Friday, March 23, 2012

Food Trip at Plantation Bay Resort

While I was still researching for our trip to Plantation Bay in Mactan, Cebu, most of the reviews that I read stated that its hard to find a good meal in the resort with a budget-conscious price tag. I checked if there are good restaurants nearby but most of them need a car (rental) transport so no thank you, we'll just worry ourselves when we get there.

There are actually four restaurants within the village namely Kilimanjaro Kafe, Fiji Restaurant, Palermo and Savannah Lounge. Its been a worry of mine to have limited choices on food whenever I go on vacation because most resorts usually have just one restaurant and that's it. I'm glad to know we have options here.

Located at the center of the resort, Kilimanjaro Kafe is the only restaurant open 24 hours. So anytime you get hungry and doesn't like anything from the room service menu, you can visit Kilimanjaro even at the wee hours in the morning.

It really has the clubhouse feel when you get inside.

Since its an open-air cafe, they put nets to veer away flies and other insects while you eat.

Our orders arrived fast and hot.

Clubhouse Sandwich

The first meal I had in Plantation Bay and it was really good!

Smoked Salmon in Focaccia Bread which was so delish!

You can choose either french fries or baked potato to go with your sandwich.

Fiji Restaurant's beachfront view is really amazing! In fact, I would dine here just for that.

Open for lunch and dinner only, this restaurant serves Japanese, Korean and mostly Asian cuisine. You can wish to be seated in the air-conditioned room or dine al-fresco.

First to arrive is the complimentary piping hot homemade pita bread with butter.

Upon check in, we were given one complimentary drink each which we can use anytime in any restaurant. We both used our coupons here.

Orange Juice

There are a lot of food choices here in Fiji Restaurant and at reasonable prices too!

Salad with (too sour) Mango Dressing

Shrimp Curry -- I like!

Grilled Seafood

Brown Rice

Mud Pie

We went back the following day to have lunch in Fiji Restaurant and ordered the Salo-Salo Combo meal for two persons. If we only knew how good this was, we should have gotten the good for 4 package!

The seafood were so fresh and perfectly grilled!

Lobster -- Now we're talking!

Grilled Shrimps

Clams with Garlic

Salted Egg with Tomatoes

As we were touring the resort on board a golf cart, I saw on the posted schedule of activities that it was Sahara Night that night. We were discussing if we'll check it out and have buffet or try another restaurant since we're still full from our afternoon snack when the driver interrupted and said, "Sir, mas mag-e-enjoy ka bukas sa Brazilian Fever." And so I rest my case, Fiji Restaurant it is.

And so on our second night, we walked our way to Orion Beach for the Brazilian-themed buffet.

Buffet was so-so at Php1595 per person, there's really nothing spectacular. By the time I made a second round at the seafood section, the waiter told me that they already ran out of shrimps.

Salads and other appetizers



Roast Beef

On the table

The show already started when we arrived at the venue.

Now I understand why the driver said "Mag-e-enjoy ka dun Sir!" with a big grin.

In fairness, they dance pretty well for amateurs.

After the show, the dancers made their way to the tables to chit-chat with the guests and have photos taken with them for evidence souvenir. By the way, all of the participants here are also employees of the resort so expect to see them around the village in resort uniform.

The following day, I called the butler to ask if they can bring my luggage to the lobby while I go grab lunch first at Savannah Lounge before check out.

Powerhouse Burger with Onion Rings

One pound of juicy beef goodness!

One last bite before I take my seat at the coaster for our transfer to Mactan International Airport.

Chocolate Muffins available at the lobby cafe

Reviews are there to just guide you and give you an idea on what to expect. I'm glad that I never had a bad encounter with the service and the food were generally better than I thought. To the Plantation Bay team, kudos to all of you and hope to see you again in the future!

All restaurants are located inside Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.


Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island
Cebu, Philippines

Manila Office
Suite 906, National Life Insurance Bldg.
Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 844-5024 to 25
Fax: (632) 844-5030

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Plantation Bay -- Things To Do

Its not a surprise that guests spent their entire vacation swimming, getting a tan or just lounging in the saltwater lagoon, freshwater pools or the beach. I mean, who can resist this?

Hey not me, the beach at my back!

But I tell you, there's still a lot more to do in Plantation Bay Resort and Spa aside from the obvious:

Hobie Cat Sailing. When I went to Misibis Bay last January, I had a fun time riding the Hobie Cat so when I learned that it is also offered here, I made sure to check it out again and relive the great time being hampered by the giant waves. A 30-minute rental costs Php400, not bad he said, so we signed the waiver and wore our life jackets. The guide initially agreed for us to take the Hobie Cat by ourselves but after checking out the waves, he decided to join us instead. And I am so glad that he did! It was fun at first, but after seeing how the waves here can easily capsize our boat, I really got scared. This wasn't anything I was expecting! I was not laughing at all (compared to the Misibis Bay experience) and just hold on the the ropes for my dear life. Thank goodness we made it to the shores just wet but in one piece.

Get a tattoo. Whether its henna or a real tattoo, it became almost a tradition to get one if you're coming from a beach vacation. I'm scared of needles so a henna tattoo will do for me.

Have fresh coconut while you people watch. I'm guilty of this and having a fresh coconut on your hand will give people the idea that you're just lazing around.

Massage by the lagoon. Mogambo Springs, the Spa in Plantation Bay, is considered the best not only in the country but the whole of Asia. But upon seeing the price list which ranges from Php1,000 for a 30-minute full-body massage up to a staggering Php11,000 for the Ultimate Mogambo Springs Experience, which lasts for 6 hours and 30 minutes, I backed off. Well, I can only afford the 30-minute body massage which I'm sure will be great but I knew that it won't be enough and I would definitely ask for more which would cost more than a thousand pesos. Good thing there's a Massage by the Beach at the Open Air Shops.

For only Php200 for a foot or back massage and with a view like this, not bad noh?

Ride a horse carriage. Just like the old days. You will see foreigners having a blast riding this.

Tour the village on a bike. For one hour everyday, all guests can borrow the bike for free.

Play video games. For the kids and kids at heart. Available for a minimal fee only.

Play billiards, air hockey or table football. Free usage until 6pm only. Beyond that, you will be charged per hour at very minimal price.

Savannah Park. Where you can find the more adventurous activities.

One of the numerous pools around the resort, the shallow Savannah pool is perfect for kids with its erupting volcano, waterfall mist cave and bubble bench.

The best things in life are free!

Among the activities that you can do in the park for free include: tennis, golf pitch and putt, archery and wall climbing. You can also practice your shooting skills in the indoor firing range. I bet you'll be shocked by how overpriced the ammo here is so let's pass on that.

Romantic dinner by the beach. For couples who want to dine under the stars and overlooking the sea, you can book the Lover's Rock at Fiji Restaurant. A minimum order of Php3500 per couple is required.

Shopping. You can buy souvenirs, food, swimsuit if you need one and other novelty items in their souvenir shop. Wearing a shirt is not required as seen on the guy right there.

Of course you'd see me in the food section!

Three days may not be enough to do all the great and exciting things in the resort. But for now, that's the best we can do and I'm happy to say that I had a wonderful Plantation Bay experience!
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