Corporate News

By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

SM allocates P7 billion for hotel expansion

Posted on June 16, 2016

SM HOTELS and Conventions Corporation on Wednesday said it will invest P7 billion to expand its business nationwide over the next five years.

Luxury hotel Conrad Manila opened on Wednesday. -- CONRAD MANILA
“As far as the SM Hotel’s portfolio expansion is concerned, certainly we’d like to grow in areas where first and foremost we already have an SM [mall], some existing SM [project] where there is ongoing expansion or developmental programs,” SM Hotels and Conventions Operations Senior Vice-President Peggy E. Angeles said in a press briefing during the opening of luxury hotel Conrad Manila.

She said the amount will be used for the construction of a convention center and five hotels, which will have around 200 rooms each. This would add 1,000 rooms to SM Hotels’ existing portfolio of 15,000.

A business hotel will be built at the former open parking area of SM North EDSA in Quezon City, while a convention center is being eyed in Cebu or San Fernando.

“The next project for SM Hotels will be the one in SM North EDSA, which will not be a luxury hotel. This will be a business hotel... We should be starting groundbreaking for the third quarter this year,” Ms. Angeles said, adding the group expects completion of the business hotel in less than two years.

The subsidiary of SM Investment Corp. is exploring expansion of its hotels to San Fernando, Pampanga, and Cebu, where the SM Seaside Mall is located.

Ms. Angeles said the company is optimistic about the growth of the hotel business, as more Filipinos travel due to the availability of flights and low-cost fares.

“I think the local market is also fast growing. Not everyone wants to stay in a luxury hotel, right? So catering to that market is what we want to do,” said Ms. Angeles.

The country’s first Conrad Hotel, owned by SM Hotels and managed by Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., officially opened its doors on Wednesday.

Located in the Mall of Asia complex, the P6.5-billion 8-storey hotel has 347 rooms. It also includes a two-level high-end retail podium called S Maison.

“Amidst the robust tourism outlook, the most anticipated opening of Conrad Manila will definitely be a game changer in the already exciting Philippine hotel scene,” Elizabeth T. Sy, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation president, said.

Asked about expansion plans outside Manila, Conrad Manila General Manager Harald Feurstein said: “With the right opportunities, with the right partners with the right locations we definitely look into different brand opportunities in the Philippines.”

The hotel is expected to cater to a diverse market, including locals.

“The local market will definitely be a key market so even if you’re living in Quezon City or in Makati, you’ll want to come all the way here once you’ve heard about the kind of food and the art that is put into the food by the chefs we have in the hotel,” said Ms. Angeles, adding that weddings will be a big market for Conrad.

Room rates at Conrad Hotel range from 8,000 for twin deluxe rooms to P16,400 for a diplomatic suite with a bay view.