HBA Manila, a leader in hospital design, looks forward to the tourism industry going back to full operations. Soon, one of HBA’s latest design projects will be fully enjoyed by travelers checking in for corporate events or even long-term visits at the Citadines Bacolod, Southeast Asia’s City of Smiles’ first international hotel brand.
While Bacolod City emerges from its efforts to manage the effects of the pandemic, the work to launch the city as the new business hub of the Visayas region is nearly done.
“Since this is our first project in Bacolod, we dived into the research and conceptualization of the interiors, recognizing the opportunity to showcase the city’s culture, art, and history,” says HBA Manila partner and principal Normal Agleron.
The HBA Manila team aimed to tell the story of Negros Occidental’s ascent from a sleepy province known for its majestic sceneries and idyllic haciendas to a major business hub in the Philippines’ southern region.
“A major source of inspiration for the design team was the city’s culture and its famous Masskara Festival’s spirit that were creatively infused into the interiors. This spirit manifests in the sculptural furniture pieces, decorative lighting, weave pattern screens, and artworks. The interior’s material palette is accentuated by punches of vibrant colors taking cue from the colorful festival,” he adds.
Like countless other property development construction projects, Citadines Bacolod had been delayed as a result of countrywide restrictions due to the pandemic, but as the conditions improve and its official opening draws near, future guests will soon be able to enjoy the comforts of international travel while experiencing the Bacolod brand of hospitality, for both brief and extended visits.
Agleron shares a glimpse of HBA Manila’s work in the hotel. “Guests will be greeted in the lobby that evokes a grand yet boutique feel with its double-volume height ceiling and bespoke lounge furniture that immediately provide a warm welcome. Just adjacent to the lobby reception is the lobby lounge that was designed to be an interactive living space – an ideal venue for social or business meetings over coffee or light meals.”
“From the lobby, the contemporary interior design language is carried throughout the hotel areas, including large multi-function rooms, multiple meeting facilities, and a business center. Other hotel amenities will provide relaxation to guests, such as the fitness gym, spa, and lap pool. There’s also a tropical island-themed kid’s play area for business travelers with kids.”
As the trend of more flexible amenities continues, especially with what has become today’s standards like remote work, online conferencing, contactless food and beverage service, the need for privacy and space, and safe social distancing, all the guest accommodations – studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom serviced residences — come with a well-equipped kitchen and zoned to have separate working and living/ sleeping areas, and are integrated with home entertainment, broadband internet connection, and a comprehensive range of amenities.
“All of these perks come with the ambience that’s relaxed, eliciting the feel of home away from home. Timeless urban design language is expressed by light neutral painted and wood-paneled walls, wood flooring and clean lines, and furnished with contemporary style furniture. Modern details such as the open wardrobe that can be concealed with a sliding decorative panel and concealed lighting add to the unique features of the room,” he explains.
Completing their work in Citadines Bacolod may have taken longer than expected, but it has all been worth the time and effort. HBA Manila looks forward to the time Bacolod – as the business hub of the Visayas – fully opens its gates to finally reveal the 200-unit serviced residence’s addition to the city skyline signifying its unprecedented growth. Citadines Bacolod is part of the design group’s projects with Cebu Landmasters Inc., a joint venture CLI Bacolod Hotels, Inc. “Our relationship with CLI is defined by our common traits as companies, that is, young, energetic, forward-looking with grand ambitions. HBA Manila connects with Cebu Landmasters Inc. in both vision and drive to put the key cities in the southern region of the Philippines on the world-class hospitality map,” Agleron says.