APPLEONE Mactan Inc., yesterday broke ground on the first branded resort residential development of Sheraton in Southeast Asia in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City.
The firm, which is a subsidiary of AppleOne Properties Inc., earmarked P4 billion to construct the 250-room The Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort due in 2019 and the 186-unit The Residences at the The Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, which is expected to open by 2020.
The upscale development in Mactan sits on a five-hectare site overlooking both the Hilutungan Channel and Magellan Bay.
“We are excited with this auspicious start of our partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., as we believe the project would boost local tourism as well as ramp up a higher level of hospitality industry for the region,” said Ray Go Manigsaca, president of AppleOne Mactan.
“Our vision is to be a significant part of the region’s tourism growth, as well as developing leisure properties that will continue to attract both international and local travelers,” he added.
Sheraton is the second oldest brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., a hotel and resort management firm. The hotel brand has about 435 hotels and 88 resorts present in more than 70 countries.
The Sheraton hotel brand, though, has been absent in the hotel scene in the Philippines for decades now after tycoon Lucio Ton rebranded his hotel in Manila to Century Park Hotel.
Charlie Dang, Starwood Asia-Pacific regional vice president for Southeast Asia, said their project in Mactan marks their “return” to the Philippines. It also reflects their confidence in the Philippine economy, whose growth in the past years has been getting international attention.
Dang considers tourism as one of Cebu’s strengths and the beach as one of its major tourism drawers.
“We are confident the hotel would do well because when people visit the development, it will all be about the beach,” he said, noting that 83 percent of their rooms and residential units will have an ocean view.
The Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort will also have a 1,313-square meter function space ideal for Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) events. The resort development is designed by Clint Nagata, founder of Blink Design Group, which specializes in creating luxury hotels.
“The hotel and leisure living would introduce a new residential lifestyle in Mactan, and Cebu in general,” said Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president of Tajara Leisure and Hospitality Group, AppleOne Mactan’s exclusive marketing partner.
The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort will feature units consisting of one to three bedrooms with price sizes ranging from P160,000 to P180,000 per square meter.
It will also have lounges, meeting rooms, upper garden amenity floor, recreational facilities like fitness center, yoga room, large lagoon pools and access to the beach club, among other amenities.
Jarabata noted they aren’t focusing on the demogprahics of would be unit-owners. They want to focus more on buyers’ psychographics. “We want to capture buyers who are into the resort living lifestyle,” she said.
More than attracting foreign guests, the firm will also banks on the country’s strong domestic tourism to grow the hotel business.
As of 2014, Lapu-Lapu City has 75 accommodation establishments with total available rooms of 4,493. Rooms under construction stood at 153.
Aside from Cebu and Manila, Dang said Starwood is actively scouting other potential locations in the country where they can expand or bring its other brands.
He, however, noted that finding the right local partners, who strongly believe in their brand, is essential in pursuing their expansion programs here. Population and the presence of infrastructure, which includes air connectivity to other countries, are also equally important factors in Starwood’s growth strategy.
The Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort is also meant to complement Sheraton Manila Hotel that will rise in Resorts World Manila in Parañaque in 2017.
The company said that The Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and The Residences will not only strengthen their presence in Asia Pacific, but will also allow the Sheraton brand, the company’s money-making brand, to realize its goal of opening more than 150 new hotels globally over the next five years.