BIZ BUZZ: Hotel101’s literal ‘inside track’ | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Hotel101’s literal ‘inside track’

/ 02:10 AM May 24, 2023

Don’t look now but what is being planned as one of the biggest value hotels in Spain—we’re talking about the upcoming Madrid branch of the growing Hotel101 chain—may just end up having the inside track in one of that country’s most prestigious and upscale sporting events.

That’s because, a few days ago, Spanish online sports news platform Relevo published the proposed design of the racetrack for the Madrid edition of the Formula One Grand Prix – slated to become an annual event starting 2025 – that will be held close to the location of DoubleDragon Corp.’s new hotel.


So close will it be, in fact, that, from the looks of it, the Hotel101 that will will soon be built will actually be situated inside—yes, inside—the five kilometer-long high speed racing circuit that will be located in the Valdebebas district and the adjacent IFEMA convention center and fairgrounds to the north of the city.

That’s great news for the dynamic billionaire duo of Edgar “Injap” Sia II and Tony Tancaktiong who are making a big bet that they can transform the Hotel101 venture into a global value hotel chain to rival the current market leader AirBnB.


The added bonus is that this particular Hotel101 is relatively near Madrid’s Barajas international airport and is also right next to the sprawling football complex of the famed Real Madrid team, giving its planned 736 hotel rooms a ready market.

If the proposed Formula One track is indeed laid out the way the current proposal looks, it will be a great marketing boost for Hotel101, which is expected to open its doors come early 2026.

Who knows? Maybe the company may even decide to accelerate construction? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Tribute to Hortaleza’s father

Father’s Day is still weeks away but serial entrepreneur Rolando B. Hortaleza of HBC and Splash fame has already paid tribute to his own by naming his upcoming Sencio Bread and Pastries modern bakery after him.

Hortaleza explains that it was his father, Cresencio, who established the Hortaleza brand, having started Hortaleza Vaciador that continues to be well known among hairdressers and in the salon industry.

The inspiration from his father’s journey as an entrepreneur led “Doc” to pursue his own businesses that now include Barrio Fiesta Foods, Hortz Hotels and Resorts, Three Bulls Brewery, Burp Central and Chicken United.

Soon to be added is Sencio Bread and Pastries, positioned as a modern Filipino bakery outlet that will be opened in September 2023 in Tagaytay City.


“We will be reminded of CreSENCIO for every bite of our modern Filipino breads and pastries,” said Hortaleza.

— Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Kevin Tan taps Amazon

Pick-A-Roo, the premium all-in-one lifestyle delivery app founded by young tycoon Kevin Tan, entered into a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) meant to “elevate customer experiences through cutting-edge personalized recommendations.”

In plain English, Pick-A-Roo will be able to simplify the shopping experience of its users and provide them with recommendations for products and services based on what the app learns. This will be made possible by using AWS’s advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Pick-A-Roo, of course, aims to differentiate itself from the growing number of apps that offer shopping services, especially in the food and grocery sphere. It’s marketing itself as a “premium all-in-one lifestyle delivery experience.”

The idea is for its users to be able to buy practically anything through the app — and have the purchases delivered promptly — whether they be food, groceries, medicine, gadgets, pet essentials, appliances, baby care and whatever else one needs.

Founded by Tan just before the pandemic — and operating distinctly from the Megaworld group that his father built — Pick-A-Roo remains resilient in the post-pandemic era as many of its customers have already become accustomed to regularly purchasing their groceries and stocking their pantries using the easy interface of the app.

Proof of this is the fact that the app has already been downloaded by nearly 1 million customers to date.

Over the next few weeks, Pick-A-Roo will be launching new features thanks to its partnership with AWS, especially through the use of the latter’s cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence expertise.

All that’s left for users to do really is to download the app and start shopping.

— Daxim L. Lucas
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