Cebu homegrown hotel ups ante with renovated rooms, upgraded service

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo October 10,2019 - 08:25 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines Currently undergoing renovation eight years after it opened to the public, Diamond Suites and Residences continues to attract tourists and corporate accounts owing to its value-for-money proposition and strategic location. 

General manager Kathy Angala said the hotel’s existing markets include corporate accounts, government agencies, online travel agencies, and walk-in guests. 

This combined market segments produce 2,700 room nights per month with corporate accounts (900) and online travel agencies (600) and government agencies (500) generating the most room nights. 

Walk-in guests and travel agencies generate 400 and 300 room nights respectively. 

“There is an increasing demand for rooms due to the hotel’s proximity to Ayala Center Cebu, which is only 200 meters away. The hotel is also located one to two kilometers away from Cebu’s famous landmarks and seaports which tansfers them to Bohol, Camotes and other destinations in the Visayas,” said Angala. 

Kathy Angala, general manager of Diamond Suites and Residences, says renovation work will be completed by 2021. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Competition is tough within the one-kilometer radius but Angala said Diamond’s strength is in the flexibility of rates and customer service. 

They have also paid close attention in studying the market, especially on the spending capacity of the guests. 

Angala said guests can easily explore and  choose their leisure or business needs using online apps. 

Travel agencies are also innovating in coming out with affordable all-in packages. 

She said guests can choose where to spend their money with online channels’ best reward program offering, members-only prices, rewards points and other benefits. 

Hotels also run promotional campaigns and attractive offerings. 

Currently, the hotel has 101 rooms, in which 87 are superiors room (25 square meters) and 14 are deluxe rooms 35 square meters) 

MICE market 

Angala said Cebu has a growing reputation as a destination for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market. 

Cebu hosted international events including international air travel convention Route Asia in March 2019 and  Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Low-Cost Carrier Summit last June 2019. 

Diamond Suites and Residences, a Cebu homegrown hotel, is upgrading its rooms and service to anticipate the evolving needs of its guests. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

In a smaller scale, the hotel has been a venue of conferences, trainings and workshops. 

The hotel’s Diamond Hall can accommodate 200 people, while its boardroom has a capacity of 70 persons. 

It also operates the Grain Restaurants and the 8th Street Bar. It has a pool roofdeck and a gym. 

Walk-in guests 

According to Angala, the walk-in market is producing an average of 400 room nights per month, in which 70% are local guests and 30% are foreigners. 

The foreign market is mostly composed of Asians, Americans and Europeans. 

Peak season falls on January to February, April to May and the month of December. 

Hotel renovations has been carried ed out since 2018 as the management continue to upgrade their amenities and service to anticipate guests’ needs.

Renovation work should be completed by 2021, said Angala. 

Diamond Suites and Residences has a total of 100 rooms, in which 87 are superior rooms and 14 are deluxe rooms. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Angala said several infrastructure developments in Cebu contributed to its tourism growth. 

She cited the opening of the Mactan Cebu International Airport last year, the renovation of the domestic terminal and the non-stop development of new hotels and resorts. 

She said countryside tourism is growing at an unprecedented rate in Cebu with Oslob and Badian towns in southern Cebu leading the rest with their swimming with whale sharks experience and canyoneering adventure in Kawasan Falls.

Cebu has recently been voted as the second best island in Asian in the 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards of luxury travel and lifestyle magazine, Condé Nast Traveler.

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