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“Well maintained nice resort with insufficient beach”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
Nanjing
Level Contributor
92 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Well maintained nice resort with insufficient beach”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2013

Plantation bay is a beautiful resort that lives with the arrangements of sweet water and saltwater pools, watersides, other leisure arrangements and water sports including diving, etc.
if you are also looking for a nice beach then don't go here, the beach is a tiny little strip of stones and seaweed. There are plenty of other places in the Philippines that have beaches that can also be called beaches. The resort is good to spend 2-3 days (which we did) else it is getting a bit boring, at least for me, however our kids enjoy it very much, so we are overall happy.
The service is a bit inflexible, however the people are willing to support, you just have to insist politely and it works very well.
The rooms are very nicely made up and decorated very well, we had a two room family suite, good to stay and enjoy the day, spacious and comfortable with large veranda.
Wireless was free and very fast.
Food wise, you are also stuck with the restaurants inside the resort, it's good food however not so very much local and a bit pricey with less choices.
The resort is about 30 minutes away from lapu-lapu city, which is a bit to far to walk and no simple transportation like trycicles available from the resort, to book a car from the hotel every day you want to go to town is also not so practical. So you are a bit stuck.
Approximately 1-1.5 hours to Cebu, depending on traffic is acceptable, nice malls and restaurants in Cebu, preferably Ayala Mall, is like Eastwood in Manila. You will find everything you want or need there.

Overall nice to experience but I would not come back, I prefer more a nice white beach.

Room Tip: Pls refer to my text description
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank andie6931
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 4 October 2013
Dear andie6931,

Thank you for your kind comments about our comfortable rooms, fast wireless Internet, and good food.

Plantation Bay is very accurately described on our website, and your comment about our having "insufficient” natural beach may mislead some readers into thinking that this was a surprise to you. Surely it wasn't, since we clearly disclosed our beach dimensions, and the option of guests frolicking in our extensive internal lagoons and four freshwater pools of varying designs. No other hotel in the world discloses as much information about room size, layout, typical hotel prices and policies, and views as Plantation Bay.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (325)
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English first
Malaybalay City
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2013

We had an overnight stay in Plantation Bay last Sept 3 to celebrate the birthday of my wife. We arrived around 10am and because of the reviews I read, I didn’t expect to be accommodated right away because I knew that the chick in time is 3pm. When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready yet but the receptionist was quick to provide accommodation by upgrading our room to a suite room. The resort was quiet and not crowded. Lagoon was huge and impressive. The pools are great but our favorite was the pool beside the Savannah Grill. The facilities and amenities were outstanding. We really enjoyed our stay in Plantation. But what made everything perfect were the smiles of every staff. For the very short time we spent in Plantation Bay, I can definitely say that this resort has the best staff service!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tonix323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 29 September 2013
Dear Tonix323,

We appreciate your high praise for the quality of our staff and service.

We are pleased to read that you found our facilities and amenities outstanding, and that your wife had a memorable birthday celebration at Plantation Bay.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager
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Toronto
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2013

We had a wonderful time in Plantation Bay. I love the layout of the resort. The motiff of the buildings reminded me of Hacienda Plantation. The staff were so friendly and very accommodating. In fact my wife commented that this our first time that we were treated like royalties. Nothing is hard for them when you need help! Thank you very much Denver, Rassy, Tintin (at reception) and Alvin who looked for us and sent an SUV to drive us to the resort from the airport. My wife flew from Silay City that morning while I stayed in another hotel in Mactan near the airport.

The room where we stayed was so elegant... the canopy bed was inviting for a romantic evening! I love the salt water lagoon. My wife and I had a good time there and also at the jacuzzi close by. The pasta at the Palermo resto was to die for. We opted for a la carte dining in Palermo. The price is reasonable compared to the restos we dined in Cancun, Mexico and the servings is generous. My wife ordered one menu and I also ordered mine and we just shared. The cove reminded us of the resort we visited in Margarita Island, Venezuela. Night entertainment was spectacular we enjoyed it very much.

I cannot think of anything negative about Plantation Bay. We have to go and visit this place again because we rushed ourselves too much. Thank you very much Manny, Nenette. It's been a pleasure communicating with you.

Santi
Toronto, Canada

Room Tip: Don't believe on the rants! Be open and speak for yourself!
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PAPAKO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 29 September 2013
Dear Santi,

We especially appreciate reviews from well-traveled guests like you. We’re delighted to learn that, even though you have been to many resorts around the world, you consider Plantation Bay a well-designed resort with elegant rooms, good food, and excellent service.

We have passed on to everyone your kind comments about our service, and our staff, especially those you mentioned, appreciate your compliments.

We look forward to seeing you and your wife again soon.


Sincerely,
Nenette
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Quezon City, Philippines
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2013

I can't believe you flagged this review which is 100% honest. Posting this again.

While I honestly enjoyed the archery and firing range (only because it was my first time), I find Plantation Bay totally not worth the cost. This is an old resort but it's not an excuse, really.

For $200/night I expected the following:
1. More decent toiletries and whatnots: No complimentary toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers, newspaper.
2. Cleaning of room: We have to request for it? Really? Isn't room servicing SOP? Not even cleaning out an ashtray?
3. Minibar: Sure there was a fridge with ONLY a complimentary 1 liter of water.
4. Clean and modern rooms & AC unit: If you're sensitive to dust, don't bother. Room is stuffy, books and magazines were so dusty.
5. Not have a problem with dining. Fully booked resort, nowhere to eat. I was not informed that a guest should make prior reservations for dinner even after asking the lady at the reception.


Yes the staff were friendly and tried to be helpful. They even bow, a lot, which they should not do. Filipinos don't bow. Stop serving too much kimchi and trying to please your Korean and Japanese guests much more than the locals. We pay as much or maybe even more than they do.

Plantation Bay is far from civilization, has expensive food and massage services.
I don't understand how this place won the 2013 Traveler's Choice award. If you really want to visit this place, stay for an entire day then go home or transfer the next day. Maybe it will be a lot better if they cut all their prices in half. I don't really know what the $200 is for.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Madamnica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 18 September 2013
Dear Tripadvisor Reader:

Very few people who have actually stayed at Plantation Bay would agree with this person's comments.

1. Our rooms are clean, charming, and well-maintained. Indeed, we have the largest and most completely equipped, best-furnished standard rooms of all the major hotels in Cebu, possibly the country. This person is simply not telling the truth. Please see 3 below to understand why.

2. Since most of our guests in fact own and bring toothbrushes, we do not include them in the normal room setup. For guests who do not own toothbrushes or forgot theirs, we do provide free dental kits on request.

3. We very much regret that our restaurants were full on a Saturday evening and this person and her foreign companion could not be seated at exactly the moment they desired. Believing they were so important that they should not have to reserve, and should not be made to wait, they became enraged and chose instead to stalk out.

To punish us for this grave insult, they then determined to complain on Tripadvisor, citing anything they could think of, including many outright absurdities and untruths.

When reviewers have valid points, we listen and we take action, or we apologize for mistakes that were committed. However, that is not the case here.


Sincerely,
Manny Gonzalez
Managing Director
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Clementon, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

I visited Plantation Bay the last week of February with my Mom. We visited the Philippines together, and she has been to this property on several occasions, and I understand why. We stayed in a 2 queen suite, in a secluded area with a pool right in front of our doorstep. I loved the pool right there, because I had some serious jet lag, so I swam to relax.

Very helpful staff that will cater to your every need.

Very clean, and everything is in order.

There is a spa on location that have several whirlpools with various temperatures. Cold, warm, and hot. They have a man-made waterfall in the spa area, replicating waterfalls in Japan. Another spa amenity is the sauna, which is very relaxing. You are also able to adjust the temperature in the sauna, which is a plus. We scheduled massages, and were able to use the amenities automatically. Unsure if they have a spa pass available to guests or the spa amenities are automatically open to guests, but definitely ask. The amenities at the spa are worth a visit. Especially if you're a non-guest, visiting someone at the resort, definitely inquire if they offer spa passes to non-guests.

As for the massage, personally, I felt the massage was bit rough at some points that I was unable to truly relax and enjoy. Some people like poking and prodding, hurt in the good way during their massages, I am not that person. I asked for less pressure, and at times the masseuse would lessen pressure for a minute and then go back to painfully kneading me. I wasn't a fan, or perhaps if I ever receive a massage at this location, to strongly specify I would like light to medium pressure. Because during the massage, it felt like the masseuse's skinny fingers were digging into my insides vs. massaging my knots of stress away. I walked away in pain vs. relaxed and relieved. Which is why I didn't give the resort a 5 star rating.

The staff is fluent in several languages.
The rooms are spacious
Beds are comfortable.
The AC is strong, and easy to adjust. They also have ceilings fans available if you prefer no AC.
The lighting is bright, but not shockingly bright.
The bottom floors have their own patio space, and the upstair floors have their own balcony area.
The bathrooms are equally spacious, with a shower stall and big bath tub. Also the bathrooms have good water pressure.
The room service is delicious, especially the encimada (It's super sugary.)
The resort itself is beautiful with a huge lagoon (salt water and non-salt water), swimming pools with slides, waterfalls, and a beach is right on the property as well. In the salt-water area, there is a "cliff" you can jump off of, which is actually a high dive platform made to look like a cliff. In that area the water is 12 ft deep. The majority of the pools are only about 3'/4' to 5' deep.
The main pool area of the resort has a swim up bar, and a mountain like cave area. I think I spent the majority of my visit in the water.
There are also 5 restaurants on the premises.

If you can afford it, definitely invest in the island hopping package, include the fish feeding option as well. The staff can guide you on how to book this option. The island is amazing, and swimming in the ocean, while feeding tropical fish was one of those amazing once in a lifetime opportunities you have to experience.

In addition, there are other water sports activities, such as scuba diving and kayaking.

My family and I had a wonderful experience, and it was a great starting off point to visiting the Philippines. I hope to return again in the future to experience more happy memories.

Room Tip: I really enjoyed having the secluded rooms by the pool.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 18 September 2013
Dear Rebecca P,

It's nice to receive guests from New Jersey, where many of our staff have relatives.

Thank you for sharing how you liked your room and the resort's ambience, and for recommending our island hopping package. We're happy that you met some of the island's tropical fishes, and that you enjoyed your fish-feeding experience with them.

We apologize that you felt your massage was a bit rough, and already counseled our therapists about it.

Thanks again for the kind sentiments. We too look forward to creating more happy memories with you.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager
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Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013 via mobile

Stayed at a "Water's Edge" villa for 3 nights in August and I think it was a tad overpriced but not a deal breaker.
The service was very good, everyone was approachable and always ready to serve you.
All of the staff wear smiles on their faces.
The no tipping policy didn't stop their people from being effective.
I would have loved to stay longer.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rico T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 14 September 2013
Dear redjazon,

At Plantation Bay, we give all our guests the highest standard of service, without their ever having to worry about when, whom, or how much to tip. This is something that sets us apart from other hotels, and we're happy that you highlighted this in your review.

We are always adding something new at Plantation Bay. Some recent additions include the Whale Shark Adventure, Stand-up Paddleboards, and yoga on the water. In fact, we're fairly sure that we offer more diverse leisure activities and facilities than any other hotel in the country. Next time you come, please ask our Recreation staff for some new ideas on how to spend your time.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager
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Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

This was my second stay in Plantation Bay. I admit I was a little concerned as seven years had passed since our first stay. I thought the resort might be a little run down by now, especially as there were some negative comments to this effect on tripadvisor. However, I decided to pursue as I thought the man-made lagoons ideal for our 10 month old.

1) The facilities were definitely not shabby; certainly not in the common areas. I surmise that some of the negative comments came up because their particular room was due for refurbishment but ours clearly did not need work. Kilimanjaro (the main clubhouse) was being refurbished – which I suppose supports my earlier point. I wish however I was told of this prior to my visit because I had fond memories there, and I might have changed my travel dates. However, upon learning of this during my arrival, it was certainly not enough for me to cancel, and the hotel of course moved the activities held there to other parts of the resort.

2) As first time parents, and this being our first trip as a family, we naturally had a lot of concerns. I can definitely say that this is a child friendly resort. Aside from the lagoon, which is ideal, they had a cot, with all the appropriate pillows and linens ready. You can have bottles sterilized by the butler. You can also make specific requests to the cook for things you want removed from food to be served to your child. Also, I thought the reservations group particularly helpful for answering all our concerns promptly before the trip.

3) As a Filipino, I did find it a bid odd that the staff have a habit of bowing. My guess is there are alot of Korean and Japanese guests and these are just subconscious reflexes, and in my opinion trivial. However, I wish to point out two specific instances where I found the guest service went above and beyond.

a) As I mentioned I have a 10month old. We booked a one bedroom suite and placed him in the room nearest the hallway. When we asked for things, my wife was concerned that as the attendants knocked they would wake our son so she asked that they go around to the porch on the masters bedroom which was open (and we were on the ground floor). I was impressed that she only had to mention it once, and every time house keeping came, they remembered without being reminded. In fact, it rained, later in the day, and the staff ran through the rain to deliver.

b) During the buffet I would ask for random things (water, vinegar, etc.). The staff would smile and fetch them. Later on I noticed these items in some part of the room, obviously we were meant to go fetch them ourselves. I actually felt pretty bad about this. I wish the staff had told me and I would gladly have gotten up and fetched these myself. Yet they continued to do these things, which were obviously not meant for them to do, and do so with a smile.

4) The food. In absolute terms, yes it is expensive. But comparable to any other resort of comparable caliber, and consistent with what you find in the website so I knew what I was getting into. I prefer thinking of it as good value for money. My wife, who is much more discerning agrees.

5) Some other things. The resort is distant from Cebu, with traffic, the trip back from Ayala Mall took us 1.5hours (1hour to). If you are a local, I don’t think this is worth your time, just buy your pasalubong in the airport even if pricier.

Room Tip: Study the website, they outline all the types of rooms. See which works best for you.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alvin_L1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plantation_Bay_GM, General Manager at Plantation Bay Resort And Spa, responded to this review, 14 September 2013
Dear Alvin_L1976,

Like you, many guests find Plantation Bay well-maintained and child-friendly.

Thank you for the kind words about the food, which we really put a lot of effort into; it is nice to know that though you found our prices expensive, this was understandable because of the quality offered.

And a big Thank You! for your comments about our staff and service. We're heartened by your positive review, and look forward to welcoming you back here soon.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager
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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 Top resorts Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Spa Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#3 Family 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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