Another Shangri-La hotel in PHL closes

This, despite a 20-year hotel management contract between the owner, New Riviera Hotel Development Corp., with Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd., which was due to end in 2035.

In a press release, the hotel along Roxas Blvd. in Pasay City said the “permanent closure” was decided by New Riviera “as part of their plans to redevelop the property.” The New Riviera belongs to the heirs of the former sugar baron, diplomat and friend of Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., Roberto S. Benedicto. The company was chaired by former television producer and director Kitchie Benedicto-Paulino, Benedicto’s eldest daughter, until her death in August 2021.

Hospitality industry sources said the closure was “not planned”. [The employees] were also taken by surprise. The hotel was known as a profit center for the Shangri-La Group and operated as a quarantine hotel during the pandemic. It has consistently received high ratings among TripAdvisor customers.

New Riviera officials could not be reached at press time.

“A deep trust in the Kuok family”

Originally operating as a Holiday Inn, then as Traders Hotel in 1995, the 308-room hotel was renamed Hotel Jen Manila in December 2014, to cater to a “new generation of independent business travellers” . Traders was a brand created by the Shangri-La Group in 1989 for its category of mid-range business hotels.

Upon signing the contract to extend Shangri-La’s management of the former Traders Hotel in December 2012, Benedicto-Paulino said: “We chose Shangri-La to manage this property because of our deep confidence in the Kuok family (owner of the Shangri-La Group) before the hotel transpired…. Our company believes in the Shangri-La vision of caring family hospitality. More than a business partnership, it is the close family connection with the Shangri-La Group over the years that has allowed us to continue this relationship over the next two decades and hopefully beyond. This contract signing was to extend Shangri-La’s management of the hotel by 20 more years from January 1, 2015.

Honor reservations until August 31

Meanwhile, JEN Manila said it will “continue to operate and honor reservations made until and including August 31, 2022, after which it will cease operations.”

He added: “Every effort is being made to support all affected colleagues through this transition, including the provision of fair compensation and the extension of health insurance coverage until December 31, 2022. “

The hotel management expressed its gratitude to its customers, partners and colleagues, “for their unwavering support over the past 27 years, especially during the difficult years of the pandemic”. It said it would continue to offer its “branded Asian hospitality” to guests at its four other properties in the country: Edsa Shangri-La Manila in Mandaluyong, Shangri-La The Fort at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Shangri-La The Mactan in Cebu, and Shangri-La Boracay.

The hotel company temporarily closed its Makati property on February 1, 2021, due to low revenues due to global pandemic travel restrictions (See “Another Covid victim: Makati Shang closes in February”, in BusinessMirror, January 20, 2021).