Saturday, July 24, 2021

Asmara Hotel: An urban idyll and sustainable sanctuary

In the midst of the movement and chaos that city living can bring, there’s that occasional hankering for a quick escape. A new hotel tucked away like a secret in a tranquil corner of the city addresses that need. With its location mere minutes away from commercial establishments and business districts, one could have never imagined such a verdant retreat would exist in a buzzing part of Cebu.

Asmara Hotel is another brainchild of furniture designer Carlo Cordaro, an Italian transplant who has called Cebu his home for the last 24 years. As human activities have increasingly taken a significant toll on the planet, business owners like Carlo have taken it upon themselves to work toward green initiatives.

This led to his development of Asmara Urban Resort and Lifestyle Village in 2018, with the end goal of creating a gathering point that has a sharp focus on sustainability. Here, guests can pursue varied interests such as tennis, squash, yoga and even exhibits, or simply unwind over authentic Italian food and craft cocktails.

Today, sustainability finds a new form in Asmara Hotel. Echoing the majesty of the entire Asmara lifestyle village, the newest addition to the property gives as much thought to environmental protection as it does to thread counts and warm hospitality.

It’s for guests who seek a welcome respite from the bustle of the city without the need to drive two hours. At Asmara, nature reigns supreme as the property itself is designed respecting the environment. Accommodations are up to scratch, but leave the smallest carbon footprint possible with a self-supportive framework, low-consumption illumination and a water-saving system. The hotel has only 15 rooms, so it has that intimate, wraparound feel. You won’t miss the city’s noise and crowd as you look out into lush gardens or the stillness of the pool with a reflection of the sky. With the bucolic view of coconut trees from one’s soaking tub, guests have all the pleasure of listening to their own thoughts, interrupted only by the rustling of leaves blown by a gentle breeze.

Each room in the tri-level hotel boasts smart spaces in muted colors, punctuated with accent pieces and inclined wood beams. Guests can choose from 20-square-meter deluxe rooms to 42-square-meter master suites, all tastefully appointed for a modern minimalist retreat. The curtains, lamps and all the other furniture for the hotel interiors are made with indigenous materials such as raffia, banana skin, coconut bark, bamboo, abaca and some Mactan stone (white coral stone) recovered from an old building.

“I wanted something that evokes emotions and gives guests an architectural experience,” says Carlo. Ever the innovator, he sees to it that sustainability is seen and embraced in all forms in his urban resort, from the design down to the littlest detail.


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