• The year that was for Novotel

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    The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge is an ideal place to drink the night away

    The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge is an ideal place to drink the night away

    Araneta’s premier hotel celebrates first anniversary
    It felt like only yesterday when AccorHotels invited The Manila Times to tour their then newly-opened Novotel Manila Araneta Center, the French multi-national hotel group’s first Novotel brand in the country.

    While the property was yet to have its grand opening, The Manila Times already witnessed a flurry of guests checking in and out of Novotel and happily dining at the homegrown Food Exchange Manila and Gourmet Bar even on a weekday. Guests who experienced the comforts of the compact and practically-designed deluxe rooms including the well-appointed amenities—from the grand pool area, the quirkily-named meeting and function rooms, and the enchanting pocket garden—have since been all praises for Araneta Center’s premier hotel.

    A few months after the preview, The Manila Times was once again witness to Novotel Manila’s grand opening with no less than then-Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd as guest of honor to the inauguration.

    Memorable stays
    Strategically located beside the gigantic Cubao landmark that is the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, as well as a stone’s throw away from the new Kia Theater, Novotel Manila played host in its first year to many of the country’s most famous visitors in the field of the performing arts.

    Among those who stayed at Novotel were Culture Club and their enigmatic vocalist Boy George, Sergio Mendes, Engelbert Humperdinck and Brian McKnight.

    Nevertheless, the hotel considers its most important—and beautiful—guest this past year to be the Philippines’ pride Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who made Novotel her home soon after her coronation.

    As fate would have it, however, Novotel also found itself in the headlines for a less notable situation at least once in its first year. This was back in May during the national elections when reports surfaced that a political party had stowed away several precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in their property, which of course, is against the law.

    The hotel eventually cleared its name when a government-led inspection failed to find a single PCOS machine anywhere in the building. With all’s well that ends well, the hotel simply looks back to the controversy as a very different experience.

    Renaissance
    Today, Novotel is proud to be a major part of Araneta Center’s renaissance. In its bid to re-establish Cubao’s place on Metro Manila’s map as the bustling family and entertainment destination it used to be in the 1980s, the spate of developments in one of Quezon City’s most important locations was all the more boosted with the presence of a world famous hotel brand, which quickly attracted businessmen in the new BPOs in the area, concert goers, and families for staycations.

    In effect Araneta Center quickly re-joined the ranks of Makati, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Ortigas and Manila City as home to a five-star property. AccorHotels, which operates Novotel after all is also behind the Sofitel, Fairmont, and Raffles brands and ensures topnotch quality in all its properties.

    Novotel is fast becoming a favorite among family ‘staycationers’

    Novotel is fast becoming a favorite among family ‘staycationers’

    New amenities
    Revisiting Novotel over the weekend, The Manila Times noted the new amenities, which the property added the past year, thereby completing whatever guests may require of their stay.

    Among these is the Versailles Garden, an outdoor venue on the sixth floor that is being highlighted as a great option for outdoor weddings; The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge; the Kid’s Club where children can enjoy interactive stations, play areas and a ball pit; and the Fitness Center.

    The In Balance Spa, also at the fifth floor, has just opened as well to relax and re-energize guests; while the Premier Lounge on the 20th floor continue to provide discriminating guests with personalized service.

    Novotel proudly shared The Manila Times that to date, the property has the largest inventory of rooms—401 units spread across 25 floors—in the city. It has further maintained an impressive four- out of five-star rating at the travel review site TripAdvisor, and an 8.7 out of 10 rating at online travel agency Agoda.

    Finally, as with any growing brand, Novotel announced during its anniversary celebration on October 20 that they will soon open two more properties in the country: Novotel Calatagan Beach Resort, a 9-storey hotel with 342 guest rooms and Novotel Suites Manila.

    But of course, its most special and treasured one will always be the first—the Novotel Araneta Center, which is eager to go into another year serving the Filipino market.

    Log on to novotel.com for the hotel’s ‘ONEderful’ anniversary promotions.

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