Makati Shangri-La closing operations

Published January 20, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Makati Shangri-La, the Philippines foremost business hotel located at the heart of the Makati business district along Ayala Avenue, today announced the temporary closure of their 30-year operation due to uncertain business condition effective February 1, 2021.

(Photo from Makati Shangri-La’s website)

“Despite our best efforts, the prolonged recovery timeline has resulted in increasing financial pressure on the company here in the Philippines,” said Makati Shangri-La in a statement.

“Owing to continued low business levels and having considered all viable options over weeks of consideration and deliberation, we unfortunately must now make the extremely difficult decision to reorganize our workforce and operations in the Philippines as we continue to navigate an uncertain business environment.”

It added that a number of their employees will be displaced as the hotel will temporarily close its operations.

Affected employees will be provided support through the transition, including providing a fair compensation package that is higher than local statutory guidelines and extending healthcare coverage and grocery support until December 31, 2021 to provide affected employees and their families peace of mind during these uncertain times. The hotel chain also vowed to providing colleagues with career transition assistance to help them get back on their feet.

 The hotel said that that they have endured challenging times for the past 10 months to preserve as many jobs as possible, and provided assistance to its rank and file to get through the impact of the pandemic.

To mitigate the financial impact brought about by the pandemic, multiple cost management initiatives have been implemented including salary reductions at management level, implementing shorter work weeks, hiring freeze and cuts in non-essential spending.

The hotel cited its employees for taking tremendous pride in their work. “We greatly value their hard work, dedication, and contributions.”

“For close to 30 years, the Shangri-La Group has enjoyed strong support here in the Philippines. We are grateful for this and would like to assure everyone we remain deeply committed to our presence here in the market, and to the communities we are a part of. We continue to vigilantly monitor local and global developments and look forward to reopening of Makati Shangri-La, Manila at a later date when business conditions have improved,” the statement concluded.

In a phone interview hotel spokesperson Mica Cordero said that among the Shangrila hotels in the Philippines, only Makati Shangri-La is closing operations. The luxury Shangri-La hotel chain brand operates five-star hotels At The Fort-Bonifacio Global City,  EDSA, Mactan and Boracay.

“We will continue to closely monitor the business conditions both locally and globally and look to reopen Makati Shangri-La when business conditions improve,” said Cordero.

Cordero also said they could not disclose the number of affected colleagues out of respect to the colleagues concerned but assured that all employees are being assisted personally through this difficult transition.

There are a total of 696 rooms and suites in Makati Shangri-La Manila. During the hotel’s temporary closure period, it will retain a small core team to maintain and upkeep the hotel and its grounds.

Cordero said the Department of Tourism has been informed regarding the hotel’s chain’s reorganization efforts in the Philippines.

“While we have sadly decided to temporarily close Makati Shangri-La as part of our reorganization efforts in the Philippines, we remain deeply committed to this market having been present here for almost 30 years,” she said.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said he was saddened by the announcement by Shangri-La but expressed hope that the closure is just temporary.  “Their brand and presence have been iconic in the industry.  This just shows how bad the impact of pandemic is to their business and industry worldwide, that requires them to restructure globally their operations,” said Lopez.

Rumors of Shangri-La hotels closure surfaced in June last year amid strict lockdown protocols imposed by the Duterte administration.

The Shangri-La Hotel chain in the Philippines denied such rumor. At that time, Shangrila-La Makati told Manila Bulletin that they were operating according to the health and safety protocols of the government during the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

During the strict quarantine period, the hotel said were hosting overseas Filipino workers, embassy officials and their foreign nationals, and BPO personnel. Their kitchen was also open and they accepted delivery and take out.

Strategically located, Makati Shangri-La is within walking distance from some of the popular shopping malls in Manila, which include Glorietta, Greenbelt and SM Department Store.

This five-star luxury hotel in Makati is located just 20 minutes away from the airport and is a luxurious sanctuary for both business and leisure travellers. It has 696 hotel rooms and suites.