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Homegrown Hotel 101 going overseas

/ 05:06 AM August 20, 2018

Property developer DoubleDragon Properties Corp. plans to expand overseas via homegrown hospitality brand Hotel 101, which it envisions to become the first international Filipino hotel chain.

The group is looking at some properties in Vietnam, Bali (Indonesia) and Phuket (Thailand), with hopes to secure within this year the first overseas site for Hotel 101, either through acquisition or joint venture with a local business group, DoubleDragon chair Edgar Sia II said on Friday.

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DoubleDragon, which is now mapping out its next phase of growth beyond 2020, is in talks with various groups for the planned launch of Hotel 101 in these selected overseas markets. Each site will have about 500 rooms to be offered for $100 to $120 per night, comparable to the Holiday Inn chain.

“We aspire that in the near future, when we travel overseas, we will finally be able to stay in a Filipino hotel chain called Hotel 101,” Sia said in a speech after DoubleDragon’s stockholders meeting on Friday.

“Look at America, China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, [and] Thailand, they all have their homegrown hotel brands operating around the world. How about the Philippines? Isn’t it that most of these foreign hotels are manned by Filipinos? Isn’t it that we Filipinos are the ones widely known for our warm hospitality and excellence?” he said.

DoubleDragon’s hospitality business is under subsidiary Hotel of Asia Inc., which also holds the Philippine master franchise for Jinjiang Hotel.

The first Hotel 101 operating prototype is the 520-room Hotel 101-Manila in the Bay Area, close to the Mall of Asia complex and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Entertainment City. In the first six months this year, Hotel 101-Manila posted an average room occupancy of 84.66 percent.

A 519-room Hotel 101 is likewise rising in Davao as well as in Bonifacio Global City, Bohol and Boracay.

Hotel 101 is being pitched as an alternative platform for investment in the Philippines, where units are sold as “condotel” investment and are centrally managed by the group. Investors earn from their share of rental income.

“The plan is to have the same condotel concept overseas. We will follow the rules of unit ownership in the specific country we are in, as the condotel concept is already being done around the world. The only difference is that Hotel 101 has just one type of unit—a 21-square meter studio.

This condotel concept is similar to that followed by global brands like Raffles, Somerset, Citadines and Fraser, Sia said.

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“They sell the units and manage it, but their units vary in sizes and design while for Hotel 101, the size and design are predictable because it will generally be the same everywhere and only one type of 21-square meter studio unit with one single bed and one queen bed,” he said.

Asked how big he would like the international hotel business to grow, Sia said DoubleDragon would first focus on the first overseas Hotel 101 project and map out the first phase from there.

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