My favorite hotel-by-the-shore, Conrad Manila always comes up with fun events which is why it has become popular among Manila’s denizens. Not too long ago, the hotel came up with a series of events which attracted not only me but other fun-lovers in the metropolis.
An art event, Of Art and Wine – Abstract Views, was its curtain-raiser for the year. It featured nine Filipino contemporary visual artists who presented an all-new collection of 24 pieces which showcased their multimedia mastery, creative artistic approaches, and compelling thematic messages.
Curated by Nestor Jardin and Lara Latosa, the exhibit featured architect and sculptor Richard Buxani, mixed media artist Melbourne Aquino, painter Rick Lozada Hernandez, abstract artist Fitz Herrera, pointillist Binong Javier, Ob-Gyn and visual artist Weneline Wong, environment advocate and artist Lara Latosa, geometric abstractionist Aner Sebastian, and self-taught painter Michael Pastorizo.
Another event that attracted the metro’s party going crowd was the hotel’s celebration of the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Metal Rat with a vibrant lion and dragon dance, the ceremonial eye-dotting of the dragons, and the traditional Prosperity Toss performed by selected personalities—SM Hotels Conventions Corporation executive vice president Peggy Angeles, Congressman Antonino Calixto, and the hotel’s general manager Laurent Boisdron.
The festivities started at the hotel’s porte-cochère with the lions and dragons making their way inside the hotel, to the welcome lobby on the ground floor up to the main lobby on the third floor, with a shower of lucky coins and candies everywhere they went. It was a very colorful celebration, with the heart-thumping sound of the drums getting everybody revved up to join the fun.
An event I attended just the other day was a happy-sad occasion: happy because GM Laurent Boisdron gathered all of us, his close friends, for a Chinese feast at the hotel’s China Blue, serving us an array of exquisite specialties that only the Conrad kitchen can produce. Sad because Laurent announced that he will be leaving soon to take up a new position in Minneapolis at the head office of another worldwide chain.
Naturally, we took advantage of the occasion and “grilled” him with questions, the answers to which are only for us, his closest friends.
He made it clear, however, that his stint in our country is something he will always treasure because he finds Filipinos the friendliest, the most caring, fun lovers. Most of all, he is very happy to have been part of the hotel’s exceptional business performance, registering above its competitive set year-to-date revenue and index by a substantial margin.
The hotel recorded a strong year-on-year occupancy rate, posting its highest average daily rate in December 2019.
During the lunch, Laurent and commercial director Michael Albaña shared their optimism that the hotel will remain poised to overcome recent challenges and obstacles to the tourism industry, as these may just be temporary, enabling our industry’s resilience to make a strong rebound and achieve high scores again this year.
Conrad Manila does not only symbolize fun, but it is also an indicator of how our accommodations industry should evolve amidst all kinds of challenges.
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YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
Q: Why does Peter Pan always fly?
A: Because he’s from Neverland.
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