SMALL DETAILS make the differences at the newly opened Bai Hotel in Mandaue City in Cebu, the largest city-hotel in the VisMin region and outside Metro Manila.
Named after a Cebuano term for “friend,” the Bai Hotel sits on a 69,000-square meter (sq.m.) property. It boasts of 12 conference and event venues, eight restaurants, and 688 guest rooms ranging from deluxe to presidential suite.
In addition to the usual amenities like free WiFi, flat screen television and a mini-bar, Bai Hotel’s rooms have safety features such as two panic buttons (one beside the bed and another in the bathroom), and a fire escape mask (found under the lamp).
Among executive club privileges include a 24-hour butler service, afternoon tea, and complimentary daily shoe shine service.
While the Department of Tourism has not given a rating to the property, Bai Hotel hopes to receive the highest rating by the first quarter of 2019.
“Service-wise we’re a five-star,” Bai Hotel General Manager and Vice President for Operations Alfred M. Reyes said during the hotel’s grand launch on Nov. 23.
The 23-storey hotel also has spa services, swimming pool, playroom, fitness center, and business center.
Guests can have breakfast at the Cafe Bai which has an all-day buffet that serves Asian (Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and Korean food) and Western cuisines; and lunch at Marble + Grain Steakhouse, which serves custom-aged USDA prime beef.
Other dining options include Japanese restaurant Ume, Wallstreet Coffee + Bar, Twilight roof-deck lounge and bar, lobby lounge, and the executive lounge.
As of November, Mr. Reyes said the hotel enjoys 79% occupancy, which is high for a new hotel.
“Normally, a newly-opened hotel has 40 to 45% occupancy rate, and if you are lucky, it will normally take you a year to break even. It only took us two months to break even in terms of cash flow and we are also enjoying a record breaking 79% occupancy rate,” he said.
Mr. Reyes said Mandaue City is usually a jump-off point to other local destinations like Siquijor, Bohol, and Dumaguete.
To cater to the female travelers, Bai Hotel will soon open a floor solely for women, where the staff will also be women.
While Mandaue is not in the heart of Cebu City, Bai Hotel is 25 minutes away from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, 25 minutes away from the business park, and 20 minutes away from the I.T. park.
Bai Hotel is a Filipino-owned hotel that has partnership with World Hotels, an international chain that also operates Le Monet Hotel in Baguio, Makati Diamond Residences, and Hotel Luna in Vigan City. — N.F.P. De Guzman