Paradise Found in the Visayas

Paradise Found in the Visayas

Plantation Bay Resort & Spa – Mactan Island, Cebu

by Ron Cantiveros

Ever since my first trip to Cebu back in 2008, I missed out on the opportunity to stay at Plantation Bay after a business conference. After island hopping in Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin last January, I decided to jump on a plane and visit Cebu for a couple days for some much needed rest and relaxation. Off to Plantation Bay Resort and one of the Philippines’ foremost spa resorts – Magambo Springs. I knew I was going to enjoy most of my time at the spa as Magambo Springs was listed as one of the top spa destinations int he Philippines by Asia Spa Magazine in 2010. It certainly didn’d disappoint.

The entire resort is themed after Spanish colonial plantation architecture with natural and man-made lagoons. All of the resort rooms over-looked several freshwater and salt-water lagoons and only a few steps away from a beach chair on one of the many semi-private verandas. The rooms themselves were well equipped and the AC was a welcome bonus after spending time under the hot Philippine sun.

The resort itself boasts several themed restaurants and nightly themed buffet dinner and entertaiment. I missed the first night “Rockin’ USA” show which included BBQ ribs and chicken on the menu. The next night I was treated to the “Hawaiian Luau” show that included fire dancers and hula dancers.

Other activities at the resort included wall-climing, swimming, a well equipped gym, a games room, biking and renting a Segway to zip throughout the resort. There was an indoor firing range, a small golf pitch-and-putt, tennis and beach volleyball. Plantation Bay Resort is great for families as there are lots of activities for both children and adults.

Let’s not forget the real reason I visited Plantation Bay Resort and Spa. I was here for the spa and I was looking for sanctuary after the chaos and go-go-go schedule a week prior. Magambo Springs was designed to resemble an 18th century Japanese village with thundering waterfalls, calming creeks and sounds of the sea playing quietly through the spa. This was going to be a great place to relax, recharge and replenish my energies.

As with many spas in the Philippines, Magambo offers a wide range of head-to-toe day spa packages. It would be quite easy to spend an entire day on a massage table, given a sea-salt body scrub and wrapped in banana leaves, followed by a traditional Filipino Hilot massage. Not quite a full day, but a good portion of an afternoon.

In fact, if you wanted a complete 7 hour spa experience, Magambo offers the “The Complete Spa Pampering Treat” which includes a pool massage, body scrub, foot therapy, facial treatment, aromatherapy oil massage in a private treatment room along with an unlimited supply of hot or cold Chinese green tea.
The best part, after any treatment or spa pakcage you get at Mogambo Springs, clients are allowed to enjoy the spa’s four hydrotherapeutic pools, massage waterfalls, sauna and the steam rooms for the remainder of the day. Not a bad way to spend a day – under a waterfall. Next time you’re in Cebu, go ahead and spoil yourself. You deserve it.

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is about a 30-minute shuttle ride from Cebu Mactan International Airport.