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