COLORS of gold, copper, and crimson red. Displays of world globes, compasses and vintage bags. Christmas is all about the beautiful journey of traveling back home in Western Visayas’ first international hotel.
For the very first time, Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo opened the holiday season with a grand Christmas Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 22 at the hotel’s lobby.
Iloilo City mayor Joe Espinosa III along with the hotel executives pulled the lever which lit up the tree. Everyone was in awe upon seeing the lights that illuminated in the dimly lit lobby.0
Guests truly felt the holiday spirit emanating from the decorations designed by the Marriott Team. These include Christmas trees of different sizes, a gingerbread plane with a wing span of 15 feet, and a replica of the old tower that stands 13 feet.
Located in the old Iloilo airport, Courtyard pays tribute to one of Iloilo’s iconic sites where families and friends used to reunite. This explains the replica of the old tower that gives everyone the moment to reminisce moments of reuniting with the loved ones they truly miss most.
Hotel general manager Cleofe Albiso said this season is the time to come back home and celebrate the holiday season with loved ones, the people who matter the most.
Marriott sales manager Gail Bangeles hosted the event and led everyone in “freezing the beautiful moment.” She asked every guest to take their phones out to capture a selfie or a groufie with the ones they are with.
Bangeles then asked everyone to upload their selfie or groufie on Facebook and tag the person they miss most.
The night’s highlight was made more meaningful and sentimental through the virtuous vocals of the Sta. Maria Parish Grand Choir which sang “Christmas is Calling You Home” and an Ilonggo original “Suga Sang Kalinong” composed by Mr. Beny Castillon, the choir’s trainer and conductor and Mr. Gerardo Muyuela, the musical director.
Ballet dancers of the SF School of Dance also wowed the crowd with their performance of an excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
Six days after the Christmas lighting ceremony, Courtyard held another event dubbed as “Coming Together” – a culmination of four chefs who sought to bring hotel guests home through their gastronomic expertise.
“The Christmas concept of the hotel is that we want people to come together, coming back home for Christmas. As we know, Christmas is family time. It’s the festive season when families gather,” said Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo director of operations Maia Israel.
She added: “For the chefs, we made it a coming together because it’s the first time we’re collaborating with such famous chefs in Iloilo. We’re coming together with the community [as] the newest brand in Iloilo.”
Chef Anthony Bulilan of Tonino’s Restaurant, Chef Miguel Cordova of Dova, Chef Pauline Gorriceta Banusing of Al Dente, and Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo’s very own Chef Chachpol Suaisom showcased their culinary skills by preparing a bounty of scrumptious delights for the guests (P1,499 nett).
“There’s so much going in the hotel. Being a new player, it is our advocacy to sell Iloilo City. We can never sell Courtyard if we don’t sell Iloilo City. This project really adheres to that, supporting that thrust of selling and talking about the city itself. This is to support the thrust and we will have to start by promoting the talents of Iloilo,” said Albiso./PN