Henann Resort Alona Beach: Footprints in the sand

Jose Paolo S. dela Cruz (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Contrary to the popular nursery rhyme, hotelier Henry Chusuey didn’t have to “build upon a rock,” to prove himself a wise man. Instead, he built his hotels upon the powdery white sands of Boracay; and the walls, as one can see today, never went “tumbling down.”

These days, Henry Chusuey, who has made a name for himself for growing his once modest kingdom of 43 rooms in Boracay (circa 1998) to 1,400 rooms under the Henann Group of Resorts, has gone cross-island. And after building and acquiring an impressive array of six resorts in Boracay (three of which are yet to be formally unveiled), it is no surprise that the sandy coasts of the island have grown small for this businessman.

During a recent media dinner at the posh Finestra restaurant of Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City, Henry, together with his sons Alfonso and Karl, revealed that the group has begun pursuing its goals of national expansion this year. The progressive movement will start with the upcoming inauguration of the Henann Resort Alona Beach, on that sandy stretch of paradise on the island of Panglao, Bohol.

“Henann Resort Alona Beach is the biggest hotel in Panglao, Bohol. We consider this a milestone in our company’s 17-year history, as this will be our first property outside Boracay,” explains an upbeat Henry, chairman and founder of the Henann Group of Resorts. Following the formula that has certainly worked for Henann, the new property in Bohol aims to up the ante when it comes to accommodations in Panglao.



The location is prime, gifted with the widest beachfront in all the properties in the area. And it comes with a good story, too. For all its worth, the property practically fell on Henry’s lap when he, together with an associate, wanted to have a drink along Alona beach a few years back. Upon reaching the hotel, however, the lights were off and the only sign of life they saw was a guard on duty. The previous hotel had closed down reportedly due to labor disputes. To cut a long story short, phone calls were made, deals were signed, and Henry got his slice of Alona in no time.

Having popularized the room-to-pool concept that guests in their Boracay resorts thoroughly enjoy, Henry and sons promise that Henann Resort Alona Beach will be just as impressive with its amenities.  The new Henann in Bohol will boast 400 rooms plus 12 exclusive villas, along with a convention center, business center, fitness center and a luxury spa. Two more swimming pools, and a number of dining options have also been added for guests to enjoy within the hotel.

While the trio is keen on promoting their property, Karl, who handles the marketing of the resort, humbly concedes to the beauty of the island. “There’s more biodiversity in Panglao island compared to any place in the world, which makes it perfect for diving and other activities,” said Karl, noting that a stay in Henann could also be a great gateway to such fine, exploratory adventures.

Alfonso, on the other hand, had moved from bustling Boracay to serene Bohol recently, to personally oversee operations of the property there. “There’s a lot of work to be done, small details, really, but it’s important that these things are taken care of personally, to ensure that our guests get what they paid for,” said Alfonso with a good-natured smile.

Confident without meaning to boast, Henry also noted that he intends to be as hands on as he has always been with Henann Resort Alona Beach — keen on bucking the growing trend of local investors hiring foreign executives to run their hotels. “I’ve got good people, well-trained managers who can run the business the way I like it,” Henry said.

Come April, Henann Alona Beach will officially open its doors to the public. And as the first guest checks in by April 15, Henry Chusuey and his sons would have truly left their permanent footprint in the sands of Panglao. They may have built their hotel upon the sand, but their business acumen, that, indeed, is their rock.


(For inquiries, call the Henann Group of Resorts at 523-1234, or visit www.henann.com.)


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