Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar bags best historic hotel award

The Philippine Star
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar bags best historic hotel award
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan, a 400-hectare heritage destination, beach resort and convention center, has been recognized by Historic Hotels Worldwide for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan has been awarded the 2021 Historic Hotels Worldwide “Best Historic Hotel in Asia and the Pacific.”

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is one of more than 300 hotels and resorts worldwide recognized by Historic Hotels Worldwide for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.

The awards ceremony and gala dinner was held at The American Club Resort Hotel (1918) in Kohler, Wisconsin last Nov. 11. Awards were presented to recipients before an audience of more than 200 senior management, industry leaders, owners and representatives from the finest historic hotels around the world.

The Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence are presented to historic hotels and hoteliers demonstrating innovative leadership, stewardship and contribution to furthering the recognition, preservation and celebration of these preeminent historic hotels and their histories.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the first heritage hotel-resort in the Philippines to be bestowed with such recognition. Las Casas was chosen among a distinguished list of nominee finalists in Asia-Pacific for Best Historic Hotels.

The list includes Deogarh Mahal Rajasthan, Raffles Singapore, Beijing Hotel NUO, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and The Murray Hong Kong.

Jose “Jerry” Acuzar, founder and owner of Las Casas Filipinas, accepted the award through a special video message that was shown during the ceremony.

“It’s incredibly humbling to stand before such an esteemed audience and receive this prestigious award. From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone from the Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Nominations Committee for recognizing our efforts at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar,” he said. “With all the hardships in our country, it became scarce to give support and importance to heritage and restoration. That’s why we are deeply thankful for this attention.”

The 400-hectare heritage destination, beach resort and convention center first opened in 2010. Starting with a passion for collecting heritage houses, Acuzar developed the sprawling property in Bagac to be an enormous manifestation of an advocacy to conserve and protect the legacy of heritage homes and historical structures.

Using the innovative method of dismantle, relocate and rebuild, Acuzar and his team of skilled builders, artisans and researchers restored the once abandoned, deteriorating heritage homes and storied structures.

“It is an honor to congratulate all the 2021 Historic Hotels Annual Awards of Excellence winners,” said Lawrence Horwitz, EVP of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “The winners are the finest historic hotels and hoteliers from across the United States of America and from around the world. We applaud the dedication and passion of the thousands of individuals working at these iconic and legendary hotels that keep the stories alive from the past and make staying or celebrating special occasions at these historic hotels memorable experiences. Through the many decades, if not centuries, these buildings have seen, it is the care of their staff, owners and operators and the support of travelers that allow their stories to continue.”

In accepting the award, Acuzar recognized the hard work and dedication of the artisans and craftsmen and craftswomen behind Las Casas.

“We are delighted that the efforts of our artisans, carpenters and the people who supported us are now recognized, especially their skills. None of our accomplishments are possible without the exceptional team behind Las Casas Filipinas and New San Jose Builders Inc., who built my vision of collecting and restoring these ancestral homes that were in a state of neglect and decay.”

Las Casas Filipinas boasts the timeless elegance of 63 heritage houses and 34 historically significant structures. The restored heritage homes are a distinctive fusion of traditional grandeur and modern influences. The heritage houses come from different places in the Philippines. Each of the heritage houses has its own interesting story and unique features, reflecting the way of life during its time.

“Although it was not an easy endeavor, it has been the most rewarding in my entire journey in real estate development,”Acuzar said. “We take pride to have revived the craftsmanship industry that generated thousands of jobs in my hometown and, most importantly, the renewed sense of belonging and pride of our countrymen in our own culture and heritage.”

Today, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar serves not only as a leisure destination but has established itself as a landmark of pride for Filipino heritage and history.

“I built this for my love of my hometown Bataan, my love for the Philippines and especially my family whom I have shared so many beautiful memories with in Las Casas Filipinas. We celebrate that in the work we do at Las Casas Filipinas. This historic hotel is my gratitude to my country and people,” Acuzar said.

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