30 of us from Europe, US and Asia stayed here for a week, for a wedding in Cebu. Overall we were delighted, particularly as some of the reviews posted here are unfairly negative.
Most of us are seasoned world travellers. I've stayed everywhere from youth hostels to the Four Seasons on Bali to the Adlon in Berlin.
I booked a one-bedroom suite for about US$160 (6-night promo rate). For the small premium over a regular room, we got something twice the size with a huge balcony: excellent value for money.
Many of our other guests stayed in the water's edge rooms for about $130. You can literally eat breakfast with your feet dangling in the lagoon. Your friends can swim from their room around the lagoon and climb onto your balcony, it's that much fun.
Since the rates are already on the low side, if you have the money, do pay extra for a better room: you'll find yourself on the ground floor, or with a better view, larger bathroom, closer to the water, etc. and it will really add to your enjoyment.
I will try to address the concerns posted by others.
- Rooms are built & decorated with 100% local materials. If you're looking for plush carpets and solid gold taps, this isn't the high-end resort for you (go stay at nearby Shangri-La, which is a perfectly nice hotel, we stayed there also, but you could be anywhere in the world). The PB furniture allows you to enjoy a beautiful, comfortable, local product: lots of wood and earth tones. The bathroom IS high-end with luxury fixtures and nice lighting. Ours had an awesome granite shower stall AND a funky split-level tub. Bed is really comfy.
- The lagoon is drained once a week. That's why it's so clean. (Towards the end of the week the base gets a little slippery, so I'm glad they do it.) Call ahead to find out the schedule, and either don't stay on that day, or plan other activities. We went scuba diving when it was drained. If you're in a water's edge room on that day, they will give you vouchers for free activities, or - if pushed - a decent credit on your bill. It's actually sort of cool to see the army of workers painting & repairing the empty lagoon!
- The restaurants offer reasonable value for money. Good food, Western prices, but not overpriced. The Italian restaurant is fabulous. You will need a taxi to go to outside restaurants (do the research, make it a night out, esp if you're staying for a week as you will tire of the 4 lagoon restaurants). Cebu City is up to an hour's drive depending on traffic, save that for a day tour.
- The service is incredible. I called room service several times a day, and even asking for dumb things like a corkscrew at one in the morning or an extra lamp for the livingroom brought a friendly chap to my door within minutes. I never had a problem with the service throughout the resort. There IS an occasional problem with a newer staff member not understanding quite what you want, or making a mistake, but be calm and pick up the phone to talk to a manager and it will be resolved. Nobody was ever actually rude to any of our 30 guests, nor did they try to avoid satisfying our request. Filipinos are the friendliest people on earth, and the staff at PB are the friendliest Filipinos you will meet.
- Want a beachball and too lazy to climb out of the lagoon? Call over any staff member and they will run off to find one and then toss it out to you. Want a deck chair moved? No problem. You will quickly get used to the VIP service!
- No tipping is brilliant for people like us who can't get used to the complex tipping culture in the USA despite living here for years. In any case you'll spend most of your time in a swimsuit with your wallet in your room safe (all purchases settled by quoting room number & name) so you wouldn't be able to tip!
- If you are in your room, a light illuminates outside and the staff are not allowed to even knock on your door unless you specifically called room service. This is a great privacy idea I wish all hotels had.
- Technically you're not supposed to bring in outside food & alcohol, but we went grocery shopping and discretely brought back beer and nobody said anything, even when it was stored next to theirs in the fridge.
- The only thing we found to be unreasonably expensive was the scuba diving. But it's SO convenient since you can literally just wade through the lagoon to the PADI shop; of course it's expensive. Again, do the research, call an outside company, they will pick you up at the resort and give you the same dive package for half the price.
- There are plenty of activities in and out of the water. Tennis, gym, pool tables, shooting, archery, dive board, wicked water slides. The place is good for all ages, nobody felt bored after a week even though most only left the resort twice.
- If you get sick, the resort's nurse will try to treat you (for free!). For one issue we had, she called an outside doctor, and he came within a couple of hours, charging less than a US doctor would for just a co-pay.
Every person in our group would stay there again. Worth the trek!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Ctrip TA, Hotels.com, Priceline, Expedia, Ebookers, Traveltool, S.L.U., getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Plantation Bay Resort And Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Plantation Bay Resort And Hotel Lapu Lapu
- Plantation Bay Hotel
- Plantation Bay Resort And Spa Cebu Island/Mactan Island