Espina: Marco Polo in our hearts

Mila C. Espina
·2 min read

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu has been a salient part of Cebu, specifically in tourism and business. The multi-awarded Marco Polo, an urban and business landmark, is situated 600 feet above sea level in Nivel Hills. It showcases a panoramic view of lush greens, 329 well-appointed rooms and facilities.

A large number of events I had in this hotel was successful. I was privileged to work with highly professional managers and their staff. Who would ever forget, favorite, Hans Hauri? Thereafter, we had Julie Najar, and presently, Brian Connelly.

Hans and Bo Hauri are close to my heart because of the friendship they extended to my family. I remember how Hans and his staff went as far as Argao during the funeral of my late mother-in-law!

Marco Polo was the venue of some of my big successful events: the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tourism Congress, the Miss Cebu Tourism pageant, the American Chamber Philippines-United States Friendship Nights, many consular, Department of Tourism and East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum events I produced, managed and emceed. And all were “magnum opus!”

What makes Marco Polo different is its ”personal touch” with the media and its clientele. During these pandemic days, Lara Scarrow and Manna Alcaraz sent messages of concern. How touching! The hotel has extensive community projects as well.

All the other managers made our media events meaningful. It was always almost a 100 percent attendance because every affair Marco Polo gave us, specifically, lifestyle writers Nelia Neri, Jimmy Picornell, Flor Ynclino, Honey Loop, Chinggay Utzurrum, Joe Recio, Cookie Newman, Mayen Tan and Aissa de la Cruz, were memorable bonding moments.


Kudos to Marco Polo as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, another milestone with its commendable record of efficient management, facilities, accommodation, amenities and food, not to mention its community projects.

The thrust was “Marco Polo to Asia through the Silk Road.”

There were enticing room promos, a 15 percent discount on food at El Viento, an overnight stay with complimentary set breakfast for two at P2,400 net, 15 percent discount on food and drinks at the hotel lobby which lasted till April. Expect more to come.

Bring back the song

I have always been fond of the music in the hotel lobby.

Decades ago, Aida Uy, the WeCare group and my family used to watch the mini concerts of Bert Nievera, Julius Obregon and others at the TOP. The University of San Jose-Recoletos’ Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble-Amparito L. Lhuillier Educational Foundation scholars, and the Sandiego Dancers were always invited for the hotel’s cultural and holiday shows.

Marco Polo team through the decades

A. Managers: Hans Hauri, Julie Najar, Brian Connelly

B. Communication managers: Lara Scarrow, Carlo Borromeo, Aileen Quijano, Kyra Cabaero and Manna Alcaraz

C. Director of sales and marketing: Maris Mercado, Lyn Romero and Lara Scarrow