The men behind the country’s top filipino-owned hotel brand
At the helm of Waterfront hotels’ well-organized operations are four seasoned hoteliers whose vast knowledge of the hotel industry has made the chain the foremost Filipino hotel and hospitality brand. Their combined expertise, experience and dedication to excellence provide the foundation that guide the day-to-day operations and inspire the hotels’ exceptional level of quality in all the four properties.
They are Jean Francois Asimus of Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel, Anders Hallden Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, Rex Benhur Caballes of Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino Mactan, and Bryan Yves Lasala of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.
French hotelier Jean Francois Asimus, who now heads the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel as general manager, is the most recent to join Waterfront’s roster of hotel executives. His career in the hotel industry spans 22 years and has seen him directing and managing Full scale luxury hotels in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Maldives. He has also worked for prestigious hospitality brands in Paris and the UK.
Asimus comes to Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel as a result-oriented executive with solid expertise in management. His skills in strategic planning and management, sales and marketing knowledge, and his proficiency on the implementation of standards and corporate strategies for hotels and residential properties will help facilitate more creative innovations at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel.
Already, Asimus is in the thick of overseeing the innovations and improvements that Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel is undergoing. Currently, the hotel is in the last stage of Internet reconstruction that features the latest communication technology from Australia – the first of its kind in the country. This puts Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel in the vanguard of advanced Internet and wireless communication in any hotel. “This will give our guests, especially those who are in the corporate sector or those who stay for leisure and a relaxing staycation, better access in the internet wherever they go inside the hotel,” Asimus weighs in on the benefits of the project.
Under his supervision, major renovations in the hotel’s facilities have likewise started to give clients more efficient service and comfort that’s out of the ordinary. By 2018, Asimus notes, Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel will offer a “brand new hospitality experience” to delight guests no end and open new market opportunities for the hotel. With the coming of a new Executive Chef from Singapore, Asimus also sees a major revamp in the food menu. He says, “We are looking forward to the wide variation of the food selection in our dining outlets by mid-next year.”
Anders Hallden, the general manager of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, has a quick smile and easygoing manner that makes running a humongous hotel seem like the easiest job in the world. In truth, he is a perfectionist whose keen attention to detail helps in running the hotel as smoothly as a well-oiled machinery. Hallden takes particular pride in the hotel’s portfolio of dining options that offer excellent food and memorable dining experience, such as Ting Gow, UNO, La Gondola, Mizu, and the Treff Bar, a chic watering hole perfect for cocktails and after-dinner drinks.
“We also have outlets and services that operate 24 hours, like the Casino Restaurant, the gym, and room service. We’re a hotel that never sleeps,” he points out. “Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino remains unequalled because we train everyone to expect the unexpected and to anticipate the needs of guests. When you train your staff well and do your research, you will always be a step ahead of the competition.”
Rex Benhur Caballes is a busy man. Managing a hotel in close proximity to the city’s international airport puts an extra demand on one’s schedule, what with the coming and going of passengers all in need of assistance fresh from their flight or in a hurry to catch the next. As hotel manager of Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino Mactan, he is on his toes attending to the needs of guests and overseeing the hotel’s different functions to make sure that everything works to the ultimate satisfaction of guests.
The readiness to innovate, thinks Caballes, is what makes the Waterfront brand stand out from the competition. He opines, “Over the years, a lot of hotels have surfaced and they create newer and unique kind of hospitality. But, Waterfront Hotels remained steadfast competing with all others. We at Waterfront are open to changes and innovations. It is also important to be flexible. We see that our guests are evolving and that we too should adapt. From there, we would know where to position our hotel through the kind of guests that we have.”
Bryan Yves Sato Lasala, hotel manager of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, says working in Mindanao, offers unlimited and exciting prospects. He says, “The stakeholders of the hospitality and tourism industry are doing a very good job at selling and marketing Davao and Mindanao not just as a destination but also as a place for conventions and events. There are already a lot of changes and improvements in Mindanao. With the advancement of technology and through social media, the people from Mindanao have become more aware of its beauty and grandeur.”
Service, he adds, puts Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao at the forefront of the developments in Davao. “It is service that guests visiting Davao will remember. And at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, we work hard to give them the excellent service that guests deserve, service that comes from the heart, service that makes them feel right at home, service that’s worth looking back to,” he says.