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What makes the Grand Hyatt grand? The peak of 5-star dining & entertainment

Metro Manila’s clubbing central, Bonifacio Global City,will have a grand addition to its roster of super clubs, private clubs, grills and speakeasies — but this one is all of the above, and it is perched on the tallest building in the Philippines with a view that can be found nowhere else.

The Peak is Grand Hyatt Manila’s nightclub on the 66-story building’s 60th and 62nd floors (each floor is two stories), described by the hotel’s general manager Gottfried Bogensperger as “a multipurpose concept steakhouse bar and residence-style living room.” It opens in the third quarter of 2018, along with the hotel’s official opening, which can be expected to be no less than grand.

‘Our mission is to encourage guests to live grandly, as if the hotel were an elevated version of home,’ says the charming Grand Hyatt GM Gottfried Bogensperger, who has a knack for making you feel at home.

Grand Hyatt’smission is to encourage guests to “live grandly,” as if the hotel were an elevated version of home. “The hotel is structured like a big house,” says Bogensperger. “Our restaurants are named like rooms of a house: The Grand Kitchen, The Cellar… and all of our kitchens are open, so the heart of the house is open. The Peak feels like it’s a living room.”

According to Bogensperger, the Grand Hyatt brand caters to the meeting and convention market, from lifestyle to corporate. “We are a full-service hotel with all the facilities,” he says.

The hotel has an outdoor pool on the sixth floor. Photos by Walter Bollozos and Chonx Tibajia

More than the kitchen, the heart of any hotel is really its GM, who ultimately affects how everything works, setting the tone for both guests and staff. Grand Hyatt Manila’s Bogensperger, who calls himself a “Hyatt baby,” has lived around the world as a hotelier almost all his life, and has a knack for making anyone feel at home. Over lunch at The Cellar with our Lifestyle editor Millet Mananquil, Grand Hyatt director of sales and marketing Melissa Ledesma and PR consultant Apryl Galang, the GM, or “GB,” as everyone in the hotel fondly calls him, served us plates of croquettes and paella himself. He even offered me a pint of Grand Hyatt’s house lager, which is exclusively made for the hotel by Engkanto Brewery.

Bogensperger says: “Most people ask me which country I like the most, but it has nothing to do with favorites. It has to do with what stage in your life you are where. When I was in my 20s, I was living in Cancun. You work hard but you play hard. You live on the beach. But then when you get a little older and you want to build a career, you need to see which hotel will suit which stage you are in in life. Then you become a global hotelier and you will never go back. I will never go back to my home country to work, to live. You’re a gypsy.”

Grand Hyatt director of sales and marketing Melissa Ledesma in one of the eight function rooms of No. 8 China House.

At this point in his life Bogensperger finds some nobility of purpose as a hotelier, trying to see how he can contribute tohelp the Philippine economy in his own way. He proudly says the hotel gets most of its restaurant needs from local agricultural suppliers. He also has a grand appreciation for Filipino artists.

Living grand

No. 8 China House is a fun and informal dining option featuring Chinese specialties including Peking duck, Chinese BBQ, homemade dim sum and Cantonese seafood, all prepared in live cooking stations.

The Hyatt brand has over 700 hotels worldwide, and will be opening a new one in Clark in two to three years. With a location like Bonifacio Global City, which has become a destination for both business and leisure travelers, the opening of Grand Hyatt Manila signals a new trend in five-star luxury service.

“If you build a hotel correctly and you build it for a purpose, then you will attract a clientele that believes in what you do. I think the market is growing fast. In the next 10 years, there will be more hotels. It’s time to push that envelope. I think the market is ready for it, so that was the reason for us to build here,” says Bogensperger.

The Cellar is a Spanish-inspired restaurant featuring tapas in a cozy, cellar-style backdrop.

Located at the top 25 floors of the hotel, all 461 Grand Hyatt Manila rooms, including 52 suites, offer an unobstructed panoramic view of the metro encompassing the Makati skyline all the way to Manila Bay. All accommodations come with a large stained wooden desk, a 50-inch LCD TV with Bluetooth surround speaker, a fully stocked mini bar, bedside control panel and thermostat, a sizeable lounge area with a plush couch, a walk-in closet with a safe and floor-to-ceiling mirror walls and windows.

Dining and entertainment in the hotel are radically different, according to Bogensperger, evident in its three major restaurants: The Grand Kitchen, a multi-cuisine all-day-dining restaurant that features an array of show kitchens and interactive “a la carte buffet stations” where food is freshly prepared and served; No. 8 China House (named such because it has eight rooms), which is a fun and informal dining option featuring Chinese specialties including Peking duck, Chinese BBQ, homemade dim sum and Cantonese seafood, all prepared in live cooking stations; and The Peak, a bi-level entertainment center that sits at the top floors of the hotel and features a high-energy music bar, serves whiskies and handcrafted beverages, steaks and grilled dishes.

All 461 Grand Hyatt Manila rooms offer an unobstructed panoramic view of the metro encompassing the Makati skyline all the way to Manila Bay.

Other dining options are The Lounge at the Rice Terraces-inspired lobby, Pool House, and Florentine, a premium pastry and retail shop for guests on the go.

Also opening soon is Penthouse at the 66th, an ultra-exclusive events space.

The pillar-free, jewelry box-inspired Grand Ballroom teems with natural light and features a show kitchen facility. Other venues include the meeting room Apartments with common loft kitchen, the Grand Salon for intimate events, and the Grand Pavilion that provides indoor and al fresco seating.

The Lounge at the Grand Hyatt Manila lobby

The hotel has an outdoor pool on the sixth floor, a 24-hour fitness center, and a spa opening soon.

“By giving guests our full attention and making them feel celebrated, we hope to build an emotional connection with them to ensure that their stay will be unforgettable,” Bogensperger says. “More than just the hardware, which is the hotel, we want our guests to keep coming back as well for the software — the warm and authentic people working behind the seams. Above anything else, Filipinos are well known for their boundless hospitality, and that quality, collaborated with the magnificent architecture of Grand Hyatt Manila, will propel us to conquer Manila’s hotel scene.”

The Grand Kitchen is a multi-cuisine all-day-dining restaurant that features an array of show kitchens.

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Grand Hyatt Manila is located at 8th Avenue corner 35th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For inquiries, call 838-1234 or email manila.grand.hyatt.com. For information, visit grand.hyatt.com, follow @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram and the hashtag #GoGrand.


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