MOGAMBO SPRINGS IN PLANTATION BAY
CEBU, OCTOBER 16, 2007 (STAR) By Grace Glory Go - Mogambo Springs in Plantation Bay Cebu is more than a Spa – it’s a dream within a dream!
Nearly twelve years ago, Emmanuel “Manny” Gonzalez dared to dream a dream many thought was outrageous. He conceived his own “Gilligan’s Island” in 11.4 hectares of land on Mactan Island. Here, in this once raw and arid land, he created one of the world’s largest waterways with an exceptionally remarkable feature — its man-made sea water lagoon that connects the entire resort and spa together, separating it from other typical resort concepts and contributing to its distinctiveness. Truly, a water world of its own!
Instead of the usual plush beach resort which we can find all over the world, Manny envisioned a unique world of its own with a touch of the old American south that’s now “gone with the wind” along our lovely Pacific Ocean on Mactan Island. Thus, the birth of Plantation Bay Cebu in 1996.
My son Vernon and I were among the first to witness its construction. I can still remember searching for Manny when we first arrived at the location – only to find him in his Bermuda shorts, dripping with sweat and barefoot in the sand, clearing the grounds for his dream to become a reality.
This September, Manny Gonzalez dreamt another dream, the expansion of his resort’s Spa by recapturing the ambience of a 1783 Tokugawa Japanese village. With a total land area of approximately 5,000 square meters, Mogambo Springs has 18 new massage rooms: four suite rooms, ten standard massage rooms, two Vichy shower rooms and two pagoda rooms. Guests may also check-in within the Spa premises as Mogambo Springs has three livable guestrooms dubbed as Spa Indulgence rooms, in a more private enclave with a touch of Japanese traditionalism to enchant you and carry you into a world of balance and serenity.
Conceptualized and designed by Plantation Bay’s president, Manny Gonzalez, with award-winning Arch. Ma. Lourdes Martinez-Onozawa, one of 2007’s “Ten Outstanding Cebuanos” for the architecture category , this Japanese-inspired dream within a dream also uses materials that are locally available within the island, such as limestones, treated bamboos, pandan flooring, bamboo leaf light fixtures and thatched nipa roofs in order to maintain its Filipino character.
Mogambo Springs,this Japanese inspired oasis, also prides itself as being among the handful of spas in this country that are DOT accredited and is a founding member of the Spa Association of the Philippines. Plantation Bay, on the other hand, prides itself as the only five-star resort in the country that is fully owned and run by Filipinos starting with its Philippine-trained general manager, Efren Belarmino and its manager for Plantation Bay’s Manila Sales office, Chickie Feraren. It takes very seriously its policy of “no-tipping”. After a most gratifying and pleasurable massage and nearly three hours of service, I tried to tip my young lady therapist, but she graciously refused, saying it was against the resort’s policy. I knew that there was a “no-tipping” policy but I thought having a massage was outside of the normal services of a hotel?! Nonetheless, inspite of the “no-tipping” policy (or perhaps because of it), everyone at Plantation Bay Resort and the Mogambo Springs Spa offer their service with a smile and do their respective job with tender loving care, from the GM to the roomboys and butlers, from the waiters and waitresses to the receptionists and therapist. This, to some, may be better than home!
When people tell me they are going to Cebu, I always mention Plantation Bay as a resort they may like to consider, only because it is a unique concept in itself. A child-friendly retreat, great for families, while at the same time a paradise for honeymooners and lovers of nature.
If you’re looking for a simple retreat, a sanctuary, an island all your own to reflect and recharge, a place where one man’s dream became a workable reality, think of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa with its dream within a dream, Mogambo Springs.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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