Cebu lagoon resort within easy reach

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 September, 1996, 12:00am

The 'first five-star lagoon resort' in the Philippines has opened and is only a two-hour flight from Hong Kong.

At the US$20-million Plantation Bay resort in Cebu, general manager Yannick Poupon said: 'With direct flights to Mactan Island airport from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, most of our visitors can be by the pool within three hours of leaving home.' The biggest attraction is the pool. The 188-room property is built around a three-hectare saltwater lagoon with its own man-made beach. In the centre of the island is a freshwater pool with whirlpools, basking pools and waterfalls. Beyond the lagoon is another palm-fringed beach.

For those who tire of simply lazing around in water, the local scuba-diving is rated as among the best in the country. Only metres from the beach, the coral descends steeply to a depth of 300 metres.

Meanwhile, golfers can play mini-golf in the grounds or explore nearby local courses. Along with water sports, tennis, fishing and horseback riding are alternative leisure pursuits.

The conference market is being catered for with a 15-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and a business centre.

Plantation Bay, minutes from both the airport and Cebu City, even provides dinner cruises beneath the stars aboard its own 18-metre twin-deck launch.

Room rates start at US$210 (rising to US$1,500 for the presidential suite).

Mr Poupon said it was 'a one-of-a-kind resort in a tropical paradise. We are confident it will become an important destination for both leisure and business travellers and play a role in the burgeoning tourist market in this part of the Philippines'.

The resort has been designed by local craftsmen along the lines of a Caribbean plantation and is positioned to rival Amanpulo, Aman Resorts' hideaway in the Philippines for the rich and famous.

But it is within easier reach. With its own airstrip, Amanpulo is such an exclusive five-star Gilligan's Island that it is not even on the map.