Hotel Okura opens in PH, signals recovery in hospitality sector

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NEW HOTEL IN TOWN. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (4th from left) honors the opening of the Japanese luxury hotel, Hotel Okura, at Resorts World in Newport City, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. With her are (from left right) Director of Games Hakan Dagtas, Chief of Staff for Pasay City Mayor Peter Eric Pardo, Chairman and CEO of Resorts World Manila Kingson Sian, Chairman of Travelers International Hotel Group, Inc. Kevin Tan, Japanese Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Yasushi Yamamoto, Hotel Okura Chairman Toshihiro Ogita, and Hotel Okura Manila General Manager Jan William Marshall. (camera photo)

MANILA – Hotel Okura officially opened in Manila on Tuesday, signaling the gradual recovery of the country’s hospitality industry after nearly two years of pandemic-driven closures.

The Japanese luxury hotel, located in the Resorts World complex in Newport City, opened in December 2021 and is the first Okura Nikko Hotels property in the Philippines.

“We are delighted that Hotel Okura Manila officially opens today. In this hotel we are convinced that Okura omotenashi with the warmest Filipino hospitality, in conjunction with our spirit of ‘Wa’ (meaning harmony or teamwork), would evolve into ultimate hospitality,” said Hotel President Okura Co., Ltd. ., Toshihiro Ogita.

In an interview, Philippine Hotel Owners Association Executive Director Benito Bengzon Jr. said the Japanese hotel brand’s debut in Manila also marks renewed investor confidence in the Philippines.

“It’s something a lot of people have been waiting for and it signals the recovery of the hospitality industry. The fact that they opened while we’re still in a pandemic shows they believe in the Philippines,” he said. he told reporters.

“It will (also) help expand or increase capacity in terms of number of rooms here in Metro Manila. And, of course, if you know the brand, Okura is a premium brand known all over Japan. and the fact that they decided to open here says a lot about the confidence they have.”

The 11-story hotel, with 190 rooms, has a quaint lobby adorned with a calm karesansui or a zen rock garden that fits perfectly into the structure’s Japanese-style interior.

It also offers a wide range of accommodations, including the iconic Hinoku-yu room which features Japanese cypress wood tubs handcrafted by artisans in the mountainous town of Nagiso in Nagano, Japan.

Hotel Okura Manila also has a fine dining restaurant, Yamazato, and the all-day dining Yawaragi restaurant that serves authentic Japanese cuisine.

In a speech, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Okura’s inauguration is a testament to the “improving state” of the tourism and hospitality industry.

“This momentous occasion heralds the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry. With more locations now under Level 1 alert status, we expect more tourism activity in the months to come,” she said.

The hotel’s launch came more than two months after the Philippines’ borders reopened to foreign leisure travelers.

Based on the latest government data, around 265,553 foreign tourists visited the country from February 10 to April 17 alone. (NAP)

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