Despite pandemic, Hilton opens new resort in Clark

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INTERNATIONAL hospitality chain Hilton has opened the 308-room Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort in Pampanga as a testament to the company’s confidence in Clark, Pampanga as an emerging tourist destination, according to a press release.

“Hilton is on a promising growth trajectory in the Philippines, with the launch of Conrad Manila back in 2016 followed by Hilton Manila in 2018. This is testament to our commitment to the Philippines and we are confident emerging destinations in the country, such as Clark, are well positioned to cater to both business and leisure travelers from within and outside the Philippines,” Paul Hutton, vice-president for operations at Hilton Southeast Asia said in a press release.

The hotel officially opened on Dec. 30, an opening date that was pushed back by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent health and safety precautions. But Hilton Clark’s general manager, Leo Holli, said in a press conference in December that they were determined to open their doors in 2020 and are confident the hospitality industry will start recovering in 2021.

Clark, Pampanga is currently under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the loosest form of quarantine in the country and allows people to have staycations.

“[With the pandemic] people prefer going to destinations they can easily reach with cars,” Francis David, the hotel’s commercial director, said in the same conference. He added that with Tagaytay City being a popular and often crowded destination, Hilton Clark is a great option for those who want to get away but would prefer a less crowded locale.

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Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort is a 12-minute drive from the Clark International Airport and is located close to the city’s main business hubs and entertainment attractions, such as the Clark Museum, Aqua Planet, and Nayong Pilipino.

The hotel is owned by South Korean property developer Dongwang Clark Corp. Among the other properties owned by the company are Sorak Sunvalley Country Club, Dongwon Sunvalley, Iljuk Sunvalley, and Yeoju Spa in Korea, as well as the Yabe Sunvalley and Higo Sunvalley in Japan.

In recent years, Clark has become known as a business, aviation, and tourism hub in the Philippines. With Clark International Airport now positioned as the second major gateway to the country, the city is now more than a free port zone, connecting visitors to year-round festivals and celebrations, such as the Vios Racing Festival and the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition.

Mr. David said that the hotel’s location allows them to welcome both business and leisure guests.

The hotel features modern décor, Hilton’s signature Serenity bed, and premium bath amenities. Guests seeking relaxation have a variety of options, including a fitness center outfitted with the latest Precor equipment and free weights, an outdoor pool, a Kid’s Club, an outdoor playground, a walking and jogging path, and a soon-to-open wellness center. For business guests, a total meeting room space of 1,800 square meters is available including the 1,010 square meter grand ballroom which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests in theater seating, and seven flexible meeting rooms.

Hilton Clark has three restaurants: Olive, the all-day dining restaurant; XI, a Chinese restaurant featuring Cantonese specialties; and Treat, a space that offers light snacks and coffee in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon and night.

Regarding health and safety, Hilton Clark brings with it the Hilton CleanStay program done in collaboration with Reckitt Benckiser (the company behind disinfectant brand Dettol) and the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit American academic medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research. Some of the features of the CleanStay program include disinfecting high-touch points in the property regularly and a CleanStay seal on rooms to ensure that visitors are entering fully disinfected rooms. — Z.B. Chua

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