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Hotel chain to convert some rooms into office space

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By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter

ROBINSONS HOTELS and Resorts (RHR) is turning some of its hotel rooms into private office spaces and offering long-stay services in several Go Hotels, as it addresses changing consumer demand amid the pandemic.

The hospitality arm of Robinsons Land Corporation launched its Work-To-Go program at two Go Hotels and two Summit Hotels.

Long stay services under the Home-to-Go program are being offered at three Go Hotels: Go Hotels Otis-Manila, Go Hotels Ortigas Center, and Go Hotels Mandaluyong.

The group has been planning to offer long stays or dormitory services, but this was pushed forward because of the pandemic, Arthur D. Gindap, senior vice-president and business unit general manager at RHR, said in a digital briefing on July 1.

“Our five-year plan is to actually add about eight to ten dorms countrywide. So [Home-to-Go] is already a product we were working on and we just advanced its [implementation] because of the current situation, and the need, and the demand. The request to have this product is simply from a transportation perspective,” Mr. Gindap said.

RLC is set to open its first dormitory within its Bridgetowne township in Quezon City by late-2021. The property will have 640 rooms and over 2,000 beds.

“We are also looking into offering [private offices] in our properties in the Visayas and Mindanao GoHotels and all our different Summit properties,” Joy de Mesa, group director of sales and marketing at RLC, said in the same briefing.

So far the Work-To-Go program is available at Go Hotels properties in Ortigas and Mandaluyong, and Summit Hotel Magnolia (Quezon City) and Greenhills. Around 30% of the rooms at these hotels will be converted into private offices for rent.

Go Hotels Ortigas has 198 rooms, Go Hotels Mandaluyong has 223 rooms, Summit Magnolia has 82 rooms, and Summit Greenhills has 100 rooms.

In total, budget hotel brand Go Hotels has 15 locations while the more upscale Summit Hotels has six hotels in its portfolio.

To date, Ms. De Mesa said Go Hotels Ortigas has “30 to 40 rooms” occupied under the Home-to-Go program. They are set to ink contracts for the Work-to-Go program.

“The reason why the product is very, very attractive to the desired market is because of the proximity of the location of the properties. Most or all of them are actually located beside shopping malls,” Roseann Coscolluela-Villegas, director of corporate public relations at RLC, said in the same briefing.

The Work-to-Go program’s monthly rates start at P16,200 net for an 18 square meter (sq.m.) unfurnished private office for two people, up to P48,000 for a 56 sq.m. room. The rate includes Wi-Fi access, weekly cleaning services, utilities, and access to a common pantry area. A setup with office furniture will incur additional charges.

Long-stay services under the Home-to-Go program are priced starting at P18,000 a month for two people. The rate includes basic utilities and Wi-Fi access. The rate is available until December 31.

“We would like to be able to have this offer available whenever we think that the market is still very much responsive to it… given the very positive response of the market to our programs, we see this to be a part of our offerings that we sell out to the market on a daily basis,” Ms. De Mesa said.

FUTURE OF HOSPITALITY
During the briefing, Mr. Gindap noted that he foresees recovery and return to the company’s pre-COVID-19 numbers to take “as much as 12 months and might even be up to 12 to 18 months.”

“So I say to all our associates we need to be optimistic but we also need to be realistic,” he said before adding that expansion plans will be “slightly delayed.”

“Even if we went full blast and we were to open in six months’ time, there just wouldn’t be people there to take our new hotels. So we are proceeding [to open] seven hotels between this and next year,” Mr. Gindap said.

These seven hotels are: Summit Hotel Naga, Go Hotel Naga, Go Hotel Tuguegarao, Westin Sonata, Summit Gensan, H2G Bridgetown, and Fili Hotel in Bridgetown.

Mr. Gindap said he also expects consumers to tighten their purses in the near-term, and domestic tourism to lead recovery.

With RHR’s portfolio of budget brands like Go Hotels and more upscale brands like Summit and Dusit Thani, he believes they are in “a great position to handle the business.”

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