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“If I had kids, I'd come back!!!”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 32 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2013

My family and I visited this resort back in January '07. The resort kinda reminded me of being in Hawaii. Our stay was only for a couple nights. Unfortunately, it rained the whole time. Our rooms were hidden away from the main lagoon area. The pool surrounding our room looked like it needed some cleaning, although most of my water play was in the main lagoon area. My cousin got to enjoy some shooting at the gun range, got to ride a kayak and a bike around the compound, even used the fitness center. All in all, our experience was a positive one. This resort is perfect for families with kids! Be prepared to spend some money because prices are a little higher...if you want to save money, you'll need to leave the property. If I ever decide to have kids, I would definitely come back!

Room Tip: If you can afford it, get a room by the water...
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Evan Z
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 reviewResponded 19 February 2013

Dear Evan Z,

We are sorry that adverse weather conditions hampered your enjoyment of our facilities. Still, we're happy to learn that you and your cousin were able to try out some other activities such as the firing range. The next time you come back, check out our wall climbing, tennis, and golf pitch-and-putt too.

Our rooms are very accurately described in our website, and your observation that your room was "tucked away" may mislead some readers into thinking that this was a surprise to you. Surely it wasn't, since we clearly describe our "poolside" rooms as being near a pool, not a lagoon, and moreover we disclose that the views are impaired. No other hotel in the world discloses as much information about room size, layout, furnishings, and views as Plantation Bay.

Thanks for your review.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager

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Reviewed 14 February 2013

One of the things I love about tripadvisor is that if you read a lot of reviews an overall consistent picture arises. The two main issues flagged about this resort are cleaness of the lagoons and food, particularly breakfast. What I find interesting is, that management reads and responds to similar comments over and over again they but don’t resolve the issues – if they did I could give this place 5 stars.
1) Lagoon Cleanliness
The lagoons did feel slimely and there was a considerable amount of debris and green slime . They need a few giant pool cleaners. Given how cheap labor is in the Philippines I would think it wouldn’t be a big expense to fix this.

2) Food
We didn ‘t find the food expensive for a resort, except breakfast which is way, way over priced and not good. Buffet breakfast was about $25 USD, and the quality and choice was not great. The orange juice tasted like it had never met an orange – powdered maybe? The other breakfast options were not much better – the American breakfast looked awful (someone has posted a photo previously of it and yes, that is really what it looks like). We had the continental breakfast a couple of times which seemed a better option. Coffee and pastries can be bought at Palmero cafe, but they have no fresh juices or smoothies, so it was kind of boring.

We tried all the restaurants, and found the food to be hit and miss, but never outstandingly good. The restaurants ran out of things including bananas, mangoes (yes, in Cebu during mango season) and ice-cream (one night I had to take two crying disappointed kids home because there was no ice-cream unless they wanted jackfruit or peanut chocolate flavored......).

Now the good bits. The Staff – amazingly kind and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. Just great. The setting – lovely looking out over the lagoons and greenery. Activities – so much to keep a 4 and 7 year old busy . They played tennis, rode bikes, did golf putting, fishing (kind of useless as they give bread which fell straight off), played in the games room, kids playroom (small) and playground (crusty), listened to the bands and fed fishes. Entertainment – there was always something somewhere going on – we were there over Chinese NY and my kids loved the lion dances. We didn’t go to any of the theme nights as we’re not a big fan of buffets, but a couple of times stopped to watch a bit of the entertainment and they were fun (cheezy, but fun).

A few other (small) points that would make things better:
- Schedule of Kids Activities: we didn’t know there were daily activities until we had been there for 3 days. Most other hotels give a printed weekly program in your room when you arrive
- Water : most hotels supply sufficient drinking water, this hotel gives 1 liter a day for a family of 4, which seems rather tight
- Bikes: they only have adult bikes, which meant my 4 year old couldn’t ride at all and that it was dangerous for my (tall) 7 year old
- Glasses and coffee mugs: we checked in as 4 people but the room only had 2 of each. We asked for more but they kept getting taken away
- Pool towels: they gave us cards to exchange for towels at one of the pool towel centers. We had to track towels down, which was a shame as when we got there the first night the first thing we wanted to do was swim, so we ended up using up all our room towels. I get the logic – they don’t want towels being cleaned unless needed, but surely they could give them out but ask you to change them when wanted.
- Room service: there is no kids room service menu.
- Car service: the first car had no seatbelts.
Room suggestions:
We were in Nile Hall (thanks to someone’s recommendation on tripadvisor), and I think it is the best location, particularly the one farthest to the left as you are facing the lagoon (sorry, I didn’t get the number) as it has a couple of deck chairs and a hammock. They are right next to the lagoon, and just have a little bit of grass and some beach before the water. If not available then Leblon Hall or Edo Hall look good.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank 123,545
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 reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear 123545,

Thank you for sharing your review. We're happy that you liked the hotel's ambience, and that our activities and Chinese New Year celebration left a good impression on you.

We are always open to suggestions and critiques from guests, and have undertaken measures to address their concerns on TripAdvisor.

For your information, our lagoons are totally drained and cleaned every 2-4 weeks, and otherwise are swept of debris on a daily basis. Since these saltwater lagoons comprise an area of over 2 hectares (the size of 3 soccer fields), obviously they cannot be maintained to the same standard as a tiled swimming pool. Occasionally one may encounter some algae, but even so, the lagoons are considerably cleaner than any natural body of water.

We also have 4 freshwater pools that are always perfectly clean. To the best of our knowledge they comprise the most freshwater-pool area of any resort in the country, possibly Asia, with almost 3000 square meters of surface area, equal to 2 1/2 Olympic swimming pools.

We have taken note of your other comments and will do our best to improve for your next visit.


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
Reviewed 12 February 2013

The resort was ideal for the children with planned activities (sand art, figurine painting, photo frame and flip flop decorating, etc) 3 times a day and its all free. On weekends (Fri - Mon), they even have horse drawn carriages. All of these were never publicised, so they were a pleasant surprise for us.

The other highlight was the special Chinese New Year activities - Dragon Parade and fireworks at night.

So thank you to the recreation manager, Chokie and her team of dedicated staff (Ron, Kristine, Sha and Gem).

The other thing that was fun for the kids is the free tram rides, which are mainly used for transporting guests around the resort. The drivers were especially friendly (Gido, Denver, Reymond, Fredie, Pedy and Vic)

Now for the things that are publicised. The pools and lagoon are nice and gives a good variety that you can go to a different place to swim everyday. We stayed in the Windward Cluster, which was nice and quiet. The only thing unpleasant were mosquitos, but the staff were happy to provide sprays.

The main disadvantage of the resort is that the restaurants are expensive, but the food is generally good. We found that it is much cheaper to venture out to the nearby Giasano Grand Mall for a meal (inclusive of transportation), which has a few "fast food" type of restaurants as well as a Mexican - Mooon Cafe.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kenneth L
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 reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear Kenneth L,

We're glad that everyone in your family enjoyed their stay, and that your children had the time of their lives with our leisure activities, which we really put a lot of effort into.

We have passed on to everyone your appreciation of our excellent service and our staff, especially those you mentioned specifically, are delighted to hear your encouraging feedback.

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


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
Reviewed 11 February 2013

Not having stayed at the Plantation Bay Resort before nor was I referred by anyone I had no idea what my stay there would be like or the condition of the facility. We booked soley on the online website for the resort. But from the time we were picked up at the Cebu Airport and until the time we departed we were treated exceptionally well by all of the staff who work at the Plantation Bay Resort & Spa and the facility was outstanding. We took advantage of the spa where we had a wonderful massage and afterwards the staff had arrainged our room & bath just like the website stated. Every morning we took advantage of there well prepared breakfast where the staff were all very nice & polite and helpful and the overall service was fantastic. Afterwards we spent our days in the various pools & poolside facilities they have. I would most definately return there again and also i highly recommend the Plantation Bay to a family or a couple. Although I would say that this facility is more suited for family's and for groups. Our rooms were exceptioal and I have absolutely no negative comments to offer. If the staff would have taken gratuties, I would have paid them generousley because they gave us a great service at every turn. The staff were so nice & caring at all times and I can't thank them enough. Thanks!!

Room Tip: Choose a room with a balcony and or access to the various pools.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Don N
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 reviewResponded 14 February 2013

Dear Don N,

Thank you for coming all the way out from Dubai to visit us! Almost all guests agree that our massage is among the best they've ever had. Thank you for being a testament to this, and for recommending Plantation Bay to our TripAdvisor readers. We're heartened by your kind words, and we especially appreciate your compliments about our polite staff and fantastic service.

We look forward to your next visit.


Sincerely,
Efren P. Belarmino
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 February 2013

The food in all restaurants (i.e. Kilimanjaro, Fiji, Palermo & Savanah) needs much improvement both in taste & choices. Services in Kilimanjaro & Palermo needs much improvement, especially in Kilimanjaro, personnel needs to be educated to be more professional and, more attentive to guests needs, for example, water should be served upon guests arrival, not upon request. No complains with housekeeping.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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6  Thank Bty_travel
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 reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear Bty_travel,

We have taken note of your comments regarding our restaurants. We understand that some of your guests were from Taiwan and spoke no English; this may account for their different expectations and our consequent inability to understand what they wanted.

Still, we would appreciate it if you could write me with more details about your dining experience so we can ascertain exactly what the problem was or whether any staff member warrants correction. My email address is gm@plantationbay.com.

Thank you for your review. We wish you all the best in your future holidays.


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
Reviewed 5 February 2013

Ate at Kilimanjaro..fried chicken cooked improperly..and that was after it was returned to the kitchen.. You'll have a way better chance of getting the servers attention if you're a foreigner...NO LECHON...took the 3-hour "tour" to Cebu city but staff failed to mention that you'll spend 2 1/2 hours stuck in traffic...positives: courteous staff, clean and generally quiet surroundings...

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank berjo1
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 reviewResponded 8 February 2013

Dear berjo1,

We are sorry that you felt your holiday at Plantation Bay was ruined by heavy traffic in Cebu during the one afternoon that you went sightseeing in town, and by the one food item that displeased you in the course of your 3-night, 4-day stay with us.

Most guests find our staff very friendly and helpful, and your belief that they pay more attention to foreign guests is not justified. However, it is true that some Filipino guests demand constant attention and are quick to complain over minor matters, in the mistaken belief that this constitutes high-class behavior.

We wish you better luck in your future travels.


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
Reviewed 4 February 2013

I was recently appointed executive director of a Philippine national program and invited guest to the Sinulog festival in Cebu City, Philippines? My friends and I spent the week-end at the Plantation Bay Resort in LapuLapu, Philippines. We had a fabulous week-end. The facilities, attentive staff, food with Filipino, French and Italian flavors, and amenities were second to none. There were wide choices of indoor and outdoor activities ranging from diving, snorkeling, swimming in different kinds of pools and the ocean, boating and kayaking, beach activities, tennis, table tennis and rock climbing. The resort is surrounded by a variety of flowering plants and verdant shrubs and trees. The rooms and surroundings are clean and the atmosphere is serene. It is perfect for families, couples, and buiness groups. It is one of the best in the world.

Room Tip: Reserve early. Order bottled water. Stay near the lagoon.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Patricio R
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Top resorts 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: £140 - £194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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