Celebrations Enterprise

Quest Cebu at 11: An honest commitment to sustainability and topnotch service

By: - July 02, 2023

Cebu’s hospitality industry has weathered insurmountable challenges and literal storms which are enough to push even the established brands to close its doors. 

At 11 years old, Quest Cebu is more than just a force to reckon with in the local hospitality scene.


It is the role model for many to emulate in the realm of sustainability whether it is business operations or commitment to an advocacy. 

But with leaders who can think quickly on their feet and a labor force that has found meaning in the work that they do, giving up is not in the repertoire of Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, General Manager Mia Singson-Leon said the property pivoted to become a quarantine hotel in partnership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). 

quest hotel cebu


The hotel also strengthened its catering operations, which proved to be a wise business decision as it brought in the needed cash flow while most of the hotels in Cebu were suffering from financial loss with decreased revenues because of low tourist turnout. 

“We were able to do pack meals and deliver them to companies which chose to have their events in their offices,” said Singson-Leon.

The hotel’s catering arm was able to answer the need for this preferred arrangement of many companies and allowed them to sustain operations despite the challenging times.

Just recently, the hotel opened its high-end catering arm that can serve up to 1,000 guests.

“We are strong in that aspect. We have dedicated staff and resources to fulfill the needs of the business” Singson-Leon told members of the press in a media huddle that was held as a prelude to the hotel’s 11th anniversary. 

Singson-Leon said around 327 of the hotel’s 427 rooms are currently open as the number of guests continue to increase owing to the recovering state of the country’s tourism sector. 

Average occupancy rate is at 75%, which is still below the pre-pandemic rate of 95%, but Singson-Leon is optimistic that the figures will increase as revenge travel reveals an upward trend in terms of tourist arrivals.

At present, the hotel’s guest demographic is composed of 50% locals while the other half is a good mix of Koreans, Americans, Australians, and Europeans. 

The hotel is looking at enticing Japanese tourists whose patronage was one of their strongest bases before the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Singson-Leon said Japanese tourists stay for a minimum of three days. Those studying the English language in Cebu stay in the hotel for three weeks.

Hotel upgrades 

Singson-Leon said major hotel upgrades are on the way as they work on improving guest experience.

Capital expenditures for hotel upgrades is pegged at P200 million for the years 2023 to 2025.

This amount covers repair and maintenance, provision for new furniture and furnishings, and purchase of brand-new airconditioning systems. 



At the center of the hotel’s operations is a strong training program that aims to produce quality hoteliers. 

“There are certain skilled positions that are difficult to fill up because some of the prospective employees chose to work in cruise lines. Others still prefer a work-from-home arrangement,” shared Singson-Leon.

“We have accepted the fact that hiring people in the industry is not what it used to be. But we have a strong training program that enables us to turn our new hires into quality hoteliers within one or two months,” she added. 

With operations going back to pre-pandemic status, Singson-Leon said they are also able to recruit more qualified persons because of competitive salaries and better benefits. 

Quest Cebu has more than 200 regular employees and 50 to 100 staff members from third party agencies. 

Digitized check-in kiosks 

quest hotel cebu

Quest Hotel Cebu’s Main Lobby. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

To speed up the check-in process, the hotel is implementing digitized kiosks that will not require minimal staff supervision.

“It will be the same as the checking in airlines where the guests will just enter their reservation details and then they can go ahead and check themselves to their rooms,” said Singson-Leon. 

The digitized check-in/check-out system will have to be integrated with the current system so the implementation will happen later in the year. 

MICE destination 

Singson-Leon, who sits as executive vice president of the Hotel Resort & Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRAC), said they work closely with the Department of Tourism to push Cebu as a destination for business tourism or more popularly known as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE).

Admittedly, Singson-Leon said there is a need for bigger venues and wider spaces to host events that can gather big crowds. 

Quest Cebu can accommodate about 400 persons and has retained its status as a top-of-mind venue for meetings. 

Sustainable initiatives 

quest hotel cebu

Quest Hotel Cebu Deluxe Room. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Quest Cebu also takes the worldwide call for sustainability in business operations

“We just came out with our sustainability report and it documents how far we are in our sustainability initiatives which means that it’s not just treeplanting activities but initiatives that are useful and related to the business,” she said.

Among Quest Cebu’s green initiatives are reducing water consumption, reducing electricity bill by using LED lights, and eliminating single-use plastics and toiletries.

“Plastic straws and stirrers were the first to go. We also implemented linen recycling. Linens that we do not use in the hotel are donated to certain organizations,” she said. 

Cleaning materials and other housekeeping and kitchen supplies are sourced from companies which produce environment-friendly products.

Voice for the minority 

Singson-Leon said they support projects which provide equal opportunities for women, persons with disabilities (PWD), and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The hotel itself is led by a woman and key leadership positions are held by empowered women. 

quest hotel cebu

Mia Singson-Leon, Quest Hotel and Conference Cebu General Manager. (FILE PHOTO)

Persons with disabilities are valued in the company especially with their advocacy for barrier-free tourism.

This is why welcoming tourists from PWD groups comes naturally for Quest Cebu. The hotel recently welcomed a PWD group from France.

Senior citizens from Israel also stayed in the hotel, a testament of the hotel’s commitment to inclusion and celebration of diversity.

Quest Cebu, under Singson-Leon’s leadership, supports Q Spectra, a homegrown organization composed of more than 20 employees who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The hotel was the venue of Drag Me to Quest, a creative spectacle of talents and performances which was held last June 10 that featured Drag Race Philippines’ Minty Fresh and Cebu’s drag queens .

United business  

While Quest Cebu excels on its own, it also acknowledges the fact that it does not exist in a vacuum.

Being part of HRRAC means being active in various projects initiated by the association. 

Singson-Leon said the VisMin Tourism Congress and Travel Sale will happen on July 13 to 15, one of the initiatives of HRRAC to generate business for its member-companies and partners.

quest hotel cebu

Quest Hotel’s Pusô Bar and Bistro. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Cebu Hospitality and Tourism Awards, which was staged for the first time in 2022, will have its second run this year.

“The goal is to really boost the morale of the industry practitioners…to bring back the glory and the glam of the industry,” she said.

Singson-Leon said Quest Cebu will continue to actively support Cebu Goes Culinary as well as various trainings on food safety and PWD sensitivity. 

At 11 years old, Quest Cebu is more than just a force to reckon with in the local hospitality scene.

It is the role model for many to emulate in the realm of sustainability whether it is business operations or commitment to an advocacy. 


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