Industry

Megaworld On Track to Open Luxury Kingsford Hotel in Entertainment City Q1 2021

The company was not spared by the effects of the pandemic, but it’s staying optimistic this year.
IMAGE Megaworld
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Listed real estate firm Megaworld Corp. says it is determined to open its first luxury hotel in Entertainment City within the first quarter of 2021. 

Kingsford Hotel is an 18-storey hotel with 500 rooms located in the property firm’s Westside City complex in Parañaque City.

“The hotel business is quite resilient,” said Kevin Tan, Megaworld chief strategy officer, during a virtual roundtable with reporters on Wednesday, February 3. “We’re finding ways to adapt, like converting some of our hotels into quarantine facilities.

Kingsford Hotel is Megaworld's first hotel in its Westside City in Entertainment City

Photo by Megaworld.

Westside City is Megaworld’s slice of the 100-hectare Entertainment City already occupied by three other tourism and entertainment complexes (City of Dreams, Solaire, and Okada Manila). 

Despite the impact of the health crisis, Tan said the company still believes in the long-term prospects of tourism in the Philippines. 

“Tourism will be largely domestic and regional (this year),” he said. “But we’re still committed to tourism.

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Megaworld owns multiple hotel properties nationwide under several brands, including Belmont, Savoy, Richmonde, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, and Twin Lakes. Under Travellers International Hotel Group, a strategic partnership between its parent company Alliance Global and Genting Hong Kong Ltd., there are several other properties, including Resorts World Manila, Maxims Hotel, Marriott Hotel Manila, Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Manila, Sheraton Manila, and others. 

Casual dining chain Wildflour opened its biggest branch in Uptown Bonifacio in 2020

Photo by Megaworld.

According to Tan, Megaworld is planning to launch new projects this year, most of which will be located outside Metro Manila, particularly in Bacolod, Iloilo, and Cavite.

Tan also spoke about the company’s efforts to assist its retail partners who rent space in the company’s network of “lifestyle” shopping malls. Megaworld has reported a decline of as much as 50 percent on rental revenue compared to before the pandemic yet it has already waived a total of P2.5 billion in rental rates for its retail tenants. The company is also continuing a “no fixed rate” policy that it started since last year.

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“We just charge them a percentage of their earnings,” Tan explained. “You do well, we get paid; you don’t do well, we don’t get paid. That simple.

“We foresee this happening for the rest of the year,” he added. “The retail industry is still extremely volatile. Very uncertain.” 

Still, Tan reported that 86 percent of Megaworld’s tenants are operating.

“There has been no major closures (of retail partners), except for restricted categories,” he said. “Some will hibernate, but most have already reopened. We offer all sorts of solutions, like flexible hours, or if they want to convert their store purely for deliveries.”

Kevin Tan, Megaworld chief strategy officer, is the son of chairman Andrew Tan

Photo by Megaworld.

The company also touted the opening of more dining and retail brands in its malls, including the biggest branches so far of dining chains Wildflour Cafe + Bakery in Uptown Bonifacio, Mary Grace in Newport Mall, and McDonald’s in Capital Town Pampanga, among others. Tan said more stores are opening their branches in 2021.

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Megaworld currently has 20 lifestyle malls across the country including Eastwood Mall, Eastwood Citywalk, Arcovia City in Pasig City; Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, Manila; Uptown Bonifacio, Forbes Town, McKinley West and Venice Grand Canal in Fort Bonifacio, and others.

An earlier version of this story referred to Megaworld's slice of Entertainment City as Bayshore City. This was an old name for the property. It is now called Westside City

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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