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SM reviews businessman’s hotel plan

[ ] June 21, 2010

SM Investments Corp., has gone back to the drawing board for its planned businessman’s hotel ditching the original plan to have one opened by next year.
The review is primarily focused on the design of the hotel, according to SM Investments investor relations head Cora Guidote. It also includes the location for the pilot sites, one of which was earlier reported to be Bacolod City in Negros Oriental.
"It’s the theme. (For the location) we are also looking at the foot traffic. We’re looking for the ideal location with foot traffic, not only for the mall but also for the hotel," said Guidote in an interview.
Guidote said the review of the plan may also result to a change in budget for the initial roll out, which in 2009 was pegged at P700 million for two locations identified.
Guidote however declined to divulge more on the on-going review, saying a proper announcement would follow a finalized plan.
A businessman’s hotel is a type of hotel that strips down amenities to simple necessities needed by people who are usually looking mainly for a place to stay while away from home, passing the savings in costs to visitors.
SM Investments earlier announced plans to construct fourteen 50 to 150-room hotels, anchoring on the locations of its SM malls nationwide, and spending an estimated P1.4 million for every room. Two locations will serve as pilot areas.
SM Investments however was overtaken by Robinsons Land Corp., (Robinsons Land) in the roll out for lower-budget hotels as the latter unveiled its Go Hotel in May, which uses the same concept of bare amenities and markets through budget booking --- rooms are cheaper as you book the earliest possible time.
In Robinsons Land’s Go Hotel, booking can go as low as P388 per night.
SM Investment’s businessman’s hotel is being pursued under the group’s unit SM Hotels and Conventions, Corp. (SM Hotels).
SM Hotels said it eyes to be "at the forefront of developing properties that would spearhead the growth of the tourism and convention sectors" in the Philippines.
It has lined up a number of projects for the year, as it increases its properties all over the country.
It is set to start the construction of a 150-room boutique hotel and convention facility, and break ground for a 400-room five star hotel at the Mall of Asia to complement the SMX Convention Center.
It is also overseeing the completion of the 150-room Pico Sands hotel in SM Investment’s Hamilo Coast project in Batangas, set for opening in Q1 next year.
Within the next five and a half months meanwhile, SM Hotels is scheduled to open Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, a 400-room hotel located at Cebu City’s North Reclamation Area, which is in close proximity to Cebu City’s International Port area. - Albert Castro

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