The facade of the Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA -- Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle re-opened its doors last week in Manila after undergoing a major renovation that cost at least P250 million.
Pioneering the “hotel school” concept in 1996, the newly refurbished hotel serves not only guests who want to enjoy five-star amenities at three-star prices, but more importantly the students of the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde's School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management who use it as a hands-on laboratory.
“The school needed to walk the talk,” said Br. Dennis Magbanua, president and chancellor of DLS-CSB, during the hotel's reopening.
DLS-CSB student chefs at Café Romancon. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
As one of the premiere schools in hotel and restaurant management in the country, the hotel-school aims to provide students a shorter learning curve with facilities at par with industry standards, as well as a faculty roster of industry practitioners.
“Students are going to hit the ground running,” said Gil Acuna, the program chair for hospitality and tourism at DLS-CSB.
Included in the students' practicum experience is working at the Vatel Restaurant, which is operated in partnership with Institut Vatel, an internationally renowned hotel management school originally based in France with restaurants and branches all around the world.
The Vatel Restaurant is located on the 12th floor and offers a view of the city. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
The interiors of Vatel Restaurant. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
Hotel Benilde’s Vatel Restaurant is open to the public and serves authentic fine-dining Meditarranean-French cuisine at a relatively affordable price. A three-course meal, for instance, could be typically had for P400 to P500 per person.
According to Dennis Sebastian, the general manager of Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle, while the hotel is a “learning laboratory,” guests are guaranteed to enjoy a "world-class hotel experience."
The new hotel rooms spell easygoing luxury with its green, white and wood-toned color motif. Designed by the architects Manny Samson and Rogelio Villarosa, the rooms have small nods to things La Salle, if one knows where to look -- like the chevron design most noticeably found printed on the carpets, which are an insignia of the La Sallian Brothers.
A deluxe king room. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
“When we say that we renovated the rooms, what we really renovated is the experience,” Br. Magbanua said during the launch.
The hotel, which is just walking distance from Taft Avenue, is ideal for staycations. The rooms come complete with 24-hour Wi-Fi, a 40-inch LED TV, a multifunctional iPod dock, and use of the swimming pool and gym, safety deposit boxes, and a daily buffet breakfast at Café Romancon.
Café Romancon's Grilled Chicken WIth Linguine Putanesca. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
A delightful unusual room perk is the concept of the “free mini-bar”, where guests can consume all of the goodies in the mini-fridge free of charge.
Its 49 rooms are divided into six types of rooms for different budget ranges – from a comfortable dormitory room that starts at P1,200 to a presidential suite with its own Jacuzzi at P15,000, as well as specialized rooms for the physically impaired.
The hotel's swimming pool with a view of the Manila skyline. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
As an opening promotion, guests can enjoy 40% off room rates until August 30.
The hotel also has a range of well-appointed function rooms, which can accommodate small groups of 20 to their biggest, Halle de Aquitaine, which can hold up to 250 people in a banquet setting.
Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle
Arellano cor Estrada Street