Coron: Where to Stay , What to Do and What to Skip

Coron with all its breathtaking pics all over social media has been on my travel list for quite awhile now.  And Coron Island is truly a beauty worth visiting with its jade colored waters set against towering limestone formations.   Coron Town, however, where most tourists stay is where expectations have to be managed. But more on that later.  For now let me rave about the beauty of Coron Island.   [Read more...]

Plantation Bay Cebu Review (Part 2): Beach and Other Activities

Plantation Bay CebuHi!  This is part 2 of my family's Plantation Bay experience. Here, I share my review of the resorts' activities, natural beach, accommodations, service and food at Plantation.
To view of what to expect from the 2.3 hectare pools and man-made lagoons at Plantation, please click Plantation Bay Review (Part 1): Pools of Plantation.Plantation Bay Cebu Natural Beach


Plantation Bay is primarily a man-made resort but it also has a natural beach.  The beach is not Boracay quality, as it is brownish and is quite ouchy to the feet.  We wore our slippers when we went into the water.  The first time we went to the beach,  it was covered with seaweeds (upper right photo) so we just stuck to feeding the fish from the dock.  The next day,  they cleared it (I think they do clearing weekends) and our family already took a swim in the beach.  My kids had fun feeding the plentiful, sand-colored fishes.  They even caught a few puffer fishes and star fishes (which of course we freed).

Like all resorts,  Plantation offered sea activities from parasailing, banana boat rides, jetski etc.

Land Activities:

Apart from water activities,  Plantation offers a whole range of land activities.  I love it that everything comes free and you don't have to pay for every move.  All the activities below are free for guests.

Cebu Plantation Bay Activities

Kalesa Rides are available on weekends between 3-5pm.  We also took to the game room when it was scorching hot.  Since it was free,  my kids tried billiards, fooseball, pingpong and darts.  The game room's airconditioner though wasn't strong enough to cool the room:(  With Hunger Games as the peg,  the whole family gamely tried archery (available for free bet 1-5pm).

Cebu Plantation Bay Activities

Single and tandem bikes are available for guests starting at 8am.  There is a bike path around the resort and my kids had fun going around with the lagoons and beach as scenery.  There is even a part where the bikes can enter a man-made cave which added some thrill.  Guests can use the bike for free for an hour a day.  My kids and I also challenged ourselves on some some wall climbing.   You can climb up as many times as you like, for free,  between 1-5pm.  The kids also did some putting in the small mini-golf area.

Gardens of Plantation Bay Cebu Exploring the whole resort is another activity you can enjoy with the kids.

Exploring Plantation Bay Cebu

If you are too tired to walk around the resort,  hop on and off shuttles are always available.  You can also call guest services to request for a shuttle to pass by your room cluster.

Image from

Image from

Night Shows:

We were able to watch a Hawaiian show Friday night (I think they have shows during weekends).  It was fabulous!  A boat with a Hawaiian clad lady with a ring of fire around her floated from across the lagoon to where the guests were dining.  What an entrance!  After, we were entertained for a good 30 minutes with Hawaiian dancers female and male interspersed with fire breathers.  The kids were very much entertained. Guests also gamely posed for some photo op with the Hawaiian dancers after the show. It was so much fun!

Rooms at Plantation Bay


We got a lagoon side room that has 2 exits.  One to the small path road for walking/biking and one to the lagoon.   Water side, I think is the best,  when you step out it's water already,  but then it's twice the price so I will just walk to the water:-)

Review of Rooms at Plantation BayAbove photos are example of the different room views. They have water's edge room (most expensive), lagoon side room, lagoon view room and poolside room (least expensive. lower right photo).    I suggest you check out their hotel map to plot which room you want.  The rooms come in clusters and we got the Tahiti House. I think room clusters by the lagoon, ground floor are considered lagoon side.  The ones on the second floor are lagoon view.  I would not exactly describe the resort as 5-star maybe 3 or 4 star.  The rooms are old already and the fixtures used along with the linen and towels are not high quality but it was clean.  The good thing though was that the room and bathroom was big.  We had 2 queen beds enough to fit a family of 5.

I felt a little bad that they had to charge my toddler (just turned 3)  an extra person rate.  I was thinking they would just waive the extra person rate since I paid Php12,500 per room/night no breakfast.  The room can only hold 2 adults and 2 kids aged 12 and below anything in excess is charged already even if it is a baby.  Considering it wasn't a 5 star hotel, the price was steep but then again it was Holy Week.  I think if it were an ordinary day the rate would be at P8,500.

Check-in is at 3pm and check out is at 12pm but they were able to give us a room at 1:30pm.  You can still use the resorts facilities before and after check-in and they have bathrooms where you can change.  Same bathroom used by day trippers.

Food at Plantation Bay Cebu


The service in Plantation is excellent, except for that portion where they did not waive additional guest fee on my toddler.  The attendants, from bellboys to the shuttle drivers, are all friendly and helpful.  In the restaurant,  the waiters are helpful but if you go on a peak hour the wait can be 1-1.5 hours for your food.  Ask first if the restaurant is full, there are 4 restaurants and you can move to the next less packed one.


There are 4 restaurants inside Plantation Bay, click this to view photos plus price.   The price of most dishes are at P400-500 and can be shared by 2 persons.  Their breakfast buffet is at P950 net.  We were on a budget (after paying P13,000++/night) and we opted to have our breakfast in our room.  We helped ourselves to the Lucky Me and Nissin cup noodles we brought plus our Macaroni salad baon and some Gardenia bread.  For our first night, we ate our chicken pork adobo baon and just bought hot rice from Plantation.

Sutokil Restaurant Mactan Cebu

We made the mistake of going out to SutoKil, Mactan and it was a huge disappointment.  It is like dampa, only the prices are outrageous (P1,100 for a kilo of suahe (medium sized shrimp), P750 for lapu-lapu, P180 for each paluto).  And it would have been ok if the food was good, it was terrible!  Not a single thing tasted good from the overcooked garlic shrimp,  shriveled up clams, rock hard soy sauce laden sweet and sour and where in the world is the meat pancit canton.  Even the rice was hard and you have to compete with flies while eating.  Do not,  I repeat do not eat at Sutokil, Mactan!   We spent P 3,200 for our lunch for 2 adults, 2 kids and 1 toddler and we had to pay for P300 for the cab ride going there.

Density of People:

The resort, though it was fully booked, was not overcrowded maybe because of the size of the resort (12 hectares).   The crowd size was comfortable even if it was a Holy Week.  Plus the crowd was disciplined.  No one was throwing trash, too loud etc.

Plantation Bay Cebu


The resort, though a little bit old and largely man-made, offered my family enough activities and fun.  The view of the lagoon, though artificial, was still very beautiful.  It was an altogether fun experience for the whole family.  I would recommend it to families who likes their days activity packed, full and happy:-)

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  My family and I went to Plantation Bay and paid for our room and food.

Plantation Bay Cebu:

Address:    Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island
Cebu, Philippines 6015
Tel. + 63 32 505 9800
Fax + 63 32 505 9818

Manila Office:
Unit No. 318 McKinley Park Residences
31st St., corner 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines 1634
Tel. + 63 2 844 5024 to 25
Fax + 63 2 844 5030


Travel Happy!

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Plantation Bay Cebu Review (Part 1): Pools at Plantation

Plantation Bay Cebu

My kids have been aching to go to Plantation Bay since the time we took a sneak peak 2 years ago.  They got their wish last Holy Week as we flew to Cebu and spent 2 nights and 3 days in Plantation.

The kids enjoyed the whole experience.  With 12 hectares of land dotted with fresh water and salt-water pools plus a lot of activities from wall climbing to tandem biking, the kids had a blast!  Here is a review with a photo essay of our trip ...

Clockwise from upper L – fresh water pool at the Savannah; man-made salt water lagoon; fresh water tiled pool at Piazza Palermo; fresh water pool at WindWard Cluster

Clockwise from upper L – fresh water pool at the Savannah; man-made salt water lagoon; fresh water tiled pool at Piazza Palermo; fresh water pool at WindWard Cluster


On our first day,  my kids were a little bit disappointed because they swam at the freshwater pool at the Wind Ward Cluster.   Beautiful as it looked, it had floating leaves and flowers on it.  My kids are a little bit finicky when it comes to cleanliness and they don't want to see anything floating on the pool.  The pool also wasn't tiled and that was a bit of a shocker for them (all pools and lagoons are not tiled except for the pool at the Piazza Palermo).

Plantation Bay Cebu

Just for you guys to manage your expectations and especially your kids',  the pools are not tiled.  Also,  because the resort is dotted with trees,  the pool has occasional leaves/twigs on it and of course sand.  The lagoon is man-made and so are those huge rock boulders.  The slightly fine sand (its not fine powder), since it is also recreated does not go deep.  My kids were a little bit upset to find a sheet of plastic (I think that is the sand liner) while they were digging to make sand castles.  My kids are quite fussy but we found a lot of nice spots and we were g--o-o-d!

Plantation Bay Cebu

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the freshwater swimming pool at the Kilimanjaro Cafe.  It had shallow (maybe 3 feet) parts that merges with the 4 feet deep parts.  My toddler loved that he could stand on the shallow parts while his siblings are just swimming happily nearby.  In the middle of the pool stood a cave like structure that had a slide.  And on the sides are small pockets of bubble benches anyone can enter in and out from.

They also enjoyed swimming on the saltwater lagoon just across the beach area.  The huge, man-made salt water lagoon (2.3 hectares of it!) is the heart of Plantation Bay.  My tweeners jumped off the diving rock several times.  You could also rent kayaks for use in one part of the lagoon (P250 for 30 mins).

There is also a huge man-made cave the kids can slide on.

Life vests are available to all guests.  Their smallest vest fit my toddler (3 years old) perfectly.  So no need to bring your life vest.

Click here to read Part 2 of Cebu Plantation Bay Review (review of beach, accommodations, service, other activities).

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  My family and I paid for everything:-)

Travel Happy!

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Imperial Palace Hotel Cebu

Imperial Palace Ocean View. Ooohs and aahs as this wonderful view of the ocean and resort welcomed us into our room.

Boasting as the first luxury water park resort in the Philippines - Imperial Palace, Cebu was our destination last long weekend.

Things to do for kids: [Read more...]