Summit expands its ‘collection’ with new Cebu hotel
The new Summit Galleria Cebu is both a celebration of the things that make the Queen City of the South distinct and an acknowledgment of the roots of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) and JG Summit business group founder John Gokongwei Jr.
The 220-room business and leisure hotel that stands next door to Robinsons Galleria, itself a feather on RLC’s cap and described by City Mayor Tomas Osmeña as the “most beautiful mall in Cebu,” showcases the city and the province’s history, tradition, culture, arts and crafts.
In both big and little things, Summit Galleria Cebu constantly reminds guests that this is the city of fine furniture, exquisite personal and lifestyle accessories and exhilarating festivals.
The artworks, depicting Gokongwei’s life as a family man and tycoon, a collaborative project of visual artists August Santiago of Malabon City and Nemi Miranda of Angono, Rizal, chronicle the rise of a business conglomerate that had its modest beginnings in Cebu.
The flagship of Summit Hotels and Resorts, the 220-room business and leisure Summit Galleria Cebu stands on reclaimed land near the city’s commercial port and is 45 minutes away from the airport.
It is designed to appeal to both ordinary travelers, including families, wanting relaxing and comfortable lodgings but do not want the uniformity of hotel chains; and to MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) participants, providing all the amenities and services they need and expect.
Bernard B. Mariano, RLC project director for Robinsons Hotels & Resorts, said Summit was a “collection of hotels,” rather than a chain.
“We took our inspiration from the place it is located, Cebu and its culture.” It was also fitting, he said, to pay tribute to founder Gokongwei, who is Cebu-born and bred.
Lisette A. Arena, senior marketing manager, explained that the Summit “collection” meant that every property would give guests a unique experience that would be different from what other members of the group would offer. The Summit brand would not be “generic,” every project being just like the others.
“Each hotel would adapt to the host community—different design and features,” Arena said.
“The design [features primarily] contemporary and geometric shapes,” Mariano said, and the interiors were done in different shades of gray.
The whole concept for Summit Galleria Cebu, he said, was inspired by the vibrant, evolving, global host city, one of the most popular destinations for both local and foreign travellers. It was a celebration of Cebu’s rich history and tradition of excellent craftmanship.
Working with the interior design firm, Design HQ (Hirayama + Quesada), Mariano sought to bring Cebu to the hotel to give guests a feel of the city even before they step outside.
Arena said the overall design motif was an abbreviated story of Cebu’s past that led to its current international reputation as a producer of fine furniture and accessories.
Son of Cebu
Features and details were carefully and thoughtfully chosen to showcase Cebuano talent and to make the hotel “a fitting tribute to JG Summit’s visionary founder John Gokongwei Jr [and] to celebrate his life as a son of Cebu,” she said.
Roseanne Villegas, RLC director for corporate public relations, said that because the Summit founder was from Cebu, the city’s and province’s distinguishing characteristics became organic features of the hotel like the mango, capiz (mother of pearl) and the Sinulog festival, from which the very festive colors in individual rooms were taken.
The lobby features ceiling lights, each in the shape of pusô, diamond-shaped container made of woven coconut palm fronds which is the traditional way of packaging rice for trips.
Summit Galleria Cebu, the city’s newest boutique hotel attached to an upscale mall, is near major transport hubs, including the Mactan International Airport, the country’s second busiest after Manila, and Port of Cebu, which should attract travellers looking for convenience and accessibility. The old city is less than an hour away and regular shuttle service is available.
The hotel is also designed to be a top choice as a MICE venue in Cebu. Just as the guest rooms were done with careful attention to detail, the three function halls, averaging 300 square meters each and can easily accommodate up to 150 guests, are equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi access and well-designed acoustics powered by top-of-the-line sound systems.
The hotel’s food and beverage outlet and catering requirements for big meetings, conventions and special occasions will be handled by the Raintree Hospitality Group, which started in 1998 and now runs 30 restaurants, food halls and hotel food and beverage services. The main restaurant is the market-style innovative Providore on the ground floor that connects the hotel lobby to the mall.
Summit Galleria Cebu, which formally opened in August, the tycoon’s birthday month, was a tribute to Gokongwei as a businessman and family man, who cared not just for his own but his “adopted families too,” said Elizabeth D. Gregorio, general manager of the Summit Hotels and Resorts, like the RLC staff, those working in his other businesses, and Cebu itself. —CONTRIBUTED
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