Sunday, November 27, 2011

A few photos from Plantation Bay Resort, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines

These are a few shots from our day trip to Plantation Bay Resort, on Mactan Island, Cebu, which was in mid-August 2011 (we did not stay overnight since our family lives locally).   My wife and I personally found Plantation Bay to be more  pleasant, relaxing and enjoyable than Imperial Palace Resort.  This was mainly because we found Imperial Palace (while very pleasant) to be more "Westernized" and artificially landscaped with lots of concrete sidewalks and a big concrete hotel, whereas Plantation Bay was more attuned with the natural surroundings, landscaped with a good bit less concrete and fiberglass and much more sand, trees (nicely shaded), bamboo architecture and vegetation.  Rather than a hulking concrete hotel complex, Plantation Bay has charming smaller cottage complexes spread out over its grounds, offering in many cases water's-edge access directly to the various pools and lagoons.   One feature we liked in particular was the saltwater lagoon.  While this lagoon was still artificially engineered and was not connected directly to the sea (probably to keep algae out of it), it was really quite nice because it allowed for all of us as a family to experiment with salt water buoyancy without the waves of the ocean, and do some nice back-floating on perfectly warm and calm waters.  The other thing that was really enjoyable is that they keep the pool open after sundown, so we could float on our backs and watch the stars.
Looking across the saltwater lagoon at water's-edge rooms


Another nice feature was the kayaks, which guests can use to paddle around the saltwater lagoon.   
Kayaks at saltwater lagoon, Plantation Bay


Saltwater lagoon, Plantation Bay
I unfortunately do not have photos of the freshwater swimming pool, but Plantation Bay claims that it is the largest in the entire country.  It incorporates numerous different water features for kids and adults, including slides, fountains, and whirlpool jaccuzi-type spas, all of which are very tastefully subdued or disguised into and around synthetic boulders and grottoes which blend well into the architecural and natural landscaping scheme. The freshwater pool also has a central restaurant which has buffet-style dining pool side in a tasteful building that looks like a 3-tiered octagonal band pavilion, which offered excellent food and friendly service.  

For a unique experience for the family, Plantation Bay offers free calesa (horse-drawn 2-wheeled carriage) trips around the property, which is charming and quite extensive. Plantation Bay is breathtakingly beautiful at night with beautiful lights accenting the landscaping and the wooden and bamboo catwalks, bridges, and piers that cross the pools and interconnect the properties, as can be seen on their website: http://plantationbay.com/

We greatly enjoyed our time at Plantation Bay, and hope to make it back again sometime in the future.

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