Gokongwei finds more ways to build hotel empire in Mindanao

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The frontage of Go Hotels in Iloilo --

By Maya M. Padillo, Correspondent

DAVAO CITY — Robinsons Land Corp. is set to open its budget Go Hotels branch in Iligan City by the third quarter of this year, while its boutique hotel brand Summit Hotels and Resorts continues to scout for locations in the country’s southern mainland.

Go Hotels Iligan will be the builder’s third branch in Mindanao.

“Mindanao has a vibrant economy and there are a lot of areas there for strong commercial developments,” said Elizabeth D. Gregorio, general manager of Summit Hotels and Resorts in a recent interview in Cebu City.

While the Gokongwei-owned real estate group primarily considers putting up either a Summit or Go Hotels in locations with an existing Robinsons shopping mall already, it remains open to other business “formats,” Ms. Gregorio said.

“We are also open to different formats and we’re not limited to Robinsons Malls, for now it’s how the development is looking,” she said.

“If there’s an opportunity to put up a Summit Hotel in Davao then why not?”

The existing Go Hotels in Davao City, the group’s biggest branch outside Metro Manila, is not linked to the Robinsons Cybergate. Instead, it is located beside a Phoenix fuel station and is a joint venture with Udenna Development Corp., the firm behind Phoenix Petroleum.

Go Hotels’ other branch in Mindanao is located in Butuan City, the regional center of Caraga Region.

The Summit Hotels and Resorts Group opened on Aug. 19 its flagship branch in Cebu City, the 220-room Summit Galleria Cebu within the Robinsons Galleria Complex.

“Summit Hotel is a unique collection of Summit boutique hotels. Each hotel has its own unique interior design and we incorporate a lot of local flavors,” Ms. Gregorio said.

Other Summit branches are the Summit Ridge Tagaytay, Summit Hotel Magnolia in Quezon City, and Summit Circle in another part of Cebu City.

Ms. Gregorio said two more Summit Hotels are under construction — one in Tacloban City, Leyte and another in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

All Summit branches are fully owned by Robinsons Land, a unit of diversified conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc., which has interests in real estate and hotels, food and beverage, air transportation, banking, and petrochemical industries. The conglomerate also has core investments in telecommunications and power distribution.