REFINING further the quality of its local, yet world-class, brand to compete vis-á-vis with international chains that have entered the domestic market in the past recent years, Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corp.’s wholly owned Seda has built another facility—in addition to its growing portfolio—this time setting a new standard not only for itself but for the industry, as well.
Seda Vertis North veers away from its predecessors’ boutique size and scale. What’s more, it incorporates many developments as regards the accommodation and amenities offered in a big way right at the largest cosmopolitan area in the country that is Quezon City.
According to Group General Manager Brett Hickey, Seda is now more at home with its success and this is shown in its magnitude.
“Our goal here is to welcome you into our hotel. We’re most proud not just about the brick and mortar we have in the building and in the location, but the quality we put, all our people and about being able to be the home of Filipino hospitality. That’s what we’re working to do, and we really want to keep that look and feel of a Filipino hotel,” he told selected members of the media during their familiarization and appreciation tour of the newly opened accommodation facility over the weekend.
Unlike the brand’s first generation of hotels, Seda Vertis North was designed not just to cater to the emerging business districts in the country, but to also meet the demands of other communities, just like some bustling cities in Northern Luzon, including those in neighboring Bulacan province.
“As a testament to our success for Seda, we wanted to up the ante of it. That’s why we created this,” said Edwin Yabut, Ayala Land assistant vice president and head of the Seda Vertis North Project Design Team. “Vertis is the first hotel that will be more or less rival international brands we have today.”
Modern, timeless architecture
GUESTS might think that, with all the seven Seda hotels established nationwide over the last five years, the brand’s design principles are very complicated. On the contrary, that of Vertis—the sixth facility that opened in April and is now the largest of its kind in Quezon City—is quite simple.
“Our newest hotel is built for you to experience the home of genuine Filipino warmth spirit, complemented by a backdrop of modern contemporary design embellished by stylish accent pieces,” noted Cinty Yniguez, director of sales and marketing of Seda Vertis North.
Architecture-wise, its design philosophy is in vogue and timeless. Color schemes are black and white for the outside look of the hotel. It actually evolved from being Seda brown as seen in the brand’s logo.
“As we pushed on with the design studies, we found that black and white is quite attractive and timeless. Also, it’s very simple, straightforward design,” Yabut explained.
For interiors, the basic guideline is “simple understated elegance”. This is so apparent when walking through the facility, with very simple lines and sans the use of dull colors, except for artworks and accent pieces.
The lobby is so spacious and airy enough, with a ceiling of 4-and-a-half meters high. The reception area is easily more than double the size of most Seda lobbies “heightening one’s sense of arrival”, he cited. For the “selfie” generation among the guests, they can strike a pose with the iconic pieces by global Filipino furniture designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Vito Selma and sculptress Ann Pamintuan. Their creations are indeed worthy for their Facebook and Instagram posts.
Philippine artistry is also celebrated through art pieces by photographer Jaime Zobel de Ayala and other visual artists, as well as through furniture and furnishings by local manufacturers.
Dining day in, day out
WITH the hotel’s filling experience, what more of the in-house bistros that literally and figuratively are a feast to every guest’s tummy and senses—thanks to the brand’s metamorphosis into the premium category. Seda Vertis North’s all-day dining facility, Misto, shouldn’t be missed. Capacitated to accommodate 250 foodies, this restaurant boasts of a show kitchen with different stations to hop on to for an extensive buffet, from Japanese to Italian cuisines and, of course, Filipino gastronomy. A wide array of drinks and desserts are available, including delectable pastries that changes with the seasons and diners’ tastes.
One may notice the play on types of chairs and furniture accentuating the restaurant’s interior. Communal wooden long tables are also found here, thus, adding warmth and an element of surprise to such smart-casual dining outlet. They are not just for groups but also for individuals who may want to share meals as Seda aims for everyone to partake in the hotel’s unique experience.
Guests may also opt to dine at a soon-to-open top-end Chinese restaurant or to take a meal of appetizers and other light dishes with drinks at the hip Straight Up Roofdeck bar on the 24th floor, which offers al-fresco seating and stunning views of the surrounding cityscape.
AT the heart of every Seda hotel are the roomy accommodations perfect for both the business and leisure guests. Generous spaces to stay in at Vertis are beyond expectations and very welcoming indeed, as well as multifunctional.
As per Yabut, the hotel’s 32-square meter deluxe room, as well as its club rooms and suites were conceptualized to “have a residential feel”. This is evident in the warm colors to bring zest to an otherwise neutral palette.
“Again, if you see all the Sedas, more or less the colors are in the same range. But here, we added some punches—lavender and yellow. And then, we kept our beds quite simple and white and clean. In other Sedas, you will see that we have runners,” he explained.
Unlike in other hotels where the typical office writing desk is a glut, a triangular sofa with a round accent table that can easily hold a meal or a laptop are thoughtful touches at Vertis. Paired with an ottoman, the movable table easily transforms from dining to meeting to working table, depending on the guests’ requirement. The room’s versatility and warmth is further complemented by the use of asymmetrical balance.
“It’s a different approach because now with millennials, they’re so used to working in Starbucks, etc.,” he said. “So this is an attempt to that being modern.”
Another differentiating factor would be the night tables at the sides of the bed are not of the same color. The wall panels behind them also vary. Yabut said, “These touches add visual interest to the room without detracting from the space’s functions.”
The 160-sq-m Presidential Suite is a luxury in itself. Its own living and dining spaces reflects the same contemporary look, while employing asymmetrical balance to make its spaces lined with deep-pile carpets more engaging. This largest room also includes en suite bathroom and dressing room, deluxe drop-in bathtub and, of course, round-the-clock butler service. Given its area, the occupant can throw party to his guests at night after meeting with his associates early in the day. Overall, Vertis has 438 contemporary guest rooms, almost double the inventories of other Sedas hotels.
Top-of-the-line facilities, amenities
NOT to be ignored when billeting at Seda North Vertis are its topnotch facilities and amenities to the delight of every guest.
To cater to the growing meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry, its 700-sq-m ballroom has been envisioned as a venue for important conclaves, as well as weddings and other prominent social gatherings.
For relaxation, the third floor boasts of a spacious pool deck, wherein guests can plunge into the 390-sq-m pool with a bar. A minimalist, Zen-like spa also sits on this story for pampering massages. There’s also the gym to flex some muscles.
At this very same level of the hotel, Filipino furniture artistry is highlighted in the outdoor seating areas, sun deck, pool bar and dressing areas. The pieces by Selma, Cobonpue and Pacific Coast, among other suppliers, are all locally sourced, with most of them made in Cebu.
The hotel’s amenities and facilities are further complemented by the entertainment and retail options at the neighboring Ayala Malls Vertis North. Cutting-edge technology marries with new retail and dining concepts to bring the mall experience to new levels at its Japan Town, Korean Town and Urban Turf. The shopping and dining areas that integrate popular themes with holograms and augmented realities will soon make it the go-to place for millennials and the young at heart. It’s also the home of the Philippines largest movie screen and recliner-seat cinemas.
More than the “hardware” available to Seda Vertis North’s guests, however, the hotel’s “software” or service component is what will drive guests to return, Hickey said.
He is pleased that Vertis can draw from the growing success of the brand. As Seda further expands to more market segments, he assures clients that the hotel will continue to be benchmarks for Filipino hospitality and service excellence.