Hilton Cebu becomes Mövenpick

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


AFTER operating since 2005, Hilton Worldwide will cease to manage the Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa tomorrow.

A company notice published in yesterday’s Sun.Star Cebu newspaper stated that Hilton Worldwide and Oikonomos International Resources Corp. will end the management agreement. No reason for ending the agreement was given.

“The termination of the management contract is mutually agreed upon and allows both parties to explore new opportunities independently,” the notice read.

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Redentor Arias, president and chief operating officer of Oikonomos, the company that went into a business venture with Hilton Worldwide to develop the Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa, said both parties reached the decision to terminate the agreement and “shook hands” during their discussions and that they were “happy” with the outcome.

“The termination of the management contract is mutually agreed upon and allows both parties to explore new opportunities independently,” the notice read.

Beginning tomorrow, the hotel will be known as the Movenpick Resort and Spa, which will be managed by the Swiss-based Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts.

Arias said Mövenpick is an “upscale, Swiss hotel chain” that has been in the business for 35 years.

He said the hotel chain is rapidly expanding in the Asian region and that the resort in Lapu-Lapu City will be their first in the Philippines.

Arias also stressed that the change in management will not affect the 300 employees
serving the hotel.

“They have nothing to worry about. They will keep their jobs,” he told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday. He added that the condominium units will also remain.

Arias was not worried about losing possible clients who are loyal to the Hilton brand.

“When they taste the Mövenpick hospitality, I’m sure they will like it,” he said.

Though he admitted the Mövenpick name is unfamiliar to Asians, Arias said the Swiss chain operates many hotels all over Europe and hopes to add hotels in Asia.

He also pointed out that the service culture started in Switzerland and the world’s best hoteliers graduated from Swiss schools.

According to the Mövenpick website, they have 69 hotels operating worldwide and 26 under construction.

The company’s development strategy is to increase its international presence and grow by adding 10 hotels a year under management contracts.

The change in management will also bring changes in the hotel facade and layout.

Arias said they are allocating around P100 million to upgrade their facilities such as improving the lobby area and widening the entrance.

He added that they have engaged the services of a colorist from Europe to study the best shade of pink for the building. Arias said the public can expect “more exciting things” from the new management.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2011.

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