Plantation Bay Resort, Mactan Island, Cebu Philippines
We stayed in Mactan Island, which is around 1 hour from Cebu city, for 4 nights as our first stop on our Philippines adventure. Driving through Cebu from the airport to the hotel I was quite surprised - I think I was picturing something more like Bali with plenty of restaurants, shops and hotels. It was very much the opposite, the poverty really smacked me in the face with their housing situation, but the road verges were beautifully decorated with colourful patterns all the way to the hotel and all the locals seemed so happy.
We went well over budget for this hotel, but being our first time in the Philippines we weren’t sure what to expect, and absolutely loved the look of the property. We booked a one bedroom suite which was perfect for us all and it cost around $350 a night, but there are cheaper rooms available.
In the reception area of the hotel there is a lagoon which holds starfish, clownfish, and other beautiful marine life and the kids just loved looking at them all. It makes a nice first impression along with the Christmas cookies the kids were given.
The hotel is designed with a colonial feel and the rooms have gorgeous white wooden balustrading on the balconies and porches . Our room faced the main lagoon and was just a short walk from our porch to the water. The porch itself was large with two sets of 2 seater chairs plus a large dining table. Perfect spot for room service lunch by the pool.
The trees around the property are adorned with large flowers which light up at night, aswell as fairy light which give off a beautiful ambience as you stroll over the boardwalk to dinner.
The first room from the entry was where the kids slept. There was a large day bed and the hotel made up another bed for them. The room also had an ensuite and access to the porch, plus a TV. The main room had a very large king bed where my 2 year old slept with us, plus a magnificent marble style bathroom with an amazing bath ! This room also had access out to the porch. For those with 2 or more kids this room is fantastic and ample size. The overwater rooms looked great too, these were a little more pricy and didn’t suit our family as well but they looked amazing.
POOLS & FACILITIES
The resort has many pools, with the three saltwater lagoons being the focal point of the property. These have flood gates which they drain when they clean the lagoon, as the water comes straight from the ocean. There is a diving rock with a pool of water 12 feet deep below which was great fun - The kids spent hours jumping off this rock. These lagoons also offer kayaking and stand up paddle boarding which was around $5 AUD for half an hour.
The other pools are freshwater and have waterslides, pool bar, little rock “spas”, and also man made beaches. The waterslides were a big hit with the older kids! We never actually used the other pools around the resort, which are smaller and more private – one is at the Savannah restaurant so the kids can swim while you have lunch if they like.
The beach has great snorkelling out the front, and you can hire jet skis, glass bottom boats and banana boats, aswell as take a PADI certified scuba diving course. The staff bring down some rolls for you to feed the fish while snorkelling which was great for the kids !
FOOD & DRINK
There are a few different style restaurants – Fiji is on the beach and is more Indonesian / traditional cuisine . We dined here often it was delicious. Savannah is where you go for burgers hot dogs and African style meals. Kiliminjaro restaurant is in the middle of the pool area with a beautiful view and has a bit of everything on the menu. Breakfast is also served here, they have a different theme cuisine on the buffet each day with everything from Mexican to Chinese and more, which is great if you like to try other foods. They still have the normal toast, pastries, cereals and egg stations for those that prefer.
Meals and drinks were fairly well priced around the resort, we were given unlimited free pina coladas for two people the whole time with our room promotion. The cocktail drinks are around $7 AUD and meals averaged around $10 for kids and $15 for mains.
There is no kids club in the resort but there is a small playroom next to a coffee shop (Palermo) where the kids can have a little play. To be honest there was so much to do at the hotel we wouldn’t have used a kids club much anyway! There is a small playground with climbing frames, slide and cubby house aswell as rock climbing and little golf course. For the older kids there was a games room off the gymnasium which had pool tables, air hockey and arcade games to amuse the kids.
This property is one of the best resorts we have ever stayed at – it is so different to a normal resort , and so much fun for everyone. We didn’t leave the resort much besides to swim with the whale sharks – there aren’t many options to eat outside the hotel and we never felt the need to leave – there was just too much to do.
If we ever come back to Cebu this would be the place we come to straight away – can not recommend this property enough !
For general inquiries and reservations:
Subject: Room inquiry
Tel. #: + 63 32 236 9040