AFTER completing renovations worth close to P250 million, Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle, the first premier hotel management school in the Philippines, reopened this week and is set to offer “a world-class hotel experience and facilities.”
Launched in 1996 by the The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (SHRIM) of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), the site served as the hands-on training laboratory for students interested in becoming entrepreneurs, hoteliers and restaurateurs both here and abroad.
In 1999, to provide its students with actual work experience, the institution opened its doors to the public as a full service hotel with guest rooms, gourmet food and beverage outlets, and banquet facilities among others.
A decade and a half later, the newly renovated hotel boasts of 49 world-class rooms that include a presidential suite, bedroom suites, deluxe kings, deluxe queens, superior twins and dormitory rooms that are sure to make for more comfortable dwellings for guests.
Commendably, the hotel also offers special rooms for the physically challenged, particularly those with hearing impairment and those in wheel chairs.
“With fully renovated rooms and other facilities, Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle aims to attract more guests looking for an alternative ‘stay-cation’ destination; become a ‘venue of choice’ for event; and continue to be a preferred learning institution for students who may want a career in the hospitality industy,” hotel general manager and professor Dennis Sebastian explained to The Sunday Times Magazine.
According to Benhur Ong, DLS-CSB vice president for administration, the hotel was designed by celebrated architects Manny Samson and Rogelio Villarosa in collaboration with the DLS-CSB faculty who are also industry experts.
He noted that the renovated teaching hotel is now a luxurious but friendly hotel nonetheless, equipped with five-star amenities like 40-inch multimedia LED Smart TV, in-room safety deposit box, electronic make-up room bottons, advanced promiximity card door lock system and multifunctional MP3 dock.
Another exciting feature of the hotel is its “free mini bar,” which Sebastian happily said is self explanatory.
“Guest can consume what’s in their mini bar in the room free of charge!” he affirmed.
Walk the talk
At the hotel opening, Bro. Dennis Magbanua, FSC, president and chancellor of DLS-CSB, related to guests that since DLS-CSB pioneered the “hotel school concept’ management decided to renovate “because the school needed to walk the talk.”
“We wanted to give the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (SHRIM) students the most realistic simulation that we could by providing them with facilities that are at par with industry standards,” he elaborated.
“As far as our name is concerned, we also changed it in line with our branding strategy. Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle will become the standard in all subsequent La Salle properties of the same nature, not only in Manila but around the world.”
Just walking distance from Taft Avenue, the hotel is located at Arellano Ave. corner Estrada St. in Malate, Manila.