MANILA, Philippines --- Among the ongoing construction projects in bustling Ortigas Center, Pasig, a five-star contemporary hotel-with 313 rooms and upscale suites, extensive meeting facilities, signature all-day dining restaurants, a Chinese restaurant, a lobby lounge, and a Sky Bar that offers a compelling view of the city skyline-is anticipated to raise the standard of others in its class there when it opens.
Set to launch in 2012, the Marco Polo Ortigas is a collaboration between the Marco Polo Hotels (MPH) and Manila-based property developer Xin Tian Ti Development Corporation (XTT), which was strengthened during a signing ceremony between the respective group's top officers in Manila recently.
Expanding In The Philippines
Steve Kleinschmidt, president of MPH, announced, ''We're very pleased to partner with XTT. We have a long time to get to know each other; we've been very involved in the planning and the design of the hotel. It's truly going to be a fine hotel, one we're going to be very proud of.
''I think this is one of the most unique potential properties in the Philippines. We're very proud to have it as part of our group. We're very interested to have it open, being a part of the hotel inventory in Ortigas and truly representing Marco Polo Hotels well in the Philippines, but also a hotel that all of the Philippines can be proud of, and in particular, that area in Metro Manila,'' he adds.
A strong presence in key business centers in Asia Pacific, the MPH group-a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed company with core business interests in property and investments in communications and container-terminal operations-has been known for its excellent services and first-class signature touches. Their ''in-depth knowledge of Asia and Asian customs,'' added to the ''rich experience of their management team,'' has made every stay in any of their hotels distinctly memorable.
Kleinschmidt shares, ''In our three Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong alone, there has been a long and strong market following from the Philippines. It makes perfect sense to be in this market (the Philippines); it has been a priority for some time.''
To date, there are already two Marco Polo Hotels that have been operating in the country, one in Cebu and the other in Davao, both popular destinations because of the renowned Marco Polo service and excellent all-day dining and buffet. Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu boasts of 329 guest rooms and suites, five dining venues, a spa and wellness Zone, swimming pool, business center, and over 2,400 square metres of meeting space, one ballroom and 12 function rooms. Davao, with less rooms and suites, nonetheless offers the same excellent dining, leisure and function room options.
''Cebu has set an exceptional benchmark. Ortigas is a different market mix but we aim to make this new five-star hotel at par, if not surpass that (benchmark),'' he says, adding, ''Why Ortigas? There is a dearth of five-star hotels in the Quezon City and Ortigas area. The Manila market, overall, has the most stable hotel rate in Southeast Asia. Ortigas Center is one of the strongest and most stable CBD markets.''
Once open, the Philippines will have the most number of Marco Polo Hotels in Asia, next to China.
Investing In Our Country's Future
''We are incredibly excited to be affiliated with this reputable brand in Asia Pacific for the Marco Polo Ortigas, a P3-billion investment,'' XTT President and CEO Samuel Po says. XTT was established by First SLP, a company that also fully owns JS Unitrade Merchandise, Inc., one of the top 300 corporations in the country and a prime mover in baby care, feminine hygiene and geriatric care products. ''This hotel is our answer to the government call to the private sector to invest in the future of our country,'' Po adds.
In response to this, the government, represented by Department of Trade Usec. Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr., affirms, ''The country is now in business, under new management. Under this management, the Aquino administration, tourism is high on the list of priorities. The Philippines is happy to host the fruit of this partnership.''
A Welcome Upgrade
To date, only the EDSA Shangri-La offers five-star amenities and service to the Quezon City and Ortigas Center, Pasig City markets, with most accommodations available falling under lower-star, full-service apartments or suites categories.
The entry of the Marco Polo Ortigas-an impressive structure combining excellent design and well-planned development, which will also provide guests with a spectacular view of the city center, direct access to Meralco Avenue, and the chain's signature Continental Club floor offering exclusive and unrivaled privileges-is seen to bring a positive and welcome upgrade to the continuously bustling business and leisure center.