HOMEGROWN hotel firm, The Royal Mandaya Hotel (TRMH), poured some P14 million in renovating several hotel facilities believing that innovation is the name of the game.
TRMH general manager Benjie Banzon said last Friday during the launching of their newly-renovated facilities that the move is to fulfill its commitment to Dabawenyos -- provide quality hotel services.
"At present, the hotel rates remain even with the renovation," he said.
The newly-developed facilities include the main lobby, Kamayo Café and the VIP room, the Royal ballroom and hallway.
For the new main lobby, it is now lighted by three new elegant raindrop-inspired chandeliers and can accommodate a total of 18 guests and visitors on three large sofa sets.
The Kamayo Café, now an international buffet, can now accommodate as many as 92 diners and illuminated with two new raindrop-inspired chandeliers. Its side wall is also framed with mother of pearl shell tiles.
The new VIP room has a new location allowing diners a view to the hotel's façade and J. Palma Gil Street. It can now cater 33 diners, with built-in pan fryer and pizza oven.
The new Royal Ballroom and Hallway, on the other hand, is now a high-ceiling and well-illuminated with three new cathedral-inspired chandeliers and creatively walled in style. It can hold events like weddings, debuts, seminars and private celebrations with a seating capacity of 500 persons. The hallway is brightly lighted with nine new raindrop-inspired chandeliers.
All the materials used are considered sustainable and environment-friendly. Also, around 90 percent of the materials used for the renovation are from the Philippines
"We patronized a lot of Filipino manufacturers, craftsmen," he said.
Increase in hotel occupancy
Banzon bared that from 2015 to present, they noted an average of 28 to 30 percent increase in occupancy rate.
"From 2015, an average of 28 percent increase in hotel occupancy has been noted, that is a huge and significant increase. Well, this is not just true only in TRMH, all hotel players in Davao has been enjoying a huge increase of visits when it comes to tourists," he said.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte's election has made a huge impact in the industry. He also attributed the hike in occupancy rate to the aggressive promotion of Davao City Government and the Department of Tourism-Davao.
"Since we have improved the physical aspect, now we will also be improving our food by launching new set of menu. Furthermore, we would be intensifying the trainings of our employees to equip them in providing exemplary services," Banzon said.
In upgrading their services, DOT-Davao Director Roberto Alabado III, for his part, said the department has what they called Tourism Industry Skills Development Program, which can help in upgrading TRMH services.
Banzon shared that they are building the hotel's third tower, which will stand 25 stories tall, enabling the total number of hotel rooms in TRMH from 181 to some 300 rooms.
"The third tower will be the house of the best hotel rooms in Davao, that would be a tower hotel that will have a helipad for the VIPs to enjoy and also it will also house the parking spaces of the hotel," he said, adding it will generate 100 more regular employees.
As to the timeline of the project, Banzon said they have not set any as of the moment as everything is till in the initial planning phase.
Other renovation plans of TRMH include the 3rd floor façade renovation (the poolside) as it is the only portion in the hotel that remains to be untouched since 1998. The hotel's annex building is also set for renovation.
Alabado welcomed this development saying the move of TRMH addresses one of the limitations of the hotel industry which is lack of quality accommodation rooms.
"We have limitations in a quality of rooms available for tourists. The more hotels that we have the better, because our problem now especially in conventions, big ones, we cannot have two conventions at a time because our available rooms are not enough," Alabado said.
The Royal House
Just recently, the Escandor family (owner of TRMH) bought the Royal House, a hotel located in C.M. Recto St.
Asked on the updates of the new project, Banzon said, they are still on track within their three-year timeline.
"For the Royal House, we are still in our 3-year timeline. Now we are reviewing, analyzing, and finalizing if how much space we will be allocating for the condo, to the hotel and the commercial space but basically the proposed project will start in three years' time," he said.
The project will be a mixed-use property (condominium, hotel and commercial space). Banzon hinted that it will be, once realized, the tallest building in Davao City.