[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the past few years, we have been witness to the rapid growth and development of General Santos City, as opposed to the claims we heard during the recent local elections of some that the city has gone down the drain.
It’s either these people have been living under a rock all these times or that they simply refused to acknowledge the city’s progress, blinded by their disapproval and dislike for some of its leaders.
Aside from the malls, shopping arcades and commercial buildings we have seen sprouting in the city, are the various hotels and lodging establishments which seemed to have started mushrooming after the National Convention of the Councilors League of the Philippines sometime back in 2010, which exposed GenSan’s lack of hotel rooms (about 1000 rooms only for its 2000++ delegates).
That led the local government to openly call for investors from the hotel industry by offering attractive tax breaks. Eventually it started the ball rolling for the construction and opening of new hotels in the city, including the Microtel Hotels and Resorts (GenSan’s first international hotel chain), Pacquiao’s very own RoadHaus Pension House, the SunCity Suites, the Hotel San Marco, Driggs Pension House, M Loft Hotel, the Phela Grande Residences, the GenSan Richeva Suites, the Florotel, the Micro Hotel, the Sonly Suites, the Asian Novotel, the Elise Suites, among others.
The largest among them so far is Microtel which has 66 rooms leaving the 11-year old East Asia Royale Hotel to still lord it with her 104 rooms. But just very recently, a new hotel softly opened and with its 111 rooms, is out to wrest the biggest GenSan Hotel crown from East Asia Royale.
SoCCSkSarGen, are you ready for Greenleaf Hotel GenSan?
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan is owned by a corporation headed by the Teng Family of Kimball Plaza fame who have branched out to fishing (TSP Marine) and the fastfood industry (three Jollibee franchises in the city). The hotel is their first foray into the hospitality industry.
Greenleaf’s six-storey edifice is the tallest along its strategic San Miguel Street location, and even looks down on the three-storey SM City General Santos right across it.
From afar, the hotel looks very different from the existing buildings in GenSan and according to its owners, the general concept of its overall structure is called “Modern Contemporary with a touch of Zen” although while inside, the interior design is more specifically themed as “Natural Chic”. This means, the emphasis is on nature.
To get to the Main Entrance leading to the Grand Lobby, one has to drive his car up on an ascending driveway and park in one of the 20 car lots across the doors. Another option is to park across at the SM City and walk right up through a set of stairs beside the road. There is also a Ground Floor Parking Space good for 30 more vehicles.
Across the front doors, you wouldn’t miss a fountain adorned with sculptures of jumping tuna by famous young artist, Leeroy New who was actually born and raised in General Santos.
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan’s Grand Lobby never fails to amaze and surprise first-time visitors, starting with its huge canopy that greets you, dwarfing everything around it, to its high ceiling evoking the microscopic framework of a leaf, its veins magnified a million times. Everywhere you look, are these web-like leaf patterns from the walls, to the dividers, to its furniture and fixtures.
The whole place boasts of natural lighting giving the white-washed interiors the feel of all-day radiance. It is a happy place, so to speak.
Another object that stands out in the lobby is the giant walled sculpture of artist Leeroy New again. Made of resin, its patterns remind one of the waves of the sea, and could also evoke swirling leaf patterns for some.
There are more walled sculptures of Leeroy New in the lobby and elsewhere inside the hotel and each one is a treasure by itself.
Farther inside is the Lobby Lounge where one can order coffee or tea and partake of the delectable cakes and pastries from the nearby DELICATESSEN, while enjoying the refreshing sight of mini outdoor gardens complete with cascading waterfalls, behind its glass walls. These outdoor oases is welcome to smokers.
Furniture here and elsewhere are masterpieces of Murillo and the Continental Pacific, Cebu-based suppliers whose materials are sourced locally and carry a natural base.
The Lobby Lounge and the Delicatessen are open daily at 8:00am to 11:00pm.
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan boasts of five room categories. Here they are with their rack rates which are for single/double occupany:
- Deluxe – P 4,500.00 (2nd & 3RD Floors)
- Executive Room – P 5,000.00 (2nd & 3rd Floors)
- One Bedroom Suite – P 7,500.00
- One Bedroom Veranda Suite – P 8,000.00 (7th Floor): has street viewing decks
- One Bedroom Garden Suite – P 9,000.00
- Extra Person/Bed – P 1,200.00
- Kids under 11 years are FREE OF CHARGE.
- Check in time is 2:00pm and check out time is 12 noon.
Inclusive with the rooms are these amenities:
- Breakfast at Mint Café (good for two)
- Roundtrip Airport/Hotel Transfers
- Use of Fitness Gym and Swimming Pool
- Wifi Connection
- Coffee and Tea-Making facilities in the room
The great news is, as a promo, Greenleaf Hotel GenSan is charging only P3,600 regardless of the room until August 30, 2013.
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan boasts of world-class restaurants and cafes for the discriminating guest. Here they are.
Mint Café which is located at the ground floor is where complimentary breakfast for guests are served. For walk-ins, they will have to shell out P350 for the wide array of buffet offerings. There are salad greens, assorted gourmet bread, noodles, dim sum, porridge, cereals, fruits, native pinoy almusal fare, cold cuts, omelets-while-you-wait and free-flowing coffee and juices.
I love their dim sum so you ought to try It too. Hopefully they will have even more choices in the future, like tuna value-added products.
One may choose to dine inside the airconditioned area of Mint Café or enjoy the cool breeze at the Al Fresco section beside the swimming pool.
The swimming pool area boasts of a large pool for adults, a kiddie pool and a Jacuzzi. Beside it is a fitness gym which is open for hotel guests only.
Mint Café which can seat 142 hungry guests, also serves lunch and dinner and has an available Light and Easy Buffet for P250. This buffet comes free if the guest orders anything from the ala carte menu…. Which I might say is a good bargain.
The café has an available VIP room for groups of 12. If you want a little more privacy, this one is for you.
Mint Café is open daility from 6:00am to 11:00pm. The pool closes at 8:00pm.
The Teal Leaf is Greenleaf Hotel’s entry into the “modern slash authentic Chinese Restaurant” category. The owners actually hired two Chinese chefs to man the kitchen to ensure that the food that comes out will make approximate the dishes they cook back home.
The menu itself is filled with offerings which are quite uncommon among the Asian-themed diners in the city. I was looking for the ubiquitous sweet and sour dishes, the pancit regulars and the usual lumpia shanghai, which were not there. Instead, what I found and feasted on were Cantonese dishes which were soooo good that I forgot where I was while nomnoming them.
While Tea Leaf can accommodate 130 persons, it has three separate VIP Rooms for intimate gatherings of 8-10 persons.
It has two sections, the indoor air-conditioned section and the lanai section where guests can smoke, beside a wall garden.
Tea Leaf is open daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm and reopens at 6:30pm to 11:00pm. Check out its amazing overhead lights which look like bamboo steam plates.
More on Tea Leaf, in a future post.
Finally, we have the…
ZANZIBAR BAR AND MUSIC LOUNGE.
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan would not be complete without the prerequisite bar for its guests wishing to unwind with a drink or two while enjoying musical performances by local artists and bands.
Wood, metal and glass are dominant here making it ideal for chilling out. Remarkable ane fod noteworthy are the white elaborate marquee patterned after the snail which has cove lights emanating from it.
All in all, Zanzibar makes for a pleasant and relaxing night cap with friends.
I checked the prices of drinks and they are very reasonable. A bottle of bear costs only P60!
There is also a VIP Room available for 8 shy guests. The whole area can accommodate 108 bar habitués.
From Monday to Thursday, Zanzibar Bar operates from 5:00pm to 11:00pm, 5:00pm to 1:00am on Fridays and Saturdays and 5:00pm to 10:00pm.
THE EVENT SPACES.
THE GRAND BALLROOM (PANDAN)
What struck me when I entered Greenleaf’s Grand Ballroom is not so much its enormity (KCC Convention is bigger) but its two giant swirling overhead lights offering a semblance of a kaleidoscope as seen from below.
The place which can accommodate 450 people in a ballroom setting may be divided into two sections for smaller events.
Each one boasts of a giant 15 by 10 feet LED Screen, the first hotel in South Central Mindanao with this amenity.
THE FUNCTION ROOMS (SAGE, BASIL, CILANTRO)
Three function rooms, namely SAGE, BASIL and CILANTRO are available for smaller gatherings at Greenleaf Hotel GenSan. Two of these can fit in 60 persons each while the third one beside the Grand Ballroom can hold more at 70.
THE LAVANDIN SPA
The hOtel’s centerpiece of rest and relaxation is the Lavandin Spa, once it opens.
It will feature indoor waterfalls that will complement its interiors made of the traditional banig. The ceiling will resemble a honeycomb will evoke images of a star field.
Lavandin Spa will offer amenities like Jacuzzi, sauna and services like family foot spa and others.
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan will actually hold its GRAND OPENING on September 24, 2013 yet,
in time for right after the Tuna Congress and hopefully, Tuna Festival, if the new administration goes for it.
Currently, it accepts hotel guests albeit on a limited basis. As it is, for those who have stayed there and tried their services and offerings, their slogan, “GREEN IS A LUXURY YOU CAN AFFORD“, certainly rings very true.
You may contact Greenleaf Hotel GenSan through the following:
Telephone #s: (083) 552-1111; 302-1111.
Fax #s: (083) 552-8822.
Email address: email@example.com
Official website: http://www.greenleafhotelgensan.com
Greenleaf Hotel GenSan is managed by Asian Grand Legal Hotels Corporation. More about it on future posts.
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