Satisfied guests at Cebu’s Plantation Bay Resort and Spa may list the resort’s 2.3 hectare lagoon, freshwater pools, or the assortment of leisure facilities for guests of all ages among its top attractions, but the one thing it takes pride in the most is its human resources.
Since 2002, the resort has been sending promising staff for executive education at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York and at other institutions like the Culinary Institute of America in New York and California, Espai Boisà in Barcelona, Nanyang University in Singapore, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, the Chivasom Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, and Koenig Solutions in India.
In addition, the resort’s officers and staff regularly travel in order to have first-hand experience of top hotels around the world. They have stayed as paying guests at the Four Seasons in Washington DC., the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, and the St. Regis in New York, among others. Under the company’s sponsorship, they have also traveled to European and Asian destinations namely London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Vienna, Barcelona, Moscow, Berlin, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali, New Delhi, and Singapore. With such well-traveled staff, guests at the resort are assured of world-class service while enjoying every hour of their holidays.
“Not many hotels have a management as well-educated and well-traveled as ours!” Plantation Bay’s amiable General Manager Efren Belarmino proudly shares.
Men of design
Meanwhile, after his big success in the recent APEC, we found ourselves in the showroom of the man-of-the-hour Kenneth Cobonpue, this time partnering with two well-known designers from Amsterdam and Canada.
Things can get interesting when home design draws inspiration from the male point of view. Plain, everyday items get fresh, modern takes and find harmony between function, practicality and design.
This kind of artistry and design philosophy took centerstage at the “Contemporary Design Showcase,” which featured the masterpieces of three esteemed designers, representing globally-recognized brands in contemporary home furnishing: Matt Carr of Toronto-based homeware design company, Umbra; Arno Ruijzenaars of clock master, Leff Amsterdam; and our very own Cobonpue.
The showcase turned the spotlight to the globally acclaimed furniture designer and manufacturer whose roster of distinguished clients includes Queen Sophia of Spain and Queen Rania of Jordan, as well as Hollywood royals Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The Cebuano industrial designer has been admired for his signature furniture, using natural materials such as rattan, bamboo, abaca, and buri palm. Through lasting materials, Cobonpue seamlessly combines beauty, functionality and lastingness in every piece that he masterfully creates.
For his exceptional skills, he was tapped as creative director for the eminent Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) welcome dinner at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.