Building a Boracay empire

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The Henann Group of Resorts is on its way to completing a Boracay empire set to offer over 1,000 rooms to local and international tourists come 2015.

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Boracay-Garden's-Beach-frontHenann founder and chairman, Henry Chusuey shared this grand vision with Manila-based broadsheet editors and reporters at a media junket to Boracay over the last weekend.

“By 2015, we will have five resorts at Boracay, from Stations 1 to 3 totaling to more or less 1,000 rooms,” Chusuey announced during a roundtable interview.

The renowned Ilonggo businessman explained that to reach the very impressive goal, Henann will continue to build new wings for its three existing resorts—the Boracay Regency, Boracay Garden and Regency Lagoon—all situated on prime locations along Station 2.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Boracay Garden’s new Grand Wing led by Henann Group of Resorts Chairman Henry Chusuey and wife Annalisa (third and fourth from left). Joining them are (from left) Won Wha Soon with husband Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk, Gov. Florencio Miraflores of Aklan, Ambassador Valeriu Gheorghe of Romania, and former Ambassador George Theodore Arnold of The Netherlands

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Boracay Garden’s new Grand Wing led by Henann Group of Resorts Chairman Henry Chusuey and wife Annalisa (third and fourth from left). Joining them are (from left) Won Wha Soon with husband Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk, Gov. Florencio Miraflores of Aklan, Ambassador Valeriu Gheorghe of Romania, and former Ambassador George Theodore Arnold of The Netherlands

“But we won’t stop there,” Chusuey quickly added. He went on to say that before 2013 ends, the construction of a new hotel on Station 1 will also commence, to be followed by another one at Station 3 in the first quarter of 2014.

With targets clearly set, Chusuey officially heralded Henann into this two-year development, complete with back-to-back celebrations at the Garden, the Lagoon and the Regency during the high spirited weekend.

Grand Wing opens
Of the many milestones Henann marked during The Manila Times’ visit, the group first inaugurated Boracay Garden’s brand new Grand Wing, comprised of 68 rooms.

Boracay Garden’s Grand Wing has 68 fully upgraded rooms with modern designs and state-of-the-art amenities. The rooms at the ground floor also offer direct access to a newly renovated swimming pool

Boracay Garden’s Grand Wing has 68 fully upgraded rooms with modern designs and state-of-the-art amenities. The rooms at the ground floor also offer direct access to a newly renovated swimming pool

Important dignitaries, including the Korean Ambassador Lee Hyuk, Romanian Ambassador Valeriu Gheorghe and Gov. Florencio Miraflores of Aklan, joined Chuseuy at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

“In 2009, we took over the neighboring Korean-owned Hotel Seraph and named it Boracay Garden Resort. We immediately invested on major renovations and property enhancement. Today, we inaugurate its Grand Wing making it one of the biggest resorts in the island with 273 rooms,” the chairman proudly announced.

As the second property that was owned and operated by the Henann group, the Garden stands today as one of the budget-friendliest, high-standard resorts on the island. Because of its popularity, Hennan will build yet another wing on the property in 2014.

“When the additional new wing—which will have around 100 rooms—opens, Garden will be the biggest [among our five Boracay resorts in terms of room number],” Chusuey informed.

The new rooms of the Grand Wing features contemporary and minimalist design with Filipino accent pieces like Cebu-made rattan furniture

The new rooms of the Grand Wing features contemporary and minimalist design with Filipino accent pieces like Cebu-made rattan furniture

Upgraded experience
While the Boracay Garden continuously undergoes renovations for landscaping, pools and existing rooms, the Grand Wing will be the first to offer fully upgraded rooms with modern designs and state-of-the-art amenities.

According to Chusuey, the look of the rooms is “similar” to that of Boracay Regency and Regency Lagoon. The reason behind this was to create a signature design for their group of resorts—one that is contemporary and minimalist with Filipino accent pieces. Fully supportive of local craftsmen, furniture is made in Cebu, and made from laminated rattan.

The bathroom walls and floor, meanwhile, are adorned with high-grade marble with natural granite countertops. More importantly, these water closets are environmentally friendly, installed with fixtures like dual-flush toilets, energy-saving air conditioners and light bulbs, and water-saving showerheads and faucets.

Room types consist of 52 grand rooms, 13 grand rooms with direct pool access, and three spacious suites. Amenities range from huge TVs, mini-bars with coffee and tea-making facilities, and luxurious beddings.

More milestones
On July 13, Chusuey led Henann into marking two more milestones.  The first was the afternoon groundbreaking ceremony for the new wing of the Regency Lagoon, and by evening, the grand 15th anniversary party of Boracay Regency.

During the celebrations, Chusuey reminisced about his early ventures in the business. “I never knew that a simple idea would lead to where and what we are today,” Chusuey humbly related.

He recounted that as early as the 1980s, he had fallen in love with the beauty of Boracay—its pristine white and powdery sands and clear blue waters. However, he always found himself returning home to Iloilo dissatisfied with his hotel/resort stays.
He thought of building his own resort and run it with the highest standards in the industry. Thus was born Boracay Regency Resort.

“I wanted to build a resort where my friends and family can enjoy hassle-free vacations, and at the same time earn a little. In 1998, right in the middle of this long beach, I opened Boracay Regency Beach Resort.  With 43 rooms, a swimming pool and a restaurant, Boracay Regency was the first resort on the long beach to receive the highest resort rating from the Department of Tourism.”

Today, Boracay Regency has grown almost seven times its original size with 285 rooms to date, a 1,000-pax multi-purpose venue, a spa, and choice restaurants.

More to come
A certified expert in Boracay developments, Chusuey’s adrenalin keeps on running high with endless expansion plans. His immediate project is the Regency Lagoon which caters to honeymooners and families thanks to its more peaceful and quieter location. The 102-room expansion will be opened by the end of next year.

Moreover, he revealed, “As you have witnessed over the last 15 years, we will always be expanding. Aside from the expansion of Regency Lagoon, four months from now we will start the construction of a 100-room beachfront resort in Station 1 that is the former Chalet Tirol.

“In another four months we will start the construction of another 180-room beachfront resort at the former Boracay Beach Chalets. It will be named Henann Resort Boracay.”

The Boracay visionary then concluded the night by sharing Henann’s key to success: “It’s simply about building a brand that is synonymous with great accommodations, excellent service and value for money.”

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