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“Plantation Bay Resort Was Great”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Plantation Bay Resort Was Great”
Reviewed February 1, 2009

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.
Cons:
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.

  • Liked — The pools and the friendly staff and other travelers we met.
  • Disliked — I liked it all. Maybe I could suggest more towels, some washcloths in the bathrooms, bathrobes, & more coffee and bottled water in the room.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ShawnfromChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (331)
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English first
San Francisco
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2009

Initially, we were reluctant about staying at this resort due to some feedbacks we read, and almost canceled our reservation on the last minute. GOOD THING WE DID NOT!

Spent 6 days at this lovely resort with family and friends (19 persons total)! Both kids and adults had fun throughout the entire stay (average sleep time was only 3 hours when we were there). There were so much things to do - and the place was so secured that we felt comfortable leaving the kids do their own thing!

All of the resort staff that I had the chance to interact provided excellent service! One night we got drunk on the pool bar only to realize the morning after that I lost my shades (expensive gift from mi amor). And I was convinced that I will never find my shades and started thinking about excuses to give to my wife. But after casually mentioning it to the bar tender, he immediatelly called up the lost and found dept and guess what?!?! - one of the staff found it by the pool bar area and they even delivered it to my room!!!!

I normally don't stay at the same location where I have been, but this resort will be the exception in case I go back to Cebu!

Kudos to all of the staff - cleaners all the way up to management!!! And to the G____s family, thank you so much for your never ending hospitality!!!

  • Liked — SERVICE!
  • Disliked — TOO MUCH FUN THAT I HARDLY GOT ENOUGH SLEEP!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fulltimeDAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2009

First it was good in the Reception area the staff were friendly , and then we took the Jeepny to our room ,I was disappointed when I entered my room (pool View ) I thought am in 2 star accommodation, the food are not like in the menu so except that you will get something you didn’t order it happens to me I order Cheese Burger but I get Grilled cheese and the funniest thing that when I called the service person they informed me that is the Cheese Burger I think in all the world they agree that cheese burger is a beef and cheese not grilled cheese or what do u think !!!!!!, the resort is very big you will be glad to take a walk if the weather is good but the fake rock will ruin the beauties of the place , I want to swim but the swimming pool is just 1.0m , the prices of the plantation bay more than a 5 – star international hotels , I was staying in the intercontinental Hotel and the prices were less than Plantation Bay !!!!!! and remember to get your bathrobe & slippers with u or they will charge u for the slippers and the bathrobe.

To be Honest the staff is very Friendly but you will find the friendly staff in all over the Philippines area

Don’t waste your Money in the Plantation Bay it’s not worth it

  • Liked — the fire shooting activity
  • Disliked — Food,the fake rocks,high prices ...etc
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank amrala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2009

We stayed at one of the “Water’s Edge” units which was built right out over the salt water man-made lagoon. The deck was large with a table and a couple chairs for eating, plus two deck reclining chairs for relaxing and enjoying the view. The deck had a ladder going into the water so we could go swimming right off our room. We also stayed at one of the upper level units in the same building which is a little less expensive for one night. The rooms were nice and the view of the lagoon and all the nightlife on the center peninsula was great. The king size bed was big enough that my wife, daughter and I could all fit. The staff brought in an extra bed for our daughter for free, but we never needed it. The rooms came with a small refrigerator which was nice to keep bottled water, soft drinks and beer cold. The bathrooms were large and clean with a hair dryer, tub and separate shower.

Plantation Bay is a great place if you have kids. There are activities for kids and adults going all day long. Some included rock wall climbing, firearm gun range, tennis, game room with pool and ping pong, kayaking, archery and a free internet access area. Each night the resort offered something like a Hawaiian Luau or a guy playing a soft, sultry sax which could be heard throughout the resort in the evenings.

There were a number of fresh water pools, plus acres of salt water lagoons to swim in and explore. There were two large waterslides and a couple of small ones. The pools had Jacuzzis and caves to explore. The resort also had a real beach on the ocean side where one could swim, go snorkeling or lay in the floating rafts. I believe they offered boat rides on a large boat with pontoons.

The place was so large that they provided free rides on little jeepneys or on a horse-drawn carriage to your room or to other parts of the development. The staff was friendly and helpful. The girls at the front desk knew our names which was amazing considering the number of guests. Most of the guests were Japanese, Koreans or Norwegians. We saw very few Americans there.

Our only complaint was the price of the food in the restaurants. Being so far from Cebu and any other restaurants on Mactan Island, Plantation Bay pretty much had a captive audience. Looking for an inexpensive lunch, we went to the “Savannah Café”. A basic hamburger, a few fries and a Sprite cost about 400 Pesos, over $8.00. The other restaurants were even more expensive. Plantation Bay was also located far from downtown Cebu and the malls. Expect a 45 minute to an hour ride in a taxi costing 300 pesos to get to Ayala Mall from Plantation Bay. The traffic was absolutely horribly congested especially during the rush hours.

We stayed there during a non-peak period for 6 nights, which qualified us for a 25% discount on our room. We checked out the Hilton, White Sands Beach and Vistamar Beach Resort before deciding on Plantation Bay. The Hilton was nice, but extremely windy and there wasn’t as much for kids to do. The Vistamar seemed deserted. The whole time we were touring the development we never saw another guest in the lobby or at the pool. We’re glad we decided on Plantation Bay, it was a pretty cool place.

  • Liked — Pools and Lagoon, variety of activities
  • Disliked — Food overpriced
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank JoeKano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
armalcolite
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2009

We stayed at Plantation Bay on the last day of our 3-night/4-day vacation in the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. We’ve thought of staying here since we wanted to end our vacation with a bang. Prior to our stay, we’re already hearing positive feedbacks about this resort; one being the best in the Philippines and among the best resorts in the region. Having seen the websites of the three grandest resorts in Mactan (Shangri-la and Hilton being the other two), we have opted for this resort because of its lagoon set up, something that you don’t normally see even in other tropical destinations like Hawaii or Maldives.

Resort

Upon check in, I immediately went to the gazebo fronting the lobby to get a glimpse of the resort. It was a sight to behold, a couple of big lagoons surrounded by colonial style villas along the lagoon’s shore. I personally liked the walkway leading to an island and the gazebo isolated in the middle of the lagoon. We immediately wandered around after everything was settled at the lobby. I’ve noticed that the villas are grouped in different enclaves, each having its own lagoon or swimming pool. The resort has a small yet functional beachfront where, most of its water sport activities are being launched and conducted. It has several restaurants scattered strategically within the resort. Since it is relatively big in size, there are Filipino horse drawn carriages (Kalesa) and a golf cart that roam around the resort to give you a ride to your desired destination. At night, the resort transforms itself from a laidback paradise to a romantic getaway. The lagoons together with the coconut trees are well lighted. Picture taking can easily be done even during this time.

Rooms

We stayed in a lagoon view room situated at the back of the Kilimanjaro Restaurant. It is a spacious ethereal white room adorned with native furniture and accents. It has a commanding view of the water area. I loved the location of our villa because, since it is at back of the restaurant, there are only few people venturing in this side of the resort. Meanwhile, the restroom is also a winner as compared to the previous two accommodations where we went to within the trip (see Bohol Beach Club and Mango Park Hotel Review). The sink podium is made up of intricately designed capiz tiles and has a whole array of toiletries including shampoos, shower gel and lotion to name a few. The restroom is spacious and has a designated area for the shower, toilet and a bathtub, where my mom had her bubble bath. The layout allows two people to use the bathroom at the same time without invading anyone’s privacy. There were also two King-sized beds (I think) filled with soft and fluffy pillows in comfortable bed cushion. The bed was big enough to accommodate my cousin and my mom so didn’t have to request another bed for my cousin.



Spa

When we went to the Spa, the original intention was to drop off my mom for some massage package and just go back to the lagoon. But as we enter the premises of Mogambo Springs (The name of the Spa in Plantation Bay), we were mesmerized with what we saw. It felt like we were transported to an ancient Japanese village and true enough, we found out that it was patterned after a mountain type Japanese village. I was so delighted that I even booked for a massage myself. We were given a tour of the area by one of the massage therapists. There are various Jacuzzi like pools in the area, a waterfall, massage cottage and a bar at the corner of the swimming pool. The massage itself was very refreshing. Mine lasted for an hour but it felt too short because I was asleep most of the time.

Overall, the resort truly exudes that 5 star quality. It would be nice for the country to have more of this type of accommodation. It ‘s an awesome getaway for city dwellers that want to experience tranquility without the need of traveling far distances. On the other hand, this resort should try to make some details more natural looking and this includes the various manmade rock formations in the resort and the surface of the lagoons which look gridded upon close inspection. If possible, it would also be nice if they can peg their food prices to local standards because the price of the food even for a day of stay (breakfast, lunch and dinner) can surpass the cost of the accommodation in the resort.

  • Liked — Lagoon like setting surrounded by colonial style villas
  • Disliked — fake looking rocks, grid lines in the lagoon surface and pricey foods
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank armalcolite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2009

Plantation Bay screams picturesqueness. The view was just outstanding everywhere. Their cheapest room (Poolside Room) was very spacious. I recommend getting double queen-sized beds as opposed to a king-sized one. I really loved their stone and marble finished-bathroom. It was huge and had a separate tub and shower. As was the lobby and their immense pools. It was indeed a symphony in water, with saltwater lagoons, waterfalls, mist caves, whirlpools, rainmakers and freshwater pools.

Apart from that, they have enough facilities to keep you from getting bored. You can go take off the excess poundage in their gym, play air hockey, pool or foosball in their game room, try their indoor firing range, archery, wall climbing, tennis courts and golf pitch-and-put.

Among their 4 restaurants, Kilimanjaro Kafe was the best, in terms of the ambiance, availability and convenience, as well the scrumptious food being served there. Although it was a bit costly. I'm pretty sure it was strategically priced for the foreign tourists.

They also have themed dinners. While we were there, the theme on our first night was Korean and we had Chinese on the second night. It's a shame we weren't able to stay longer. I wanted to try their Hawaiian theme.

I also loved The Mogambo Springs Spa. It smells really good. They have a Thalassic Pool, Cascading Massage Waterfalls, Hot Pools with Jacuzzi Jets, Steam Room and a Dry Sauna. Their full-body massage is a must try. Even pregnant women can have a massage specifically for their condition. Apart from that, they have a wide array of facial and body treatments. It was truly relaxing.

I would definitely go back to Plantation Bay. It's worth saving up for.

  • Liked — Almost Everything
  • Disliked — Price of everything- Food, Service, Accommodation
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank brutallyHonestVixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2009

Rooms were probably the best as they were well sized and clean. Pool had a bit of algae and the pool was a bit shallow for swimming. Cheese factor was the fake rock in the waterfall. The location is also very far from the city so if you want to get out and about you have to get a taxi, when we tried to do this we couldn't flag taxis dropping off people outside the hotel but had to book a taxi (at a cost). Food was also medicore for the price you pay, we ordered noodle soup but got instant noodles from a packet mix.

  • Liked — Spacious rooms
  • Disliked — Fake rock, extra costs like ones for booking taxis.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chrissielw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Luxury Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Top resorts 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 Business Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#5 Romantic 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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