Our Unforgettable Plantation Bay Birthday Getaway

It was last year when I booked with Plantation Bay Resort and Spa for our most recent family travel last month. As with the rest of our previous travels, we booked at least a year early.  This allows us to plan ahead our schedule. This time around, I strategically planned our Plantation Bay getaway in time for my husband’s 37th birthday. Close to 11 years of being married to this wonderful man, I can honestly only count the number of times I have surprised him with a gift. Two times (not including this), to be exact.

Because I wanted to surprise the hubby for his 37th birthday, I corresponded with a Plantation Bay personnel via email early on.  Above is a screencap of a reply I received when I was coordinating the arrangement for my birthday surprise. I was not exactly expecting a complimentary cake. If I were to be billed for the extra service, I would not have minded.  I was set on giving the best birthday my beloved hubby had ever had. Because I was pleased with the unexpected complimentary cake, with all the details of the inscription being asked of me and other details, I was already impressed with Plantation Bay. It took me a lot of will power to hide my excitement for my love’s 37th day! :-)

From amongst the restaurants in Plantation Bay, I decided on Palermo for Jeff’s birthday dinner. More on that later. :-)

I’ve had probably over 30 email exchanges with the Plantation Bay personnel and I was beyond satisfied how they got down with me to the very last detail. From the inscription on the birthday cake, to the restaurant where they will have it served, down to the time when they will serve it.

Overall, our Plantation Bay experience was beyond satisfactory. To put it plainly, it is our favorite local vacation place we have been to. If at all, it can very well compete with our family’s previous out of the country vacations. We just so loved Plantation Bay to bits!

Because we arrived Cebu the day before our booking dates, I thought we will not be able to avail of the hotel transfer. It was not a problem, as I was told by a Plantation Bay personnel since we can still be picked up from the airport anyway. We arrived the airport earlier  from another hotel in Mactan and all we had to to was ask an airport staff for the Plantation Bay representative and we were ushered right to the van going to the resort. So convenient!

Above is the view from the lobby of Plantation Bay. We took this shot while we were finalizing our accommodation. Although check in time was 2PM, we were able to settle an hour earlier for free.  Sweet!

Plantation Bay Map

There is no dull moment in Plantation Bay. While waiting for me to be done at the reception area, our son enjoyed feeding the fish at the pond.

I’m not sure how many times this kiddo went back to the counter to ask for more fish food. But that smile to me is priceless! Fish feeding as per Plantation Bay’s daily schedule is at 10AM. It’s nice that they allow kids to enjoy this as soon as they arrive.

And we are ready to settle to our Windward Room No. 29

We were handed with (2) key cards, (3) beach towel coupons and (3) welcome drink coupons. The beach towel coupons, we used as we exchanged them for clean towels at designated towel stations all over the resort. Another convenient plus. It’s sweet having that wet towel problem off our hair (quite literally). :-) First time to go and enjoy the beach without having to bother with wet towels!

From the hotel/resort lobby we were ushered to this electric tram that transported us to our home for three days. Jeff once again captured our son’s ecstatic face! It’s easy to see that this vacation isn’t just for his loving-about-to-turn-37-father after all. We have one thrilled boy and we have not even settled in our room yet. :-)

Plantation Bay, to this day, observes this “No Tipping Policy.”   I love it!  It’s nice not having to bother if the bell man will think whether we’re cheapskates or not. Teehee! This alone makes our Plantation Bay stand out from amongst all the other places we’ve been to. Even without the tipping, we get the best service every single time. It’s like they’re saying that they don’t need to get tipped for us to get excellent service, because it is already a given. Wow! And truly, right from pre-booking to the time we left the resort, we were one satisfied family. :-)

And that’s me walking through this lovely man-made cave for the first time. It’s the grand entrance towards the Windward Cluster  where our room is located. One step inside and I knew it was paradise!

Right in front of our room was this lovely view of the windward freshwater swimming pool! And it was their cheapest room the last time I checked. I booked it last year for $150 per night. It pays to book early because it was ten dollars pricier (still worth it) on our actual travel dates! Prudent me! **pats own back** :-)

Our Poolside Room

The poolside room within the Windward Cluster was spacious even for the three of us. We especially love that there were at least 18 electrical sockets in the room alone! 18!!! Beat that! Most hotel rooms we’ve been to will only limit us to three or four, tops. Precisely why we bring extension wire whenever we travel.  For the first time, we needed not worry about getting our gadgets out of charge. Woohoo!!

The above photo is an attempt of doing a panoramic shot of the equally enormous toilet and bath and dressing room. On the left is where the safe, the closet and the toilet are. On the right are where the shower and the tub are. Right smack in the middle is the lavatory.

Plantation Bay also welcomed us with a basket of complimentary sweets!  Needless to say, they did not last another day. I had to keep one mango-tamarind candy, though. To make sure I’ll be able to include it in my list of to buy things for pasalubong. :-)

Because the birthday boy has got to do what he’s got to do, we did not waste a minute and head on over to the archery, wall climbing and the firing range. It’s the same area where the tennis court and the children’s playground, pitch and putt are all located.

Wall climbing, he went! It’s been a while since he last climbed a wall. My spider Jeff! :-)

Jeff’s first time to try archery. I tried too. But I’d rather not post a photo, I hardly held the arrow aright. Haha!

Everywhere we go, Plantation Bay was just breathtakingly beautiful!

I can flood this post with the gazillion of photos we took during our stay and they won’t justify Plantation Bay‘s beauty when you experience it first hand. It will totally envelop you like it did us. :-)

Kilimanjaro Freshwater Swimming Pool

The structure on the left, the Kilimanjaro Kafe, is where we had our first meal at Plantation Bay. It was also where we claimed our welcome drinks. :-)

One of the first things my boys did was kayak through the East Saltwater Swimming Lagoon

West Saltwater Swimming Lagoon at dusk

Frolicking at the beach and plenty of kisses with my little guy. Is there a place more conducive? :-)

Pochero Cebuano-Style, P480

We had this for our dinner viand and it was more than enough to satisfy our very famished tummies. It was our first time to have this type of pochero and we really loved how well the boiled corn, banana and bamboo shoots complimented the very tasty beef dish. If I were to choose a dish I will go back to in Plantation Bay, this will be it. Jeff loved it too. :-)

If you didn’t see our little guy tagging along, you’ll swear we were honeymooners. :-)

Our 7 year old took this shot of us atop one of those big slides.  It was a real blessing that despite the weather being bi-polar for the most part, both in Manila and Cebu, we were able to thoroughly enjoy our stay in Plantation Bay. The only time it rained was our first night and we were already indoors! After praying for this trip for quite a while, I knew in my heart it was the Lord’s favor upon us. He knows so well how much we needed to have this quality family getaway. :-)

Coral reef within 100 meters of Galapagos Beach in Plantation Bay

At the game room where we played table tennis, air hockey, foosball. They boys also played boxing via Wii. Beside the room is the gym where Jeff spent quite a bit of time while Jed and I played chess. :-)

We saw from the schedule flashed on the television screen in the game room that there was this Free Swimming Lessons for Kids from 4-5PM. Because we thought it will be a good idea to jumpstart our son on the basics of swimming in a non-threatening environment (vacation, to be exact), we thought, why not! Nobody else came to take the swimming lessons, so Jed had a one on one with Lifeguard Kuya Vincent. He was so nice to Jed, even when the little guy was not. But Jed made sure he approached Kuya Vincent after his lessons and said sorry for giving him a hard time. He said he’s really just afraid to drown. Hopefully, this is something he’ll overcome in time. :-)

Jeff’s 37th Birthday Dinner: Pate de Foie Gras, Potato Croquettes, Pappardelle, Gambas, Steamed Rice, Caramel Coffee and Fresh Banana Juice

I practically had to drag the boys out of the pool late in the afternoon to make it on time for the birthday boy’s surprise. We arrived  at Palermo Tapas and Pastas around 6PM. Although I knew that everything is arranged, I still couldn’t help feeling anxious until the cake was served. The ambiance was perfect and the singer was serenading us. The dinner was beyond sumptuous! I knew right there that I couldn’t have chosen a better restaurant for my husband’s birthday dinner. Palermo has the perfect pate de foie gras that I love to bits, one of Jeff’s favorite dish – Gambas and the Pappardelle pasta that our son ordered, he downed in no time! We loved every single food item on the table that night.

The server waited until we were done eating before she gave the queue to the singer and the pianist, I knew this was it. I swear I was more nervous then than I was on my wedding day! To think I have been married over ten years to this man and I cannot help but feel so crazy in love still as I did this surprise for him. It might seem too shallow for some but I so wanted to make up for all the years that I have not bothered to give him a present. The delight spelled all over his face when the lady sang and the server presented a cake with a lit candle was my ultimate reward I knew it was a job well done! While I was thanking God for allowing things to pull through, I cannot be more amazed at how Plantation Bay people can coordinate with their staff down to the last detail. That birthday song was definitely beyond what we agreed upon, but who’s complaining! That’s a sweet, sweet, bonus! I couldn’t be more convinced about my choice for a birthday getaway.

Thank you so much Plantation Bay for being instrumental to my husband’s “best birthday ever” – his words, not mine. :-) As for the present, I cleverly had it tucked right under his pillow in the wee hour of his birthday morning. Full story on my post–> Good Morning, Plantation Bay. :-)

The gazebo at the Windward freshwater swimming pool on the night of my Jeff’s birthday was all ours. How can you not fall in love with this view?! It’s ultra romantic and I enjoyed it with two of the most important men in my life.

Tandem Biking at Plantation Bay

Plantation Bay has outstanding facilities! With our room accommodation, we were entitled to most of the facilities for free. Three days we were there and we were not even able to do every activity that are available for us to do. Compared to our previous travels, our stay in Plantation Bay Resort and Spa was the best value for our money. While previous travels would have us factor in trips and tours, payment for tour guides and all, we get to do so much more in Plantation Bay alone. In fact, compared to our previous vacations, and as we would have it our vernacular, mas nakatipid pa ako!  :-)

And as if it were not enough, during check out, I took my chance, just in case, somebody might have found the aviators my son lost somewhere during our first day in Plantation Bay. A housekeeping staff came to the front desk with my son’s lost sunnies! What are the odds! And in the Philippines, at that! The person who found it, as per the Lost and Found slip, was Geofrey Tango-an. Thank you, Geofrey! Plantation Bay is in a class of its own, I must say. We are beyond satisfied! :-)

Above is one of the many random videos we took. It was shot during our last day in Plantation Bay at a cave with jacuzzi in Kilimanjaro freshwater swimming pool. We were just being our silly selves, celebrated as we showered the birthday boy with kisses and more kisses!

It was my husband’s birthday that we went to Plantation Bay for, all right. But for some reasons, not only because my birthday so happened falls on the same month, I celebrated like it was mine too! Thank you so much Plantation Bay for the outstanding service from the pre-travel hitch free arrangements and for our awesome and unforgettable Plantation Bay birthday getaway!

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Website: http://plantationbay.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/plantationbayresort.cebu
Twitter: @PBayCebu

128 thoughts on “Our Unforgettable Plantation Bay Birthday Getaway

  1. laya

    jen!! what a wonderful experience! i’m looking forward to going there with the family someday :) your family is equally blessed to have you spring such surprises of love and appreciation! happy birthday na lang to the birthday boy :) pero where’s the cake? pichooor! :D


    Jennie Reply:

    Hi Laya love! The closer shot of the cake is in the music video clip I especially made. It’s just above the photo of Jeff and the cake. Food shots are also there. :)


  2. Ruth

    OMG! How fun is that! Happy, beautiful family!

    Beautiful place, and I say, I love the service more than views! Oftentimes, it pays to pay more for a good vacation!

    Glad to read you guys had fun! I will be back here once we plan a trip to that place ;)


  3. Kero

    It looks so serene yet grand. It must have been really worth all your time. I hope I can visit Cebu one day.

    Happy birthday again and may you continue with more travels!


  4. Irish Blanca

    Wow. Super convincing post Ms. Jen as usual. Parang gusto ko na ngayon din pumunta sa Plantation Bay. Hope to experience it too with my family soon. God bless to your family. :)


    Jennie Reply:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Irish! Yes, Plantation Bay is really an awesome place. God bless your family too! :)


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  6. Edmon Luna

    THis is the Great Place for Family and Hoping One day makapunta dito. without looking at the Cost . and Gusto ko rin mag swimming ang Boating sa East Saltwater Swimming . and to Have picknik here windward freshwater swimming pool..SO awesome place to be! and thank you for Posting it on Facebook and to your Blog.! Really this is unforgetable place for the Family ONe day ako din makakaranas nian with my Family too! Godbless and HAve a Greatday With your LIFE by LUNA MON SObrang POGI talaga!


  7. Green Dei / Daryll

    Enticing photos, you sure had an amazing time family bonding. The coral reef at Galapagos Beach is something to remember, and the Pochero Cebuano-Style looks tempting. :) Plantation Bay boast of the sassy outlook, hence most tourists and local travelers recommends the resort.


  8. Franc Ramon

    We took a day tour several years ago and Plantation Bay is really beautiful from any angles and I also love their buffet offering for breakfast and lunch.


    Jennie Reply:

    We didn’t try buffet during our stay. We were too busy exploring that place that we had to drag ourselves away from the water to eat. Next year, hopefully, we’ll get to experience their buffet meals. :)


  9. Itin

    I’m from Cebu and I never took any chance to get inside Plantation Bay. It’s getting old I think and we have too many emerging resorts to choose from.


  10. Bethchai3j

    Inggit much!!! Would love to visit the place also…but your post has toured me enough so I guest I dont need to anymore!!! Haha joke!! Hay!! Hope i can go there one day.. :)


    Jennie Reply:

    Betchabygolly!!!! Iba parin yung real deal! Thanks for dropping by. :)


  11. Fred

    I have heard of Plantation Bay for a long time already, but this is the first time I have seen what is inside! So nice, but also quite pricey, but looks worth it for a special occasion with the family. Were all the other sports activities free already, or do you need to pay per activity?


  12. special education philippines

    What I know of Plantation Bay is what my husband recalls as one of the hotels he and his family visited when it was just newly-opened. From what I remember, he said it was a beautiful place and based from what I can see in your pictures it seem that there has been lot of improvements. I’ve been to Cebu twice only and the first time I went to the Crown Regency. The second one I forgot the name of the hotel but it was good too. So hopefully, the third one will be at the Plantation Bay.


  13. Phil

    Wow! The pictures you took are awesome. They made me want to visit Plantation Bay Resort and Spa. I didn’t realize that they had so many amenities it’s like you won’t need to ask anything more when you’re there.


  14. Gino

    Wow ang ganda naman ng place na to! Malayo sa kabihasnan. Masarap mag relax at mag unwind sa ganitong ambiance..sana one day makapunta din dito with friends or family.. :)


  15. Bay

    In the late 80s, a former client brought me to the Plantation Bay Resort, I think its name was Plantation Bay Hotel and we just lingered on the lobby which was huge and I remembered the beautiful and intricately made rattan chairs where visitors can sit. The place has gone leaps and bounds and has its international flavor. No wonder foreigners book regularly to that place. I am glad that all of you enjoyed your stay. The pictures were the evidence of a grandiose place.


  16. Clariss

    A glimpse of heaven! Super Beautiful naman jan, ate! Ill tell sister na dyan nlng ako mgbirthday nextyear haha! :) Mageenjoy si mother dear sa mga amenities nila. Will share this good news to my friends. :)


  17. Jessica

    Grabe ang ganda.ganda naman po ng lugar na yan ..
    feeling ko po sobra nakakarelax dyan sa pics nyo plang po ee..
    mapuntahan nga din po yan lugar na yan :))) hahaha


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  19. Jay Rex Solis

    Congrats to your family winning the Competition.
    I sent in my entry as well, but when I read yours, Im glad you’ve won. I was amazed by your story, pictures of our effort and seeing your son and husband smiling wide. So awesome.

    I became a parent of a boy a year ago. I cant wait to take my little family over to the Resort. :) Thank you for sharing the photos. Ciao.

    Btw what’s amazing to this place is the overall generous service provided by their awesome staff. They give 110% service just to make you and your partner/family smile wide like this :-D

    Greetings from Copenhagen, Dk
    Jay Solis


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  22. Tammie Gambles

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Plantation Bay Cebu Resort and Spa Review | Marriage and Beyond .


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