Homegrown company, AppleOne Properties Inc., will embark on a series of boutique hotel development as it strengthens its position as a trusted hospitality and tourism brand in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Ray Manigsaca, president of API, said they will start construction of 10 boutique hotels with 70 to 100 rooms per development in Cebu and nine emerging cities in the next three years.
These boutique hotels will be constructed and managed by the companies under the AppleOne Group.
Manigsaca said they are still facing the drawing board as to the brand that the 10 boutique hotels will carry.
“We are already established in the hotel business. We have Apple Tree Suites and Diamond Suites & Residences in Cebu, and Apple Tree Resort & Hotel in Cagayan de Oro. We have also launched partnerships with Marriott International to develop Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, and Fairfield Inn,” said Manigsaca.
He said they will be banking on these varied experiences across different market segments and price points to deliver the best quality service at reasonable price ranges for the boutique hotels.
The pilot development will rise in Cebu City, across Apple Tree Suites and just beside Pungko-Pungko sa Fuente.
Manigsaca named Butuan, Dipolog, Cagayan De Oro, Iligan, Ormoc, and Palawan as the locations of these boutique hostels.
The inspiration for this development came from Manigsaca’s son, Patrick, who sits as API’s vice president for business development.
“The concept initially sprouted as I was travelling in one of the destination islands of the Philippines. I saw that the hotels they had were not large scale developments. They were smaller boutique hotel concepts,” said Patrick.
Patrick said he looked into ways on how to construct properties while preserving the uniqueness of a destination.
“I asked myself, ‘Why do we travel?’ To see what’s local, what’s unique and to experience a different culture. This idea developed more as I explored more islands and thought about conserving the area rather than radically changing it,” he said.
Patrick said the boutique hotels will blend with the environment, highlight local designs and architecture, and create memorable experiences.
“Filipinos are renowned for our smiles and friendly culture but Bali is world renowned for its hospitality and luxury experience. Why can’t we do the same? It’s recognised the world over because they’ve managed to keep their resorts exactly as how you would imagine a resort in Bali would be… tropical, luxurious, a paradise,” he said.
He said the boutique hotels will aim to bring the Philippine hotel scene to another level.
He said each hotel will have its own unique designs because it will blend with the environment and incorporate each site’s local culture.
“The hotels will be of premium service without the premium price. Having branded by AppleOne commits us to deliver an excellent level of service,” he said.
Patrick’s sister, Samantha, who is involved in the hospitality side of the business, said the boutique hotels will have millennials as the primary target market.
“The prime market of these locations are millennials who seek the extraordinary in every destination they visit. We will be sure to put a touch of the Filipino culture in our future properties. The goal is to offer a luxurious, distinct yet affordable hotel,” she said.
Patrick said they chose emerging cities as sites for future boutique hotels because of their growth potential in tourism and commerce.
Based on research and personal experiences, Patrick said the travelers to these destinations are those seeking for recent tourism trends and adventures.
“They are what we call the sunrise destinations or areas that are slowly gaining attraction. I prefer these areas because they are not too crowded yet and they still have this local feel,” he said.
Apart from the boutique hotels, the AppleOne Group is looking at developing a five-star resort property in Panglao Island, Bohol.
This is on top of the group’s various developments in Cebu which includes partnerships with Marriott International in developing Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, and Fairfield Inn.