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Friday, April 19, 2024

15 hotels, spas in Metro Manila win Forbes’ Star Awards

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FIFTEEN hotel and spa properties in Metro Manila landed on the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) Star Award Winners list for 2023.

Seven of those properties received the highest rating at Five Stars: the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Nüwa Manila and Nüwa Spa at the City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila and its Retreat Spa, the Peninsula Manila, and the Sky Tower at Solaire Resort and Casino. It was the first time for The Retreat Spa at the Okada Manila to win a Star Award.

Those that received a Four-Star rating were: Fairmont Makati, Hyatt Regency Manila and Nobu Hotel at the City of Dreams, Raffles Makati, Shangri-La at The Fort, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

Two properties, Conrad Manila and the now shuttered Makati Shangri-La, received a “Recommended” rating.

The 65th annual list features 360 Five-Star, 585 Four-Star and 433 Recommended hotels; 79 Five-Star, 113 Four-Star and 67 Recommended restaurants; and 119 Five-Star and 195 Four-Star spas worldwide. FTG reviewers inspect properties around the world anonymously.

“Travel is in an incredible position for continued growth, as people prioritize authentic, in-person experiences,” said Amanda Frasier, FTG’s President of Ratings in a news statement. “The hotels, ocean cruises, restaurants and spas on our 2023 Star Rating list demonstrate an impressive commitment to creating memorable environments that nurture connection, joy and sense of place as we experience the world to its fullest.”

Occupancy, ADR

Meanwhile, domestic tourism is pushing local hotel occupancy levels higher than pre-pandemic levels. “For the month of January, hotels [were] hitting already 80-percent occupancy; pre-pandemic it was 60 percent to 70 percent. So it’s far better now,” said said Loleth So, president of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association  (HSMA). “Domestic tourism [is] very strong right now.

Although inbound, I would say is starting to come in, but it’s not as strong as pre-pandemic levels, but we’re hopeful [this will rise],” she noted.

Speaking on the sidelines of HSMA’s first general membership meeting and induction of its new officers on February 16, So added that online sales are also driving average daily rates (ADR) and revenues of hotels. “ADR is also higher compared to the prepandemic [period], because right now, online business is very strong, so it’s better than the average rate, instead of the groups,  I think because during the pandemic the online business really evolved so much.”

She underscored that online bookings also help give the best rates possible for the guests. “When it’s an online [transaction], obviously, our buyer is also dynamic. When I say dynamic, depending on the influx of bookings, we can switch our prices right away, either higher or lower. So if the demand is not very strong, let’s say on Mondays and Tuesdays, then we will bring our prices lower. And then if the demand is high, we can bring it higher. So that’s why I think with this dynamic rate structure, ADR is really going to go up because again, we’re able to adjust very, very fast.”

Prior to the pandemic, ADR reached P5,000 per night, as hotel occupancy rates reached 70 percent especially on weekends in 2019, according to STR,  a leading global provider of data and insights for the hotel industry.

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