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Work for Mall of Asia hotel readied

Posted on December 16, 2011 12:01:29 AM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE HOTEL arm of SM Investments Corp. is looking to begin work on a five-star development within the Mall of Asia complex by the first half of 2012 in line with plans to set up accommodations beside its retail centers, a ranking official said last week.

 “Right now, we’re finalizing plans for our flagship hotel Radisson Blu in Mall of Asia. We are hoping to break ground there by next year, probably in the first half,” Christina A. Bautista, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. vice-president for business development and administration, told BusinessWorld in a chance interview.

The hotel in Pasay City, which will rise between the SMX Convention Center and San Miguel by The Bay restaurant strip, will house around 400 rooms, making it the SM unit’s biggest project yet.

The project is seen to serve the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) market.

“We see the MICE segment as a really big market,” Ms. Bautista said, adding that the hotel is expected to be completed by 2014.

Last year, SM Hotels and Conventions opened Radisson Blu in Cebu City in partnership with the Carlson International hotel group, marking the global hotel brand’s first venture into the Asia Pacific region.

Further expansions in the country are being planned starting in prime locations in Metro Manila, as the company eyes putting up hotels next to existing SM malls.

“Our potential really is where you have SM malls and where there’s space for us. That’s where we would like to position ourselves. That’s our priority,” Ms. Bautista said.

“In Metro Manila, there are some hotels we’re planning in sites where there is pent-up demand, but we haven’t discussed fully yet,” she added.

Moving forward, the mid-market, 200-room Park Inn by Radisson in Davao City is to be located near an SM mall and SMX Convention Center there.

The mall and the convention center are both expected to open before June 2012, with Park Inn by Radisson to follow in 2013.

“We’re doing quite well… We’re definitely growing. We’re really looking forward to a good year next year,” Ms. Bautista said.

SM Hotels and Conventions’ other projects include the recently renovated, 260-room Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City and Pico de Loro Cove of Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas. -- FJGDLF

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