MANILA -- The hospitality arm of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) has turned some of its hotel rooms into long-stay and office spaces as it adapts to the "new normal" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robinsons Hotels and Resorts (RHR) recently launched its Home to Go and Working on the Go offerings at selected Go Hotels and Summit Hotels, allowing guests to stay and work upon booking.
Arthur Gindap, senior vice-president and business unit general manager of RHR, said the pandemic has caused them to push forward their plans of offering dorm services.
"Our first dorm is actually going to be in our Bridgetowne development [in the cities of Quezon and Pasig] and we're already building that. It's quite sizeable, with 640 rooms. So in beds, it's over 2,000, and that will be ready by late 2021," he said in a recent virtual briefing.
Gindap continued: "Our five-year plan is to actually have about eight to 10 dorms countrywide. So the Home to Go is part of what he had worked on, but we just went and advanced it because of the current situation, and the need and the demand to have this product."
Home to Go is available at Go Hotels at Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, and Otis-Manila.
Working on the Go, on the other hand, is offered at Go Hotels in Ortigas and Mandaluyong, and Summit Hotels in Magnolia (Quezon City) and Greenhills (San Juan).
Joy de Mesa, group director of sales and marketing at RLC, said they have allocated 30% of their room inventory at the said hotels for the new projects, and are planning to apply this to their other properties across the country.
"Eventually we're also looking into offering these rates in our properties in the Visayas and Mindanao," she said.
"We are really hoping that things will go back to normal very soon. But given the very positive response of the market to our programs, we see this to be a part of our offers that we sell out to the market on a daily basis," she added.
Under Working on the Go, rates start at P16,200 a month for an 18-square-meter work space at a Go Hotel in Ortigas or Mandaluyong, to P27,000 a month for a 30-square meter office at Summit Magnolia or Greenhills.
Customers have the option to have tables and chairs for two persons added for a fee. Rates are inclusive of utilities such as power and water, weekly cleaning services, and Wi-Fi access of up to 1 Mbps per person.
Common areas equipped with a microwave, toaster, refrigerator, and water dispenser are also provided for guests to prepare simple meals, as well as the option to order set packaged meals at the hotel.
On the other hand, the Home to Go program lets guests book a twin-sharing, 18-square-meter room at Go Hotels Ortigas, Mandaluyong, or Otis-Manila for P18,000 a month.
The monthly rate includes cable TV and unlimited free Wi-Fi, weekly cleaning services, and access to the common pantry area on each floor. Weekly meals may also be ordered in advance, with QR code menus to be provided to guests.
Meanwhile, Gindap sees RHR returning to pre-COVID numbers in 12 to 18 months as they maintain an "optimistic but realistic" stance.
"The first phase of the recovery will be domestic tourism, and I think people won't be lining up to get on a plane. So it's wherever they can go in a car. And if you look at our nationwide reach, we're all over so we should benefit from that perspective," he said.
"I think also there's inevitably a tightening of the purse," he went on. "And with our essential value brand of Go and our three-star of Summit, I think we're in a great position [in the new normal]."