Travel and Tourism

No more face shields or swab tests: Holiday 'staycation' destinations for kids

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
No more face shields or swab tests: Holiday 'staycation' destinations for kids
Club Punta Fuego
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — With kids now allowed to go out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels are now offering staycation promos for families to bond anew out of their homes. 

Here are some destinations to consider:

Tagaytay, Batangas hospitality

Anya Resort Tagaytay
Photo release


Hospitality management group Anya Hospitality Group (AHG) is among the very few to have successfully overcome the harsh economic repercussions of Covid-19 as it now raring to go back in business.

Like any other hospitality business, AHG is no exception as it also sustained certain damages. But its ability to adapt to the situation and triumph over this difficulty is what separates them from the rest of the competition.

Recognizing the uncertainty of the situation, its leaders led by Juan Roca have decided to grab the bull by the horn and not wait idly for the perfect moment before making their move.
It’s worth noting that the success of every AHG property it now enjoys is attributed to its four pillars of services that support its very foundation, these are, branding, management services, revenue management and distribution, and consultancy services. A holistic business model that only a few can brag about.

Its portfolio comprises some of the most distinguished brands the industry has to offer, which include the Anya Resort Tagaytay, Club Punta Fuego, Amara Residences, Terrazas de Punta Fuego and 4 Go Hotels in Metro Manila (Airport Road, Timog, Ermita and North Edsa), which are ready to accept guests and provide the best holiday experience.   

Though this crisis is nothing like any other calamity the world has ever faced before, the finest leadership, good track record, and commitment to excellence had helped the entire AHG to withstand the toughest test of time.

“The past year we have learned the importance of taking a step back in order to excel moving forward. During this prolonged season of stress, rest is even more essential, and yet much harder to attain consistently. Being mindful of our health and wellness is fundamental during overwhelming times,” Roca AHG’s managing director explained.

Now that they have regrouped and fully equipped, AHG is wasting no more time, opening all its properties to clients to provide the best, safest, and exceptional services to people who would not miss the chance of getting on that plane once again and just drift away and open themselves to the possibilities of meeting new faces and places, having fun and making good memories elsewhere despite the prevailing risks and challenges of going to their leisure destinations.

“I would say it is the elevated standard of safety protocols that carried us over as our doors started to reopen and as the tourism industry made its way to recovery. As we prepared for the trends of staycations and short road trips, housekeeping used to be 'invisible,’ but now the department should be very visible. We need to communicate to the travelers the requirements and additional policies that are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and health,” stressed Roca.

The group recently launched “Your Safety, Our Priority” campaign elevating Covid-19 protocols that have been implemented in all their properties for the safety and convenience of the team members, partners and guests.

Further speaking on the topic of recovery, Roca who is seasoned in both budget and luxury hotel management pointed out that, "It is expected for the luxury resorts to recover faster because their market has the ability to spend. There is also more confidence in the services and safety of luxury hotels". Focusing on improving safety measures and cleaning procedures will continue to grow the trust and confidence of the local market.

And since the pandemic has already changed the way tourists travel and enjoy their vacations, AHG aside from guaranteeing the well-being and safety of the guests in all their properties, is also adapting to the technological demands of the situation and sanitation requisites of their environment based on accepted regulations.

This period of shutdowns allowed the AHG to further innovate its services by integrating digital technology in its operations.

The AHG is also reaching out to other players in the business that are still struggling. It has expressed its willingness to help others transform their property into a winning brand in the long run.  

Running a hospitality business is a very intricate task as it does not just require an unlimited budget but expertise on a wide range of service that includes business development, market intelligence, finance, sales, engineering, revenue management, food and beverage, IT solutions, and corporate services among others. 

“AHG (previously Fuego Hotels and Property Management Corporation) has been in the hospitality management business for close to 20 years. As a result, we have been able to develop a relationship with our target market and established a reputation, which is known for our quality offerings on a consistent basis. Reputations in the hospitality business take time and effort to establish. We have a set of standards that we will never compromise and we will always be conscious about going above and beyond in meeting the expectations of our guests. We are passionate about always wanting to put the best product possible in every location or property we are present in,” said Santiago Elizalde, President and CEO of Roxaco Land.

Elizalde firmly believes that investing in this industry will continue being a worthy and promising venture, especially given that the anticipation for travel and tourism are only heightened in a post-pandemic setup.

Home away from home in Makati

Somerset Central Salcedo Makati
Photo release


A new chapter begins where you get to live your own story amid the center of Makati’s financial district and among a welcoming family with the much-awaited opening of Somerset Central Salcedo Makati today.

The newest addition to the expanding portfolio of The Ascott Limited Philippines brings the serviced residence experience to new heights. Offering the comforts of a home and the conveniences of a hotel, Somerset Central Salcedo Makati makes for the perfect home for all travelers. What sets the residence a cut above the rest are its prime location, modern design, and familial service.

“Somerset Serviced Residence is an Ascott brand that centers around the collective interests of integrating personal and social lifestyles, while promoting ‘inspired living’ for everyone to achieve more and to live fully. At Somerset Central Salcedo Makati, our residents and employees are all part of our big family,” said Daniel Wee, Country General Manager of The Ascott Limited Philippines.

For now, Somerset Central Salcedo Makati welcomes quarantine guests only due to the current COVID-19 alert level status in the National Capital Region. However, leisure guests can now place bookings as the residence looks to open for multi-use soon.

Located at H.V. Dela Costa St. in Salcedo Village, Somerset Central Salcedo Makati comes alive in one of the country’s most exciting business and lifestyle districts. Salcedo Village has convenient access to the airport, the biggest corporate offices, and major thoroughfares. As a premier address, it also offers quiet Sunday strolls, relaxing weekend markets, and an abundant selection of dining destinations.

Somerset Central Salcedo Makati stands out as an exquisite 32-storey building featuring a lobby of classic elegance. The residence presents 285 spacious rooms spread across five luxurious apartment types: Studio Apartment (24 sq m.), Studio Premiere (41 sq m.), One-Bedroom (51-55 sq m.), Two-Bedroom (83-86 sq m.) and Three-Bedroom (151-168 sq m.) units. Rates start at P4,800.

Each apartment is well-appointed with modern home comforts, from ensuite bathroom to split air-conditioning and wireless internet access. The bigger units have fully-equipped kitchens and washer and dryer for complete convenience. For fun and relaxation, the residence has a swimming pool, fitness centre, a Residents’ Lounge and Cubbies playroom for kids. There’s also a host of business support facilities, including the Azalea Function Room with a seating capacity of 100 people.

Somerset Central Salcedo Makati enriches Salcedo Village’s thriving dining scene as well with the opening of Nonya Café. The place will serve the best and most authentic Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine, plus a wide range of classic Western and other Asian dishes. At night, Nonya Café will offer cocktails and a wide selection of wines and spirits for memorable nightcaps.

 “We at The Ascott Limited Philippines treat each other as family, and this special bond translates to how we welcome and serve every guest in all our properties, including here at Somerset Central Salcedo Makati,” says Susan Salcedo, General Manager of Somerset Central Salcedo Makati and the City Manager of The Ascott Limited Philippines. “When we say ‘you will feel at home’ with us, we truly mean it.”

A brand of unrivaled hospitality and service of genuine care await guests at Somerset Central Salcedo Makati. These qualities are embodied by The Ascott Host, a global program of the company designed to deliver personalized service to guests.

Another world-class Ascott program ensures the health and safety of its guests and employees. The Ascott Cares is developed in partnership with Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification in hygiene and health standards. The program lists nine commitments that uphold enhanced hygiene and safety standards, wellness support and sustainability practices.

Newly integrated into the Ascott Cares program is the “24/7 On-Call Wellness & Security measure.” In partnership with International SOS, round-the-clock health, wellness and security support is now a phone call away to give guests greater comfort and reassurance. 

The Ascott Limited Philippines is now looking forward to the opening of another Somerset property in Makati next year. Also in the pipeline are properties in Quezon City, Greenhills, Laguna, Davao and Cebu.

Unlimited food, decorate your own cake

Sheraton Manila Hotel
Photo release


Sheraton Manila Hotel joins Resorts World Manila’s “Staycay Your Way 2.0,” a campaign that aims to redefine travel and enhance customer experience.
This staycation offer is tailor-made for guests’ needs and preferences. This personalized staycation experience includes unlimited food and beverage, and upcycled pajamas as part of the hotel’s sustainability movement.  

The staycation offers a decorate your own cake with cake kit delivered to your room. Enjoy a selection of your favorite snack and drinks with the option to fill your room’s fridge with three of your favorite beverages from cocktails, smoothies, juice, coffee, and four snacks such as chips, popcorn, fresh fruits, candies or chocolates. 

Beat the heat and take a dip at the Vega Pool. If the kids are too young to enjoy some of the activities, get to bond with them at the Kids Club where they can play videogames, sing along to their favorite songs at the karaoke or watch movies. 

Dinner is served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Oori with unlimited Korean barbecue on a set menu prepared by the hotel’s Korean chef or indulge in an international buffet at S Kitchen. Keep the excitement going with a puzzle night complete with unlimited popcorn buckets as you stay the nigh. Wake up to a sumptuous breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the S Kitchen with a choice of local comfort favorites or a complete Western meal to jumpstart your day.

“We wanted to create a personalized experience for our guests with carefully thought of activities that does not only aim to redefine hotel experience but also is better for the environment,” said Anna Liza Vergara, General Manager of Sheraton Manila. 

Leisure tourism estates eyeing for LEED certification

Crusoe Cabins at CaSoBe (left); artist's perspective of Club Laiya and CaSoBe
Photo release


Landco Pacific Corporation forges ahead to pursue its vision of attaining the highly-coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of its Leisure Tourism Estates (LTE) CaSoB? (Calatagan South Beach) and Club Laiya in Batangas, beginning with the LEED registration and sustainability initiatives of the two properties. 

“The LEED registration of our LTE in Batangas is part of our long-term and holistic commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability program. Landco initiates this program, not to simply achieve recognition but because it’s the right thing to do. Our focus is to leave a lasting and sustainable legacy for the next generation,” stated Landco President and CEO Erickson Manzano.  

LEED rating system is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. 

“Landco delivers the physical and institutional infrastructure of the BeachTowns of CaSoB? and Club Laiya to preserve the seaside communities and the localities’ unique facets as tourist and leisure destinations. Our team works closely with our property architects, designers, investors, lot owners and Batangas community at large to foster green and sustainable undertakings,” Manzano expounded.

Practical strategies and solutions focused on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, waste segregation, marketing campaign on sustainability and ethical consumption, local communities’ livelihood program on recycling materials, and opportunities for socio-economic growth are underscored in the sprawling 15-hectare CaSoB? and 24-hectare Club Laiya.

These LTE feature walkable beachside communities along the pristine white sands, with less dependence on the automobile. There are tree-lined walkways, pedestrian routes, bicycle lanes and robust WI-FI for Work from the Beach (WFB) set-up in both developments.

The eco-friendly properties are designed with aesthetics that remind residents and visitors on the importance of conserving marine life and working in harmony with the natural landscape of the beachside properties. 

CaSoB? features modern art installations of lamp posts that resemble a whale’s skeleton or ships’ frame; roads that are essentially blue to the core as an ode to the sea; and manholes which are painted with images of sea creatures.

Millennial Resorts, which is operated by Landco, offers unique and unconventional hospitality amenities of Cocoons in both CaSoB? and Club Laiya, and Crusoe Cabins in the former, by converting and utilizing repurposed large drainage pipes and trailers, respectively, into Instagram-worthy accommodations complete with modern conveniences.

“It’s our commitment to environmental and social responsibility that drives us to think out of the box, make use of repurposed and sustainable materials and operate in ways that appeal to those who seek a unique resort experience at the same time appreciate our conservation and good corporate citizenship efforts, “explained Landco Senior Consultant for Hospitality Patrick Gregorio.  

Landco also brings new socio-economic vitality through thriving local small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) such as restaurants, shops and water sports operators in and adjacent to the properties and new sources of employment at Millennial Resorts and these SMEs. 

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