AN “oracle” is described as a person or group considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion.You don’t need to seek any consultations, however, to find the best new place to stay in Quezon City, which bears this very name.
Quickly becoming the city’s latest landmark, The Oracle Hotel and Residences is strategically located on Katipunan Avenue, right across the Ateneo de Manila University, where several of the country’s premier educational institutions are also located. It is the newest brainchild of entrepreneur-hotelier Sheila Bermudez-Romero and is the first and only boutique hotel of its kind in Quezon City.
“Boutique hotel” is a term used to describe intimate, usually luxurious or quirky hotel environments. They differentiate themselves from larger chain/branded hotels by providing more personalized accommodation and services, and are usually furnished in a themed, stylish and “aspirational” manner.
The dynamic business woman Bermudez-Romero delved into this project after seeing the need for comfortable and convenient accommodations for the area’s visiting population: Parents who come to visit their children enrolled in schools peppering Quezon City; foreign and regional guests of the universities and other government establishments headquartered in the area; as well as companies who do live-in trainings and seminars.
The idea bulb burned even brighter as she discovered the growing popularity and increasing charm of boutique hotels during her travels across Europe and Asia.
“These relatively small, mostly stylish and tightly run affairs, with an obvious personal touch, are something new in Quezon City. From the beginning, I imagined it to be very comfortable and convenient to those who live, work and study in the area, as well as those who visit them.”
Bermudez-Romero spent close to a year in training with her consultant in running the hotel and in developing the concept from the drawing board-personally handpicking a team of veterans from the hotel industry to help conceptualize the hotel’s interiors. Her vision of a modern and chic hotel was executed by her sister, Tricia Calma of Casa Calma Designs.
The details of a fine home
TO a large extent, the hotel derives its character from one of Bermudez-Romero’s personal passions: Art. She, together with her husband Mikee Romero, has been a long-time art collector. All around the hotel, you will find thoughtful and fine details that will either pique your interest or make you feel cozy.
“All the rooms have fun and abstract artworks on the walls. Even the key card sports a print of an artwork that I plan to change every quarter,” she says.
The hotelier says she believes attention to detail is very important in running this business and made sure that the interiors were designed to efficiently maximize the ro-oms and provide enough living space. Dark wood was used on the doors and built-in cabinets for warmth and neutral colors are dominant on the soft furnishings to promote a relaxed atmosphere, as well on fine linen you’ll find in most five-star hotels for that extra level of comfort.
The hotel rooms, which range from single occupancy to family-sized suites, are equipped with advanced electronic lock systems for added security; 24-hour broadband Internet; phones with local and international direct dial services; and flat-screen TVs from Samsung with 24-hour cable channels, on top of the standard amenities such as air-conditioners and refrigerators. For long-staying guests, the bigger rooms come with their own living areas and modern kitchens.
A meeting place with distinction
The Oracle Hotel’s director for sales and marketing, Angie Vicencio, a long time veteran in the hotel industry, is another key player in the team. She recognizes the strength of the hotel’s proximity to a number of high-traffic locations in Quezon City that ma-kes it a strategic and convenient point of convergence.
“The Oracle Hotel has been designed to step up to its plate. There are aspects of the hotel that address the need for a venue for different kinds of gatherings,” she says. Small to medium-sized function rooms for meetings come equipped with audio-visual equipment such as projectors and screens, as well as on-demand technical support courtesy of the hotel staff.
The versatile ballroom, which can comfortably seat a total of 150 persons-and which is also outfitted with high-tech audio and video equipment, fine furniture and banquet services-is perfect for large group corporate functions or celebrations of personal milestones such as birthday parties, anniversaries and even weddings.
For everyday meet-ups, the hotel’s O Bistro and Café, an intimate venue that showcases fine contemporary art with the works of leading Filipino artists on its walls, stays open to guests for breakfast to after-dinner drinks. It also serves as a venue for smaller functions.
“And like a true convergence zone, the hotel is home to a host of other services, from a day spa, to a hair and nail salon, to dining outlets on the ground floor,” adds Vicencio. “We’d like to be a step ahead of our guests, so that they find that everything they need in a hotel is already here.”
A home away from home
But what makes the Oracle Hotel and Residence sparkle as a real gem is the personalized service that makes a boutique hotel different from a big hotel.
“We try to have a deeper understanding of what the guests really want to have a comfortable stay. We would like to address them by their first name when they come back. It makes the guests remember us when we know how they want their coffee especially for long staying guests. We like them to think it’s their second home when they visit their child in university every weekend. That makes a difference,” says Romero.
At the end of every day, Oracle Hotel and Residences aims to provide stylish comfort and unparalleled convenience to everyone who will walk through its doors.
For bookings and inquiries, e-mail Angie Vicencio at firstname.lastname@example.org , call (+632) 926-7777, or log on to www.oracleresidences.com.