MANILA – The Filinvest-led Crimson Hotels is hitting one of the world’s best beaches as it announced the latest addition to the group: Crimson Resort and Spa, Boracay.
At a media event over the weekend at the Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, the group’s area general manager James Montenegro said the group is targeting to open the Boracay resort in late 2017.
This will be the third Crimson property in the country, following Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, which opened in 2010; and Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, which opened in 2012. Crimson Hotels & Resorts is owned by the Filinvest Group and managed by FilArchipelago Hospitality Inc.
“It is our baby at the moment. We just did the groundbreaking two weeks ago in Boracay,” Montenegro said at a speech during its “Expressions of Luxury” dinner to showcase the Crimson brand. “It will really give our brand a significant push in image.”
Present at the ground breaking ceremony was (from left) Francis Gotianun, AVP, Filinvest Development Corp. - Hotels; Andrew Gotianun Sr., chairman emeritus, Filinvest Land; Vice Mayor Wilbec Gelito of Boracay; and Charles Brookfield, president and CEO of FilArchipelago Hospitality Inc.Photo: Handout
The Boracay resort, which is located at Barangay Yapak, will feature 192 rooms, suites and villas. It will have five dinning outlets including what it calls an “iconic” restaurant, a grand ballroom, an event pavilion, four main swimming pools, 23 villa pools, a kids club and a range of sports, recreation and wellness facilities.
“Crimson Resort and Spa, Boracay will be giving local and international tourists a new expression of laid back luxury in Boracay,” the group promised.
The Boracay resort is just the latest in a string of good news for Crimson, which Montenegro boasts is “a true Filipino brand run by Filipinos and operated by Filipinos unlike other properties in town.”
“Over the last year, Crimson Mactan particularly we managed to achieve a few goals and a few awards,” the hotelier said, citing the World Luxury Awards, which named it the 2013 Luxury Beach Resort (Asia).
Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan in Cebu. Photo: Handout
Crimson Mactan was also recommended by Conde Nast Johansen, while the resort's Aum Spa, was named by Agoda as one of the outstanding hotels spas in the world for 2013 and was recently awarded Best Luxury Spa (Philippines, 2014) by the World Luxury Awards.
Meanwhile, its Alabang property, which is the group’s first city hotel, has “gained a foothold in the market,” Montenegro said, as with Filinvest’s other Cebu property, Quest Hotel, which is located in the city proper.
“Our goal really is to become a more significant hotel player in the Philippines,” Montenegro said.
Hail to the chefs
The table setting at the “Expressions of Luxury” dinner. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com
Apart from announcing the new Boracay resort, last weekend’s dinner event also introduced the hotel group’s two foreign chefs -- Crimson Alabang’s executive chef Alessio Loddo and Crimson Mactan’s executive chef Stuart Blair – who teamed up to create the six-course dinner at the hotel’s grand ballroom.
“This is the first time we have done something like this. Hopefully, this is not the last time,” said Blair, who is Australian.
In keeping with the “Expressions of Luxury” theme, the event featured prime ingredients, as well as wine, from start to finish, including the pre-dinner cocktails that had free-flowing champagne from Moet et Chandon and nibbles such as the coconut-coated king prawns.
Champagne and cocktails.Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com
The dinner itself, with the long table filled with arrangements of red roses and crimson flowers, featured Loddo’s modern take on Mediterranean cuisine and Blair’s Pacific Rim style with pronounced summery overtones.
Loddo opened the dinner with a modern rendition of the classic Caprese salad, which is traditionally made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, representing the colors of the Italian flag. Loddo presented the cheese in “liquefied” form – but really more of a mousse-like consistency – with tomato “pearls” and an orange balsamic reduction.
Liquefied Caprese.Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com
This was followed by lobster bisque with the Italian tricolor in a cannelloni roll, with spiny strips of roasted bell pepper and fish roe for an interesting play of textures.
More tropical inspired was the salad of seared sea scallops served with orange slices, while the fish course of grilled yellow fin tuna was paired with a perfectly caramelized piece of foie gras.
But it was not just all modern: the seared lamb loin atop a bed of risotto of Taleggio cheese had that robust and earthy flavor Italian cuisine is known for.
The desserts were artfully presented, with the deconstructed calamansi tart, dulce de leche, mango sorbet and chocolate cream arranged like abstract edible art.
Assorted macarons. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com
But the one that followed took the art theme to another level: three assorted macarons were presented like dollops of paint on an artist’s palette that’s entirely edible (made from chocolate), including the brush and the stand.
If the dinner was any gauge, Crimson’s future in the tourism industry seems very rose indeed.