(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer | 20 February 2016)
Shangri-La at the Fort, which opens March 1, is totally different from the first two properties in Mandaluyong and Makati that are mainly hotels with several F&B outlets.
Since it’s marketed and designed as a “mixed-use lifestyle complex,” the new property is accessible from various entry points, depending on your purpose of visit.
“The complex has six key components: the hotel, the residences for long-staying guests, the privately-owned Horizon Homes, the sprawling Kerry Sports complex, the retail arcade, and the park,” director of communications Lesley Anne Tan told Inquirer Lifestyle in an exclusive tour weeks before the opening.
“If Makati Shangri-La is ‘elegance and grandeur’ and Edsa Shangri-La is geared towards families, Shangri-La at the Fort is all about the ‘contemporary luxury lifestyle,’” she added.
It has 576 rooms with seven restaurants and bars, 97 Shangri-La Residences for extended stays, the members-only Kerry Sports Manila, 98 luxurious Horizon Homes on the highest floors, and a two-level retail arcade with over 30 stylish shops and restaurants.
The property will occupy an entire city block.
Two confirmed retail tenants are jeweler Ann Ong, who is opening her second store in Manila after the one at Marco Polo Ortigas, and retail couple Raul and Joanna Francisco who are opening a contemporary art space.
Other retailers include furniture manufacturer Philux, South Sea jewelry brand Jewelmer, the first Philippine branch of Los Angeles-based Pink’s Hotdogs, dessert place The Sugar Factory, Maisen which serves Japanese tonkatsu, FOO’D by Davide Oldani, specialty coffee by Toby’s Estate, Brotzeit which serves German food, and wine bar Planet Grapes.
“At Makati Shangri-La and Edsa Shangri-La, everything is contained,” said Tan. “You can access the different restaurants or function rooms through either of the two main entrances. At Shangri-La at the Fort, however, there will be different entrances so you can pass through the main lobby for a lunch or dinner at High Street Cafe, head straight to Kerry Sports without having to go through the hotel, or simply check out the merchandise and have a quick bite in the retail arcade that wraps around the entire complex.”
The architects considered the changing tastes of consumers. Hirsch Bedner & Associates handled the public areas, residences and guest rooms; Rockwell Group did the High Street Cafe and the club, Limitless; Steve Leung designed Canton Road, the Chinese restaurant; AvRoko East Ltd. took care of Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar; Manny Samson & Associates worked on the poolside restaurant and Horizon Homes.
Stack Studio Pty. Ltd. designed Kerry Sports Manila. AECOM did the landscaping.
Despite being a hive of activity, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) or the Fort, being relatively new, is still not top of mind, Tan noted on her trips to Hong Kong and Singapore: “I found out via informal survey that nine of 10 Singaporeans or Hong Kong residents are not familiar with the area. They know about Manila, Intramuros, Boracay and Palawan, but not the Fort or BGC, so they were really surprised when I showed them photos. We’re actually the face of modern Manila because we’re at the center of it.”
Shangri-La is, of course, a familiar global brand. Shangri-La at the Fort might finally put BGC on the map.
Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Ave. Bonifacio Global City. Visit www.shangri-la.com.
— By Raoul J. Chee Kee