Apr 20, 2015

Plantation Bay Resort in Cebu

Several years ago John and I visited Cebu and loved the mangos which were sweet and had the consistency of cling peaches.  When we were there we stayed one night at Plantation Bay Resort and never forgot the massive pools so we decided to return this year to see if it was as wonderful as we remembered.  It was.

Once again we used our United frequent flyer miles so the flight cost $43 for the two of us from Bangkok to Manila.  We then booked Air Asia round trip to Cebu.  Plantation Bay picked us up which was included in the price which we appreciated.  The Resort was even more wonderful than we remembered.  Their three saltwater pools total an amazing 5.6 acres and there are four freshwater pools, plus a small beach. The first time we stayed
we were only their one night so I didn’t know about all the activities that were available many of which are free.  Our room was on one of the freshwater pools that was like a quiet oasis.  Most of the rooms are on or near the water with some it is possible to step off the porch into the water.

Plantation Bay is huge and set up like a village with free shuttle service around the clock and most days there is also free horse and carriages rides.  We spent most of the day enjoying the pools but one day we went snorkeling right in front of the resort.  It is best when the tide is high.  I saw a bright blue
starfish.  Another day John went to the shooting range and fired an M16 with amazing accuracy considering it had been many decades since he had fired anything. He followed that up with rock climbing.  I am more interested in the sublime things of life so I went
to the spa. I even convinced John to join me. The spa is large with a Zen ambiance – they even have spa accommodations. The spa has four Jacuzzi-type pools: hot and cold, salt and freshwater; and that doesn’t include the small pool with a waterfall.

Breakfast was included in our rate.  It was typical of Asian
breakfast: massive and provided something for every palate. Each morning the breakfast buffet featured a different ethnic group: American, Italian, Filipino, Asian, French, and Mexican. Americans never have a problem dining in Asia; oddly, the Asians have trouble dining in America because they love rice at all meals and rice is seldom on American menus unless it is an Asian restaurant.

One day my objective was to swim in all the fresh water pools. On the way to discovering the fourth pool I saw a pig being barbecued. Called lechon, it is served at all important celebrations, festivals, and holidays in the Philippines. It was being prepared for their Filipino Themed Dinner. Most evenings there was a themed buffet dinner.  We made reservations for dinner and got their early so we could watch the chef carve the
pig and, most importantly, to get a good seat for the show. A soloist started out the evening and then we were invited to visit the buffet after which there was a great show displaying Filipino culture. People were encouraged to come up on stage and learn the coconut dance and bamboo stick dance called tinikling. They say “It is more fun in the Philippines."