MANILA, Philippines – When one talks about the hospitality industry, big-name players are the first that come to mind. They dominate the scene not just in terms of location but also in number of rooms and staff size. But a group of concept hotels and serviced residences is slowly gaining recognition for the distinct experiences and more personalized service they offer.
Behind these new players is a hotel and property management company with a vision to break new ground in the industry: Hospitality Innovators, Inc. or HII. Founded only 15 years ago but already a leading figure in the field, HII produces design and experience-grounded properties that rely on unique character and top-class service to deliver unforgettable stays.
At the core of HII is its drive to transform ordinary properties into concept spaces that distinguish them in the market. With the expertise brought by its team of seasoned industry folks, HII is able to fully tap into each property’s potential and, combined with its service and operations knowhow, make profitable businesses for its partners and create exciting destinations for guests.
“The big property players are now getting into the hospitality space and the reality is that there are smaller guys who also want in,” says HII founder and chief executive officer Luis C. Monserrat. “What HII does is partner with these small independents and equip them with our ‘innovision’ to help create distinct concepts that delight guests and make them want to come back. The one-of-a-kind appeal and first-rate services that we develop for them lead to each property’s unique and satisfactory brand of experience, which allows them to ably compete.”
According to Monserrat, the idea of banking on creating distinct personalities for the properties stems from the fact that they are going against the “Goliaths” and should be clearly different for the market to take notice. “This is what we offer hotel and property developers who want to get into the lodging space: the impressive combination of a unique concept and great service, which can enhance the value of assets and create attractive returns,” he says.
Leading the HII roster is The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences in Salcedo Village, Makati, which flourishes with its creative design befitting its namesake artist. According to Monserrat, Picasso was transformed into the spacious and stylish serviced residence that it is now after he reimagined it with architect Dom Galicia.
“We got Picasso after it was entrusted to us by a partner who liked what we did with their first property. Picasso was initially an apartment building but we reconceptualized it to become a serviced residence with walls and rooms that speak of art. When it was time to think of a name for the property, we went back to its core, what it was about, which is transformation. Dom suggested that no other artist better embodies transformation than Pablo Picasso. And that’s how the property got its name.”
HII also manages both branches of The Henry Hotel: The Henry Cebu, which features 38 rooms uniquely filled with art collectibles around the world, including those of French designer Delphine de Lorme; and the newly opened The Henry Manila, which exhibits a nostalgic appeal with its five postwar style houses with rooms adorned with modern vintage furnishings.
Also in HII’s portfolio are two new properties in Makati: the Y2 Residence Hotel, which offers a zen-like feel with its oriental design that epitomizes balance and harmony, and the KL Tower Serviced Residences, characterized by clean architectural lines that exude modern and sophisticated style. It is also noteworthy that the company pioneered the concept of “condormitels,” an idea that’s currently gaining ground. The company currently operates two such properties in the University Belt Manila area and is exploring other similar properties.
HII also takes great pride in the exceptional service it extends to guests, which Monserrat believes is crucial to their properties’ success. He says,
“Having attractive and interesting properties is one thing, but what really marks the HII brand is the bespoke hospitality we give each of our guests. We go beyond the standard by making all guests feel that they are truly looked after and cared for, so they feel right at home every time.”
This approach has allowed HII properties to consistently generate higher occupancy rates than the industry average. It is also the recipe behind all the awards that its properties have received from major travel websites, where HII properties have reaped glowing reviews and feedback from impressed guests. Among these are Picasso’s TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014, and consistent rank, along with Y2 Residence Hotel, in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Hotels in Makati.
Also in the winners’ mix is The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel in Ortigas, winner in the Agoda Gold Circle Awards 2014, the Azumi Boutique Hotel and Parque España Residence Hotel, which are both in Alabang and were given the 2014 Award of Excellence by Booking.com. HII has also established a solid reputation in the South as The Henry Cebu consistently ranks among the top three hotels in Cebu, according to TripAdvisor.
Monserrat adds that HII will continue to commit to consistency and a high standard for its concepts and services to keep guests, partners, and employees satisfied.
“We want HII to stand for exceptional creativity and a distinct brand of hospitality. HII is just beginning to redefine the industry, and we’ll continue to do so with concepts that entice and excite, and by extending service that guests will want to come back to.”
March 2015, Philstar.com, “The Innovision Behind Some of Manila’s Concept Hotels and Serviced Residences”