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.
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.
- 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