Cebu, the hub around the Visayas is a densely populated province that comprises of Cebu Island and more than 150 smaller surrounding islands and islets. Easily accessible, Cebu draws almost 2 million foreign travellers a year, especially those seeking out white-sand beaches and spectacular diving spots. There are plenty of things to do in Cebu, for it has plenty of romantic resorts, lively bars, emerging eateries and burgeoning retail shops. For couples who wish to visit the beautiful Philippines, Cebu is only less than 4-hours away from Singapore by plane and is a destination you would not want to miss.
In this issue, we whisk you away to Plantation Bay, one of Cebu’s most beautiful resorts set in a sprawling 11.4-hectare compound, home to a saltwater lagoon, water bungalows, and refreshing experiences. Plantation Bay is one of the largest privately-owned waterways in the world. Combining a serene waterway and tropical plantation experience, you get a honeymoon that truly feels ‘away from it all’. Read on to discover what is in store for you in this paradise.
8 Reasons to have your Honeymoon at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa in Cebu
1. Live on the edge of a sparkling lagoon
With its laid back and immersive atmosphere, Plantation Bay is not your run of the mill resort. The crown jewel of the resort is the expansive salt-water man-made lagoon that gives you a breathtaking feeling each time you step foot outside your room. For your honeymoon, stay in the Water Edge’s Room that gives you direct access to the waters.
This room, as its name suggests, is built right on the lagoon’s edge, allowing you to jump straight from your veranda into the inviting waters – the equivalent of a water bungalow in the Maldives, but at a much cheaper price tag (starts from $220++). In seconds, you can be swimming in the turquoise waters, free from creatures lurking under the sea. A top choice for couples seeking out that intimate, private and romantic experience. We would also recommend the Riverboat Suite (from $450++), a 2-bedroom cottage built on stilts overflowing water, for a rustic, elegant and intimate experience.
2. Be surrounded by unique colonial-plantation architecture
Plantation Bay has a unique landscape and atmosphere, which makes for an unforgettable experience. The sprawling 11-hectare estate is laid out like a plantation village, with the lagoon at its heart. There are also several freshwater pools littered around the resort. You will find many palm trees swaying in the wind, providing ample shade from the sunshine. Buildings are designed in a colonial fashion, with a classic and elegant touch to them.
For our visit, we arrived at the estate in the early morning to be pleasantly surprised with nature’s landscape, similar to a countryside. Though man-made, it was well constructed and served as a modern and refreshing change from the usual drab of the city. Being from the city, outdoor spaces can never match up to this! It took us a while to get accustomed to the immense amount of space surrounding us. We fell in love with the resort’s relaxing tropical ambience. The moment we stepped foot in the resort, it felt like we were being welcomed into our own private, vacation home, that came complete with a motorized buggy or horse-drawn carriage if you wish. Check-in was a breeze, and we mean that literally, thanks to the dalandan drinks served to refresh us.
3. Feel homely in rooms with graceful interiors
We found the rooms to be designed with simple and clean interiors with wooden accents, giving a homely touch of gracious elegance. All rooms are a step away from the resort’s main lagoon and freshwater pools, ensuring that every guest wakes up to a sweeping view of the resort. Almost all rooms come accompanied by deep, shady verandas that underscore the plantation-owner feel. That is a big win!
4. Celebrate romance with the romantic rendezvous package
Soft lights, sweet music and even a rose petal bath with scented candles… talk about having a sensual evening! Celebrate your newlywed status with a candlelight dinner for two in any location within the estate. Be serenaded with live music, enjoy personalized service by a private butler, all with a dinner set up that will melt your heart. Be pampered with roses, sparkling wine, and chocolates, all that will make your celebration far more unforgettable. With good weather, this dinner set up will be outdoors at Lover’s Rock, with a paper lamp trail leading you to a table specially set for two.
During our visit, due to wet weather, the staff of Plantation Bay set up our dinner at the seaside Fiji Restaurant. As we were seated comfortably by the beachfront, a saxophonist serenaded us with romantic live music, setting the mood right for a romantic evening ahead. We delighted in a lovely 3-course meal, served by our private butler, which included a juicy rib-eye steak and a soothing mango parfait to end off the evening. The dozen-stemmed roses were also a delicate touch to the fine evening.
If there is one thing that Plantation Bay knows how to get right, it is making significant moments feel even more special. For your honeymoon, opt for their romantic rendezvous package (US$120 nett) and have everything arranged for you prior to your arrival.
5. A plethora of recreational activities for an exciting honeymoon
One of the best things about having a honeymoon at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa is the plethora of activities and facilities at your disposal. Most resort visits tend to be of one dimension – head out from your room to the restaurant, pool, and back into your room. But at Plantation Bay, they have created a playground for both kids and adults! You can spend an entire week at this resort, and not get bored at all. We even heard from the staff that a Swiss family loved it here so much they stayed for two whole months!
Whether you are a couple that simply enjoys relaxing on the beach, or if you are a couple that loves to get active, Plantation Bay has you covered, from anywhere in-between. A typical relaxing day can include soaking in the sun on the beach and taking a refreshing dip in the lagoon waters. Scale up the excitement by sliding down the water-slides in the freshwater pool, go wall-climbing, or try your hand at something new – kayaking, archery, biking, snorkeling, beach volleyball, golf, tennis, fishing, fish feeding, diving… even go on an island adventure to see whale sharks! One of their most interesting activities offers was stand up paddling (SUP) yoga! Check out all activities here.
We suggest that once you settled into your room, grab a kayak and get a few lazy strokes around the lagoon. Alternatively, hop on a bicycle to explore the resort’s grounds. They even have tandem bikes, which can be a fun way to bond. They also have horse-drawn carriages and Segways for rental. Be sure to sign up for the stand up paddling (SUP) yoga session that starts before sunset – that is a fun activity to try out with the help of instructors and is only a 1-hour session. Right after the session, head to enjoy the sunset with coffee, tea or wine at one of their restaurants or your own private veranda, as you cool down before a delicious dinner.
Plantation Bay prides itself on how it breaks the monotony of the usual resort activities; the property is so vast that there are so many corners to explore. There are also plenty of activities to engage in without ever stepping foot outside of the resort. With access to the water features, we do predict you both will be spending a majority of your time outdoors soaking up the sun. We suggest even keeping a scoreboard as you both try to outdo each other in the activities – loser can buy drinks at Palermo! Scuba-diving lovers will be psyched to hear that Plantation Bay is an accredited PADI 5 Star Dive Resort and features colourful reefs to explore, steep walls for drift diving, exciting caves and wrecks to discover, and virgin marine sanctuaries teeming with aquatic life. Whether you are an expert or novice diver, you can get to a suitable dive site within just 5 minutes of leaving your room.
That being said, indoor-lovers will be able to enjoy the game room, where there are two billiard tables, air-hockey, foosball, table games, and computer games – a pleasant respite from the tropical sun. There is also an indoor firing range in the resort.
6. Delicious dining and exciting themed nights
On top of romance and private moments, Plantation Bay also has an array of delicious dining and exciting themed nights lined up on your itinerary. Plantation Bay is home to five outstanding restaurants that offer both traditional native Filipino dishes and international cuisine. Delight your taste buds with international cuisine at Kilimanjaro Kafé, savour fresh seafood and Asian specialities at Fiji Restaurant, head to Palermo for light tapas and pasta dishes, and after a hot day, head to Alien Abduction, the sweet spot for ice cream and cocktails. During our visit, Savannah Grill was undergoing renovation, but now they are open as Route 66 – a retro American dinner with all day breakfast and comfort food, do also check it out for burgers and fast food delights during your honeymoon. We recommend the following dishes for you to try during your stay – Cebuano Pochero, Cebu’s famous specialty beef casserole at Kilimanjaro Kafé, the Salo-Salo seafood platter at Fiji Restaurant and the callos and gambas at Palermo.
Plantation Bay hosts exciting themed dinners regularly! During our visit, we experienced Brazilian Fever Night – alfresco dining with an outdoor buffet. We savoured churrasco while enjoying live performances of people dancing and singing – you can even join them! It guarantees a lively night with much laughter, with souvenir pictures as proof!
7. Endless pampering at the luxury award-winning Magambo Spa
For couples whose primary goal is to relax, a little piece of heaven awaits at Mogambo Springs. As one of the best spas in Cebu, it is the perfect place to unwind and feel rejuvenated. Designed to resemble an 18th century Tokugawa Japanese village, Mogambo Springs has thundering waterfalls, a creek, and fog-like mist, creating a serene zen-like atmosphere. The spa offers a variety of treatments such as massages, scrubs, foot spas and more. During our stay, we experienced the aromatic tranquility package which included a pool massage, body scrub, and an aromatherapy oil massage. The pool massage dips you in a hot pool to relax, the heat and jacuzzi jets soothe your muscles in all the right places. During your soak, your therapist will gently give you a facial, head and shoulder massage. After a hectic wedding celebration, we predict this will be an incredibly relaxing experience for you both.
Try to get in an hour earlier to Mogambo Springs so that you can enjoy the facilities and atmosphere. An experience at Magambo Springs has many heading to Mactan Island, for it is an ideal space for you to seek tranquility and laze in relaxation. The spa also has a new offering – a hyperbaric oxygen therapy room, which promises to energize you in a matter of minutes.
8. A friendly and hospitable atmosphere
Last but not least, we believe that a honeymoon can only be made perfect with hospitable service. Good service makes a vacation feel at home, and it was clear why Plantation Bay has been one of the longstanding popular choices in Cebu for tourists and locals alike. The resort staff are kind, friendly and thoughtful. We felt pampered during our stay, and the staff made it a pleasant experience. The resort also has a strict no-tipping policy, so you do not need to worry about tipping during your stay. Simply relax and enjoy yourselves. Plantation Bay also has a satisfaction guarantee which you can read here. If you are in search of an exciting resort destination for your honeymoon, do check out Plantation Bay. Fair warning though, you may not wish to leave at the end of it!
This post was brought to you by Plantation Bay Resort & Spa.
All photos are credited to the property. All opinions remain writer’s own. For more information, kindly refer to our copyright & disclosure policy.
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For couples, read our wedding guide here and our honeymoon guide here. If you need any help/services, email us at [email protected] We’d be happy to help!