There's a second home that beckons me to go back several times...if not for rest and recreation...just for the feeling of being relaxed and rested...is the Queen City of the South of the Philippines called Cebu.
One of my favorite places is Plantation Bay. Not that it's fantastic or superb, but because if offers so much serenity in spite of the fact that the place needs a major make over already after several decades of existence! The mere fact that I keep going back to Plantation Bay says a lot about the character of this resort.
The endless lagoon of salt and fresh water, the small but clean beach, the fact that when you step out of your rooms, you're right in the pool already...they're just the perks to make you feel so relaxed in spite of the heat.
And because it was a vacation for me, my partner and my family, it was sleep, eat, rest, play and eat, sleep, rest, play...but I guess what got the most part was the eating in spite of our arrival on a Good Friday.
There are many things to do at Plantation Bay, which does not mean swimming and water sports alone. You can enjoy a good rub down at the Mogambo Spa, or shoot some arrows or guns or climb a wall or play some table tennis - one will never run out of options - whether you enjoy the vast pool or jet skiing at the beach.
There are also a few good restaurants and I would recommend Fiji more than the rest. But of course, you can dine at Savannah (burgers, fries and hotdogs) or have a regular meal at Kilimanjaro (so humid and hot that the Halo Halo melted instantaneously), or settle for some Italian cuisine at Palermo. The upside here is the food at the resort is good. Not excellent - just good. The downside (which I reviewed in TripAdvisor) is that it's really expensive! I mean, who gets to drink mango juice (Del Monte in can) for P240? What a rip off. (You may want to serve the juice without the can so that it looks more authentic because we all know how much the canned juice costs.) And the pictures on the website of Plantation Bay on the food are not what they actually look like when the food is on the table. They're actually more delectable! But a vacation is a vacation and you need a really deep pocket to contend with the small dishes and the price for them.
Of course, going to Cebu isn't just about Plantation Bay.
There's a new discovery I made in Cebu and it's Zubuchon. Their lechon is the BEST!!! While all the food there mostly revolves around the pork called lechon, one should try the deliciuos Kamias Shake. It literally removes the fat you eat from the lechon. I guess you need to give in every guiltlessly once in a while to the sin of having to eat a bit more than we could chew. After all, we can all go on a diet when we're dead!
There is something about Cebu that makes you feel the laid back life and yet enjoy urban living. And my Cebuano friends have the best of both worlds in my fave second home - Cebu!
Truly...everything is more fun in the Philippines!