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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
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824 - 829 of 1,958 reviews
Reviewed 1 March 2014

I had my engagement last night and it was the most perfect place to say YES to someone you love! Ahhh everything was so perfect, the resto food was great, the server(j.p) was attentive... Credits to ms Gigi who assist my fiance in preparing for our perfect night... Simply the best, we will definitely come back to enjoy the sun, sand and sea next time.

Stayed: February 2014
Thank Jheli
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 reviewResponded 4 March 2014

Dear Jheli,

Congratulations on your engagement!

We are heartened by the fact that you loved our ambience and food, and that you especially felt pampered by our staff during your special night. Gigi and JP appreciate your compliments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Plantation Bay 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
Reviewed 26 February 2014

First time to stay at Plantation Bay... Stayed Feb 11-17.... Romantic getaway for couple.

I booked directly through their website as they offer a 25% discount for stays of at least 6 nights. I also communicated by email and phone with Guia from Reservations because we wanted to change to a Water's Edge Room, and she took care of it very smoothly and pleasantly.

Prior to our stay at Plantation, we stayed at Quest Hotel (sister hotel of Crimson) for 9 days because we wanted to be closer to Cebu City for the first part of the vacation, and then spent 2 nights at Shangri-la Mactan as we had stayed there before and enjoyed it that time (will write separate reviews on these two other hotels when I find time), and from Shangri-la we took a taxi to Plantation Bay.

I think we arrived at Plantation Bay before 2pm, the check in process was fast and all the staff were friendly and courteous. We were informed that one of the big lagoons would be drained and cleaned and have water replaced that day, and then the other one, the one by our Water's Edge Room, the next day. Even with that going on during our stay, it did not take anything away as they started the work late in the afternoon, and early the next morning the huge lagoon was already filled with water. And while one lagoon was being emptied, the other one was still useable. And we still had the pools. So not a problem at all. (Plus, I like seeing that they actually drain and clean the lagoons. Not an easy undertaking, I am sure, as these lagoons are HUGE, so kudos to the resort and the workers!)

The resort is vast and lives up to its name... You do get that very charming and authentic plantation feel (although I have never been to an actual plantation, this more than meets my expectations of what a genuine "plantation by the bay" should be like ;-))... The architecture of the buildings, the landscaping, the horse-drawn carriages, the multi-colored trams, the guests riding the cute bikes, the friendly and helpful staff... All these made us feel like we have come home to our very own tropical plantation.

Our room had a four-poster king-sized bed (loved it!), and the furniture and the shutters continue to give that luxurious plantation feel. The room was very spacious and so was the bathroom. And when you step out into the balcony, and you sit in one of the surprisingly comfortable wooden chairs, and gaze at the lagoon with its sparkling blue water, you forget that this is a luxury resort, it just feels like a tropical paradise where life is so much simpler and time just stood still. You can see the other guests, but the lagoon is so wide that it does not feel crowded at all.

There was a tray of complimentary snacks in the room. They also provided two complimentary 1.5L bottles of water everyday. And there was very good wifi signal in the room as well as in the restaurants. They gave us towel cards for the beach towels, and we can bring the towels to our room, and throughout the day, we can exchange our wet towels for new ones if we so desire.

Breakfast was not included in the room rate but we availed of the breakfast buffet package which was $30/day, and that was for both of us already. For the breakfast buffet, every morning they served different cuisines at the Kilimanjaro Cafe... Filipino, Chinese, Italian and so on. The food was always very good, so each morning I get a little bit of every hot dish that was available and then I go for seconds on the two dishes that I loved the most, and then I go back again for pastries and such. (We both gained weight from this vacation, obviously. :)) They have two juices offered and these varied everyday, but I wish there were more than two choices. Would have loved mango, I don't think we ever had mango juice during breakfast. Also, some native delicacies during the Filipino breakfast (or even daily) would have been nice... like budbud (sweet sticky rice rolls), native hot chocolate, bingka (rice bread)... I thought I saw a slice of purple maja (coconut pudding) on one of the guest's plates...?

Usually by noon we were still somewhat full from the breakfast buffet so we mostly had lunch later. We had lunch buffet at the Kilimanjaro twice and the food was very good, I would have liked more dessert choices, though ... And at other times we ordered lunch ala carte in the early afternoon. The dear man developed an attachment to the tinolang manok (chicken soup) and the sizzling squid. I think he must have ordered both of these together three times at Kilimanjaro. (I had to stop him after the third time! Haha!) His constant complaint to me was that they put very little malunggay (a green leafy vegetable) in the tinola but he only brought it to the server's attention once and when he did, our server promptly took it back to the kitchen to have more malunggay added. I had the lechon kawali (crispy deep-fried pork) and the kare-kare (stew) twice because I loved them. With every meal we requested sili (very hot peppers) and they always got them for us. The servings were generous, good for sharing. We also had lunch at Fiji once. I wish we had requested to sit in the outdoor patio overlooking the beach. We had a table inside, it was by the window but the window design did not give us an unobstructed view of the beach. He had the KFC Korean Fried Chicken and it must have been good because his plate was clean in minutes. I had the Shrimp Tempura which had four huge prawns and was beautifully presented. I would have preferred the batter to be seasoned maybe, to have more flavor; and I did not care for the dipping sauce at all... something with vinegar and tomato-based with very hot peppers was how I would have wanted my dipping sauce. I should maybe have asked for a different sauce as the staff was always wonderful and I am pretty sure they would have accomodated it had I made a request, but I didn't bother to. The Shrimp Tempura is good for sharing, and the dear man doesn't eat prawns, so I was not able to finish the whole dish by myself. The Crepe Samurai for dessert was delicious and good for sharing as well, the crepe had mango and we also ordered a serving of mango ice cream, and they went very well together... I am actually craving this right now!

For dinner, we did the dinner buffets with themed shows twice: the Sahara Nights and then the Viva España on Valentines Day. The shows themselves were really good. The sets and the costumes were nicely created; and the performers are staff members whom we have met around the resort during the day, and they are good! The star dancers of the shows are really, really good! At the end of each show they pick members of the audience for a dance lesson on-stage and everyone had lots of fun. The cuisine was of course based on the theme of the night's show and we both were not familiar with the dishes served during the Sahara Nights, so to me it was just so-so. But the belly-dancing and the fire-eating during that show was very entertaining. The Viva España buffet had lechon (roasted pig) and I was too full that I did not even go to the dessert table anymore.

On Valentine's Day, a musician played romantic love songs on a sax and violin in the evening by the lagoons... So after the Viva España show, we spent time sitting on the beach chairs by the lagoons just enjoying the music. It was a wonderful, magical evening. Back in our room, we spent time sitting in the balcony just continuing to enjoy the music, it was loud enough to be enjoyed from our balcony, but it was subdued and unobtrusive. And the balcony was big enough so we even danced :). There are several romantic areas in the resort that couples can reserve for a private dinner-for-two during Valentine's Day.

The resort offers complimentary round trip shuttle service to SM and Ayala malls twice a day, departures from Plantation are at 9 am and 12 noon. We used their car service to Ayala Mall once and it was reasonably priced at P700 (one way). That is approximately US$15. Then we just took a taxi back to the resort, we had no problem at all getting a taxi to take us back to the resort from Ayala Mall at 11:30 pm and that cost about P250 (about US$6) using the taxi meter.

We had planned on availing of the massage services at the Mogambo Spa but never got around to it, we were enjoying our lazy days too much :). I did get a mani and pedi at the spa and it was a wonderful experience. I was ushered into a private room and Angel (I hope I got her name right, I am bad with names) did a beautiful job with my nails, and we had a nice conversation, too, while she worked on my nails. Soothing music played in the background and the room was very cozy and charming. From the little that I saw, the whole spa looked beautiful and I am full of regrets now as I write this, that we did not get around to making the massage and treatment appointments.

There are many things that guests can do at the resort. I could not imagine anyone getting bored. Although we preferred to spend our days mostly just relaxing and lounging, the resort does offer numerous activities for guests: paddle-boarding, kayaking, the smaller slides by Kililamjaro, the bigger slides (at least two stories?) across Kilimanjaro, the single and tandem bikes, the fitness center, the calesa (horse-drawn carriage) rides, wall-climbing, archery, mini-golf, shooting, billiards, boat excursions, diving, jet-skiing, segways, etc.

Worth mentioning is the hut selling fresh coconut near the lobby... we loved spending a few minutes in the late afternoon just sipping very cold fresh coconut water while relaxing by the lagoon. The attendant there (regrettably did not get his name) is very pleasant and provided great guest service.

The beach is small and I think it looked like there were plenty of small rocks, but because of the lagoons and pools it did not really matter. Sometimes we spent the late afternoons just having a sweet and quiet time together watching the moon come out, there was usually only less than 5 people at the beach.

Check out was a breeze and we got complimentary shuttle service to the airport.

I must especially mention that all the staff at Plantation were great. They always had a smile and a polite greeting and were always very helpful. (I just have to say here that this was different from when we were at Shangri-la wherein staff were talking to each other in very loud obtrusive voices, and some of the staff greeted guests, some did not... the staff just seemed harried and less caring at the Shang, much to my disappointment)... The smiles we received from the staff at Plantation just had a lot more warmth and sincerity, the service a lot more courteous and attentive. Because there is a no-tipping policy, I want the staff to know through this review that we truly appreciate their warmth and the excellent service that they provided.

We will be back for sure.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank AlwaysBelieve9
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 reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Dear AlwaysBelieve9,

Thank you for the detailed review. It is always a pleasure to read about reviews that elaborate the things that set us apart from other hotels and make guests come back to Plantation Bay.

We're pleased to know that you loved your romantic room accommodations, with a mahogany 4-poster king bed and direct access to our East lagoon, and that our food and themed dinner shows have won you over. And a big Thank You! for recounting the many ways to have fun at Plantation Bay, and for sharing that our lagoons and pools never get crowded. The resort is indeed very spacious, and there are so many things to do in our almost 30 acres of grounds.

We have shared your review to our staff and everyone was inspired to do even better at upholding our standards.

We look forward to welcoming you back to your own tropical plantation home soon.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 February 2014

Pros:
1. Man-made salt water lakes. There's 1 small circle with a 12 feet depth where we can experience a 4-5 feet diving. The coolest and most fun activity. The salt water is pumped in from the deep sea.
2. Restaurants with good food
3. A large resort with variety of activities ie kayaking, stand paddling on the lakes, archery, shooting range
4. Day trip is available for locals with just 2000 peso inclusive of lunch
5. Nice spa with hot water soaking area - Japanese style
6. Good customer service

Cons:
1. Toothbrush and toothpaste are not available in the rooms. Remember to take your own.
2. No beach area. There's a really small beach area where you can snorkel. Therefore the man made salt water lakes.
3. High room rates
4. Limited variety for buffet breakfast

Conclusion: Will return to try the day trip.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Devil198
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 reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Dear Devil198,

Thank you for the kind sentiments about our restaurants, service, and spa. We are happy that throughout your stay, you enjoyed our facilities, particularly the lagoons and the Dive Rock. Plantation Bay does its best to make sure our guests need not go far to relax and have fun, and we're happy that you appreciated our efforts and took the time to really explore the resort.

Looking forward to your next stay.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 February 2014

When I was looking at this resort's website, it didn't look very flash, picked up from the airport by hotel staff and the journey to the resort did not seem to be in a very good area. Narrow roads, some flooded and traffic from the nearby school didn't give a good impression, all this changed once we arrived at the resort. We were met by a fresh breeze and a view of the lagoon, check in was precise and painless and ushered to our room in a buggy.

I need to mention this is a no tipping hotel, after staying in many hotels in Philippines it was a hard habit to kick, especially when the staff have great initiative at making your stay a pleasant one. There was a complimentary basket of local snack foods and large bottles of water. Shortly after arriving at the room there was a door knock, a staff member had brought extra towels, slippers and bottles of water for the one extra person staying in our room. The room is for 2 pax and any additional persons in the room is an extra charge.

The room was very spacious, two queen sized beds were in the pool side room we booked. The bathroom had a shower and a separate sitting bathtub which is very relaxing, more than the normal bath tub.

There are 3 restaurants at this resort, the main one is open 24hrs and is in the middle of the lagoon. The servings are large and was of great quality, there was nothing average or plain on the menu.

I did not get to explore the resort in full but from memory there were plenty of activities to be enjoyed such as; Tennis Court, Gun Range, Bicycling, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Board, Jet Ski, Karaoke, Arcade, In pool playgrounds and a diving area. That was only what I saw, but I'm sure theres much more to see and do.

There are endless things to see and do around Mactan but metered taxi's are sometimes rare and come by chance, the hotel offers their own taxi service which comes at a reasonable charge. Our driver was professional and friendly, we ventured from Mactan shrine to SM City Cebu and other hotspots along the way. Our driver would drop us off and wait outside for us to go to the next place.

This is a great resort, there are countless pools, a lagoon and a small private beach. Although it has many rooms and caters to alot of people, theres never a place that's too crowded, a very relaxing atmosphere.

The only downside to this resort is its location. It take approximately an hour, depending on traffic from SM, but you would stay at this resort to relax and enjoy, not to just use it for sleeping. I have already organised to stay here again, it was an awesome relaxing stay.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Michael C
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 reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Dear Michael C,

We especially appreciate sincere critiques and praise from well-traveled guests like you. We're delighted to learn that you liked your room and appreciated our food and various leisure activities and facilities.

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.

Thank you for taking the trouble to write your observations. This is the kind of TripAdvisor review which really helps readers understand what our resort is all about, and thus allow them to make an informed decision.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 February 2014

My wife and I stayed in a water's edge room from 7th to 20th February. An absolutely awesome experience. The staff were great and continuously went the extra mile. The facility, food, Spa, excursions, activities were all magnificent. The theme dinners were fantastic. We were treated to a special St Valentines evening which incuded a Gondola ride, horse carriage and dinner in a private gazebo. I recommend Plantaion bay to anyone wanting to have a truly relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: The water's edge room was great.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Arthur M
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 reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Dear Arthur M,

Thank you for the glowing review of your two-week stay at Plantation Bay. Reviews like yours are highly appreciated and inspire us to do even better at upholding our standards.

Thank you too for recommending our Water’s Edge rooms. They are in fact our most sought-after rooms and perfect for couples like you. And a big Thank you! for the high praise on our staff, spa, and food, and for specifically mentioning that you had a memorable Valentine's Day celebration with us.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Sincerely,
Nenette G. Castillon
General Manager

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