The AyalaLand hospitality brand has come into its own, showcasing a stylish confidence and a penchant for pleasant surprises that make the difference between a good stay, and a memorable one
Quezon City, despite being the most populous in the metro, has always been underserved when it came to five-star hotels that could hold its own against global brands. When Seda Vertis North soft opened its doors last April, it put an end to that.
The sixth property in AyalaLand Hotel and Resorts’ portfolio, Seda Vertis North doesn’t only come in as the biggest of the group’s properties – it’s the biggest hotel in Quezon City – a welcome departure from the brand’s previous boutique size and scale. With 438 contemporary guest rooms, Seda Vertis North nearly doubles the number of rooms in the inventories of Seda’s first generation hotels.
“Seda is now more at home with its success and this is reflected in our scale,” understates Group General Manager Brett Hickey.
“Understates” – because as we’d find during our weekend staycation, it is also reflected
across every element of the guests’ stay.
Coming of age
The grandeur is exhibited as soon as you step into the hotel, with its lobby doubling the size of most Seda branches – a conscious effort designed to “heighten one’s sense of arrival.” But Seda’s evolution isn’t limited to just size and scale – far from it.
While its 700-square meter ballroom is envisioned as a venue for important conferences, and prominent social gatherings– the entirety of Seda Vertis North has been turned into a canvass for Philippine design and talent.
The hotel doesn’t waste any time showcasing its stylish confidence, with the lobby being adorned by iconic pieces from renowned furniture designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Vito Selma, and sculptor Ann Pamintuan.
At the expansive pool deck at the third floor, the artists’ works are again main features, with their unmistakable style prominent throughout the floor’s outdoor seating areas, sun deck, pool bar, and even in the dressing areas.
It’s important to note that the sense of style pervading Seda Vertis North isn’t purely for panache either, as varying elements of the hotel’s features and service exhibit a multi-functional versatility that even more discriminating guests will give a nod to.
To cite an example, in the deluxe guest rooms, there is a triangular sofa with a round accent table that can either hold a meal or a laptop – and paired with an ottoman, the setting seamlessly transforms from dining to working area, depending on the guests’ needs.
This versatility upon whim can also be found with how Seda Vertis North can cater to guests’ preferences. Hickey tells this writer that should you wish to, say, have a special romantic dinner, you can request to be seated in virtually any part of the hotel – as they did when a function for engineers was held at the building’s pump room, setting an otherwise rudimentary meal in a room that elicits conversations.
Another recurring theme at Seda Vertis North is their penchant for pleasant surprises – small touches that make the difference between a good stay and a memorable one.
Like if you’re checking in, and your kid is impatiently tugging at your leg – all of a sudden, the hotel would come out with a red wagon full of toys, allowing you to get the process done with, and your kid to swing his mood over to the happier side.
Its all-day dining facility, Misto, is furnished with communal wooden tables that not only add warmth to the 250-seater restaurant, but an element of surprise to diners. The long tables are not just for groups, but for individuals who may wish to share meals in this age of ride, and space sharing.
“It’s our way of promoting social interaction among individual business travelers who, because they spend a long time alone on the road, may want some company during meals,” explains Hickey.
During our chef’s table, in the middle of a delectable eight-course meal, the melodic humming of a sous-chef suddenly diverted our attention from early onset food coma. Before any of us knew what was going on, another chef got in the act as the duo gave a beautiful a cappella rendition of Matisyahu’s “One Day” – all while preparing our next course.
These recurring themes, in its aesthetics and service, clearly show that Seda, as a brand, is one that’s come into its own – upping the ante not just for the group’s portfolio of properties, but for the entire hospitality industry in Metro Manila.
Seda Vertis North is located at Astra cor. Lux Drives, Vertis North, Quezon City. For more information contact (02) 739-8891, or visit www.sedahotels.com
By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY