CEBUANO  HOSPITALITY  FINDS  A HOME  AT  THE  PARKLANE

MANILA
, JANUARY 21, 2008  (STAR) By Joseph O. Cortes - The moment you step inside The Parklane Hotel in Cebu, you know you are home. Everyone addresses you by your name — from the front desk staff to the bell boy who helps you with your luggage to your room. It is this kind of specialized service that the hotel wishes to give its valued guests.

“The hospitality of Cebuanos is innate,” says Parklane general manager Cenelyn D. Manguilmotan. “That’s the edge we have over other hotels in Cebu.”

Since the hotel opened on July 12, 2006, it has been doing good business. In its first year alone, it already posted a 55 percent occupancy — and that was achieved with very little publicity and marketing. All it relied on was word of mouth testimony from many satisfied guests.

“We are glad to claim to have an all-Filipino staff,” says Manguilmotan. With managers coming from various properties around the country and abroad and fresh graduates to fill the staff, the hotel is building up its own brand of service. “We are a purely Pinoy property with a touch of Cebuano hospitality. We are bringing our own standards to the hotel. That will be our legacy.”

The Parklane Cebu is located just outside the Cebu Business Park, just a stone’s throw away from the busy Ayala Center. It is a business hotel, with most of its clients having transactions with the different companies in the business district. However, it has also been attracting many casual tourists, both local and foreign, seeking reasonably priced accommodations in the queen city of the south. Last December 2007, it was the venue for a private religious congress, proving that it is attracting a mixed clientele.

The Parklane brand might be familiar to travelers to Hong Kong. However, the hotel GM says they are not related to the Hong Kong property. Following thorough checks via Internet, she says they discovered that there are countless hotels around the world with the “Parklane” name. However, there is no one chain or management connecting all these different hotels. They are already working to link up with other Parklane properties worldwide for possible tie-ups.

However, they are banking on word-of-mouth and repeat guests to further boost the hotel’s presence in the market. “It is already an advantage for the hotel. That makes the management team’s life easier to market the property,” she adds.

The Parklane has 230 rooms and suites, with 144 designated as Parklane rooms. Those who want something extra with their room can upgrade to a Plus room. For an additional P1,000, guests get add-ons to their rooms such a one-hour massage, flowing coffee, free pressing of one suit, and 24-hour Internet connection. The hotel has a penthouse, an executive suite, eight boutique rooms, and 16 corner rooms. Guests have a choice of either a view of the mountains of Cebu or of the Cebu Business Park and the faraway Opon Channel.

The rooms are simple and functional, all equipped with the amenities you would expect: individually controlled air conditioner, private tub and shower, cable television, broadband Internet access, NDD/IDD, safety deposit box, among others. But then when you are in Cebu, you will surely want to go out and explore its beaches or see the sights. If the itch to shop gets to you, you can indulge in retail therapy at the nearby Ayala Center.

The hotel has a number of food and beverage outlets to fill you up with Cebuano treats.

Manuel’s Restaurant, the hotel’s all-day coffee shop at the ground floor, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets that include favorite Cebuano delicacies. Breakfast features danggit, while lunch and dinner has lechon Cebu, dinuguan and lechon paksiw. At P550, the lunch and dinner buffets are truly value-for-money. It also has a pasta station, grill counter, Mongolian grill, and crepe station.

Those looking for a cozy coffee place can go to Bean Date at the hotel lobby. Apart from its menu of hot and cold coffee beverages, it serves a merienda buffet of native delicacies including puto, suman, and hot tsokalate.

In the evening, Basil’s, located by the fourth-floor poolside, serves grills including steak, ribs, chicken and seafood. The romantic lights around the dining area add a unique ambience. With views of the lighted buildings at the Cebu Business Park, it makes you feel like you are in the center of Cebu’s happening place.

Muze at the third floor is a wine bar where you can relax after your meal. With nightcap in hand and the live entertainment to cheer you up, you can chill till midnight.

This weekend, the hotel expects to be busy with the annual Sinulog festival in Cebu. With its prime location, guests have a vantage view of the procession, which literally stops traffic throughout the city. It’s a big deal for many Cebuanos, says Manguilmotan, especially for those abroad. “Many Cebuanos come home just for that,” she explains.

As early as November 2007, the hotel has already been blocked for the weekend of the festival. And those who will be staying at the Parklane will surely discover that they, too, are at home in Cebu.

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The Parklane Cebu is at the corner of Archbishop Reyes Ave. and Escario St., Cebu City. For inquiries, call (032) 411-7000; for reservations, call (032)232-9079 or e-mail reservation@parklanehotel.com.ph. Visit its website at www.parklanehotel.com.ph.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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