The iconic Makati Shangri-la Hotel is saying goodbye to guests and staff by February 2021 as it finds no immediate relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The towering five-star establishment home to 696 luxury rooms along Ayala Avenue is temporarily halting operations effective February 1, Monday.
“The year 2020 has presented challenges that a short while ago were totally unimaginable to us all, We have prided ourselves on delivering genuine Shangri-La hospitality from the heart here in the Philippines, day in and day out, throughout our almost 30-year history here,” John Rice, Shangri-La Group’s Vice President of Operations for the Philippines, said in a letter addressed to the Philippine Hotel Owners Association.
“However, the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on global economies, particularly, the travel and hospitality sectors has been so severe, we are having to make decisions previously not contemplated.”
The hotelier said in the letter obtained by BILYONARYO that Shangri-La tried to “preserve as many jobs as possible” especially among their rank and file staff in the past 10 months of community quarantine, but it could not be sustained.
“Despite our best efforts, the prolonged recovery timeline has resulted in increasing financial pressure on the company here in the Philippines,” Rice added, calling it an “extremely difficult situation” on management’s part.
The shutdown will also pave the way for a workforce “reorganization,” which is a fancy term for massive layoffs.
“We continue to closely monitor global developments and look forward to reopening the property at a later date when business conditions have improved. In the meantime, our team on the ground are making the necessary arrangements. We are proud to have been a pioneer and a leading member of the community here in Manila and have consistently supported the growing hospitality industry and the community,” Rice also said.
Makati Shang is one of 15 hotels allowed by the Department of Tourism to accept guests for staycation, provided that they adhere to strict health requirements to prevent spreading the coronavirus. However, there’s limited demand for hotel rooms as people continue to fear getting infected.
Shang has two other hotels in Metro Manila: In Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong, and another in BGC, Taguig.