spent the day which included lunch was nice but expensive.

Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Cookiefast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Cookiefast,

We are glad that you found Plantation Bay one of the best resorts you've been to. At Php 2,000, our Daytripper Adventure Package is comparable to or even lower than other 5-star hotels in Cebu given the included leisure activities (bicycle, kayak, billiards, wallclimbing, etc) and the access to all lagoons and swimming pools.

Thank you for taking the time to share your review.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We went there a couple years ago with 2 pre teens and it's always their most favorite hotel in the world and always asked to go back! The room was right in the middle of a man made lagoon with hammocks everywhere. There are the most water slides we've ever seen... 4 of them I think! There are salt water pool and fresh water pools. there is the free donkey ride, free kid's golf class, nail painting for little girls, thai boxing classes...really keep the kids busy so that parents can really relax. The no tip policy is well executed and made us relax and enjoy the holiday even more.

The only complain is the food lacked variety, and was in general overpriced. And there was absolutely nothing outside the resort so you don't really get the see any local culture if you fly in all the way from the different part of the world.

Room Tip: Choose one surrounded by water!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CommercialG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear CommercialG,

We are pleased to learn that, after visiting 9 cities from Rio de Janeiro to New York to Shanghai, your children consider Plantation Bay their favorite hotel in the world. It is a delight to know too that they enjoyed our various leisure activities and that you enjoyed your holiday even more because of our no tipping policy.

Thank you for the compliments. We hope to see you and your family again soon.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2012 via mobile

This place was probably outstanding when first opened. However, the maintenance leaves a lot to be desired. Light fittings loose in the pool, very dangerous, and the rooms were not very clean. My daughter was riddled with bites after one night. The irony being we had been staying deep in the provinces the week before with the in-laws. The saltwater lagoons were filthy, looks like they had never been cleaned.
On the plus side the food was reasonable and from a distance it looks impressive. Would I go back or recommend it friends? No way. Poor value for money. Get on a boat to Bohol and find a beach resort. A third of the price and 3 times better

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Daniel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear Daniel S,

We are sorry that you were so unhappy with your stay, but are surprised that you never brought any of your complaints to our attention while you were here. If your child was "riddled with insect bites" as you claim, our records show that you evidently didn't care enough for her comfort to call for our nurse.

Alone of all the hotels in the world, we have a "just don't like it" money back guarantee. If, within 6 hours of checking in, you decide you are unhappy at Plantation Bay, we will not only give you a 100% refund, we will also help you reserve at another hotel in Metro Cebu and give you free car-service to that hotel. (Some restrictions apply.) If you were so unhappy, why didn't you invoke our guarantee?

Your belief that you will find better hotels elsewhere in the Philippines at 1/3 our price is admirable, and we wish you the best of luck in finding one.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
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Qingdao, China
Level Contributor
100 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I had work to do in the Philippines and rather than flying in and out as usual, we decided to try a resort for a long weekend. Plantation Resort seemed nice on its website, and also convenient to Mactan Island Airport (Cebu) with a shuttle.
Shuttle was very efficient, the hotel (resort) was good (though getting a bit tired in places) and the pricing was reasonable for an international standard hotel. Great pool complex,with a fresh water pool and salt water artifical lagoons, and a nice, if very small beach. It was quiet as it was after the holidays. It is a very popular area with Koreans so probably gets hectic in the school summer holidays. Not so good things were... The hotel restaurants were serving average quality food at above average prices. There was a need for more of both ends. Cheap and cheerful snacks and something a little more upmarket for a special event/evening. The housekeeping was not very efficient, some days just making the bed, not emptying the bins or supplying more bathroom consumables.
And the end of the trip was somewhat tarnished by the very grim airport.
Useful tip: Go for the room service breakfast. Great to sit on the private baclcony having a light start to the day, and half the price of the restaurant.
Would I go again? Not sure. It was good but four days exhausted the possibilities of the resort and the surrounding area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PlantationJohnny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear PlantationJohnny,

Considering the many outstanding luxury hotels you must have already visited in Bali, we consider it high praise that you enjoyed your 4-day stay, and that you appreciated our facilities, even if you were occupied with business matters.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Wow, every where you look there is water. Stayed in a lagoonside room only 6 mtres to the water.
ive stayed in other resorts in Mactan Island, this place wins hands down if water is your go. The beach is just ok, a bit small & rocky but same as the others near by. The rooms were huge, as was the bed, king size +. Very nice bathroom but still needing an extra light for shaving. Breakfast was very nice for the buffet, but i think 950 pesos is too much & there is nowhere else to go if you just want a continental.
Loved walking around the resort, its hard to get away from the water, im not complaining. One night they had a rockinroll show & buffet, enjoyed it very much. There are other restaurants around the resort opening at different times, all worth trying . I still hav'nt changed my favourite resort, The Crimson Resort, it beats all of them.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank starman1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EfrenPB_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear starman1951,

Plantation Bay is a symphony in water and we are pleased that you spent your vacation enjoying our lagoons and pools. We’re also happy to know that you found our Rockin’ USA entertaining. Next time you come back, catch our Brazilian Fever, Sahara Nights, Hawaiian Luau, and Filipino Fiesta shows, too.

We’re surprised by your comment about having nowhere to go for continental breakfast. Kilimanjaro Kafe and Palermo Bar offer Continental breakfast (fruits, cereal, toast, Danish pastry and croissant) at Php495. We also have full American and Filipino breakfast (eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns or rice, toast, and coffee) for Php495. Nonetheless, we’re happy that you found our buffet breakfast very nice.

Thank you for your review.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Plantation Bay Resort And Spa

Property: Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Address: | Marigondon, Lapu Lapu 6015, Philippines
Location: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Mactan Island > Lapu Lapu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Family Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Spa Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#5 Romantic Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#5 Business Hotel in Lapu Lapu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Plantation Bay Resort And Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 256
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover a resort in a class of its own. Set in 11 hectares of secluded grounds yet only one hour (when traffic is bad) from Cebu City, Plantation Bay offers one of the largest privately-owned waterways in the world, with the clean elegance of colonial-plantation architecture. Decompress from life’s pressures in the healing tranquility of an environment that truly feels “away from it all.” If you have ever spent time at a tropical plantation, you know what we mean. If not, come and discover a refreshingly different Flavor of Life. Whether you’re traveling for a family vacation or romantic getaway, for business or pleasure, this is far and away your best choice in the Philippines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Plantation Bay Resort And Hotel Lapu Lapu
Plantation Bay Hotel
Plantation Bay Resort And Spa Cebu Island/Mactan Island

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