TAGUM CITY -- An innovative hotel has opened in Tagum City aimed to cater not only to the growing number of visitors as well as to the students that started flocking to this city for college education.

Located on Pioneer Street in Mankilam just a stone's throw away from the Provincial Capitol Complex of Davao del Norte, the Aces Tagum City inaugurated the Delka Hall and multi-purpose covered court recently.

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Attending the inauguration were Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, Consul General of Indonesia Lalu Malik Partawana, Malaysian Consul General Mohammad Azhar Mazlan, and Chinese Consul General He Shijing.

The Delka Hall houses the Aces Hotel and the Aces Cafe and Bar. At the back of Delka Hall is the Aces Tagum City College that's been in existence since 1995. The school offers courses like Hotel and Restaurant Management, Business Administration, Education, among others.

What makes the hotel different from all other hotels in the country is that the Aces Hotel would also serve as the "incubation center" for the more than 1,000 students of Aces College.

Students will be having their on-the-job trainings in the hotel ranging from food and beverage, front desk, housekeeping, bar tending, supervisory and management, and all other day-to-day activities in the hotel business where students could practice what they learn from their classrooms.

Aces owner, Dr. Francisco dela Pea Jr., said that prior to the construction of the Aces Hotel, their students usually do their OJT in hotels in Davao and Cebu City. He said that aside from students paying just to have an OJT experience, their students are also commonly assigned only in housekeeping jobs.

"After their OJT, our students still lack skills in supervisory and management thus we decided to put up our own hotel to help our students," dela Pena said.

To achieve this goal, the Aces Hotel tied up with the Coalesce Hotel Resort and Management Consultancy (Coalesce) of Karl Frederick Sims for the hotel management. Sims had previous experiences with premier hotels and resorts in Spain and the Philippines.

Sims said the Aces Hotel is foremost a training center for students of the Aces College in Tagum City and Panabo City. He said the Aces College is the first HRM school that has an attached hotel thus making the students better equipped in terms of experience once they graduate.

"The hotel is basically a non-profitable hotel. It's more of an investment to the students so they are well-prepared when they are finished studying. The hotel's day-to-day operation is run exclusively by the students. That is why our slogan is if you are staying in our hotel, you are helping our students learn," Sims said.

Sims said that each student will be working only for four hours a day for 10 days before being transferred to another department. He said all of the students will experiences working in the hotel one way or another regardless of the course.

This early, Sims said they are already looking into the possibility of inviting students from other HRM schools to also have their OJT in the Aces Hotel. He said this way they would also be helping other HRM students from other schools get the experience they need.

Sims said they also plan to have tie-ups with other hotels and resorts in the country and even outside for the Aces College graduates to work once they graduate.

"We want for the graduates of the Aces College to be known as the best HRM graduates in the Philippines due to their experience working in the Aces Hotel," he said.

The Aces Hotel has 14 fully-airconditioned rooms. It has two suite rooms with mini bars. All rooms have hot and cold shower and wi-fi connectivity.

But what is most attractive is the rate of the Aces Hotel. A single room cost only P599 while a double room is P799 per day. The suite that has a "consumable" mini bar is only P1,299. All of the rooms come with a free breakfast by the way.

The Aces Cafe and Bar also offers a wide array of healthy foods ranging from sandwiches, pasta and salads. There are also five function rooms that could cater to any occasions like birthdays, weddings, baptisms and even weddings.

Sims said their ultimate goal is for their students and visitors to experience 5-star service at a 3-star rate.

Aside from the Aces Hotel, the Coalesce is also managing the Garden by the Bay along Lanang, Davao City and soon the 21-storey Amparo Hotel that is now being constructed in Koronadal City.