AS soon as the planned expansion gets the nod of the board, Montebello Villa Hotel will have 50 to 70 new rooms.
Luis Martin Alvarez, the hotel’s general manager and president of Alvarez-Borromeo Development Corp., disclosed he is pushing for the expansion to cash in on booming tourism.
He said 2017 “is banner year for Montebello and we foresee 2018 to be even better. That’s why I am pushing for the expansion because I can see the potential. I can see the possibilities for Montebello to grow.”
This year marked the hotel’s highest revenue record. This is also the year when it opened new amenities such as the Glass House, which Alvarez said was positively accepted by the meetings, events, conventions, and exhibitions (Mice) market.
If the plan materializes, the Alvarez-Borromeo Development Corp. will shell out an estimated investment of P150 million to P160 million to finance the development of a five- to six-storey building, which will be considered as the fifth wing of the garden hotel.
“As soon as I get the approval of the board, this will be a two-year plan. I am pushing to get it approved right away and start on it as early as January, if it materializes,” said Alvarez. If the project gets approved, Montebello will have at least 200 rooms.
Amid the continued expansion in the hotel industry in the city, as reflected by the entry of new local and international-branded hotels, Montebello is unfazed by the competition.
“We have our own niche. We have our own strengths. We rely on our strengths and we capitalize on them. I find our architecture unique,” he said.
Alvarez described Montebello as a real leisure property.
“In fact, we always pride ourselves on being a resort in the city. Of all the city hotels in Cebu, nobody can boast the kind of atmosphere that Montebello has— sprawling garden hotel and its cool old charm. We are not worried (about the competition) because of the unique character and strengths of Montebello,” he said.
The garden hotel enjoys high occupancy from both locals and foreign guests—mostly Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and Americans.
“It used to be the Americans who were our highest. They haven’t reduced. It is just that tourists from other countries have increased,” said Alvarez.
Aside from the planned expansion, the hotel will also embark on minor room upgrades of their superior rooms.
The hotel recently soft-opened its heritage wing composed of eight new rooms located near the pool of the hotel at the old lobby.
Alvarez said they named the wing “heritage” because it is the area where the family first developed the hotel part of Montebello.
Montebello started out as a restaurant/function facility with club amenities like a pool, bowling, recreation, ballroom, garden, lagoon, and fishing. One of the founders, Alvarez’s parents, built three rooms to maximize the space.
Later on, they built a second wing, with 12 new rooms which housed the winners of Miss Universe pageant in 1974.