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A new member of the Accor group

The Nostalgia dining lounge.

MANILA, Philippines — Joy-Nostalg Hotel and Suites in Ortigas Center recently joined the Accor Hotels group, a French multinational hotel group that owns, operates and franchises some 3,700 hotels around the world. In the Philippines, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila was the lone Accor property for years, until it started rapid expansion in the past four years.

“Now we have Sofitel, Fairmont and Raffles, Novotel in Araneta Center, Mercure in Ortigas and now Joy-Nostalg in Ortigas,” says Sofitel general manager Adam Laker, who is also Accor’s area general manager for the country.

He adds that Accor is planning on opening two or three more properties next year, and two or three more the following year. “So that will take us from being one hotel to being double digits,” he says.

Laker says it is Accor’s French heritage that sets it apart. “Accor as a whole has a brand for everyone,” he adds, noting that hotels under the group span from budget and economy options to upscale, five-star accommodations.

“Now we’re capitalizing on the growth and expansion in the Philippines along with many other companies. We’re on track to becoming a very large force in the Philippines,” says Laker. “It’s an exciting time… the best part of it I think is it’s bringing a lot of Filipinos back home again. A lot of Filipino people work in the hospitality industry. Once they get to management level, if they wanted to earn a higher salary, they’d have to go overseas. So it breaks up the family. But with the new network that is expanding and all the roles that are available, it’s creating not only more positions, but it’s also creating competition and raising salaries. People can now work in the Philippines for salaries comparable to what they would earn overseas.”

Laker adds that the Philippines has many assets that the Accor group hopes to maximize: “The islands, the friendly people and the ease of location.”

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The famed Filipino hospitality figures in perfectly with Accor’s values. “One of our big focus points is our service. For Accor we try to be more people-focused,” says Laker.

 

 

 

 

New Joy-Nostalg general manager Shane Edwards hopes to foster the already superb service that loyal clientele have come to expect from the Ortigas property. Edwards comes to the table with ten years of experience with Accor. His first job was as a kitchen hand washing dishes and pots because he wanted to be a chef. “I gave up after six months. All the fun was happening at the front of the house,” he recalls, so he moved to the front of the house as a waiter. From there he worked his way through the industry until reaching general manager. He has worked in Australia, the US, on a cruise ship, most recently in Vietnam and now in the Philippines.

“The idea is we don’t want to change everything. We want to keep the characteristics of the property,” Edwards says on bringing Accor into the picture. “The one thing we bring to the table is our network and our loyalty members. We have a pretty large loyalty base and they are looking for new hotels that they can stay in.”

He also lists active online presence and a large support base to leverage off as some of the advantages of being part of the Accor group.

“I’m pretty impressed by the hotel. Over-all it’s a good quality product,” Edwards says on his first impressions of Joy-Nostalg. “The owners are very forward-thinking. They instilled the Filipino culture and personality [in the hotel] and we don’t want to lose that.”

Edwards is enthusiastic about the unique features of the hotel. With in-room kitchen facilities, Joy-Nostalg caters to long-staying guests “who are away from home for a long time and they like the home comforts that they miss.”

The general manager adds that the hotel is a top option for families with the generous room sizes. The hotel is also pet-friendly, definitely a consideration for animal lovers who have very few options when they travel with pets.

“It’s a home away from home,” says Edwards.

A testament to the hotel’s loyal client base, Edwards shares, the longest-staying guest has been residing at the hotel for eight years already!

The general manager is making the hotel more visible online.

“We’re committed to make it a standout property in the location,” he says.

“We are excited about the partnership with Accor. There are discussions every day on how we can lift the product even more.”

Looking beyond the corporate side of the business, both Edwards and Laker highlight Accor’s commitment to community involvement and corporate social responsibility. “Accor is very passionate about the environment. We want to give back to the community as well,” says Edwards.

Laker adds, “For us it’s not just about raising money for charity, which we do; it’s also about sustainable seafood, ordering produce locally. It’s about putting back in the communities. It’s good to have Joy-Nostalg on board because their owners are just as concerned as we are.”

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