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“Splendid place to enjoy a week with friends”

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Plantation Bay Resort And Spa
Ranked #3 of 30 Hotels in Lapu Lapu
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Splendid place to enjoy a week with friends”
Reviewed 8 August 2007

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!

Barry.

  • Liked — The rooms dotted around an enormous lagoon makes for a unique resort
  • Disliked — Having to take a taxi to get anywhere else
  • Stayed June 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank Barry_McConnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2007

I am an American from NYC who is an expat in Hong Kong. Two of my friends and I stayed at Plantation Bay for 4 nights. Overall, the resort was relaxing and enjoyable.

Having only been in Asia for 10 months, this was my 2nd experience at an Asian resort. I would say that this resort is better than average, but not a 5 star resort.

What I liked most? the spa treatments, service, tennis facilities, and drinks... I think one of the drinks is called plantation bay collada - it's a pina collada with banana, i think.. really good. Service is pretty good. People say hello, if you make eye contact, and extremely attentive during meals. I also got my palm read, and cards read. Normally, I don't believe in these things, but the woman was very sweet, and said some things that now make me wonder.

What I liked least? there's very little that I didn't really like. Having been to really nice resorts, I guess robes would have been nice in the bathrooms, and the beds can be more comfortable. I stayed in a room that was on the first floor and overlooked one of the lagoons. If the blinds are open, people can look directly in the room, so privacy is questionnable.

Food? The Italian restaurant was pretty decent. The International restaurant was ok, too. Nothing spectacular, but not terrible either. I did not notice the prices to be too much. Prices in the US are much more.

If you are coming here to relax from a busy city like Hong Kong, this is perfect. There are many places to lounge and read. If you are coming here and expecting 5 star facilities (restaurants, gym, bedrooms, etc.), you may be disappointed.

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank dirk_nathan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2007

There's been some pretty unfair reviews of Plantation Bay and I read them before going for the first time - but am happy to report they seem totally unfounded. This place is a gem, pure and simple. The rooms are huge and airy, the lagoon is stunning to look at and to swim in, while the staff are the most courteous and genuine of anywhere I've stayed. And I mean anywhere. Sure it's not cheap but if you're going to splash the cash then do it somewhere worthwhile like Plantation Bay. Food was good, cocktails were great, sunsets were jaw dropping. One night in an empty bar where a band were playing I asked if I could sing a song to my girlfriend - and they were delighted to let me get up on stage. Typical of the easy going, unpretentious and fun nature of the place. Go. You won't regret it.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank chrisinhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2007

This was our second year here - for the most part the resort seemed better than the prior year - service was definitely better (they don't allow tipping there). They have a butler service that will bring you anything you need to your room pretty quickly. Overall pool / lagoon and grounds were very nice and fun. More activities than last year too going on. One thing we did notice this year is we came just before the lagoon was cleaned (last year we arrived just after the weekly cleaning) - the lagoon bottom was a bit slippery. Anyways, all else was great here - food and service excellent. We went snorkeling to Hilutuncan Island Marine Reserve which was really fun. One thing to note here is they charge to use an underwater camera (about $3 US), so bring some pesos as the pictures are a must with all the fish. Would definitely go here again.

  • Liked — Lagoons / Pools are great
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank JeffandPhoebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2007

I stayed here May 16th & 17th. I was very disappointed in the hotel. We had just spending a wonderful 4 days in Bohol at the Ananyana Resort, and this resort was quite different, unfortunately not in a good way. Reminded me of a kids water park , the construction of the walls around the resort and the resort as a whole had that look about it. We are a married couple, ages 43 and 52, and we found that the resort would be best suited towards families with children. We had a room where you could enter the salt water lagoon from our deck, but I found when entering the lagoon the bottom felt slimy and the water seemed stagnant, so needless to say I got in, and got right back out. The beach area that actually goes to the ocean is a very, very small area and right next door to a public beach area. Not an inviting area to sunbathe. The public beach area also had karaoke from morning (7:00 a.m. until late in the evening), the couple we traveled with said they continually heard it. The multiple pools were just ok, not very deep if you wanted to actually swim. The restaurants were terrible for the price. They only have one place that serves breakfast - a $20 US dollars buffet, which would have been ok if the buffet had a huge selection, but it didn't and the food was only average. DInner restauarants were also very expensive - your choice was either high end, or back to the restaurant that reminded me of Denny's but a much more limited menu than Denny's and I find Denny's \much better compared to Plantation Bay. In our two week stay in the Philippines, we ate at wonderful restauarants, some very upscale in Manilla and the food was much cheaper and the quailty 10x better. They do have a game room with pool tables and a decent exercise facility. The service and employees at the resort were all very wonderful, but the resort itself we found to be just average, definately not worth what they are charging per night - we paid $168 US dollars per night. I will not definately not return.

  • Liked — The service of the employees.
  • Disliked — The look and feel, very fake like, & expensive.
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SusieG63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manila
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2007

stayed in Plantation bay from May 23 to May 26,2007. My 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son really enjoyed the salt water lagoon. We stayed in the lagoon side. Both my kids enjoyed playing in the sand and swimming in the lagoon.
However, their room rates are very expensive and you dont get the value for your money. Their rates are more expensive than the 5 star hotels in Manila. Eating in their restaurants are expensive also and not so good. We tried eating outside the resort for a much cheaper price and the food was much better.
I dont mind paying more as long as you get the value for what you pay for.
I also checked out Shangri la Mactan on our last night and it turned out to be much better. A bit more expensive but with all their complimentaries in their package it will come out to be cheaper. I will definitely recommend Shangri la to those who want to visit Cebu. You will really get what you pay for.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank maniladentist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2007

plantation bay is the place to stay for people who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the usual vacation. in short, if one wants to hide and just rest, this is the place to book. if one wants to go shop or tour other areas of cebu, then this is not the place as it is located far from the market area. there are cars for rent for people who might want to shop and buy lechon de cebu. (i think they can even buy it for you at a certain price, of course)

but since i wanted to rest, i opted for plantation bay.

first, there really is a no tipping policy. the staff will run after you to give you back any left over coins you might have left either intentionally or unntentionally. they're all accomodating and will speak to you in english.

second, there's water all over the place so cooling off is not a problem. however, if you're looking for the beach, this is not it althought they do have provisions for diving. the human-made lagoons, however, make up for this. since 90% of the lagoons are three feet in depth or even shallower, kids were confident to swim.

third, the rooms are spacious and do give a view of the lagoons. the beds are wide enough and the airconditioning units are functioning well.

fourth, the food is pricey but one of the restaurants (the one in a lagoon) serves the best choices.

fifth, one can hitch a ride in a golf cart transformed into a jeep. there's even the calesa that can take you around the resort.

although, a bit pricey compared to other resorts, plantation bay is really worth every cent. as far as the internet photos are concerned, they'll not do justice to the simple beauty of the place. also, do remember that plantation bay has been around for sometime so do not expect a resort where every inch is new.

yes, i'll be back. i've yet to experience the "spa" part of this resort.

  • Liked — cleanliness and the clean water
  • Disliked — it's a bit isolated
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank coolclam
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

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 Top resorts Hotel in Lapu Lapu
#2 On the Beach 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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