Mandarin Oriental Manila's Tin Hau is set to close its doors in two weeks. Photo: Handout
MANILA – The Chinese restaurant Tin Hau will be the first establishment at the Mandarin Oriental Manila to close.
A lavish cocktail party was held Monday night at Tin Hau for selected members of the media, with the hotel’s general manager, Torsten Van Dullemen, announcing that there will be a two-week promotion so guests can say “a proper farewell” to the 26-year-old restaurant.
Early last month, Mandarin Oriental Manila released a statement saying that the hotel will be closed in the coming months after 38 years of operation.
“This is such an iconic hotel, and our customers have specific memories of the hotel from their childhood… We’re doing this in order to give our guests an opportunity to say a proper farewell to each outlet,” Van Dullemen told ABS-CBNnews.com.
“When we close everything all at the same time, we just felt that we won’t be giving proper recognition to the outlets… It will feel rushed,” he added. “So by doing this one by one, it will also give us the opportunity to focus on the outlet, so we can make its last days more special.”
For two weeks starting July 2, Tin Hau will hold a promotion called “MeMOries: Best of the Best in Tin Hau,” with the restaurant offering a la carte and two set menus featuring the specialties of executive Chinese chef Hann Furn Chen.
After Tin Hau, the contemporary European restaurant Tivoli will be the next to bid farewell.
“Tivoli will be next, then it will probably be Martini’s, and then Kipling’s. And then the spa. The outlets that will stay open are Paseo Uno – the all-day dining – and the lounge so our guests can be there,” Van Dullemen said, noting that each establishment will be given a two-week “finale,” similar to Tin Hau.
“But we will remain flexible. If there’s a demand, we can extend, we may extend,” he added.
The new Mandarin Oriental Manila, which is scheduled to open in 2020, will be owned and developed by Ayala Land Hotels & Resorts.
Van Dullemen said the luxury 275-room property will be located near the Ayala Triangle, facing the Zuellig Building at Paseo de Roxas, Makati.
“It’s opposite the crossroads. You know the Ayala Triangle? And it’s facing the Zuellig tower,” he said. “Right now, Ayala is redeveloping the area so they’re building a tower and we’ll be on top.”
While he has yet to see the design for the new hotel, Van Dullemen said customers can expect to see a “luxurious and world-class” property with the “excellent service” that Mandarin Oriental Manila has always been known for.
“The smallest bedroom will be 50 square meters with several wonderful outlets and other luxurious things… It will be a stunning, stunning hotel,” he said. “I haven’t seen the design yet but it will provide luxury, technology and the same level of service.”
As for the existing Mandarin Oriental Manila at Makati Avenue, Van Dullemen said they will keep the public posted regarding the final closing date.
The existing Mandarin Oriental Manila is located at Makati Avenue. Photo: Handout
“We’re hoping to announce in the next week or two… But probably it’s before October or November. It will probably be in September,” he said.
When asked what will happen to the 38-year-old structure, he said: “The lease will be handed back to Ayala and they essentially will be left to look after it.”
ABS-CBNnews.com conducted a quick survey of some of the Mandarin Oriental Manila staff present during the cocktail party at Tin Hau, and most of them have yet to decide on their plans after the hotel’s closure.
Some have been considering moving to other hotels in Makati, while a handful are thinking of changing their career direction.
Others, however, still do not have a plan at all.
“I haven’t found a new job yet,” said one server, who refused to be named. “But I believe that the hotel will help us.”
Van Dullemen, however, assured that all of the employees at Mandarin Oriental Manila will be given a “full and fair severance payment,” adding that they will be guided by the hotel as they look for another job.
“We’ve ensured that we have lots of initiatives for them, like professional counseling, or guiding them if they want to start a business, or if they want to work in other hotels or maybe, airlines,” he said.
“We also want to retain a number of them elsewhere,” he added, citing the other Mandarin properties. “We promise to support them.”