Plantation Bay Resort was great. My wife and I are Americans, fyi, and we just got back from PB yesterday evening. Before our trip, we had read some of the other reviews...I recall some of the negative comments were that the food was pricey, pools not clean one person said, the actual beach is too small, etc. but overall, we were satisfied enough to possibly return to PB if the opportunity arises, and to have already recommended it to several friends and relatives. We currently live in China, but this was our first trip to the Philippines.
Pros: some of the best snorkeling ever, on the Island Adventure booked with the onsite dive shop. There's a national park where we snorkeled, and fish were eating from my hand there--every kind of fish you can imagine, all your tropical favorites are there in abundance. Kicks the Caribbean's [-], you hear me? No joke. The resort is great; corny resort entertainment is usually not for me, but I have to say I enjoyed the entertainment pretty much--especially the Hawaiian Luau. Most meals are 20 dollars a person, but there are 10 dollar options in Savannah Grill and even in Kilimanjaro. Room service breakfast is half the price of the breakfast buffet, and our terrace was really pleasant at breakfast time. Our favorite restaurant was Fiji (we like sushi and sashimi; their desserts were really good, too). If you walk down the street into the community, everything there is 1/10th the cost, just if you feel like going outside. One dollar is 47 Philippine Pesos today, by the way, so a soda at a resort restaurant is about 120, 2-3 dollars, while outside the heavily guarded compound, 2 sodas cost us 14, or about a quarter. (Just as an interesting reference.) It's really poor in the Philippines, but the people we met were all smiles, and most folks seemed to own some chickens and there are quite a few goats and some cows wandering around eating grass, and no one seemed to be hungry. Most people speak English quite a bit, also, so there is much common ground (more than where we live now). Staff at PB are friendly and helpful at all times.
The spa is very nice. Inside while you wait for a massage there are two hotwater jacuzzis and two saltwater pools--one with jets, one with waterfalls plus a steamroom and sauna. I recommend some peppermint tea while sitting in the hot jacuzzi. For about 100 to 125 U.S. dollars, you and your wife can get 2- hour- long treatments together that include hourlong oil massages and body scrub or wrap.
There are a couple of weird things that would not be in a 5 star hotel in some other countries: towels in the bathrooms, but no wash clothes. No bathrobes. The bathroom is great, by the way, with stone tile walls and marble tile shower, tub, and sink. (No jacuzzi tub.)
Our AC unit dripped water on the floor at certain times, condensation. They may have fixed it or moved us or whatever, but we didn't want to change rooms at the point we noticed it, well into our 5 day stay.
There may be some leaves, etc. in some of the pools, but really, there are like 4 freshwater/4 saltwater pools, with just beautiful plants on all the banks, palms, every color bouganvillea, gardenias...there's just no way to pick up every leaf that falls every day. The actual beach truly is not very big, but it was fine for swimming, especially at high tide with a floating raft you could sit on, jump from, and the water is nice enough (clear) to toss in some bread and watch the fish eat it. There's a nice stone pier with cool outrigger boats moored there that the dive shop uses for snorkeling & diving trips.
In conclusion: we loved it. It's good for older folks and families, too (it was just my wife and I, but we love kids--if you don't want to see or hear children, this place is not for you), as there are activities, entertainment (like Hawaiian Luau), trams circle the place in case granny doesn't like to walk far (and sometimes horsedrawn flower-bedecked carriages). We're thinking of coming back with our parents some time and they're getting kind of old for a lot of strenuous hiking, etc.
- 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