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Serviced apartment provider Oakwood is back in the Philippines, with the formal opening on September 9, 2009 of its 223-unit Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila in Ortigas Center built by the leisure and resort property unit of the family of biscuit magnate Jacinto Ng.
Undeterred by the global economic crisis, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, occupying 28 floors of the P3-billion 41-storey Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, actually had a soft launching on August 1, but the formal opening of the hotel is on September 9, 2009.
"We are back in the Philippines," said Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila general manager Brian Connelly. "Ortigas is the best location for corporate business. It is located just across the Asian Development Bank and is near large shopping malls, business process outsourcing establishments and call centers."
Connelly said Oakwood Premier is looking at business travellers, tourists, and Filipinos as its market. "We are drawing people from as far as Makati and Quezon City," he said.
Oakwood left the Philippines in November 2006, when Ayala Hotels Inc. chose Ascott Residence Trust of Singapore as the new manager of what used to be the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center in Makati.
Connelly said he expects an average occupancy rate of 55 to 60 percent in its first year of operation, before moving up to about 80 to 85 percent in the third year. On Tuesday, about 50 units of Oakwood Premier were occupied mostly by expatriates from ADB and executives of First Gas Power Corp.
Some 75 units have been reserved for occupancy for the Wednesday's formal opening of the hotel, he added. The apartment units have a minimum size of 41 square meters for a studio type, 86 square meters for one-bedroom superior suite, 94 square meters for one bed-room executive suite, 131 square meters for two-bedroom executive suite, and 182 square meters for three-bedroom suite. It also has a presidential suite covering 282 square meters.
Prices start from P11,800 for a daily stay in a studio type to about P20,700 for a three-bedroom suite. The presidential suite has a daily rate of P24,400.
Each unit has a king-size bed, dining area, fully-equipped gourmet kitchen, marble bathroom with waterproof flat-screen television and steam shower, washer with dryer, 40-inch high-definition home entertainment system with surround sound speakers, and high-speed broadband Internet access.
Connelly said long-staying guests are expected to comprise 65 percent of their guests. Foreigners are also seen to represent 60 to 65 percent of the total, he added.
Jacinto Ng Jr., director of the Ng family-owned Quantuvis Resources Corp. said some P3 billion has been spent for the construction of the state of the art building, which uses 35 percent less energy for airconditioning.
About 50 percent of the project cost was raised from the debt market while the 50 percent was equity from Quantuvis, he said.
Ng said the building will also house restaurants including French restaurant Le Souffle, Asia United Bank, and the offices of Extraordinary Group, Republic Biscuit Corp., and Earth + Style group of companies.
He said Quantuvis, which has a land bank of 150 hectares, is planning to build more hotels in Metro Manila and resorts in the provinces.
"As we evolve into the leisure and hospitality industries, we maintain our vision of becoming the leading brand in the market place. For our landmark property and luxury serviced apartments, we wanted a management company that shares both our vision and our corporate values, and we're delighted to find these in Oakwood," said Alfred Reyes, chief operating officer of Quantuvis.
Steve Selcer, president and chief operating officer of Oakwood, cited the importance of Manila in the company's international portfolio because of its expanding role in the global community.
"The addition of this property further marks Oakwood's commitment to meeting the needs and demands of our global customers. We are honored to partner with Quantuvis Resources Corporation, the owning company of Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila," Selcer said in a statement.
Oakwood is the global leader and provider of furnished and serviced apartments. It has 3,500 Oakwood associates worldwide, with nearly 15,000 apartments, and more than 300 network partners.
An additional 23 properties are scheduled to open by 2013 in strategic locations across Asia Pacific.
Connelly said more Oakwood facilities may be constructed in the Philippines, particularly in Makati and Fort Bonifacio, within the next two to three years. Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila was conceptualized and master-planned by Architects Esteban Y. Tan and Gavino L. Tan Partners, while interior design specifics were prepared and implemented by Leandro V. Locsin Partners. The façade and interior design concepts were made in collaboration with the Taiwan-based architectural group of C.Y. Lee and Partners, responsible for the concept behind Asia's tallest structure, Taipei 101.