Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Residence: Ascott Opens First International Serviced Apartment in Bonifacio Global City

With a growing economy and a new aggressiveness in tourism promotion, the Philippines has seen several major developments in recent years, especially in the hospitality and tourism industry. One of the most recent to open a property is Ascott Limited.
Fresh from celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Singapore-based serviced residence owner-operator, which is part of the large real estate company CapitaLand, is strengthening its presence in the Philippines. Just May of last year, Ascott opened a property at the heart of the Makati Central Business District, the Ascott Citadines Salcedo Makati, which has 215 units. A few months after, Ascott unveiled another hotel in the country’s commercial hub—the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City
“Bonifacio Global City has been recognized globally as the Philippines’ newest financial center as it is able to cater to the needs of various international businesses. In developing business cities like BGC in Taguig, serviced apartments are preferred, especially with companies just starting their offices in the city which will require travelers to stay for extended periods. With this, we find Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila as the remaining piece of the puzzle that can cater to the upscale clientele in BGC to truly make the city the country’s newest CBD,” said Arthur Gindap, regional general manager of The Ascott Limited.
                With several multinational companies holding offices as well as concept restaurants and bars, and luxury retail stores, BGC has also seen several boutique hotels catering to business travelers rising. Bigger hotels of prominent international brands are expected to open soon in the commercial center.
                Located at the corner of 4th Avenue and 28th Street, Ascott BGC distinguished itself by offering rooms designed for long-term stay, thus, their preference for the term “serviced apartment.” Each unit is furnished and equipped with modern conveniences such as a home entertainment system, a fully functional kitchen and a washer with dryer.
The 30-storey property has 220 units that range from studio to two-bedroom units. Its location is very near shopping and dining centers such as The Fort Strip and Bonifacio High Street as well as corporate buildings such as Net One, Net Square, Picadilly, Marajo Building, One Global Place and Maybank Corporate Center.
“The Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila will be the second Ascott-branded property in the country,” shared Gindap. “Ascott Makati successfully catered to the needs of Makati City expatriates and corporate dwellers. Now, we are bringing this brand of hospitality to Taguig to help the city be recognized as another premiere business hub of the Philippines.”
                A prominent feature of Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila is its design, particularly the all-glass façade. According to Ascott, this feature is one demonstration of green practices. The glass façade allows more natural light to enter the building, thus lessening electricity consumption. Additionally, they use Low-E glass, which lessens internal building temperature that reduces the energy used for air-conditioning. The property is said to receive a provisional Green Mark Certificate from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority for environment-friendly practices including achieving Concrete Usage Index (CUI), use of Low-VOC Paints, Low-VOC Adhesives, Low-E glass panels, and low-flow toilet fixtures.
                Also, Ascott boasts of its Best in Hotel Architectural Design award at the 2014 Philippine Property Awards and its recognition as one of the highly commended hospitality projects at the 2014 Southeast Asia Property Awards.  While glass walls provide a modern and handsome look from the outside, art and indigenous materials used as accents provide character for the interiors of Ascott BGC.
Facilities inside Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila include office suites, meeting rooms, function rooms, a boardroom and a ballroom for work and events. For leisure and relaxation, the hotel has a 25-meter outdoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, a gym that overlooks the city, children's wading pool, playroom for kids, sauna and steam room.  
One of the pride of Ascott BGC is its restaurant. For this, Ascott partnered with one of the country’s prominent chefs, Margarita Fores. Called Alta, the restaurant will be her first in the area. Fores will also be providing the food for the property’s future banquet events in Ascott’s grand ballroom, a first for any Ascott residence, which can accommodate 200 guests for a sit-down event to 600 guests in a cocktail setup.
                To make the stay more comfortable and easier, Ascott offers the Ascott Host Program, designed to help guests, especially long-staying ones, transition into living in the Philippines and quickly settle in the new city. The program includes activities such as neighborhood and city tours, a security orientation, special events for kids, and social gatherings to know the other residents in the property.
“Ultimately, Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila aims to give residents a luxurious living experience combined with the familiar comforts of home. In order to do this, every detail from the design, amenities, and list of services were carefully chosen and curated to ensure a genuine personalized stay,” shared Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila residence manager Philip Barnes.

Ascott opens first serviced residence in Bonifacio Global City with (from left) Joanne Golong-Gomez, sales and marketing director; Verna Buensuceso, director, Office of Americas, Europe and the Middle East; Lino Cayetano, District 2 representative, Taguig City; Arthur Gindap, regional manager for Philippines and Thailand; Jose Luis Montales, city administrator, Taguig City; and Philip Barnes, residence manager, Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila.
During the opening of Ascott BGC, the latest property under The Ascott Limited brand in the country, Arthur Gindap, Ascott regional manager for Philippines and Thailand (left)  receives cooking tips from celebrity chef Malcolm Lee (right) where a traditional Peranakan lunch was served to the guests.
Chef Malcolm Lee and chef Margarita Fores collaborated to create a delicious Peranakan lunch for its guest in Alta, Fores’ first restaurant in BGC located in the serviced-residence.

 Photos from Ascott Limited.

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