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“If you plan your Big event as wedding or reception here, think twice and read this”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“If you plan your Big event as wedding or reception here, think twice and read this”
Reviewed 23 January 2013

We planned to have our wedding reception at Plantation Bay.
When it came to planning our buffet we faced the issue that one of our guest had a gluten allergy so we asked to include a few gluten free dishes in the buffet. We were told that Plantation Bay can only provide the standard buffet which we understood and accepted, so we asked for one additional paid gluten free 4 course meal. Plantation Bay reacted by telling us that Philippines is a 3rd World Country and even being a 5 Star Resort they cannot provide a gluten free meal (does not shine a great light on the kitchen, does it??). We were even told to tell our guest to bring her own food (would you do that ???)
We talked to our guest again and finally she agreed to only eat plain rice and fruits. We communicated this to Plantation Bay and they reacted by cancelling our reception telling us it would be too dangerous to serve a guest with gluten allergy ....... 3 weeks before the actual event!!!!!
So we sent some Emails to other resorts in Mactan and ALL of them offered at least one gluten free meal. Finally we decided to hold our reception at Crimson Mactan and this was the best that could happen to us. Food, Location, Stuff and Organisation was Fantastic. The overwelming at Crimson stuff had nothing in common with the arrogant attitude of Plantation Bay Stuff. Plantation Bay might be OK for spending a weekend, but believe me, if you are planning your wedding or any other Big event, avoid Plantation Bay at any costs. We really recommend Crimson Mactan, but we are sure any other resort in Mactan will be better and more professional to hold your Big event than Plantation Bay

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank guidoborn
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, 14 February 2013
Dear TripAdvisor Readers:

This review refers to a proposed wedding reception for guidoborn, a German living in Singapore, and a Filipina bride. This event was never held in Plantation Bay. We declined his business because:

(1) He was obnoxious, abusive, and nasty to our staff, regularly hurling complaints and threats.

(2) He had unrealistic expectations and self-deluded opinions on what $30 per cover and a few room-nights' of bookings entitled him and his wedding guests to demand. And,

(3) He demonstrated a racist attitude, evidently expecting that as Asians we should all be subservient to him and rush to do and agree to whatever he wanted, merely because he is Caucasian. He even threatened to report us to the German Embassy in Manila, apparently hoping to bring the wrath of the Fatherland down upon us for daring to displease a German citizen.

Plantation Bay counts persons of all nationalities, races, and creeds as highly satisfied guests, from Afghanistan to Zanzibar. We have even had several wedding receptions involving Germans, all of which went very well. Of whatever nationality, our guests overwhelmingly agree that we are an excellent venue for both romance and family fun, with reasonable prices, extensive facilities, great food, lovely rooms, and attentive and caring staff. To put this thought more bluntly: we have enough customers who are normal, pleasant people.

Accordingly, when we encounter persons as offensive as this one, we do not feel compelled to subject ourselves and our other guests to his presence. The fact that he even posted this review, clutching at straws and misrepresenting facts to try to "get even" with us for refusing his business, has reassured us that we made the right decision.


Sincerely,
Emmanuel Gonzalez
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

Booked for a total of 15 guests. We flew all the way from Canada, and PlantationBay was 1 of our 3 destination spots. If you see how big Plantation Bay is, you would be at Awe. But if they separate a group of people who travelled there together, you wouldn't do MAD as I was. I approached the front desk why they did that knowing we are one group, the Manager stated, they can't place us together because of they full Capacity (sure..!!!). I told him, if they told us that ahead of time, then we should have booked somewhere else. I showed my frustration at the front desk... The (male) manager started working on his computer trying to see if he can place is all telogether, guess what? He was able to do it in 15 minutes. But that took us almost the whole day, as we had to walk 15minutes in between Sites in the resort to find our other family members. Everyone, you literally need a Golf Cart type of vehicle to get around there. It's huge...!!!!...
Another thing I asked is wy they keep on placing people at one Site there where the pool floor is black. I asked three Staff there why nobody's swimming there, they stated that its because the paint goes on your skin if you touch it. In other words, it sticks to your body, and you will be black after swimming. I told the management that... Did they care?... NOT. No reason or any apologies at all.
TOWELS.... What resort do you go to where towels are 10minute walk away from the pool? I literally had to ask around for directions where the Beach Towels are. It's soooo inconvenient.
FOOD... So,so. Very Expensive too. For a vet expensive resort like that, they should at least top up their little fridges with water and some drinks. Otherwise, you're gonna have to get out and buy drinks at their restaurant...or go to the nearest local market which is 20minutes drive away.
All the Hype of this place.... Never Again. Won't recommend it to any of my family and friends. Guys... Do yourselves a favor.... Go somewhere else. You'll waste your time and precious $$$ in this resort.
At the end, did they do anything to compensate us for all the troubles? Nothing


  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank froilan12
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, 26 January 2013
Dear TripAdvisor Readers,

I am the Managing Director of Plantation Bay and occasionally I answer some reviews personally. When I see an angry, sarcastic, incoherent review like this, I try to understand what the real problem of the guest was. It is almost never the points discussed at length in the review. In this case, may I draw your attention to the last paragraph of this review.

"At the end, did they do anything to compensate us for all the troubles? Nothing."

This, then, is the real point of this review: money. During their stay, a small subset of guests raise complaint after complaint in the apparent hope that for every complaint we will give them a free beer or take $10 off the room bill. They pretend to be angry, hoping to intimidate the staff; and when their tactics don't work, they get genuinely angry. Then they "get even" on TripAdvisor.

All this reviewer's complaints were trivial, and no reasonable person would have thought twice about them. Let me cover them one by one:

1. Lazy, stupid hotel staff didn't give us 5 rooms all side by side. No hotel can do this, unless it has very low occupancy. On January 2, we were indeed nearly full. (But because the hotel is very spacious, it almost never looks full. See next point.) The rooms originally assigned to this party were all within 2 minutes walk (50 meters) of each other. Nonetheless, later in the day, after some rooms were vacated, we were able to move them to within 1 minute (30 meters), of each other. But the guest was still unhappy because he had never really wanted to move in the first place; he had just been angling for a discount on the strength of our supposed failure to give them side-by-side rooms.

2. Couldn't Find My Friends. Resort is too Big, had to walk all over the place looking for them. Had to take a golf cart to get around. Terrible Place. Thank you. Plantation Bay is indeed very spacious, and there are so many things to do that people could wind up anywhere in our almost 30 acres of grounds. This is unlike other resorts where 90% of the guests end up like sardines around one swimming pool. (At our main competitor on Mactan, you will rarely lose anybody; most of the 1200 guests at full capacity are around the swimming pool.) That this reviewer couldn't find his friends easily is a testament to the variety of activities and facilities we offer.

3. No Pool Towels Exactly Where I wanted them. The reviewer is correct, there was no pool towel station in the immediate vicinity of their rooms. There is one 40 meters away, and 3 more around the resort. Had they asked any employee, they would have found their towels in 2 minutes. Indeed, we verified that they did eventually ask an employee, who though not a pool towel attendant, interrupted her duties to go fetch towels for them.

4. Feet Got Dirty. It is true that in one secondary pool that is actually mainly decorative, some other guests have also complained of "sooty" feet from a defective pool coating. However, that leaves 3 other perfectly good, large freshwater pools of different design that they could have used. Instead, this reviewer tried to parlay sooty feet into a room discount, and became enraged when we didn't agree.

5. Food So-so, Overpriced. After they run out of other things to complain about, determined TripAdvisor complainers turn to food, since no one online can taste the dishes. On the "so-so": Most people disagree. Two of our restaurants are on the Philippine Tatler's list of 100 best restaurants in the country, and have been since 2008 when the list was begun. (The Tatler is the most prestigious society magazine in Asia.) We are a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Desgustateurs. Most high-end restaurateurs and well-traveled people who stay at Plantation Bay are in awe at our pastas, tempura, croissant, home-made ice cream, Cebu roast pig, batchoy soup, and many other international and Filipino food items. "So-so"? Few reasonable people would agree.

On the "overpriced": we wonder what this reviewer found overpriced? Our $11 five-ounce hamburger? Our $8 Philippine noodle dish that can feed 2? Our $11 full Filipino or American breakfast? Our $12 beef casserole (pochero) that could feed 2-3? This assertion is simply absurd. Our website even has a section called "Gastronomy on a Budget" to help cost-minded guests make effective choices.

That's what this person complained about. Now let's pause for a moment and consider what he didn't complain about (keeping in mind, judging from the above, that had there been anything minutely wrong with an item, this person would have complained):

1. No complaints about the room size, room decor, furnishings, airconditioner, bathroom, beds, balcony, or view.
2. Other than that they wouldn't give him the discount he kept angling for, no complaints about the staff.
3. With 3 children and 12 adults in their party, no complaints about the leisure activities, the other 3 swimming pools, the lagoons, or the numerous free facilities for children and adults.
4. No complaints about airport transfer or speed of registration or checkout. No complaints about bell service, except that they needed a golf cart to get around. (How this point could be expressed as a complaint is beyond me.)
5. No complaints about cleanliness, noise, insects, or other aspects of the environment.

In summary, this guest got what most travelers would consider at least a 99%-perfect resort. Instead of enjoying the 99%, he spent his time complaining constantly, ruining his own holiday and ultimately wasting all the money he spent to come here. If his other friends are anything like him, we hope they follow his advice and steer clear of Plantation Bay. We have an adequate level of business from normal people who go on holiday to have fun and relax, as opposed to this reviewer, whose sole objective was to gripe in hopes that we would "compensate" him for imagined faults.


Manny Gonzalez
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

Last December 2012, my friends and I, went to Cebu to go to a series of resort hopping and plantation bay resort and spa is in our line up. We did not stay here for the night. We were just day trippers but we did enjoy our short stay. We paid PHP2,000.00 for the day trip, which includes free access to all pools, water sports activities, indoor and outdoor sports, free use of towels and a buffet lunch. There are many pools to explore...from pools with full sun exposure to pools with cool shady ambiance. At the end of the day, it was so nice to stay in the resort's lobby/waiting area/lounge (whatever!) while waiting for our taxi. At the lobby there is a grand piano and they hired a pianist to play some love songs to entertain guests on queue for the taxi service. As the sun's dim rays enter the lobby area, with love songs being played at the background, this seems to set the mood for a romantic night (not speaking from my own experience, just an observation.)

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lakwatsera007
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, 26 January 2013
Dear Lakwatsera007,

Thank you for sharing how you and your friends enjoyed our various leisure activities. We're glad too that our pianist at the lobby kept you entertained while you're queuing for taxi service.

With its scenic views, and nooks and crannies awaiting exploration, Plantation Bay is an ideal romantic holiday destination. Hopefully you get the chance to stay with us next time and experience this first-hand.


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
Valencia City, Philippines
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2013

We just spend 1 day at the resort, take our lunch at FIJI and enjoyed the panoramic view of the place. A wonderful place to relax and appreciate the beauty of the place but because we were just walking in we really did not experience much on the kind services they have any way we have a good lunch..quiet expensive and i dont recommend it if you are on a budget, we did it for the sake of having to experience the place which we always long to visit.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Venus66_08
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, 26 January 2013
Dear Venus66_08,

We're pleased to know that you found the resort picturesque and that you had a good lunch at Fiji Restaurant. When you visit us next time, please remind us of your comment about prices, so we can offer suggestions on how to get the most bang for your dining buck.

We will be launching our annual Summer Frolix Promo soon and we hope you will take this chance to stay with us and experience our hospitality.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2013

Firstly, the lagoon & pools is what we enjoyed most. We are balikbayans, having to stay from diverse mostly high end hotels around Phil, I can definitely see the big difference. Hotels we stayed-Greenbelt parkplace;metrocentre penthouse suite;Boaracay Mandarin Island hotel; bayleaf intramuros hotel are far excellent.

Food-We have tried their dine in restaurants; the food is over priced & not of good quality. I have ordered a local filo food at kilmanjaro but the taste is not a filipino flavor. Being balikbayan Im very disappointed. The buffet brekky is the same.

Staff-some are friendly and some arent. One of the staff crew who drives the cart isnt friendly.he seems pissed all the time.

Room charge-we were charged for room service charge for cleaning. I advised the check out rep that our room wasnt cleaned. The rep just simply reply if we left the card in the slot its not going to be cleaned. In short, too bad you get charged anyway.there is no policy that i,ve read as such. I was expecting a client's courtesy at least..we didnt want to ruin our holiday here in phil so i just paid it.

Biased-the majority of holiday clients are koreans. My disapppointment is when we go for our dine in dinner with entertainment,it seems the koreans are greeted only in their language except for filo balikbayans & other foreigner.this should change because its too obvious...

Will I recommend or come back here for holiday??definitely not...Btw, I have given my written feedback to Plantation bay mactan.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank luvsnowy
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, 21 January 2013
Dear luvsnowy,

We’re sorry that you were unhappy with your stay, but are surprised that you never brought any of your concerns to our attention while you were here. All our outlets clearly show our Money-Back Guarantee: advise us before consuming more than 25% of the item, and there will be no charge for that dish. We understand that you finished all your dishes at the coffee shop without ever bringing any deficiency to our attention.

Plantation Bay does not charge its guests for their room to be cleaned and your belief that our service is biased is unfounded.

Thanks for sharing your views.


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
Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2013

Stayed 5 days at Plantation Bay between Christmas 2012 and New Year's Eve.
Great layout and choice of pools. I have older kids so they were able to navigate independently but they did get bored easily. Not many water activites to attract teenagers, unless you go to the shoreline for paid activities and excursions. There is no long shoreline to take walks, unless it's only a 30 second walk you are looking for. There shoreline is jagged, snorkeling is offerred but have to go way before it's worth it.

Staff were pleasant and friendly enough. Could use more eye contact like the staff at upscale/5 star resorts and hotels where everyone, down to the gardner and servers who makes eye contact and greets the guests warmly. This was not consistent at Plantation Bay so can't say they really say they would merit a 4 or 5 star resort rating for service. Would suggest same for the resort manager, who I was able to identify from a recent newspaper article picture. He biked around alot but never once did I see him greet any of the guests.

Food was OK; the breakfast buffet was way overpriced for the Philippines. Wasn't worth the money with limited offerrings so ordered ala carte for breakfast. Would suggest offerring more ala carte items that aren't a meal, like just toast, just eggs, etc . without having to buy a whole entree.

Had a fun time but not worth a return trip. Boracay has a better beach. Palawan is on my plan for a next trip.

Room Tip: Stayed in lagoon room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GarFamIly
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, 21 January 2013
Dear GarFamIly,

We're glad you like our ambience and the whole family had a relaxing stay at Plantation Bay.

Most of our guests find our staff very friendly, helpful, and courteous. I would thus appreciate it if you could write me with more details about which staff failed to greet you, so that we can give them more training. My email address is gm@plantationbay.com. Please also note that in general at Plantation Bay we train our staff not to bother guests unnecessarily, or in any situation where the greeting would be a distraction to something the guest is doing.

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. We wish you all the best in your future travels.


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
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2013

We stayed at the Penthouse Suite. Amazing panoramic view from the living room windows where you can see almost the whole resort. The Suite has a master bedroom and a second floor two-bed bedroom. It sits on top of the Kilimanjaro restaurant. It's nice to find a fresh water swimming pool surrounded by the salt water lagoon. There are shuttles to take you around the resort. Staff service is great. They have a no-tipping policy. By the way, it will cost you 1,500 Pesos (cover charge) to bring food in from outside the resort.

Room Tip: For couples, there are beautiful rooms at the lagoon side where the porch has steps straight to the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jcoaro
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, 21 January 2013
Dear jcoaro,

With its commanding views of the resort, our Penthouse Suite is the fitting choice for families like yours who prefer a spacious suite where parents and children can have their own rooms on separate floors.

When guests bring in large quantities of cooked food from their homes or from restaurants, we impose a charge which covers serving the food, providing tableware, and cleaning up the garbage and spillage left behind. Please note that we do not impose any charge for most snack foods or a small quantity of beverages.

Thank you for your kind review. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back to Plantation Bay 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
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Additional Information about Plantation Bay Resort And Spa

Property: Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Address: | Marigondon, Lapu Lapu 6015, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Island > Mactan Island > Lapu Lapu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Spa Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Family 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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