New ratings for hotels-A A +A
Friday, July 13, 2012
HOTEL operators in Cebu are embarking on renovation programs not only to upgrade operations but also to align their standards with the new hotel rating system released by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Cebu City Marriott Hotel Public Relations manager Charlene Go said the new guidelines were released in a timely manner, given that their hotel has planned some improvements.
Marriott, she said, has completed a total make-over and renovation of the business center last February. The hotel will again embark on another renovation program for its grand ballroom and function areas next month.
She also reported that they recently added another x-ray machine at the Ayala parking entrance to ensure security. By next week, Go revealed the hotel will have one of the highest Internet connections of 40 mbps.
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino (WCCHC), meanwhile, will formally launch the completion of its renovation’s first phase on July 27.
Publicly-listed hotel-operator Waterfront Philippines Inc. (WPI) embarked on the multi-million renovation program for WCCHC last year. They earmarked P100 million each for the three-phase renovation, which also includes the ballroom, hotel rooms and function rooms.
The DOT has adopted a new “five-star grading system” as part of its newly issued National Accommodations Standards. It will have a points-based system “based on inventory, availability, condition and quality of a specific facility, as well as its service.”
DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo, in a phone interview yesterday, said that hotels will first assess themselves based on the criteria and requirements under the new regulations.
“A third-party audit will be conducted to ensure guidelines are met and to check if the self-assessment conducted was right,” she said.
Montecillo expects self-assessment will be conducted starting September, a month before the renewal period in October and November.
DOT 7 has a record of 30 to 40 accredited accommodation establishments, including resort hotels. Montecillo expects more establishments will seek accreditation with these new guidelines.
She said the new rating system aims to encourage upgrades and to elevate the standards of all hotels and align them with international standards.
Under the new accreditation guidelines, the five-star rating will require 1,000 points, while a budget or one-star facility needs to acquire a minimum of 250 points in the assessment.
The two-star facility should garner 401 to 550 points; three-star at 551 to 700 points; and four-star at 701 to 850 points.
The owner of value-chic hotel chain Islands Stays Hotel, Jay Aldeguer, believes the DOT is on the right track in upgrading some guidelines in the hotel sector as this will give a boost to the tourism industry.
He said his hotel is reviewing and aligning their standards with the new hotel guidelines.
Similar with Aldeguer, Cebu Grand Hotel general manager Carlo Suarez yesterday said they are also reviewing the new hotel ratings so they would know which areas of the hotel need improvement.
“We are renovating our function rooms to get a good chunk of the Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) market,” he said.
Resort hotels in Mactan are also undergoing some renovations such as Movenpick Resort and Spa Cebu and Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, among others.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2012.